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New article online - Too much Safety limits program

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Too many to list, and with the pain of starting this discussion again, laser tag and squirt gun fights..........

Thank you.

 

I fear we play "tag," if not with lasers, and have squirt gun fights - including with the staff at Summer camp this year. (They cheated by breaking out a garden hose.  Dastardly!)

 

Rules that have no support among the people will fail of their intended purpose and tend to create disrespect for rules in general.

Edited by TAHAWK
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Sure:

Paintball

Laser Tag

Water guns

Water Tubing

Four wheeling

Personal Water Craft

Towed Para Sailing

Hot Air Balloon rides

Dodgeball ( i still argue this it's different that using paint/laser guns)

Introductory Karate Class with qualified instructors

Certain pioneering projects

 

Those are some of the items I can remember that have been suggested by our Scouts that they have done on other youth organizations, but did not meet G2SC requirements. Mind you I do not disagree that some of them should be excluded but some of the others I think are a bit over zealous.

 

Candidly not sure we follow 100% of these, but many are allowed in some form

 

Paintball - Yep have to use targets to be compliant

Laser Tag - Yep have to use targets to be compliant

Water guns - Not specifically mentioned by name

Water Tubing - Tubing is allowed with PFD's

Four wheeling - As part of council program to be compliant

Personal Water Craft - Yep

Towed Para Sailing - Yep

Hot Air Balloon rides - Yep unless tethered

Dodgeball ( i still argue this it's different that using paint/laser guns) - Well not mentioned by name so......

Introductory Karate Class with qualified instructors - Yep 

Certain pioneering projects - Yep due to height

 

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Candidly not sure we follow 100% of these, but many are allowed in some form

 

Paintball - Yep have to use targets to be compliant

Laser Tag - Yep have to use targets to be compliant

Water guns - Not specifically mentioned by name

Water Tubing - Tubing is allowed with PFD's

Four wheeling - As part of council program to be compliant

Personal Water Craft - Yep

Towed Para Sailing - Yep

Hot Air Balloon rides - Yep unless tethered

Dodgeball ( i still argue this it's different that using paint/laser guns) - Well not mentioned by name so......

Introductory Karate Class with qualified instructors - Yep 

Certain pioneering projects - Yep due to height

Floating in a tube is allowed, yes. Being towed behind a boat gets a little confusing. It is mentioned in two places with contradicting allowances. It seems to be okay under Tow Sports, but specifically ruled out in Unathorized and Reatricted Activities #15.

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I've been following the UK scouting forum and it's just my impression, but they have a training program that's considerably more in depth than the BSA's. While they don't have any ridiculous rules about pioneering (to quote, it would ruin all the fun) and it doesn't seem to be a problem, everything else has training that requires considerably more than the usual take a class and get signed off. You have to not only do the activity but show people and keep logs of it. The BSA does a good job with a few things like water safety, shooting, and climbing, but everything else is just online or nothing. Some of what the UK does seems a bit over the top but if it would encourage more adventure, even if training the leaders to have some confidence doing it, it sounds like something better than what we do, which is ban anything that anyone ever got hurt doing. If enough scouts really enjoy big pioneering projects then just make a training course that's hands on. We do climbing and shotgun, why not pioneering?

 

It would be better to be proactive and react to what the scouts want rather than defensive and react to what the lawyers want.

 

The squirt gun and laser tag nonsense is another issue that should just be dropped. Kids play video games and do not become psychotic killers. The psychosis comes from not doing anything with other people. So I'd say playing laser tag with your friends will do more to promote community than trying to explain to kids why shooting someone with a laser is evil.

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If enough scouts really enjoy big pioneering projects then just make a training course that's hands on. We do climbing and shotgun, why not pioneering?

 

It would be better to be proactive and react to what the scouts want rather than defensive and react to what the lawyers want.

Actually, I proposed that in a previous thread. There were some folks that were less than enthusiastic about the idea, but most seemed to be supportive.

 

I have already stared moving forward by reaching out to some people in different fields that could be of assistance in writing such a plan, proposal and training curriculum. I have also started work on identifying some possible champions for such a program.

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Edit hours later.  Thank you for more information.

 

>Paint Ball is a pretty expensive activity.  Who was going to pay? Some camps will only charge $50/day per participant, gear and ammo supplied.  Were the parent going to be OK with the bruises that commonly result despite good protective gear?  How did Scouting grow to include 2/3 of all boys without Paint Ball? 

