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KenD500

No more Bubble Ball

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Ever see a pre 1850 burial plot? Most dates of death follow soon after dates of birth. Many lost wives and children.

 

So there is something to forestalling death. But sometimes we seem to just be forestalling frivolous litigation.

Truth.

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It's a bit mean that they are banning bubble ball as kids love it, even beavers do it. In the UK there are only 3 things banned , banana boating, hitch hiking and bungee jumping anything else is ok providing you do a proper risk assessment or use a nationally recognised third party.

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They didn't leave due to the water gun ban. But add on the membership changes and all the silly bans and, yeah, that's why they left.

 

yep, I'd guess that it's a small grain in the big picture, lumped in with everything else that reduces FUN... but it's in there...  because my guess is the overlying big reason a majority leave is "not having FUN"

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BSA media promotes Fun and Adventure, but doesn't deliver.  That's fraud. (A Scout used to be Trustworthy)

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My gosh - after reading all of these complaints about how the fun is being sucked out of Scouting I can't help but wonder how deprived of fun you all must have been back in the days that your were Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts - back before there were such things as Bubble Ball, and Laser Tag, and Water Parks.

 

I don't know about any one else but I had lot's of fun in the late 60's and in the 70's as a Cub Scout and as a Boy Scout.  The adult leaders back then found more than enough in the program to keep us occupied and satisfied.  For some reason, they also had a much better sense of the progression of skills in Scouting.  Yes, Cub Scouts didn't do Klondikes.  That didn't mean a Cub Scout Pack couldn't do a winter hike at a local forest preserve and try to make bacon and eggs in a paper bag.  Cub Scouts didn't build pioneering projects - but we all knew we could do that in Boy Scouts.  There was always a sense that the adventure continues with each move - Wolves and Bears did different activities but in Webelos, you got to do just that much more, then in Boy Scouts, well wow!  Klondike, and winter camping, and camporees, and rifle shooting, and canoeing.  Bike Safety in Cub Scouts changed to Bicycle Trips in Boy Scouts.  It kept you coming for more.  Even in Boy Scouts - at 11, 12, & 13 looking forward to 14 and weeklong backpacking and high adventure trips.  Weekend canoe trips became week long excursions in the Boundary Waters. - No Laser Tag Required.  My father was instrumental in convincing our Council to allow weekend camping for Webelos to pilot for National.  He was instrumental in expanding that to Webelos Camporees.  With hindsight, I look back and sometimes wish he hadn't done so - I know the intention was to give Webelos a taste of things to come in the Boy Scouts, but unfortunately it metastatisized into the entire Cub Scout camping program with family camping.  I think that was a mistake - with nothing to look forward to, now we have to entertain the Cub Scouts - and since they've already been there done that, we now need to entertain the Boy Scouts too.

 

Is tossing water balloons funs?  Sure, for many people.  But how is it any more fun that having giant plastic pools filled with water located in spots on a big field where Cubs (and Scouts) can get a big honking "natural" sponge soaked in water to toss at other people?  A lot easier to clean up (which means less risk of leaving broken balloons on the field for birds and animals to eat - or is Leave No Trace just a barrier to fun?), a lot easier to set up - and frankly, the only limitation is how long the Cubs & Scouts can go without getting tired - it's much easier to refill the pool that it is to fill another 100 water balloons.

 

Are water guns fun?  Sure, for many people - but the BSA doesn't ban it because it's unsafe - they ban it, and Laser Tag for the same reason - it doesn't support the gun safety message the BSA has been delivering for decades - always assume a gun is loaded and never point a gun at anyone.  The BSA doesn't teach military shooting -it teaches sport shooting - shooting at targets (and no human shapes allowed - that's not because someone is being mean), shooting at clay pigeons.  Yeah, yeah - I know the arguments - but water guns and laser tag guns and paint ball guns aren't real guns - go ahead and tell that to the mother of a 12-year old boy shot in a park in Ohio who had a not real gun.  It doesn't matter if they're real guns, because it's not about the guns - it's about the behavior - and the behavior being taught is how to hunt down and shoot other people.  That's why they are banned. 

 

I suppose the big question in my mind is are we so lacking in imagination as adults, or so lazy, that we have to offer everything that's out there in order to keep the Scouts entertained?  Is not the program and the advancement and all of the things that actually fit in to the program not enough that we have to keep adding more and more and more and more?  Is there no room in our worldviews anymore to be able to compartmentalize things?   To be able to say Bubble Ball is a fun activity but it's not a Scouting activity?  To  be able to say that Go-karting is a fun activity for families but it's not a Scouting activity?  To be able to say feel free to have water gun fights with your friends on a hot summers day but in Cub Scouts, we do soaked sponge tosses? (And I have yet to see any Cub Scout, or staff member, or non-cranky parent, not get caught up in that and have a blast). 

 

It occurs to me as I've written this that there's an awful lot of things that are done in Scouts that don't get done outside of Scouts in any big numbers.  How many people here think their Scouts and Scout's families know where the nearest Orienteering course is, and partake of it when not in Scouts (and I can't find anything that says Orienteering is not allowed in Cub Scouts - are you sure it's just that the Map and Compass belt loop and activity pin has been discontinued?).  How many people here do pioneering projects on a regular basis, outside of Scouts, just for fun?  

 

If the saviors of Scouting is going to be Bubble Ball and Laser Tag and Halo tournaments, why even bother with anything else.  It's not going to be the three G's that destroy Scouting - it's going to be the lack of focus on the actual program, and what that program is all about.

