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RichardB

What are your favorite Scouting Myths Safety / Risk Management?

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Since uniforms/insurance and sheath knives were already brought up, I'll add the one I brought up last week - white gas (Coleman fuel) stoves are banned.  Apparently a myth that was sold as truth within our Council some years ago, but which seems to be finally coming around now.

 

 

Nice! I unfortunately just repeated that myth in another thread. :(

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In an Okpik class two of my assistants are taking, the instructor told them that hand warmers are not allowed in the BSA since they can explode and people have died!

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Nice! I unfortunately just repeated that myth in another thread. :(

 

 

While National BSA HAS NOT banned  it, some councils HAVE banned white gas and other liquid fuels. My council does not allow white gas

 

From page 7 of the 2017 Summer Camp Leaders' Guide

 

Liquid & LP Fuels

In accordance with camp policy, the use of liquid fuels (i.e.: kerosene, gasoline, liquid Coleman fuel) in camp is prohibited.

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While National BSA HAS NOT banned  it, some councils HAVE banned white gas and other liquid fuels. My council does not allow white gas

 

From page 7 of the 2017 Summer Camp Leaders' Guide

 

Liquid & LP Fuels

In accordance with camp policy, the use of liquid fuels (i.e.: kerosene, gasoline, liquid Coleman fuel) in camp is prohibited.

 

We have that problem with sheath knives in my council.

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:)  I wear a sheath knife/belt ax combo all the time when I am in summer camp and I have attended a variety of different councils over the years.  No one has ever challenged me on it's appropriateness.  I have had some ask about it, but because it is BSA official equipment, I get some oohs and aaahs, but no bans.

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:)  I wear a sheath knife/belt ax combo all the time when I am in summer camp and I have attended a variety of different councils over the years.  No one has ever challenged me on it's appropriateness.  I have had some ask about it, but because it is BSA official equipment, I get some oohs and aaahs, but no bans.

In '85, while I was at scout leader basic training, a staffer pulled two attendees--a Viet Nam vet and me--aside and took us to task for wearing sheath knives.   Staffer stressed they were not allowed by BSA policy, and wearing/using them set a bad example for the youth.  (!?)

 

Well.

 

We disagreed, but since this was the last weekend of a tedious course (the previous 3 weekends were spent in a church annex listening to this staffer and his pals condescend to us), we complied.   Everybody was ready to graduate and put the course behind us.  

 

While the staffer was chewing us out, he was smoking a cigarette.  

 

Today, many camporee and summer camp leaders' guides usually have a hyperventilating-type prohibition like "SHEATH KNIVES ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN!"   

 

Signs of the times.

Edited by desertrat77

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In '85, while I was at scout leader basic training, a staffer pulled two attendees--a Viet Nam vet and me--aside and took us to task for wearing sheath knives.   Staffer stressed they were not allowed by BSA policy, and wearing/using them set a bad example for the youth.  (!?)

 

Well.

 

We disagreed, but since this was the last weekend of a tedious course (the previous 3 weekends were spent in a church annex listening to this staffer and his pals condescend to us), we complied.   Everybody was ready to graduate and put the course behind us.  

 

While the staffer was chewing us out, he was smoking a cigarette.  

 

Today, many camporee and summer camp leaders' guides usually have a hyperventilating-type prohibition like "SHEATH KNIVES ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN!"   

 

Signs of the times.

 

This is why it is forbidden to put protective sheaths on kitchen knives in the chuck boxes.  It's better to just throw them in the bottom of the box and dig them out as needed when the time comes.  If BSA were to incorporate appropriate fixed blade knife handling along with folding knife handling, the boys would be a lot safer.  Most of the knife injuries I have seen over the years happened in the food prep area where safety circles and knife handling techniques are routinely ignored.

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What I find interesting is that while these non-national, local council rules are on the books, they are not really enforced. I've seen several Scouts and adults with sheath knives at the local camps. Heck I saw a Webelos using an axe, and using it better than some Scouts I must saw, at one function. Dad said the son splits wood at home, why can't he do it camping? 

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At Scouting U this weekend the person promoting Okpik (Cold weather training) said that it was BSA National policy that cold weather camping is considered temperatures below 50 degrees - for all levels Cubs, Boy Scouts and Venturing.

 

He went on to say that Cub Scouts are not allowed to camp in cold weather.

 

I have to say that over the years I have heard so many variations of this

 

When I took Baloo many years ago the trainer said it was below 40

when I taught Baloo a few years later another trainer said was 45 degrees.

another time it was said was there is no actual temperature but to use your common sense (it was explained what is cold weather in Florida is entirely different than Maine or Alaska)

In an article from Scouting magazine (2010) it says 32 degrees.

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While National BSA HAS NOT banned  it, some councils HAVE banned white gas and other liquid fuels. My council does not allow white gas

 

From page 7 of the 2017 Summer Camp Leaders' Guide

 

Liquid & LP Fuels

In accordance with camp policy, the use of liquid fuels (i.e.: kerosene, gasoline, liquid Coleman fuel) in camp is prohibited.