 

>Water Tubing is expressly allowed.  Who was your G2SS subject matter expert?

 

>Four wheeling?  How was that going to work?  Does the Troop have its own vehicles?  Loaners? Insurance? Expert supervision? (We had a kid killed last year on his family property.  No Scouting connection, just dead.)  Site?  Or was this another pay-to-play activity?  Did anyone price Council possibilities vs. alternatives?  Five councils in an hours drive from us offer ATV activities, except when booked solid during Summer Camp or when the weather is prohibitive.

 

>You have personal watercraft for the Troop to use?   We do too, and use them when we run our own troop summer camp.  As long as we follow Safety Afloat, our Council thinks its OK. What have we (Troop and Council) missed?

 

>Towed Parasailing.  That seems excessively risky. 

 

>Hot Air Balloons - ditto.  Experts kill themselves.  Lovely YT videos of flaming crashes. You forgot landmine removal and bull-riding, also thrilling.

 

>Dodgeball is a regular activity at our Council camp. Sam Houston Council has an annual Dodgeball Challenge.  I find no prohibition in G2SS.  Dodgeball with rocks, or from hot air balloons or towed parasails or ATVs, is probably not OK.

 

> Karate- What does "qualified" mean?   Many martial arts teachers are stiffs who promote hyper-aggression.  I had bloody teeth slide across a floor and into my feet at a karate tournament.  The head judge, a very highly ranked master, walked out due to the violence (lack of control). There is not a nationally recognized accreditation program as there is for range masters.  Instead many asociations offer their own, competing version of acccreditation.

It is the case that, "In truth, there are no legal or business certification requirements preventing you [i.e. anyone] from declaring yourself a karate or martial arts instructor."   How would BSA determine if Joe and Art will be safe managers of the fighting?  My son is a 6th Degree Black-belt in Aikido after twenty years of learning and teaching.  He teaches Cub-aged kids up to senior citizens.  He is excellent with the little 'uns.  His own two children participate.   I should ask him if he thinks it would be a good casual activity for a troop.  Who did you ask?  Consideration of MMA?

 

>Pioneering   Lots of legend involved here, including in district and council publications.

 

So far as I know, there never was a rule about the height of signal towers EXCEPT those built at council camps.  Even that rule has been revised recently to allow greater height before safety gear is required.  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/youthprotection/pdf/NCAP_Circular_2.pdfat pp 3-4   That is little more than the federal government, through OSHA, requires for adult workers working above six feet.  Less for kids?  But away from Camp, you have always been on your own. And the campers liked the zip line across the lake better than pioneering anyhow.  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

 

There was a rule in the G2SS specifically about monkey bridges (just after the section on knives). It limited height of the foot rope to 4-5 feet and length to 25-40 feet, depending on the subjective experience of the Scouts, but it went away some years ago.

 

There is a nice plan for a 20 ft signal tower in the current National Camping School Outdoors Skills Resource Manuel on p. 28.  (But you can't parasail down.)

 

BSA has "work height" restrictions - for "working" on "service projects" ( Working at Heights and Elevations ). They do not, by their terms apply to pioneering projects. If they meant pioneering projects, they could have easily said so, and thus the rules do not apply to pioneering projects by normal canons of construction.

 

Who is your pioneering expert?  At a council camp we attended eleven years ago, the Pioneering Merit Badge staff built a 20 ft+ tower with bailing twine when the Area Director was away.  Happily, no one was badly hurt when it collapsed with four of the staff on its highest level.  When planning a tower, we ask: How old are the ropes?  How much grit in them?  How exposed to UV? How long have tight knots been left tied in them.  What load was on those ropes and knots? How heavy are the Wooden members?  For what working load were the ropes rated when new?  Are safety ropes nylon rather than less stretchy materials (like polyester that stops a falling person like a steel rod). How much will the planned knots and lashing weaken the ropes?

 

I have met a couple of Scouters I would trust with my kid on a high tower (one ran the pioneering area at CJ'17.), but the Scouts could have had lots of fun on the  40 ft long, 5 ft high monkey bridge that G2SS expressly authorized under the withdrawn rule and that you might have suggested as a resource person. You could now build it 100 feet with a fortune in rope and lots of spars.

