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Stosh

Guide To Safe Scouting

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In the past I have worked with non-profits. Their management is, well, leaves much to be desired. Sometimes you get real gems who are great at communicating. Other times you get folks who are more confusing than a teenage girl's logic (apologies to my niece). ;)

 

Sad thing is when you try to volunteer to make things better, they never take you up on it. That is why place like this exist....we get a triangulated point of view, and that REALLY helps! In the end the folks that benefit from this the most are the scouts....and that is all that matters.

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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.  :)

 

...

 

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.

 

 

 

The fact that National may make exceptions to its own rules, or sometimes not even follow its own rules, does not mean the rules don't exist.

 

 

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.  :)

 

See above.  And if I had been there, someone might have said a word.  :)

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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.  :)

 

In my state, despite liberal conceal-carry laws, if you show up on church property (assuming the CO was a church) it is a big no-no. Worse if the CO is a school. We cannot even bring firearms in for our safety demonstration without going through miles of paperwork with the CO.

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And if you want to talk about vague statements in the Guide to Safe Scouting, I see this gem is still there.  In my opinion it is probably the worst of all:

 

 

 

Adult leaders should support the attitude that they, as well as youths, are better off without tobacco in any form and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems that simulate tobacco smoking.

 

All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.

 

First of all, what's with the "should"s instead of "must"s?  And the first sentence should just say "The use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants is prohibited."  

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With the G2SS the confusion comes in on the migration of old G2SS to the new G2SS..

Way back (age of the dinosaur).. No, maybe 5 - 6 years back, the G2SS had in the preface that requirements and mandates were either in bold or italics (forget which) while other items recommended but not strict rules were in normal type.. "Nifty Neat" I guess it lead to a common practice of just reading and following that which was in bold or italics and ignoring the rest..

 

So G2SS was changed.. No more breakdown between normal text & bold/italics.. The preface read something to what NJScouter stated

 

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.

 

 

I remember this forum having a thread on it, and lots of us bummed because it was not so clear cut.. But I guess BSA wanted us to read all, and not just that which was in bold/italics..

 

Today I looked at the preface in the online PDF version to G2SS.. This sort of paragraph is no longer there.. I don't know if it means everything now is a hard n' fast rule or what.. Perhaps Richard B. will swoop down and enlighten us on the subject.

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Thanks blw2, but when it comes to Guide to SAFE Scouting that softening the verbiage is a dangerous game?  Having been a Psych minor in college, I'm familiar with the personalities and it would be good to know these things before recruiting adults into the program.  But when it comes to having adult leadership in a youth program, do you really want personalities that feel rules are meant to be bent when it comes to the welfare and safety of our children?

 

I ask a lot of questions and press the logic/hypocrisy issues heavily on the forum, but no one runs a safer program than I do,  15 years as Crew Advisor for a reenacting Venturing crew and out of the hundreds of boys and girls that went through that program not so much as a scratch on any of them.  I have even so much as marched my unit off the battlefield in the midst of a national event because I was hit in the chest by an illegal packing wad fired by a confederate solder.  It was to dangerous for my taste and we were out of there.

 

My weapons inspections were way beyond that of normal reenacting and any infraction of a safety rule and the crew member was off the field until he could prove his knowledge of safety procedures to me explicitly to me.  Nothing in G2SS on any of that and it went far beyond the requirements of the reenacting world as well.  Like I said, no so much as a scratch!

 

I have taken Webelos cross-overs down whitewater canoeing on their second outing of the year.  Spring camporee was their shakedown, whitewater canoeing their second event.  I had to cancel but once because I didn't have my second experienced kayaker available.  I had plenty of adults, plenty of scouters, but no one with a high level of watercraft safety experience.  (I married her, so now I don't have that problem anymore)  :)

 

So I may bend a few rules under the Meyers Briggs measurements, but my #1 rule in the troop is Safety First, and my boys understand that without ever knowing what's in the G2SS book.

 

I took my Webelos den on a campout to a deserted island with no running water and no latrines.  We canoed out there and Saturday night we had a thunderstorm that really rocked the place.  All six of the boys on that outing Eagled and 2 of them mentioned that that event alone was the highpoint of their scouting career at their ECOH. 

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Perhaps Richard B. will swoop down and enlighten us on the subject.

