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MattR

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No where does it say that National is restricting or banning water balloons.

 

The BSA website does not say it, but their official shooting sports manual does. Check here. They are prescriptive about how big the water balloons are and how they can be used. That's prohibiting using them for any other purpose (throwing at each other) as well as the size.

 

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Col. Flagg....Did you actually read through the shooting sports manual or are you just using what some "reporter" for Newsmax quoted out of context (which is something Newsmax does often - take a real quote and turn it in to fake news to outrage their readers)....Had you looked for that quote about water balloons.....(Quoted here for everyone else to see..Further, the manual states, "For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball.")....you would have learned that this refers to using water balloons as ammunition for sling shots and wrist rockets - NOT as a rule on water balloons for water balloon fights. In addition, it's less a rule than a best practice - a water balloon filled any much larger than a ping pog ball isn;t going to work very well with a slingshot and will be far less satisfactory when it hits the target.

 

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Col. Flagg....Did you actually read through the shooting sports manual or are you just using what some "reporter" for Newsmax quoted out of context (which is something Newsmax does often - take a real quote and turn it in to fake news to outrage their readers)....Had you looked for that quote about water balloons.....(Quoted here for everyone else to see..Further, the manual states, "For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball.")....you would have learned that this refers to using water balloons as ammunition for sling shots and wrist rockets - NOT as a rule on water balloons for water balloon fights. In addition, it's less a rule than a best practice - a water balloon filled any much larger than a ping pog ball isn;t going to work very well with a slingshot and will be far less satisfactory when it hits the target.

 

You cannot throw or shoot anything at anyone, correct? Can you use giant balloons are targets? Sure. Can you throw a water balloon of ANY size at another person? No. So how are balloons not at least partially banned?

 

Same with squirt guns or even those water tubes. Shooting anything (even water) at anyone is forbidden...and that's stupid. No one in their right mind, except an lawyer, would think there's a relationship between a Scout using a SuperSoaker to spray his friend and the mis-use of a firearm.

Edited by Col. Flagg

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Who told you that you can't toss water balloons or water filled sponges at people?  Can you find one policy by National that forbids this because I certainly can't and I've looked and looked and looked.

 

In fact, I want to thank you for helping to prove up my statement that people go to training (or in this case read something) then go ahead and claim that something they've heard or read is policy and that some things are banned (when they aren't).  The BSA does not ban water balloon fights.  The mention of water balloons in the shooting sports manual is only about using them as ammunition for slingshots.  Extrapolating that to mean that there is some kind of restriction on the size of water balloons for water balloon fights is all you - not National - just you.  You have come to that conclusion and have become one of those people who claim something is a national policy when it isn't. 

 

You've also helped show just why this forum is needed - there is so much not quite right information out there that this forum can help correct.

 

As for water guns, rubber band guns, etc. - if it looks like a gun - even if it looks like a funky space gun and obviously is meant to be a gun, then no, you can't use them.  And no, it doesn't take a lawyer to understand that even pointing fake guns at people in the BSA goes against everything the BSA teaches about gun safety. 

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Who told you that you can't toss water balloons or water filled sponges at people?  Can you find one policy by National that forbids this because I certainly can't and I've looked and looked and looked.

At our end of summer district RT we heard reports from the various troops about their trips to summer camps (mostly out of council). Many of the troops reported being told they could not use squirt guns, water balloons, etc. *if* they were going to shoot or throw them at people. The doc they quoted? They very doc we are discussing. This is not just one camp, or two camps, or three camps. This was MANY camps across MANY different councils across MANY different regions.

 

In fact, two troops reported being threatened with not being able to go on their trek at Seabase because they were using "water noodles" to shoot water at each other.

 

So you can mince the words in the doc any way you want, but MANY other people are interpreting this as prohibitions.

 

But let's leave that alone for a moment and get back on the other issue, the ability to cool stuff outside of BSA that BSA forbids. Playing laser tag, paint ball, shooting 3D targets, etc., are fun and boys should be allowed to play them. The reasoning for barring such fun is specious at best.

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What about the use of squirt guns?

We don't use squirt guns/super-soakers, etc., we only use mobile heat-stroke care delivery devices.

Our victims simulate desperately needing core temperature reduction while so delirious they evade rescue.

:cool:

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At our end of summer district RT we heard reports from the various troops about their trips to summer camps (mostly out of council). Many of the troops reported being told they could not use squirt guns, water balloons, etc. *if* they were going to shoot or throw them at people. The doc they quoted? They very doc we are discussing. This is not just one camp, or two camps, or three camps. This was MANY camps across MANY different councils across MANY different regions.

 

In fact, two troops reported being threatened with not being able to go on their trek at Seabase because they were using "water noodles" to shoot water at each other.

 

So you can mince the words in the doc any way you want, but MANY other people are interpreting this as prohibitions.

 

But let's leave that alone for a moment and get back on the other issue, the ability to cool stuff outside of BSA that BSA forbids. Playing laser tag, paint ball, shooting 3D targets, etc., are fun and boys should be allowed to play them. The reasoning for barring such fun is specious at best.

 

 

Yes - that document does say you can't use squirt guns to shoot water at other people - it's always been quite clear - it's a simulated gun - and the BSA teaches never to point a gun OF ANY KIND at other people. 