 

Ever make THAT CALL to a  Scout parent?  I have not.  Don't want to.  But I got to tell a wife her husband would not be coming home from work.  Thankfully for me, she had to tell the kids.  He landed on his head from sixteen feet up because he didn't wear his safety belt and it unexpectedly became necessary.  A passing mom with a stroller was in the splatter zone.  It gives me a different perspective on silly ol' safety rules.  Things rarely fail according to plan.

 

Given choices like backpacking in the Whites or canoeing in Canada or on Isle Royale, I have a hard time feeling limited.  My job, in part, is to offer choices, not to moan about the choices we don't have - much less about restrictions that are imagined.

Edited by TAHAWK
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Floating in a tube is allowed, yes. Being towed behind a boat gets a little confusing. It is mentioned in two places with contradicting allowances. It seems to be okay under Tow Sports, but specifically ruled out in Unathorized and Reatricted Activities #15.

 

Yep I see that now

 

Tow sports seems to indicate YES

 

Tow Sports

 

All participants in towed activity afloat (waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, tubing, etc.) must have successfully completed the BSA swimmer classification test and must wear a life jacket with an impact rating consistent with the activity. Supervision must include both a skilled boat driver currently trained in Safety Afloat and a separate observer. Participants should observe the Water-Skiers Safety Code and the Boat Drivers Safety Code found in Aquatics Supervision, No. 34346. Use only floats specifically designed for towing that provide secure handholds for each rider.

 

Yet (Thank you search function)

 

Unauthorized and Restricted Activities

 

15. Parasailing, or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute, parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat, including a tube, or by any other means, is unauthorized.

  

As Tow sports is on page 20 (Good lord 105 pages of G2SS) I stopped reading there and tubing will continue

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Even though "a tube" is listed in the unauthorized, the key component is being "carried aloft". Meanin tubing is safe as long as it is done at a speed and in conditions in which the tube and rider do not get airborne. In other words, be safe while tubing.

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Even though "a tube" is listed in the unauthorized, the key component is being "carried aloft". Meanin tubing is safe as long as it is done at a speed and in conditions in which the tube and rider do not get airborne. In other words, be safe while tubing.

 

But that is the fun of tubing, the aloft part as you skip them off the wake and watch them fly off skimming over the lake.  Good times

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The three words no Scoutmaster wants to hear:   "Hey, watch this !"

 

I was reminded when I rode a motorcycle regularly by an old timer that a helmet was never required except by law and when it was needed.

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Edit hours later.  Thank you for more information.

 

>Paint Ball is a pretty expensive activity.  Who was going to pay? Some camps will only charge $50/day per participant, gear and ammo supplied.  Were the parent going to be OK with the bruises that commonly result despite good protective gear? 

 

Not really that expensive. About the same as going to a movie if you get a drink and popcorn. And it last about 2-3 times as long as a movie. A good many youth around here do paintball, many have their own equipment and some to share, that lowers the cost even more. I am going to guess that since parents allow their youth to play paintball outside of scouting they would not have objections to them playing it with Scouts. But hey, it's a fickle world.

 

How did Scouting grow to include 2/3 of all boys without Paint Ball? 

 

I don't think Scouting has ever included 2/3 of all boys, it certainly doesn't now. In fact many more people play paintball that are in Scouting.

 

>Water Tubing is expressly allowed.  Who was your G2SS subject matter expert?

 

No expert, but I can read:

Per the Guide to Safe Scouting

 

Unauthorized and Restricted Activities

15. Parasailing, or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute,
parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat, including a tube, or by
any other means, is unauthorized.
 

 

>Four wheeling?  How was that going to work?  Does the Troop have its own vehicles?  Loaners? Insurance? Expert supervision? (We had a kid killed last year on his family property.  No Scouting connection, just dead.)  Site?  Or was this another pay-to-play activity?  Did anyone price Council possibilities vs. alternatives?  Five councils in an hours drive from us offer ATV activities, except when booked solid during Summer Camp or when the weather is prohibitive.

 

Troop has no ATVs, but several family members do, as well as property. When this was last brought up the closest camp was about a 4 hour drive, really not a good option for a weekend camping event.

