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Eagle94-A1

Webelos, Castaway Adventure, and Sheath Knives

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Folks,

 

Need your input. What do you think of a Webelos carrying a sheath knife on a Castaway Adventure (wilderness  survival) camp out? 

 

While the Webelos Handbook says something about pocket knives, there is no mention on sheath knives. In fact the wording is similar to the Boy Scout handbook, which also has no mention of sheath knives. Only things I can find regarding sheath knives and official BSA sources are several Boys'Life magazine articles,  Bryan's Blog, Scoutstuff.org 15 sheath knives they now sell, and of course, this from Guide to Safe Scouting.

 

 

Knives

 

A sharp pocketknife with a can opener on it is an invaluable backcountry tool. Keep it clean, sharp, and handy. The BSA believes choosing the right equipment for the job at hand is the best answer to the question of what specific knife should be used. We are aware that many councils or camps may have limits on the type or style of knife that should be used. The BSA neither encourages nor bans fixed-blade knives nor do we set a limit on blade length. 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. Remember—knives are not allowed on school premises, nor can they be taken aboard commercial aircraft.

 

References: Boy Scout Handbook, Fieldbook, Bear Handbook, and Wolf Handbook

 

So no where in any BSA literature I've found does it prohibit Webelos from carrying a sheath knife. Your thoughts.

 

 

 

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oh boy...grab the popcorn....

sheath knives is a hotly discussed topic.

It is in the realm of folklore that they have been banned...even though they have not.

 

Thing is, many scout reservations have their own rules against them....so.... it might depend on where this event is held.

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I agree with BLW2. While there is no BSA national policy outright banning them, many of the camps I have attended have there own rules in place. Also, many communities have laws in place limiting the length of blades.

 

I would check with your local council to see what they have to say on the matter. If they say yes, make sure the Scouts are trained and know that its not a toy.

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My main concern is boys having a tool that their hands can't grip.

My second concern is not every sheath grabs the blade smoothly or releases easily.

A third concern is that stupid happens fast, sometimes faster than webelos can think.

 

That said, you have to start somewhere.

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My main concern is boys having a tool that their hands can't grip.

My second concern is not every sheath grabs the blade smoothly or releases easily.

A third concern is that stupid happens fast, sometimes faster than webelos can think.

 

That said, you have to start somewhere.

Agreed. I personally wouldn’t trust anyone in cub scouts, I wouldn’t even trust some of the scouts in my troop... It depends on the person, and if they are trained and actually know how to use it properly.

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Yes, a lot of misinformation out there. If BSA banned sheath knives, like one secretary from national stated, then A) why is that not stated in G2SS and B) Why does national sell about 10 different sheath knives now.

 

Also know about council rules being stricter. What I find funny is that the summer camp my council runs does indeed ban sheath knives but A) allows Scouts to make them as part of the older Scout program or Metalworking MB and B) there is no ban on them at the other council camps, including the one the event is at.

 

As for local laws, there is no length restrictions, but certain types are illegal for minors to possess. 

 

Long story short, being out in the country, I've seen folks carrying sheath knives at events, including a Cub or two. We have an event that sheath knives are being encouraged for the Boy Scouts to use since it is wilderness survival based. But Webelos are invited to attend, and can do events, time and BSA rules permitting. And I bet there will have a few Webelos with sheath knives, although the section on sheath knives was omitted from teh Cub Scout documents.

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A fixed blade knife is safer than a folding knife with a weak spring. That said,  why does the Scout WANT to wear the sheath? to excite his brother Scouts? To carve his turkey?  To make fuzz sticks to start a campfire?  To show off?  

  I once had a Scout at summer camp who did not bring his Scout uniform. He did bring his junior size BDU, which was "just like dad's".  I asked him,  was he a Scout?  , and if he was in the Marines, would he wear the inappropriate uniform?  He was rightfully embarrassed, and we borrowed enough uniform parts so he could go to Flag, and not "stand out" , which he admitted he wanted to do. 

Seems often like this with sheath knives.  Is the subject tool a 18" machete? a 12" K-Bar?  Or is it a 5"  Scout sheath with a bone handle his granddad gave him?  Point is, "Is it necessary and useful?" 

 

Have the conversation.

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Please keep them under 60".   

 

Most definately.

 

A fixed blade knife is safer than a folding knife with a weak spring. That said,  why does the Scout WANT to wear the sheath? to excite his brother Scouts? To carve his turkey?  To make fuzz sticks to start a campfire?  To show off?  

  I once had a Scout at summer camp who did not bring his Scout uniform. He did bring his junior size BDU, which was "just like dad's".  I asked him,  was he a Scout?  , and if he was in the Marines, would he wear the inappropriate uniform?  He was rightfully embarrassed, and we borrowed enough uniform parts so he could go to Flag, and not "stand out" , which he admitted he wanted to do. 

Seems often like this with sheath knives.  Is the subject tool a 18" machete? a 12" K-Bar?  Or is it a 5"  Scout sheath with a bone handle his granddad gave him?  Point is, "Is it necessary and useful?" 

 

Have the conversation.

 

With the exception of the Wilderness Survival MBP, everything I've read on survival, including older older BSA publications, states the a sheath knife is preferred in a survival situation. That's why for the district event coming up, sheath knives are encouraged: batoning, feather sticks, etc. Some of the Cubs I've seen with sheath knives include KaBars and Bucks. I know I got my 3 hoodlums Mora Companions.

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I always carry a belt ax/sheath knife combo when camping.  I have the historic BSA one, but when not on a scout event, carry a lighter ax/knife combo.  Both are sharpened to knife sharpness and are most valuable for fire starting and cutting tangled cords in emergency situations when the boys spill their canoe in the rapids.

 

If my boys wear a sheath knife, I don't say anything as long as they have a Totin' Chip.

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Do it in steps. Have a troop send a couple of Scouts over to teach the Webs totin chip and see where that goes. Let them prove if they are mature enough for sheath knives.

 

Barry

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I don't think you will find a rule prohibiting the Webelos from using sheath knives. But here are the concerns that come to mines.

  1. Some troops prohibit sheath knives.
  2. Most scout camps prohibit them (at least at summer camp).
  3. There are no requirements for the Castaway Adventure which would call for a sheath knife

So my opinion is that your better off leaving out sheath knives for the Webelos outing. For all the reasons above I would highly recommend any scout start with a good folding knife. If they own one knife then I highly recommend a quality folding knife. As a second knife I would certainly go with a sheath knife.  But I would leave that adventure for when they have earned their tot-n chip. All that said - this is one person's opinion.

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