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yep, I'd guess that it's a small grain in the big picture, lumped in with everything else that reduces FUN... but it's in there...  because my guess is the overlying big reason a majority leave is "not having FUN"

 

 

BSA media promotes Fun and Adventure, but doesn't deliver.  That's fraud. (A Scout used to be Trustworthy)

 

Right. BSA shows the great water sports but then the kids gets there and all the cool stuff has been closed down due to litigation. These floats you see at a lot of camps are being phased out for the same reason. One local camp phased it out because of injuries (240lbs dads launching 70lbs Scouts when the rules say to find someone your own weight) and replaced it with...wait for it...bubble ball. Now they have to find another cool thing for the scouts to do. Wanted to put up a zip line in to the water but they got shot down for that too.

 

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@@CalicoPenn, so it took BSA from 1910 until 2015 to ban squirt guns because they just realized that teaching proper firearms safety means not pointing ANYTHING at anybody is the proper way to act? 105 years to realize what people with common sense knew for 105 years!!! Please.

 

This is nothing more than a reaction to litigation or potential litigation. It may be masked under the guise of "proper firearms management" but it is not.

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@@Krampus - water gun usage was prohibited long before 2015 - it was a prohibited activity back when I went to Camp School for Cub Scout Day Camps back in 1981 - and it was prohibited for the exact reason I just explained.  Laser Tag was prohibited as soon as Laser Tag started to become a thing back in the early 1980's.  Nerf Gun fights were prohibited as soon as Nerf developed Nerf Gun fights.  The BSA's position on these things has always been consistent - for a very long time.

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@@Krampus - water gun usage was prohibited long before 2015 - it was a prohibited activity back when I went to Camp School for Cub Scout Day Camps back in 1981 - and it was prohibited for the exact reason I just explained.  Laser Tag was prohibited as soon as Laser Tag started to become a thing back in the early 1980's.  Nerf Gun fights were prohibited as soon as Nerf developed Nerf Gun fights.  The BSA's position on these things has always been consistent - for a very long time.

 

Wasn't enforced if this actually true. I've seen water guns and such used all over Scout camps...and Jamboree...for a long, long time. If BSA truly had it on the books you'd think they'd have enforced it.

 

Water guns have been around for a long, long time...far before the 1980s. I highly doubt BSA had "no water pistols" on the books back in the 1930s-1960s. Heck we used them at Day Camp from 2000-2008 and nobody said a thing...and we had council and national folks on staff. Go figure.

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Now we're getting in to another part of the territory - enforcement.  There are a lot of things on the books that the BSA doesn't "enforce".  They've banned laser tag but what's stopping units from going laser tag?  Words in a book?  If you don't write laser tag in on your tour permit, how will the BSA know that you took the unit laser tagging?  There are a lot of I can't count the number of professional-type folks I've met who know the rules but figure it's ok as long as they are there. 

 

What it really boils down to, I suppose - is whether you're going to follow the rules or not.  Though it looks like these rules are there to stop people from having fun, the reality is that they are there to limit the BSA's liability if something goes wrong and to transfer that liability elsewhere.  It's a way for the BSA to say "We banned Bubble Ball but we don't have the resources to police the units violating the rules - if someone got hurt, it's not our responsibility - it's a banned activity - that unit broke the rules - that unit is responsible".

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What it really boils down to, I suppose - is whether you're going to follow the rules or not.  Though it looks like these rules are there to stop people from having fun, the reality is that they are there to limit the BSA's liability if something goes wrong and to transfer that liability elsewhere.  It's a way for the BSA to say "We banned Bubble Ball but we don't have the resources to police the units violating the rules - if someone got hurt, it's not our responsibility - it's a banned activity - that unit broke the rules - that unit is responsible".

 

No argument as to why BSA is doing it. I think that's evident...or should be to anyone who bothers to look.

 

What smacks as just plain silly is that they ban things like squirt guns, water balloons and bubble ball and yet, allows units to engage in firearms use. I cannot count the number of units I visited that said they were following BSA firearms policies but, in reality, they weren't. One would think BSA's energies would be better spent limiting their liability along those lines before focusing on inane activities like making sure Timmy's water balloon is not bigger than a ping pong ball.

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Some things are liability issues and I can sympathize with BSA on those things.  Just up the insurance if they are worried.  Some of the other things are in the politically correct arena and here's where the real crapola comes into play.  Humans can't be targets for any projectile propelled by some kind of weapon.  Having snow ball fights as a kid or using a water balloon bigger than a ping pong ball will lead to more aggressive behavior once the boy reaches adulthood.  They could turn into a serial killer or worse.  After all these could be gateway activities.  Squirt guns lead to BB guns which lead to .22's which lead to WMD's.

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I carry my own Gaterade, so I don't worry about BSA thinks.  My kids get water, I get Gaterade.  I learned that Gaterade is 10 times better at getting me back on my feet and keeping me there than just water.  This after a 10 mile hike in Civil War wool, with full pack in 100o+ heat.  Buddy dumped some in my water cup and I couldn't believe how quickly it worked! 

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Kool aide and root beer floats at summer camp aren't the problem.

 

If the scouts are at camp, and half way involved in the program, they're burning plenty of calories.

 

The real issue:   what the scouts consume the rest of the year when they aren't camping.

 

Weekend camp outs, summer camps provide the most balanced meals many scouts eat all year.

Edited by desertrat77

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