 

>You have personal watercraft for the Troop to use?   We do too, and use them when we run our own troop summer camp.  As long as we follow Safety Afloat, our Council thinks its OK. What have we (Troop and Council) missed?

Several families have PWC to use, but we can't.

Here is what you Committee and Council missed.

Per the Guide to Safe Scouting

Unauthorized and Restricted Activities

13. Motorized personal watercraft (PWC), such as Jet-Skis®, are not authorized
for use in Scouting aquatics, and their use should not be permitted in or near
BSA program areas. The exception is council-approved PWC programs.
They are not approved for unit use.

 

>Towed Parasailing.  That seems excessively risky. 

 

It may seem that way, but while they make headlines when they happen, deaths are pretty rare. Particularly when compared to other activities that Scouting does allow.

 

>Hot Air Balloons - ditto.  Experts kill themselves.  Lovely YT videos of flaming crashes.

 

Again, statistically not as hazardous as it appears.

 

You forgot landmine removal and bull-riding, also thrilling.

 

Why do you feel the need to be a snarky? I elaborated because you asked.

 

>Dodgeball is a regular activity at our Council camp. Sam Houston Council has an annual Dodgeball Challenge. 

 

As I said, I couldn't find it is G2SS, but we have heard from some that it falls under the same concept of "not kind" like water guns.

 

I find no prohibition in G2SS.  Dodgeball with rocks, or from hot air balloons or towed parasails or ATVs, is probably not OK.

 

Again with the condesending remarks.

 

> Karate- What does "qualified" mean?   Many martial arts teachers are stiffs who promote hyper-aggression.  I had bloody teeth slide across a floor and into my feet at a karate tournament.  The head judge, a very highly ranked master, walked out due to the violence (lack of control). There is not a nationally recognized accreditation program as there is for range masters.  Instead many asociations offer their own, competing version of acccreditation.

It is the case that, "In truth, there are no legal or business certification requirements preventing you [i.e. anyone] from declaring yourself a karate or martial arts instructor."   How would BSA determine if Joe and Art will be safe managers of the fighting? 

My son is a 6th Degree Black-belt in Aikido after twenty years of learning and teaching.  He teaches Cub-aged kids up to senior citizens.  He is excellent with the little 'uns.  His own two children participate.   I should ask him if he thinks it would be a good casual activity for a troop. 

 

I don't think it would take a black belt to observe how an instructor conducts a class and have a discussion with him about what he does during his "introductory classes." THere is a huge difference between an introductory class and a tournament. As Scouters we do not turn our brain off and are capable of assessing all types of risk, and certainly the difference between a introductory class where no contact with others is being made and tournament that you describe. . Clearly you have assessed that your son is good with "little 'uns," I assume that you didn't turn your brain off while making that assessment. Perhaps it is possible that others are capable of making a valid assessment as well.

 

Who did you ask? 

 

I asked my co-worker. He is a Olympic level qualified Judo Judge and travels world wide to judge competitions. He is a very qualified and reasonable man, whose judgement I trust. .

 

Consideration of MMA?

 

Again, why do you feel the need to be condescending?!?

 

>Pioneering   Lots of legend involved here, including in district and council publications.

 

So far as I know, there never was a rule about the height of signal towers EXCEPT those built at council camps.  Even that rule has been revised recently to allow greater height before safety gear is required.  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/youthprotection/pdf/NCAP_Circular_2.pdfat pp 3-4   That is little more than the federal government, through OSHA, requires for adult workers working above six feet.  Less for kids?  But away from Camp, you have always been on your own. And the campers liked the zip line across the lake better than pioneering anyhow.  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

 

There was a rule in the G2SS specifically about monkey bridges (just after the section on knives). It limited height of the foot rope to 4-5 feet and length to 25-40 feet, depending on the subjective experience of the Scouts, but it went away some years ago.

 

There is a nice plan for a 20 ft signal tower in the current National Camping School Outdoors Skills Resource Manuel on p. 28.  (But you can't parasail down.)

 

BSA has "work height" restrictions - for "working" on "service projects" ( Working at Heights and Elevations ). They do not, by their terms apply to pioneering projects. If they meant pioneering projects, they could have easily said so, and thus the rules do not apply to pioneering projects by normal canons of construction.