 

Perhaps.  I am fairly certain that the language about must/shall/should etc. still does appear at the beginning of the Guide to Advancement, but not the Guide to Safe Scouting.  You'd figure if it applies to one, it would apply to the other.  (Years ago, a member of this forum (long since departed) made the argument that since different BSA publications come out of different departments, it isn't reasonable to expect that they be consistent.  My response was, sure it is.)

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In my state, despite liberal conceal-carry laws, if you show up on church property (assuming the CO was a church) it is a big no-no. Worse if the CO is a school. We cannot even bring firearms in for our safety demonstration without going through miles of paperwork with the CO.

 

Hmmm... again this varies and there are no hard and fast rules.  Because ministers are public personalities, I know of some who are conceal carry.  Most people don't know about it because the weapons are concealed, thus the point.  One can carry in a bar, but can't drink alcohol there.  One can carry within 500' of a school, if they happen to be standing on their own property.

 

I have taken a weapon into a school with verbal permission from the school principle.  I have carried weapons on school property as part of a school program by invite of the staff only. 

 

Now, courthouses, posted businesses, and airports are a whole different duck.  One doesn't want to test the waters under those circumstances, even though I have transported weapons on flights in checked luggage.

 

The point being is knowing what is and what is not for real when it comes to rules and regulations.  If one knows exactly what they can and cannot do it is a lot easier than having vague verbiage and a thousand exceptions to every rule along the way.

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

 

BSA:

 

 

 

Q. I’m going on a camping trip with my troop, but my hunting knife broke. I see a lot of different hunting knives advertised. How do I know which one to buy?

– Knifeless Neil, Summerville, S.C.

A. The best type of knife for camping trips — and most any other outdoor activity, for that matter — is a short, fixed-blade knife with a beefy handle.

Folding pocketknives can fold up on your hand while cutting. Not fixed blades. And remember: When it comes to blades, bigger isn’t always better. Avoid blades longer than four inches. A small, sharp blade can cut just as well as a long one, but it’s safer to handle and easier to maneuver in tight spots. With a good fixed blade you’ll be set for most anything the outdoors can throw at you — whittling, cutting, notching, butchering, filleting, even spreading peanut butter.

Here are two of my favorite fixed-blade knives:

  • Buck Diamondback Guide ($27; http://www.buckknives.com/)

    This knife has a 3 1/8-inch-long drop-point blade with a texturized rubber handle.

  • SOG Field Pup ($60; http://www.sogknives.com/)

    A four-inch stainless steel straight-edge blade with an easy-to-grip handle and nylon sheath.

Boy's Life, June, 2008.

 

 

 

A sharp pocketknife with a can opener on it is an invaluable backcountry tool. Keep it clean, sharp, and handy.

 

Avoid large sheath knives. They are heavy and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for cleaning fish.

 

Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature.

 

We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility.

 

G2SS

 

Comment:

 

Can openers are rarely used in the backcountry for the last several decades because backcountry foods rarely come in cans.  Those who rarely venture into the backcountry doubtless are unaware of that fact.  Car-camping presents a different situation where a can opener is quite useful.

 

The most common use of sheath knives issued to U.S. military personnel in WWII was to open food cans, a task they perform easily and with no threat to the knife.

 

B.S.A. does not explain what "large sheath knife means."  The exception for knives "for cleaning fish" suggests that length of blade may be one criteria.  However, the statement that "large" means "heavy" flies against length as a sole criteria as filleting knives are notably light.  So we simply have a vague standard - and no prohibition whatsoever.

 

The statement on Outdoor Program suggests that knives, and the justification for their possession by Scouts, are connected in the minds of the authors of the G2SS with knives,  It is an open question whether knives are, in reality, more used outdoors or in the indoor kitchen.  The fixed-blade knife is the classic outdoor tool, with the even more dangerous axe as the nearest competitor.

 

The last sentence seems to be an acknowledgment of our duty to teach proper use of a knife not illegal to "own," which in Ohio is every single knife.  "Possessed" would have been less inclusive.  Laws are written to control possession of knives.  And, of course, it is difficult to teach the safe use of legally owned knives if entire classes of them are prohibited by "zero tolerance" rules. 

 

Although years have passed since B.S.A. acknowledged its "duty" to, in effect, teach proper use of  fixed-blade knives, the training material formerly in the Handbook and Fieldbook remain missing in action.  So volunteers are left to their own devices to carry out our acknowledged, specific "duty."

 

Again, communication.

