Jump to content
ParacordMan1220

Scouts and Fixed Blades; New viewpoint

Recommended Posts

There have been changes made to the 'Guide to Safe Scouting,' and the part discouraging "sheath knives" has been removed. Now ScoutStuff (dot) org is selling Helle knives similar to the Scandinavian Puukko designs.

Is anyone else excited to see this as a step forward? Being an avid BushCrafter/Survival Enthusiast, and what could be considered a connoisseur of blades, I'm excited to see the scouts carrying better styles of knives. These are better incorporated in the wilderness environment, rather than the folding ones which are more suited to the urban environment. Plus their cheap BSA chinese knives really sketch me out when they try using them. I'd rather see them put the same amount of money towards the quality of a Mora.

Or are we still on the path that sheath knives are 'frightening' and say 'I can do the same things with a sheath knife that I can do with a Swiss army knife.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that prohibits councils from banning them at camp.  To my knowledge, that is where the issue has always come from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ParacordMan1220 said:

There have been changes made to the 'Guide to Safe Scouting,' and the part discouraging "sheath knives" has been removed. Now ScoutStuff (dot) org is selling Helle knives similar to the Scandinavian Puukko designs.

Is anyone else excited to see this as a step forward? Being an avid BushCrafter/Survival Enthusiast, and what could be considered a connoisseur of blades, I'm excited to see the scouts carrying better styles of knives. These are better incorporated in the wilderness environment, rather than the folding ones which are more suited to the urban environment. Plus their cheap BSA chinese knives really sketch me out when they try using them. I'd rather see them put the same amount of money towards the quality of a Mora.

Or are we still on the path that sheath knives are 'frightening' and say 'I can do the same things with a sheath knife that I can do with a Swiss army knife.'

The interesting background to Puukko knives is that it is the traditional Confirmation gift to young men achieving adulthood in their culture.  If one's going to slap someone with some off-hand PC rhetoric, this one ranks right up near the top.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

I don't think that prohibits councils from banning them at camp.  To my knowledge, that is where the issue has always come from.

Well by my experience, somewhere down the line a stigma was created and everyone soon had then same outlook on it. Sheath knives are bad, they aren't safe and aren't allowed to be carried, etc. ;)

While it really doesn't do anything, it seems to be starting the move forward involving camps.

 

 

4 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Just have the new girls joining Scouts bring their fixed blades. They will legalize them in no time. ;)

@RememberSchiff that's a joke. No need to move to IP. :cool:

This is 100000000% true! We'll just pass them the ideas and they can help us through this process ;)

2 minutes ago, Stosh said:

The interesting background to Puukko knives is that it is the traditional Confirmation gift to young men achieving adulthood in their culture.  If one's going to slap someone with some off-hand PC rhetoric, this one ranks right up near the top.  

Well it is the symbol of scouting for both boys and girls of Finland, but when looking at something holistically you must consider what the 'coming of age' process consists of. Is it when someone begins a career? Becomes an Eagle Scout? Or passes basic knife/blade safety?

I'm not sure, but it seems that your comment is derogatory towards these knives being sold on a scout site. Since we aren't Finnish, I'm not sure the same cultural norms apply here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am of Norwegian heritage, I carry a Puukko knife I received at Confirmation and the .22 caliber rifle I got on my 12th birthday is still around,  Haven't shot it in the past few months but whe-n I want to squirrel hunt, it's my go-to rifle.  Of course, it is good to know that it was originally my grandfather's .22.  When I pass it down to my grandson, it will be noted to him it once belonged to his Great-Great-Grandfather.  When I field dressed out my son's deer this year, I used the hunting knife that belonged to my grandfather.  It is a sheath knife  I didn't use my Puukko knife because its blade is better suited for fishing, than hunting.  It's a sheath knife as well.

I have a scar on my right hand index finger from a buck knife that released.  That knife was in the garbage before the stitches were put in.  Sometimes modern technology isn't all that it is cracked up to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Stosh said:

I am of Norwegian heritage, I carry a Puukko knife I received at Confirmation and the .22 caliber rifle I got on my 12th birthday is still around,  Haven't shot it in the past few months but whe-n I want to squirrel hunt, it's my go-to rifle.  Of course, it is good to know that it was originally my grandfather's .22.  When I pass it down to my grandson, it will be noted to him it once belonged to his Great-Great-Grandfather.  When I field dressed out my son's deer this year, I used the hunting knife that belonged to my grandfather.  It is a sheath knife  I didn't use my Puukko knife because its blade is better suited for fishing, than hunting.  It's a sheath knife as well.

I have a scar on my right hand index finger from a buck knife that released.  That knife was in the garbage before the stitches were put in.  Sometimes modern technology isn't all that it is cracked up to be.