 

Who is your pioneering expert?  At a council camp we attended eleven years ago, the Pioneering Merit Badge staff built a 20 ft+ tower with bailing twine when the Area Director was away.  Happily, no one was badly hurt when it collapsed with four of the staff on its highest level.  When planning a tower, we ask: How old are the ropes?  How much grit in them?  How exposed to UV? How long have tight knots been left tied in them.  What load was on those ropes and knots? How heavy are the Wooden members?  For what working load were the ropes rated when new?  Are safety ropes nylon rather than less stretchy materials (like polyester that stops a falling person like a steel rod). How much will the planned knots and lashing weaken the ropes?

 

I have met a couple of Scouters I would trust with my kid on a high tower (one ran the pioneering area at CJ'17.), but the Scouts could have had lots of fun on the  40 ft long, 5 ft high monkey bridge that G2SS expressly authorized under the withdrawn rule and that you might have suggested as a resource person. You could now build it 100 feet with a fortune in rope and lots of spars.

 

Ever make THAT CALL to a  Scout parent?  I have not.  Don't want to.  But I got to tell a wife her husband would not be coming home from work.  Thankfully for me, she had to tell the kids.  He landed on his head from sixteen feet up because he didn't wear his safety belt and it unexpectedly became necessary.  A passing mom with a stroller was in the splatter zone.  It gives me a different perspective on silly ol' safety rules.  Things rarely fail according to plan.

 

Given choices like backpacking in the Whites or canoeing in Canada or on Isle Royale, I have a hard time feeling limited.  My job, in part, is to offer choices, not to moan about the choices we don't have - much less about restrictions that are imagined.

 

Pioneering has been beat to death in other post so I will not continue on it, other than to say you are correct, some info about pioneering has been clarified and updated.

 

In closing, I am not sure what have said that has caused you to feel the need to take such a condescending tone. I have read your post in the past and agreed with many of them, but I have not noticed this very un-scout-like tone and attitude previously. If I have said something that you feel deserves such an attitude, please let me know. I will be glad to discuss it in an adult manner.

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Okay then let's step down the tone and sarcasm. Some good content here.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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I've been following the UK scouting forum and it's just my impression, but they have a training program that's considerably more in depth than the BSA's. While they don't have any ridiculous rules about pioneering (to quote, it would ruin all the fun) and it doesn't seem to be a problem, everything else has training that requires considerably more than the usual take a class and get signed off. You have to not only do the activity but show people and keep logs of it. The BSA does a good job with a few things like water safety, shooting, and climbing, but everything else is just online or nothing. Some of what the UK does seems a bit over the top but if it would encourage more adventure, even if training the leaders to have some confidence doing it, it sounds like something better than what we do, which is ban anything that anyone ever got hurt doing. If enough scouts really enjoy big pioneering projects then just make a training course that's hands on. We do climbing and shotgun, why not pioneering?

 

It would be better to be proactive and react to what the scouts want rather than defensive and react to what the lawyers want.

 

The squirt gun and laser tag nonsense is another issue that should just be dropped. Kids play video games and do not become psychotic killers. The psychosis comes from not doing anything with other people. So I'd say playing laser tag with your friends will do more to promote community than trying to explain to kids why shooting someone with a laser is evil.

We "codgers" (should be a Woodbadge patrol) mostly grew up with Hoppy, Roy, Matt and others.  We also spent hours poking pointed fingers around corners of walls or from inside of hedges, then arguing that "we got them".  I went through a space gun period if I remember, even having small alien figures we would arrange all over and argue about who got who.  Of course, we also walked to school, ran all over the 4 to 6 block neighborhood, rode in backs of trucks and had no seatbelts.  The comparison to the British model reflects a great deal on the difference in our litigation acceptance.  As noted by many, we are hiding from the lawyers.

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The few times I came close to death was on an Snowmobiles, ATV and Jet Ski. Each time I yelled something along the line of “watch this...â€. Rule #1 in G2SS should be to stop any activity as soon as that phase is mentioned.

 

Overall, I tend to agree with TAHAWK that there are plenty of fun activities available that can be conducted within the confines of G2SS. My nephews’ Webelos friend died at a Boy Scout outing as the kids were climbing rocks near a waterfall (he slipped and hit his head during the fall). Rules are in place for more than just lawyers.

 

That said, I don’t agree with all of the rules and several (paint ball, laser tag) seem a stretch to be considered a safety requirement.

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