Edited by TAHAWK
  • Upvote 1

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Tahawk~

 

Your post is going to cost me a lot of money. :rolleyes:   I had to click on the link to the SOG website - I've fallen in love with the Forge knife as well as the Seal Strike and Bowie 2.  

 

I think the most dangerous knives out there are the non-locking (usually multitool) folders.  Most parents think that should be the knife that a scout carries.  First off, the non-locking blade represents a danger of cloing on the scout's fingers.  Also, most of the blades are not that sharp -- parents are usually surprised to hear that a dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp blade.  Finally, they are heavy because of all the useless multitools.

 

I let parents know that one of the main reasons I'm involved with scouting is because I get to play with knives and fire. :D  I typically carry a OKC RAT folding knife or a Gerber Paraframe if I'm backpacking (lighter weight).  I also have an OKC Ranger 7 inch fixed blade sheath bushcraft knife (thinking about getting a Becker BK9 for my son).  I've taught most of the scouts how to use a bushcraft knife as a hatchet and to baton wood , how to use a smaller knife to make wood shavings or a fire stick.  The best is when you see those scouts teaching others.  What could be more fun than using knives to cut wood to make a fire?

 

As I'm reading this thread, I keep comming back to the idea that I have seen repeated again and again on these boards:  Train Them and Trust Them.  In areas of safety, that applies to leaders and scouts.

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B.S.A. does not explain what "large sheath knife means."  The exception for knives "for cleaning fish" suggests that length of blade may be one criteria.  However, the statement that "large" means "heavy" flies against length as a sole criteria as filleting knives are notably light.  So we simply have a vague standard - and no prohibition whatsoever.

 

 

I would say anything between James Bond's diving knife in Dr. No and this....

 

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I have carried a folding pocket knife pretty much all my life since receiving my first one at the age of 7 in Cub Scouts.

 

Like any tool the more you know about them the safer they are.  Yes, I have cut my fingers on folding knives, but never had one fold up on me while using it.  I have cut my fingers on lock blades and on fixed blades.  So the style of knife is irrelevant. 

 

Sharp vs. dull...  here is where your input to the youth will be very useful.  Stainless steel knives always look good but the metal is too soft to hold an edge.  They get dull and dangerous quickly.  Carbon steel knives generally look like crap, but they are the best for holding an edge because of their hardness.  For this reason I carry only older knives that have carbon steel blades.

 

Most folding blades, whether they lock or not, have hinges that wear out and get sloppy over time.  Not good!  Damaged hinged knives need to be thrown away.  (Not literally, just put them in the garbage)  And the #1 reason I do not use a lock blade anymore is because I have had and seen times when the lock does not hold and the knife folds anyway.  For those that trust the locks, this is not a good assumption to be making.  Luckily I did not get cut, but I did get educated.

 

For this reason I carry a sheath knife, but I also carry a belt axe that is sharpened to a knife blade consistency.  It is way sharper than what is recommended for axe work, but to make tinder shavings it is the best.  Because I have a conceal carry permit, I can wear it under my coat, poncho, whatever, and be okay.  I had one camp director "comment" on the fact that I wore it at summer camp and the camp had a "policy" to ban them from the boys and strongly discourage sheath knives for the adults.  I smiled and pointed out that the snaps that hold the knife and belt axe in place say BSA and have the little first class emblem there too.

 

So for safety reasons alone, and not convenience, the knife I trust the most is the sheath knife.  I know where the blade is at all times and I don't have to worry about it collapsing on me,  

 

When it comes to fire-building competition, a sheath knife/belt axe combo will beat out any scout with a lock blade buck knife.   "Age and treachery will win out over youth and exuberance any day."

Edited by Stosh

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I would say anything between James Bond's diving knife in Dr. No and this....

 

 

It's videos like this that give sheath knives an undeserved bad reputation.  I have a large Bowie knife, but find it rather useless for camp work.  Disciplining unruly boys?... well that's another story.

 

True story.... going into a 2-man wall tent at summer camp to break up a knife fight between two boys, unarmed is not a good idea.  Be Prepared.  Never show up for a knife fight without a knife of your own.

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Les Stroud says, "Nothing is more useful in a survival situation than a good, heavy-duty multi-tool." ;)

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Les Stroud says, "Nothing is more useful in a survival situation than a good, heavy-duty multi-tool." ;)

Totally agree, I use the cork screw and bottle opener on my Swiss Army all the time.  In a survival situation, the can opener has got to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

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