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I'm giving up downvotes for Lent.  It's going to be rough!

So few parents ever camp with us, that I am thrilled when they come along. I gently ease the parent into our culture. I have far too many fish to fry to worry about a parent and child who want to

Having a buddy in one's tent does not make one safer from bears. In general the best bear mitigation strategy is to keep a clean camp, cook and eat far away (and downwind) from the sleeping area, and

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Yes, this is a program rule, like no towers over 5 feet, no water guns, etc. It really needs to be elsewhere, but here we are.

And as foolish as this rule may seem, there is a reason for it. I was in a troop that was "family friendly." Two families, who treated every camp out as a family camp out, nearly destroyed the troop. Bringing siblings who interfered, allowing their Scouts to sneak into their tent at night (abandoning buddies), allowing the Scouts to hang out with them and eat with them instead of being with the patrols, ad nauseum. The worse was the unregistered parents  overruling the  SPL and PLs on a variety of things.  Morale among the Scouts was rapidly falling. Complaints at BORs at which the registered parents were not on arose multiple times. Finally my family left.  After I left, the COR  intervened, which caused some issues. Then this rule appeared. Thankfully the troop turned around, and we only took 1 other Scout with us. I was afraid 1/2 the troop would leave over those two families. And the impression I get was it almost happened.

That said, do I know of units that violate the rule? Probably, but no hard evidence. Unofficially my troop violated the rule. We had 2 new Scouts who had just crossed over into the troop the week before the troop went camping. They had never camped with us before, nor any troop due to COVID.  While they turned in applications to transfer into the troop from the pack, we wanted them to camp with us before committing.  While they were treated as Scouts and assigned to patrols, the first night they did sleep with the parents instead of on their own. Second night they were in their own tents. AT the next meeting, they came back, said they were 100% committed to the troop, and we sent in the applications.

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41 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Yes, this is a program rule, like no towers over 5 feet, no water guns, etc. It really needs to be elsewhere, but here we are.

And as foolish as this rule may seem, there is a reason for it. I was in a troop that was "family friendly." Two families, who treated every camp out as a family camp out, nearly destroyed the troop. Bringing siblings who interfered, allowing their Scouts to sneak into their tent at night (abandoning buddies), allowing the Scouts to hang out with them and eat with them instead of being with the patrols, ad nauseum. The worse was the unregistered parents  overruling the  SPL and PLs on a variety of things.  Morale among the Scouts was rapidly falling. Complaints at BORs at which the registered parents were not on arose multiple times. Finally my family left.  After I left, the COR  intervened, which caused some issues. Then this rule appeared. Thankfully the troop turned around, and we only took 1 other Scout with us. I was afraid 1/2 the troop would leave over those two families. And the impression I get was it almost happened.

That said, do I know of units that violate the rule? Probably, but no hard evidence. Unofficially my troop violated the rule. We had 2 new Scouts who had just crossed over into the troop the week before the troop went camping. They had never camped with us before, nor any troop due to COVID.  While they turned in applications to transfer into the troop from the pack, we wanted them to camp with us before committing.  While they were treated as Scouts and assigned to patrols, the first night they did sleep with the parents instead of on their own. Second night they were in their own tents. AT the next meeting, they came back, said they were 100% committed to the troop, and we sent in the applications.

That's why I said issue it as an interim policy during the pandemic. 

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17 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Towers is actually a safety rule. BSA (or their lawyers) adopted the OSHA standard for workplace safety, namely, you cannot have a situation in which a person can fall more than 6 feet without a fall restraint system or something similar.

 

And why Scouts cannot climb trees any more. 🤪😒😬

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..."are attempting to require personal fall arrest systems for their subcontractors working on ladders 6 feet or higher." Although the OSHA standards do not require fall protection for workers on fixed ladders below 24 feet or on portable ladders, we encourage employers to provide additional protection.

https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2000-01-13

IMHO, a scout should know how to safely use a step ladder and extension ladder just as they naturally know how to climb trees.

My $0.02

Edited by RememberSchiff
forgot 2 cents :)
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3 hours ago, DuctTape said:

Having a buddy in one's tent does not make one safer from bears. In general the best bear mitigation strategy is to keep a clean camp, cook and eat far away (and downwind) from the sleeping area, and store food appropriately.

