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New article online - Too much Safety limits program

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Good article, although I kind of disagree with the author's slant on some things (lax swimming requirements kind of make sense when you're aggressively targeting areas of the country for recruitment that have neither a pool nor a lake anywhere nearby). 

 

I do agree that those of us on the ground level define the program. And it's been that way for a long time, as long as I've been in scouting at least (30 years). It doesn't bother me so much that we've seen more and more rules pertainng to safety emerge. I've never really seen the rules being what holds us back. It's the culture of the pack or troop that really matters. Even within the guidelines of the rules, there is ample opportunity to create adventures within scouting. It was that way 30 years ago and it still is that way today. We just might have to navigate through things a little differently to get there. 

 

I see far more limitations placed on the program from leaders and parents than I do from National and the program itself. I still think we're very much in the driver's seat when it comes to creatning a program that the kids will enjoy and remember. 

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I see far more limitations placed on the program from leaders and parents than I do from National and the program itself. I still think we're very much in the driver's seat when it comes to creatning a program that the kids will enjoy and remember. 

 

I see just the opposite, units doing activities "outside of scouting".  Not unlike if Mom won't let you, ask Dad.  :eek:

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I see just the opposite, units doing activities "outside of scouting".  Not unlike if Mom won't let you, ask Dad.  :eek:

This is true. Our crew will go as a church group rather than a crew for paintball, laser tag and a few other things. We don’t wear our crew shirts but we all know it’s a crew event, just not officially.

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This is true. Our crew will go as a church group rather than a crew for paintball, laser tag and a few other things. We don’t wear our crew shirts but we all know it’s a crew event, just not officially.

It is of course anecdotal, but I am seeing exactly that as well.

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This is true. Our crew will go as a church group rather than a crew for paintball, laser tag and a few other things. We don’t wear our crew shirts but we all know it’s a crew event, just not officially.

 

Over the years there have been many situations I have found myself in as participant and/or adult supervisor that there were many times the boundaries were crossed.  Did I take church groups camping?  Yep.  Did I take community based youth groups dirt-biking?  Yep.  Did I ever participate in no-adult supervised overnight experiences before I turned 15 years old?  Yep.  Was I hunting alone before I was 16?  Yep.  Did I participate in Laser Tag?  Nope, we called it Flashlight Capture the Flag at night.  Does anyone today know what a Stake Raid is?  The members of my patrol and I would camp, hunt and fish, but it was not a scouting activity.  We did it as a neighborhood gang.  And yes, we played Mumble Dee Peg, often times will fixed blade knives.

 

Oh, and by the way, a moonlight cruise in a canoe is illegal in my state without the proper lights on the water craft.

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Oh, and by the way, a moonlight cruise in a canoe is illegal in my state without the proper lights on the water craft.

Head to a state where it is legal (or add the green/red and white lights). Find a non motorized small lake. Pick an evening with a full moon and no wind. Cast away with a few friends. Stay sober. I tell you there are few memories as great as canoeing at night under a full moon.

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What's the big deal here?  As many have said, including National with regards to girls in Cub Scouts, everyone was doing it anyway, for years.  

 

So just play water guns and go tubing, National is ok with breaking the rules. 

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@@Gwaihir.... Years ago nearly all interstate highways had a speed limit of 55 mph. It was set during the gas crisis to save fuel. Nearly everyone ignored the speed limit where it seemed ridiculous. Sure, that meant breaking the law but when a law is created that is completely inconsistent with what the constituents desire it won’t be followed without strict and heavy enforcement. Eventually that law was changed and speed limits increased.

 

If large numbers of scouts are jumping through hoops to get around some of the really questionable rules shouldn’t nationals reconsider them?

 

That isn’t saying all rules are wrong. Just like the 55 mph case that doesn’t mean throw all laws out the window. Going 70 in a work zone or around a school are clearly not appropriate and you don’t see mass noncompliance. It simply means the reasoning for the rule should be questioned when there is mass noncompliance (or workarounds).

 

For the most part I think Nationals has a pretty good set of rules but some seem excessive; I’m sure lawyers and insurance companies help set them. So perhaps they won’t change any and scouts will work around them.

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My Mom used to say, "It's a lot of fun until someone gets hurt."  If one is going to break the rules, they had better have a good umbrella policy backing them up, because BSA isn't going to. I carry $1,000,000 and wonder if that's enough.

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@@Gwaihir.... Years ago nearly all interstate highways had a speed limit of 55 mph. It was set during the gas crisis to save fuel. Nearly everyone ignored the speed limit where it seemed ridiculous. Sure, that meant breaking the law but when a law is created that is completely inconsistent with what the constituents desire it won’t be followed without strict and heavy enforcement. Eventually that law was changed and speed limits increased.

There's even a song about it.

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Objectives. We examined the long-term effects of the 1995 repeal of federal speed limit controls on road fatalities and injuries in fatal crashes.

Methods. We used a Poisson mixed-regression model to assess changes in the number of fatalities and injuries in fatal crashes between 1995 and 2005 on rural interstates, where all US states have raised speed limits since the repeal, as well as on urban interstates and noninterstate roads, where many states have raised speed limits.

Results. We found a 3.2% increase in road fatalities attributable to the raised speed limits on all road types in the United States. The highest increases were on rural interstates (9.1%) and urban interstates (4.0%). We estimated that 12 545 deaths (95% confidence interval [CI] = 8739, 16 352) and 36 583 injuries in fatal crashes (95% CI = 29 322, 43 844) were attributable to increases in speed limits across the United States.

Am J Public Health. 2009 September; 99(9): 1626–1631

 

I didn't hear nobody pray, dear brother
I didn't hear nobody pray
I heard the crash on the highway
But, I didn't hear nobody pray.
When I heard the crash on the highway
I knew what it was from the start
I went to the scene of destruction
And a picture was stamped on my heart.

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