I like how this was meant to be a coming of age thing. It brings more traditional approach, and maybe give them a more sentimental/spiritual bond with their equipment. Might help them take better care of their gear.

However, I was just using an example of the fixed blade movement in scouting, I didn't mean to get caught up in the details. I believe any piece of steel that has no moving parts are safer, and just overall easier to care for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree.  I have an Official BSA camp knife I've had since I was in Boy Scouts.  I don't use that knife 1/10th of the time compared to the sheath knife.  Never trusted them, and the time I trusted a lock blade, I paid the price with a visit to the ER.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NJCubScouter said:

I don't think that prohibits councils from banning them at camp.  To my knowledge, that is where the issue has always come from.

I've known about the changes since August. The camporee I was in charge of was wilderness survival based, and a few events required a sheath knife. FWIW, the council does not have a policy against sheath knives at the local camp the event was held at. But they are prohibited at summer camp. So councils can make their own rules, even if legal in your jurisdiction.

When I visited the neighboring council, i asked if they would sell those Helle knives, answer is no b/c that council prohibits them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well....   changes to IOLS are implied.   Totin' Chip?   Whitlin' Chip?    The topic seemed to always come up, and was in my  "Frequently asked Questions" section.   That's EDGEFAQ, in BSAspeak.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

I don't think that prohibits councils from banning them at camp.  To my knowledge, that is where the issue has always come from.

Cultural norms are all over the lot.  Eagle Scout expelled from Senior Year of HS because he volunteers that he has a 2" folding pen knife locked in the glove compartment of his locker vehicle as part of a survival kit (drives many miles to school in northern climes in Winter).

B.S.A. norms are easier to find.

The Guide to Safe Scouting, in 2011 recognized Scouting's duty to teach the proper use of all "legally owned knives" - which includes almost all sheath knives almost everywhere in the U.S.  Hard to meet that safety obligation absent the knives we are supposed to teach about.

Further, Boys' Life (September, 2008 at p. 12) had already proclaimed a short sheath knife as the "The best type of knife for camping trips."

Yet B.S.A. still allows local council or unit option to impose zero tolerance (zero judgment) rules, which contradict B.S.A. safety and outdoor program policy.

What if the focus was on the type of knife and it's suitability as a tool?  I have 1" (total length) sheath knives and one folding knife with a 12" blade.  Some allowed folding knifes are optimized to stab - as weapons - and some sheath knives are optimized as tools.

And then there is the "axes are OK" and "non-locking folding knives are OK" blind spots of the supposed safety-consciousness of the sheath knife banners.  Never saw a ban on a tomahawk with a spike opposite the blade - SPLAT!

In two official B.S.A. books on wilderness survival on the Scout Shop shelves post 2000, the Scout reader was told to use a khukuri or bolo when the G2SS still did "not encourage large sheath knives."  I figured out that seeming anomaly.  These massive shopping tools/weapons are short swords in scabbards, not knives in sheaths.  So A-OK.   Seriously, bans are typically composed by those ignorant on the topic.  (E.G.  "Assault Weapons" ban not about "assault weapons [which are fully automatic]"; telescoping stock outlawed/folding stock A-OK; flash suppressor outlawed/compensator [allows faster rate of aimed fire] A-OK.  

And the knife banning started a decade before the rationale I keep hearing - "Rambo, First Blood."  The big sheath knives showed up in 1946 when the U.S.A. dumped 7.5 million of them on the surplus market.  MK II Fighting Utility Knife with 7" "clipped" blade for $.50 anyone?  (vs, $3.00 for the B.S.A  fixed-blade knife d'jour, the Western Cutlery L66 Skinner.  I had a MK II [AKA "Ka-Bar"] but figured out for myself that it was clumsy for what I used a knife to do.)

Our new Camp Director came in five years ago and eliminated the "47 thou shalt nots."   Instead we have,  "The law of this camp is the Scout Law."   One of the 47 nots had been "No fixed-blade knives are allowed in camp."  Gone now, and no problems he can recall in the wake of its departure.

I wonder what the zero tolerance sorts would have produced as the Scout Law.  Lots of "nots" I suspect.

 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

Cultural norms are all over the lot.  Eagle Scout expelled from Senior Year of HS because he volunteers that he has a 2" folding pen knife locked in the glove compartment of his locker vehicle as part of a survival kit (drives many miles to school in northern climes in Winter).

B.S.A. norms are easier to find.

The Guide to Safe Scouting, in 2011 recognized Scouting's duty to teach the proper use of all "legally owned knives" - which includes almost all sheath knives almost everywhere in the U.S.  Hard to meet that safety obligation absent the knives we are supposed to teach about.

Further, Boys' Life (September, 2008 at p. 12) had already proclaimed a short sheath knife as the "The best type of knife for camping trips."

