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Annual Health and Medical Record Replaces Class 1,2, &3 Health Forms

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Ammon

 

And Individuals desiring to participate in any high-adventure activity or events in which emergency evacuation would take longer than 30 minutes by ground transportation (emphasis added) will not be permitted to do so if they exceed the weight limit as documented at the bottom of this page. Enforcing the height/weight limit is strongly encouraged for all other events, but it is not mandatory

 

Those sentences is causing the commotion. In some parts of the country, like mine, the local summer camp is more than 30 minutes away from a hospital with an ED. In fact two of the camps I've worked at had more than 30 minutes to a hospital. I should know for one of them as I was the "camp ambulance" fro two staff members that needed to go to the hospital.

 

Also some units out west will face this problem on ANY camping trip they go.

 

And let's not forget the last sentence, "Enforcing the height/weight limit is strongly encouraged for all other events, but it is not mandatory

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I have to agree with Eagle92. I don't think that Mr. Bourlon's letter clarifies all that much. He somewhat explains National's thinking, informs us that they are very smart (and by inference that we should not question them) and says that it doesn't necessarily apply at "most" council summer camps. It is however strongly recommended for all events, presumably including those council camps where it is not required. I'm glad we cleared all that up!

 

I really think they need a better definition of what constitutes evacuation. I suspect many camps fall outside the 30 minute radius; more than they are acknowledging. A quick check on Yahoo maps indicates that is 31 minutes travel time from a point near the entrance of Goshen Scout Reservation (National Capital Area Council) to Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington, VA. This does not include the travel time from any of the 5 camps or the health lodge to that point. That would add 5-20 minutes (my best guess) depending on which camp. I suppose that if you assume that ambulances can go slightly over the speed limit (though on that road I wouldn't recommend pushing it too much) and pretend that evacuation begins at the reservation entrance then maybe the camp is within the radius but that is stretching reality. There is better than average (for scout camps) medical facilities on the reservation but not a full service ER. I can imagine that out west the evacuation times are a lot worse.

 

I take little assurance when I am told about the "depth of knowledge" of people who make policy. The "best and the brightest" in government have gotten us into wars that we later regretted and the most brilliant engineering minds in the country thought that filling the Apollo 1 capsule with pure oxygen was a good idea. I am more concerned with the logic and practical application of the policy than the creds of the committee that created it.

 

I am in agreement with the H/W requirements high adventure; it is probably a good idea for the Jamboree given the numbers and the heat/humidity. I just think they may not have thought this radius through as well as they should have.

 

Hal

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Yes this statement is what stirred me up to!! i fully agree with that... Well let them know what you feel!!!

 

They would be MORE than happy to answer your questions in fact I think he was glad to get my email to help clarify things on it!

 

His email is: "Health and Safety Team"

 

Health.Safety@scouting.org

 

I guess they are logging email to try and answer problems like these!! Give it a shot...

 

AS there trying to get input also on the new forms!!

 

So if you want to fight them on this here's your chance... As I call it there like in Beta form right now i dont think this form is set in stone just yet!!

 

YIS,

Annom200

(This message has been edited by annom200)(This message has been edited by annom200)

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since the form does not include a height/weight chart for women, overweight gals are OK.

 

Checking out the chart I see that it was a very good thing that my husband lost a bunch of weight over the last year. He did it because he wanted to be in better shape for the more strenuous backpacking trips our guys have taken and even more strenuous in the planning. He did it to feel better. He looks great and has much more energy. Younger son has some weight issues too, but is in OK range for Jambo. Hope he stays there - the boy could use more exercise certainly.

 

I know many Scouts and Scouters that exceed the recommended weight limits - and not because of weight training making them muscular. I'm not sure how I feel about restricting those folks from attending Jambo or other activities. If BSA wants to restrict folks for health reasons such as being overweight, why not add that smokers cannot participate? How about folks with diabetes? Allergies to bee stings? The heat and humidity in summertime Virginia could certainly aggravate a person's asthma. Given time we could all probably come up with things that could be used as an excuse to limit someone's participation.

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GWD:

Congratulations to your husband and son for their efforts and success in keeping weight under control. I know it isn't easy. A friend of mine who fought weight issues said to me "you can quit smoking or drinking cold turkey (it isn't easy but people have) but with food you have to lay down with the devil every day".

 

There are in fact a lot more restrictions for the Jambo than just weight. Diabetes and asthma are two of many risk factors discussed. See there website on health risks:

 

http://www.bsajamboree.org/prepared.html

 

I like the level of detail that it gives and in most cases it leaves some leeway for whether or not a particular condition precludes someone's participation. It is clearly written and provides a point of contact for questions not answered by the document itself. IMHO this is a model for how BSA should write policy.