 

It does NOT say anything about throwing water balloons at people - that's a misinterpretation and its not surprising that it might be repeated at any number of summer camps - The last time I went to National Camp School, the instructors were volunteers - not professionals (there would be one professional there, and lets face it, they're a bit clueless themselves when it comes to policy).  Once something like this gets repeated over and over and over it becomes a monster all of its own and no amount of looking at the actual wording of official documents will change people minds.  You will not find any official policy of the BSA banning water balloon fights because it's tossing things at people.  The Cub Scout program still suggests that day camps and packs and dens use sponges for summer time water fights - and that's tossing something.

 

But yes, lets leave all that alone for a minute and get to the other point - that the BSA is banning "fun things" like laser tag and paint ball.  They aren't telling anyone that Boy Scouts can't do any of this outside of Scouting.  Heck, if a Troop wants to get together and go paintballing or laser tagging together, that's just fine - AS LONG AS YOU DON'T CALL IT A SCOUTING ACTIVITY!.  I'll repeat it again - that rule isn't to protect your boys, or you - it is to protect the Corporation known as the Boy Scout of America.  If someone gets hurt playing Paintball, they can point to their rule and deflect all liability down to you in case someone decides to sue.  That's what this is all about.

 

Here's the main point though - the BSA has all kinds of books out there loaded with 100's of fun activities that you can do as Boy Scouts - anyone that just can't imagine running a fun program without those very few items that the BSA doesn't recognize as appropriate for Scouting may need to rethink their ability to lead a unit.

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Within safe limits and grounded safety instruction, we try to do activities that our scouts consider fun. If the BSA does not agree, due to liability or lack of confidence in us or whatever, it becomes a family activity with parent approval and participation. We were/are all parents before we were/are unit leaders.

 

All of our unit shooting sports activities with exception of summer camp are outside of scouting. 

 

We have also driven go-carts outside of scouting.  Snowmobiles, ATV's no.

 

In Cubs, we held a workshop with some bench power tools for Pinewood Derby. It was a family activity. For some dads and sons, it was the first time that either used  a band saw.

 

Hunting was another "family activity".  3D targets for practice and live, of course, for hunting.

 

Another $0.02,

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Yes - that document does say you can't use squirt guns to shoot water at other people - it's always been quite clear - it's a simulated gun - and the BSA teaches never to point a gun OF ANY KIND at other people. 

 

It does NOT say anything about throwing water balloons at people - that's a misinterpretation and its not surprising that it might be repeated at any number of summer camps - The last time I went to National Camp School, the instructors were volunteers - not professionals (there would be one professional there, and lets face it, they're a bit clueless themselves when it comes to policy).  Once something like this gets repeated over and over and over it becomes a monster all of its own and no amount of looking at the actual wording of official documents will change people minds.  You will not find any official policy of the BSA banning water balloon fights because it's tossing things at people.  The Cub Scout program still suggests that day camps and packs and dens use sponges for summer time water fights - and that's tossing something.

 

But yes, lets leave all that alone for a minute and get to the other point - that the BSA is banning "fun things" like laser tag and paint ball.  They aren't telling anyone that Boy Scouts can't do any of this outside of Scouting.  Heck, if a Troop wants to get together and go paintballing or laser tagging together, that's just fine - AS LONG AS YOU DON'T CALL IT A SCOUTING ACTIVITY!.  I'll repeat it again - that rule isn't to protect your boys, or you - it is to protect the Corporation known as the Boy Scout of America.  If someone gets hurt playing Paintball, they can point to their rule and deflect all liability down to you in case someone decides to sue.  That's what this is all about.

 

Here's the main point though - the BSA has all kinds of books out there loaded with 100's of fun activities that you can do as Boy Scouts - anyone that just can't imagine running a fun program without those very few items that the BSA doesn't recognize as appropriate for Scouting may need to rethink their ability to lead a unit.

 

Back in 1999 when Venturing appeared on the horizon, they wanted me to start a Venturing Crew.  I really didn't want to do it so I told them I would if I could shoot guns at people, ditch the hearing protection and eye protection, have people stand in front of you when you shoot, and handle blackpowder wrapped in paper.  My council contacted National BSA for a "ruling" and they said, "YES",  I was stuck, so I started a reenacting group of Venturers and ran for 15 years with no problem and no hassles. 

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What about the use of squirt guns?

 

I would much rather have the boys using the gun shaped water toys than those 2 foot tubes with the rounded nozzles.  

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Well at least we are helping more than bsalegal.com

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Well, I think the purpose of that site was never really to inform BSA members about legal issues. It was mostly a public relations site on certain issues, and since those issues are no longer really at the forefront of most peoples' minds (despite the impression one may sometimes get from reading this forum), they apparently decided the site and the domain weren't worth keeping.

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Well, I think the purpose of that site was never really to inform BSA members about legal issues. It was mostly a public relations site on certain issues, and since those issues are no longer really at the forefront of most peoples' minds (despite the impression one may sometimes get from reading this forum), they apparently decided the site and the domain weren't worth keeping.

All internet archived copies appear to have been scrubbed, perhaps an indication that website was not helpful in BSA legal matters.

 

Or maybe that whole BSA legal department was fired and formed a Divorce Law Practice for Scouter spouses. Now that could be doubly helpful to Scouters. :laugh:

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All internet archived copies appear to have been scrubbed, perhaps an indication that website was not helpful in BSA legal matters.

 

Not from what I can see, if I am understanding your comment.  The Internet Archive links that I posted here about 6-7 weeks ago - http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/28886-bsa-folds-again/?p=452086- still work.  For a second I thought maybe the BSA had hired some Russian hackers.   :)

Edited by NJCubScouter

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