This kind of thing usually is the result of a previous bad incident.  For instance, our camp, for summer camp not weekends, requires that we use their propane tanks because they had an problem (property damage but no injuries) when someone used a defective tank.  Their tanks are all hydro statically checked on a regular basis.  This is actually a small benefit since it's one last thing we have to plan and pack for in our preparation.

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This kind of thing usually is the result of a previous bad incident.  For instance, our camp, for summer camp not weekends, requires that we use their propane tanks because they had an problem (property damage but no injuries) when someone used a defective tank.  Their tanks are all hydro statically checked on a regular basis.  This is actually a small benefit since it's one last thing we have to plan and pack for in our preparation.

Over the years, we had several white gas accidents with our Coleman stoves. We found the tanks wear out over time and leak fuel. We never had an injury from the accidents, but a lot of extra training was required. Eventually they were replaced with propane stoves when we changed to a backpacking troop. We haven't had an accident since in 20 years.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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What I find interesting is that while these non-national, local council rules are on the books, they are not really enforced. 

I found that local social pressures drive many of these rules. I know this sounds silly, but the movie Rambo drove a lot of the sheath knife restrictions back in the day because so many scouts were showing up with machete size knives. Many districts and councils were more reasonable with size restrictions. As the popularity of the movie has moved own, so has the popularity of the jumbo camp knives. But the rules are still in print. And with the adult leadership pool growing larger with adults who have little or no camping experience, fewer adults see any reason to remove those rules. 

 

What I find ironic with adults today is that most perceive the saw as the safest camping tool when in reality it is the number one cause of basic camping woods tools for visiting the emergency room. The axe and hatchet have the lowest record for emergency room visits with the knife in the middle. I teach at adult training to always always where heavy leather gloves while using the saw. Backpacking saws are the worst because their small appearance gives them a sense of false safety. 

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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At Scouting U this weekend the person promoting Okpik (Cold weather training) said that it was BSA National policy that cold weather camping is considered temperatures below 50 degrees - for all levels Cubs, Boy Scouts and Venturing.

 

He went on to say that Cub Scouts are not allowed to camp in cold weather.

 

I have to say that over the years I have heard so many variations of this

 

When I took Baloo many years ago the trainer said it was below 40

when I taught Baloo a few years later another trainer said was 45 degrees.

another time it was said was there is no actual temperature but to use your common sense (it was explained what is cold weather in Florida is entirely different than Maine or Alaska)

In an article from Scouting magazine (2010) it says 32 degrees.

 

Even in Houston Cubs camp in weather colder than 40 on occasion. We were at 24F one morning at Webelos Woods. A whole camp full of Webelos and their parents at an event run by District. Not one word was said about sending everyone home. Weird.

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First of all: it's nice to see so many fellow teachers here! It's funny how that old idiom about "those that can..." gets perpetuated, but there are sadly many teachers out there who seem to prove it right. I can't tell you how many of my fellow preschool teachers just don't know how to work with children. It was the same when I taught high school; heck, there are university professors who prove it right. But I think this would be how I fix the idiom:

 

Those who can, should.

Those who teach, do.

Those who can't, will try to anyway.

 

Now, back to the topic at hand. I went to BALOO training last weekend (at least it should have been a training, but that's a topic for another thread) and it seems I put the old gentleman "teaching" the course into conniptions because I told the class at one point about the BSA's new neckerchief policy, and for one reason or another, he did NOT like it. In fact he openly told the class not to listen to what I was saying because it was "wrong and badly sourced". Meanwhile, I (like any obnoxious young person) pulled out my phone and in a few seconds pulled up this webpage:

 

http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/08/21/scout-neckerchiefs-now-approved-wear-nonuniform-clothing/

 

I then pulled up the official BSA Guide to Awards and insignia and showed them the actual statement. Well, the other leaders in the room were convinced and many were actually quite happy to hear it - for low-income areas, it's refreshing to know that you can get a few neckerchiefs and still be identified as Scouts. When my boys and I are on outdoor adventures I make sure they have their neckerchiefs on, and we have a "neckerchief minute" at every meeting where we bring up a different use for the neckerchief each week - it's funny when I have a Scout make up some ludicrous but still viable way to use them!

 

Anyway, this guy did not like my evidence, nor the very idea of it. It went against "the very principles of the uniform," he said. Well, I had my little victory (thanks technology!), but I was shocked at how hostile he was to the whole thing! I tried to be very gracious about the matter, but still, it was an eye-opener for me about how desperately some Scouters will cling to false traditions even when the proper protocol is right in front of them.

Edited by The Latin Scot

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Anyway, this guy did not like my evidence, nor the very idea of it. It went against "the very principles of the uniform," he said. Well, I had my little victory (thanks technology!), but I was shocked at how hostile he was to the whole thing! I tried to be very gracious about the matter, but still, it was an eye-opener for me about how desperately some Scouters will cling to false traditions even when the proper protocol is right in front of them.

My observation over the years is that adults struggle the most with the "Uniform" method more than any other of the Eight Methods because they don't know how to apply it for growth within the intent of Character, fitness and citizenship.  

 

But, as a teacher of teachers, I also point out that how the Uniform method is applied has important value for the Scouts' growth. Adults must be just as careful pushing the "minimum" uniform because their scouts will miss out on some of those growing opportunities.

 

Barry

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