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Stosh

Guide To Safe Scouting

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Which reminds me, which letter is the Pirates most favorite?

 

Just heard that at the last camp out....new Scout told it and received the usual "let's laugh at the new Scout's joke we've heard 100 times" laugh. ;) Glad the boys were welcoming and not otherwise. ;)

 

Is it "Arrrrrrr"? ;)

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Guide to Safe Scouting I take as rules. not guidelines. Same goes for the Guide to Advancement. 

I do, too, but, "not recommended" means something different than "not allowed."  Alcohol as a stove fuel is not recommended, but that doesn't mean that it is banned.  Homemade chemical stoves are banned. 

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Just heard that at the last camp out....new Scout told it and received the usual "let's laugh at the new Scout's joke we've heard 100 times" laugh. ;) Glad the boys were welcoming and not otherwise. ;)

 

Is it "Arrrrrrr"? ;)

Nah ye's think it would be but my first love be the CCCCCC

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Nah ye's think it would be but my first love be the CCCCCC

:)  Aye, and a tankard of rum for Remax !

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I have often wondered why BSA has titled this little document GUIDE to Safe Scouting instead of something like Safe Scouting Policies.  Policies seem to invoke strict rules where Guide seems to invoke a more lenient guidelines approach.

 

So are they guidelines or are they mandates?

 

I put this under issues and politics for a reason.

 

:)

 

The Guide (hereinafter "G2SS") is subtitled "A Guide to Current Policies and Procedures [regarding safety]"  

 

"Current," in this case, needs to understood to mean not literally current as the Scouter is directed to review the quarterly updates which are incorporated into G2SS by reference.

 

In fact, G2ss clearly reminds us that it does not address all safety rules, policies, and procedures:  "The Guide to Safe Scouting provides an overview of Scouting policies and procedures rather than comprehensive, standalone documentation. For some items, the policy statements are complete. Unit leaders are expected to review the additional reference material cited prior to conducting such activities."

 

This statement is significant, because G2SS states that, beyond a mere expectation, we "must" "know, understand, and comply with all rules, policies, and procedures."

 

So, can we but find them all, G2SS at least seems to say that a "rule," "policy," or "procedure" is something that we "must" follow.  

 

G2SS  gives no such guidance to language that is only a "guideline," without being a  rule, policy, or procedure.

 

One subject were mandatory language might seem appropriate would be safe driving.  Scouts are nowhere more at danger than in a Scouter's motor vehicle.  Nevertheless, the new "materials" on driving safety ("The Risk Zone") neither issue commands or directives or are described as setting out rules, policies, or procedures.

 

 

Your question does not address The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety, "16 points that embody good judgment and common sense for all activities."  These sixteen points "are applicable" to "all activities," so they may be rules, policies, or procedures, although they are not given any of those labels.

 

This is an area, as with others, where the communications performance of BSA could be improved upon.

Edited by TAHAWK

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And for all you moderators out there that would think for one moment this thread has been hijacked and off topic, that's not the case,  I only have guidelines for what gets posted on this topic, not requirements:)

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I agree (and have said in this forum) that the BSA does not always communicate with "the field" in the best or most effective manner.

 

Nevertheless, we have to work with what we have.  In this case we have a book that says you "must" or "must not" (or "shall" or "shall not") do certain things, and then on the other hand it says that you "should" or "should not" do certain things.  That is what I would focus on, not the semantics of whether the title of the book is "Guide" or "Policies" or "Rules."  Some of the sections contain the word "Policy" in the heading.  I regard those as "policies", regardless of the title of the book.

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And for all you moderators out there that would think for one moment this thread has been hijacked and off topic, that's not the case,  I only have guidelines for what gets posted on this topic, not requirements:)

Stosh, when is the last time you saw a moderator in this forum take any action (as opposed to maybe making a stray comment once in a while) because a thread has gone off topic?

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You are on the right track TAHAWK, but I still think BSA could do a better job of clarifying their language.  There's enough people out there looking for wiggle room, short cuts and interpretations that some sort of effort needs to be made to clarify what it is they are trying to accomplish. 

 

With all the people out there making up stupid rules for just about everything under the sun, a little sanity would go a long way to help with what is and what isn't national policy.

 

Just because one does not mention sheath knives and belt axes doesn't mean they're banned.

 

So we have the minimum requirements of G2SS.  Does that mean one can go the extra mile and be even safer?  "All adult leaders must carry handguns and pepper spray in active bear areas."  How you have added a greater degree of both safety and controversy.

 

So the real issue here is what are the rules for real and why aren't they spelled out in clearly defined language?

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Stosh, when is the last time you saw a moderator in this forum take any action (as opposed to maybe making a stray comment once in a while) because a thread has gone off topic?

 

:)

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Like sheath knives, certain camps prohibit them when National policy remains silent on the subject.

 

Okay, what about legal conceal carry handguns?  Now there's a can of worms that hasn't been touched yet.  If you are wearing your red jac-shirt over your sheath knife, you need a conceal carry permit.  How is a handgun any different?

 

As ridiculous as that sounds, the increase in conceal carry is becoming more and more prevalent. How does National address that?

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As ridiculous as that sounds, the increase in conceal carry is becoming more and more prevalent. How does National address that?

I think they address it like this, from Page 53 of the Guide to Safe Scouting:

 

 

 

Except for law enforcement officers required to carry firearms within their jurisdiction, firearms shall not be brought on camping, hiking, backpacking, or other Scouting activities except those specifically planned for target shooting under the supervision of a currently certified BSA national shooting sports director or National Rifle Association firearms instructor.

 

I would say that means that even if you have a legal right to carry a weapon, you cannot bring it to a Scouting activity unless it falls within one of the exceptions in that sentence.

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And there is nothing that says Civil War reenactor crews need follow that policy. 

 

Back in 1998 when Venturing first came out, the council put the screws to me about starting a Venturing Crew.  I didn't want to so I said I wanted to do a crew that did shooting, carried guns and knives and ... and ... and ....

 

Well the council called National and the answer came back as yes.  I went through huge gyrations trying to come up with something like, No we don't wear official ear protection.  We don't wear eye protection, we stand shoulder to shoulder when we fire at other people, .... you get the idea.  And National approved it all....except artillery guns (which in fact are the safest part of the whole reenacting world with certifications and training that goes way, way, way beyond that of infantry or cavalry.

 

So, yes, National allows for carrying of rifles, handguns, Bowie knives and swords while at a scout activity and no BSA certified rangemaster within 100 miles. that we know of.  :)

 

And if you think that for one moment pouring 65-120 grains of black powder down a gun barrel too hot to handle with the bare hands is all that safe, guess again.

 

All I wanted to do was get out of starting a crew and National allowed whatever excuse I could come up with to be okay.

 

And by the way, I have shown up at Cub Scout Blue Gold Banquets and Boy Scout Camporees carrying a handgun and 3' sword and no one said a word.  :)

Edited by Stosh

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I think this vague language comes from the understanding that some folks have an especially keen aversion to anything written or rigid..... if you're familiar with the Myers Briggs personality profiling and subscribe to it's ideas, there are several personality types that just don't do well with hard and fast rules....  something about if it's written they feel constrained too much.

 

So just my guess, but i think the soft language is an attempt to not push away those folks.

 

but in my opinion, it does serve to irritate, or at least lessen the respect from folks like me....ISTJ and similar.... who are at one with the language of order and organization, and understand how to use common sense.

 

I agree with you Stosh....

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