Yet B.S.A. still allows local council or unit option to impose zero tolerance (zero judgment) rules, which contradict B.S.A. safety and outdoor program policy.

What if the focus was on the type of knife and it's suitability as a tool?  I have 1" (total length) sheath knives and one folding knife with a 12" blade.  Some allowed folding knifes are optimized to stab - as weapons - and some sheath knives are optimized as tools.

And then there is the "axes are OK" and "non-locking folding knives are OK" blind spots of the supposed safety-consciousness of the sheath knife banners.  Never saw a ban on a tomahawk with a spike opposite the blade - SPLAT!

In two official B.S.A. books on wilderness survival on the Scout Shop shelves post 2000, the Scout reader was told to use a khukuri or bolo when the G2SS still did "not encourage large sheath knives."  I figured out that seeming anomaly.  These massive shopping tools/weapons are short swords in scabbards, not knives in sheaths.  So A-OK.   Seriously, bans are typically composed by those ignorant on the topic.  (E.G.  "Assault Weapons" ban not about "assault weapons [which are fully automatic]"; telescoping stock outlawed/folding stock A-OK; flash suppressor outlawed/compensator [allows faster rate of aimed fire] A-OK.  

And the knife banning started a decade before the rationale I keep hearing - "Rambo, First Blood."  The big sheath knives showed up in 1946 when the U.S.A. dumped 7.5 million of them on the surplus market.  MK II Fighting Utility Knife with 7" "clipped" blade for $.50 anyone?  (vs, $3.00 for the B.S.A  fixed-blade knife d'jour, the Western Cutlery L66 Skinner.  I had a MK II [AKA "Ka-Bar"] but figured out for myself that it was clumsy for what I used a knife to do.)

Our new Camp Director came in five years ago and eliminated the "47 thou shalt nots."   Instead we have,  "The law of this camp is the Scout Law."   One of the 47 nots had been "No fixed-blade knives are allowed in camp."  Gone now, and no problems he can recall in the wake of its departure.

I wonder what the zero tolerance sorts would have produced as the Scout Law.  Lots of "nots" I suspect.

 

 

 

You really hit the nail on the head. But most of these leaders you'll see running around out there will look at it an say "you can't have those, they're illegal." Just like the ignorance you'll see involving gun control and banning different aspects of them regardless of what they do.

Hopefully this removal of a statement in the Guide to Safe Scouting will make more camps follow suit like the one you speak of. It makes me happy to see people gaining some common sense regarding knife safety and "safe blade."

3 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I've known about the changes since August. The camporee I was in charge of was wilderness survival based, and a few events required a sheath knife. FWIW, the council does not have a policy against sheath knives at the local camp the event was held at. But they are prohibited at summer camp. So councils can make their own rules, even if legal in your jurisdiction.

When I visited the neighboring council, i asked if they would sell those Helle knives, answer is no b/c that council prohibits them.

I don't think the camps can really enforce those rules though. They may be "banned," but that's like a small business making a "No Guns Allowed Inside" sign in their window. They can't really do that and write their own laws, but they can ask you to leave. If LE gets involved, I guess it would be easier to leave and up to whatever they say, but you can't "make your own laws." Maybe they could say you're trespassing, but that's quite a stretch when you've already paid to be there. But they shouldn't really see that you have one, like a gun. Keep it concealed and there will be no issues.

Are they going to call the camp police and kick ya out? It's just kind of silly and ignorant to me.

Edited by ParacordMan1220

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, ParacordMan1220 said:

Are they going to call the camp police and kick ya out? It's just kind of silly and ignorant to me.

Yes, they can call law enforcement on you for trespassing if you don't follow the rules. We had a group at camp setting off fireworks, and they were kicked out of camp. Another time one "Scout" was causing so much trouble at summer camp, that the SM wanted him gone and contacted the parents. When the parents said no, they would not pick him up, it went to the camp director. Camp director discussed it with the parents and gave them  a time limit to settle their bill, come home from their second honeymoon at Disney, and pick up the "Scout." Otherwise he would be turned over to authorities as trespassing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Yes, they can call law enforcement on you for trespassing if you don't follow the rules. We had a group at camp setting off fireworks, and they were kicked out of camp. Another time one "Scout" was causing so much trouble at summer camp, that the SM wanted him gone and contacted the parents. When the parents said no, they would not pick him up, it went to the camp director. Camp director discussed it with the parents and gave them  a time limit to settle their bill, come home from their second honeymoon at Disney, and pick up the "Scout." Otherwise he would be turned over to authorities as trespassing.

I can see that. However, that's a bit of a stretch for carrying an unapproved knife in an outdoor environment. LE would probably chuckle at that one:laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×