Unless your tent buddy is hiding snacks you are definitely safer with two. But a tent buddy is also just safer in general for lots of reasons, especially with kids.

 

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7 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

IMHO, a scout should know how to safely use a step ladder and extension ladder just as they naturally know how to climb trees.

The point is pure liability; the lawyers will simply swarm if/when a scout falls and injures themselves with something over 6 feet (the OSHA standard).

Quote

"Surely, Scouts should have at LEAST the same safety standard for youth as it would for the adults in the Council office/workplace."

 

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On the tower issue, someone recently in a FB group posted the exact OSHA rule that BSA adopted for no-towers-over-6-feet.

https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1926/1926.502

Quote

OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart M - Fall Protection provides that an employer must provide a workspace that is "rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet (1.8 m), nor contact any lower level" (1926.502(d)(16)(iii))

 

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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

Towers is actually a safety rule. BSA (or their lawyers) adopted the OSHA standard for workplace safety, namely, you cannot have a situation in which a person can fall more than 6 feet without a fall restraint system or something similar.

 

I guess cooking, door to door sales, and maybe even Scouting For Food, and other activities are on their way to being banned since  OSHA requires cooks to be 16+ and going door to door is 18+.

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9 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I guess cooking, door to door sales, and maybe even Scouting For Food, and other activities are on their way to being banned since  OSHA requires cooks to be 16+ and going door to door is 18+.

All of this from BSA is purely reactionary a) lawsuits and b) insurance demands.

I would bet money that the OSHA/tower rule came from either a) a successful lawsuit against a unit, council, or camp in which a scout fell more than 6 feet and that standard got thrown in their face ("This camp is so unsafe, it wouldn't even pass the OSHA regulations for an adult workplace!") or b) an insurance policy condition that camps or other events meet at least OSHA standards.

Frankly, can you blame them? They are going bankrupt based on claims they failed to adequately protect children. Their lawyers are no doubt telling them to crank of youth protection to 11 or else.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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7 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

On the tower issue, someone recently in a FB group posted the exact OSHA rule that BSA adopted for no-towers-over-6-feet.

https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1926/1926.502

 

I remarked about ladders. The above does not apply to ladders, rather elevated platforms (towers?) and decks (which do not have the rails ladders do).

If you built a 8ft tower with the specified safety features, you would be within OSHA rules. That lesson would be more valuable to scouts than limiting height to under 5ft as if that is a magic safety number.

Lawsuits will happen no matter the height of fall. Oops .....ice.....

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We hike on trails where if you walk off the trail you can fall a lot more than 6'. I won't put scouts in a harness for that.

Again, rather than rules for every scenario there is the idea of trust. If I see the potential for getting hurt I ask myself whether I trust the scouts. If not, especially in the case of a steep drop off, I will warn them of the danger. If there are scouts I can't even trust for that then they would never be on a hike with me.

As for climbing on rocks, again, it's about trust. Same with bears. And starting fires. And cooking raw chicken. And everything else we do in the outdoors.

But, back to family camping 😏.

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Just now, RememberSchiff said:

If you built a 8ft tower with the specified safety features, you would be within OSHA rules.

Right, which is why the tower rule is regarding SCOUT or UNIT build items. If a Scout camp has the time and money to hire a professional to install it on a permanent structure, fine.

But this is really about those giant, temporary pioneering towers that scouts put together and get on top or send their SM up to the top of. T

0003(1).jpg

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9 minutes ago, MattR said:

Again, rather than rules for every scenario there is the idea of trust.

Which right now BSA has a very, very short supply of in terms of legal liability and insurance.

Think about it; there are two (or three) major insurance companies right now who are on the hook for potentially BILLIONS.

BSA National's insurance premiums have doubled or tripled since 2010.

That is where things like tower rules and no parents in tents come from; ONE case or ONE instance of a successful lawsuit of a scout being injured from a tower or a parent/step-parent abusing their kid at a Scout event (and it has happened) and BSA is going to put in a rule to try and stop it.

Because the NEXT time a scout gets abused or the NEXT time a scout falls from a 6 foot tower, you better believe that the lawyers will point to the PRIOR incident as proof BSA knew it was a danger and disregarded it.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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