 

YIS,

Hal

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I am still rather confused by the form.

 

The letter from National clarifies one important thing, I think: the limit applies both to any high adventure activity (regardless of how far from emergency evacuation it takes the Scout or Scouter). The limit also applies to ANY activity, high adventure or not, which takes the Scout or Scouter more than 30 minutes away from evacuation.

 

I am still unclear about what they mean by "evacuation." Do they mean 30 minutes to the hospital or 30 minutes to the point where they can begin evacuation (i.e. get loaded into an ambulance).

 

Most ambulances, as well as many fire stations, have emergency medical equipment such as defibrillators (and epi-pens and any number of other emergency items which could be handy for sudden life-threatening situations). If the scout camp is less than 30 minutes away from the nearest place where an ambulance is stationed, is that OK? As someone pointed out already, out here on the Left Coast many places (Scout camps or not) are well over 30 minutes from the nearest emergency room; but usually there are fire stations with ambulances even in very remote areas.

 

If it's the latter, and the obese Scout or Scouter must forego activities which are so remote that ambulance availability is more than 30 minutes away, then I have much less problem with it. Most activities that are not already considered "high adventure" would probably still be accessible. I think for most activities an absolute limit seems a little extreme... maybe an extra liability waiver, or proof of personal insurance that would cover something like Life-Flight, or an extra clearance from a physician might be better (after all, someone who's got a high BMI but who doesn't have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or any signs of heart disease is going to be at a much lower risk than someone who is only a little overweight but has other complicating health factors -- where's the cut-off for blood pressure or cholesterol? -- not that I'm advocating for these cut-offs, mind you).

 

I do find it odd that there's not a separate height/weight chart for men and women. And I'm still feeling very fortunate that I've got a few pounds between me and that upper cut-off limit.

 

-Liz

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Where are the cutoffs for blood pressure and cholesterol? The Jamboree and Philmont both have standards for BP and they will check it when you arrive. I suspect that if they had cholesterol limits there would be no one left to check anyone's BP. To me it makes sense to have standards for specific risk factors for specific activities/locations. The application of the height/weight charts is just too broad. One size does not fit all.

 

Liz is right that the presence of AEDs and other medical resources could change the equation. As I have said before, our council scout reservation is right on the edge of the evacuation limit. It depends on where you put the end of the tape measure and how fast an ambulance can travel on mountain roads as to whether they have would have to enforce the H/W rules. But they have a better than average health lodge with an MD. Each camp first aid room has an AED (there are 6 camps in addition to the headquarters camp with the health lodge) . Should this change the rules? BSA is encouraging all council camps to purchase and maintain AEDs. Should the camps that do that get a waiver on the evacuation distance? I think so but what the heck do I know?

 

I hope that these are discussions that are being had between the councils and national and that the information hasn't yet been shared with us mere mortals. Full implementation is a year away so there is time to study impact and perhaps adjust the policy to fit the realities.

 

BTW, our SM showed the new form to our troop committee last week. I wasn't there but I sense that "ballistic" describes the reaction. It wasn't the H/W table that raised their ire. I don't think anyone in the room has a kid who would be affected. The issue was the SS# and the insurance cards. They are going to research whether the SS# might be required by hospitals in Virginia. I can see the concern about the insurance card if it still uses the SS# but I think most companies have moved away from that. Personally, I always wanted my son to be in close proximity to his insurance card and he started carrying a copy of it as soon as he started carrying a wallet. I wonder if the committee members remember that they put their SS numbers on their adult applications? Oh, well.

 

 

 

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I, for one, left the SSN line blank. Neither I nor my children have ever been asked for it at a hospital, so I presume it's not required around here.

 

Each of my boys carries an insurance card in his wallet. It does not include anybody's SSN. I asked for duplicates from the ins. company for them to carry. Although I do carry copies in my wallet, in case of emergency, I expect them to have theirs for medical appointments and such.

 

-Liz

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This strikes a nerve with me. I would be one of those Scouters branded with the Scarlet 'O' although I believe that I am in better condition than some Scouters I know who would squeak by. I compete as a powerlifter and in some other strength sports and have set state and federation records in my age/weight class.(Hence I have more muscle mass than the average populus-- my body fat percentage (skin calliper test) was 15-16% when last taken.) I also take part in hiking, cycling, and swimming for enjoyment and a well rounded fittness program.

I do the mile swim every year at summer camp (under 30 min this last year) and have been working with some Scouts toward the cycling merit badge and usually lead the group on the cycle trips. I have no health issues and am on no medication.

 

Hopefully they will follow a policy closer to that of the Army and have an alternate test for those who exceed tables. (As I understand it the Army computes body fat percentage using various body circumfrence measurements).

 

Competing in a weight class based sport I also know how I could 'make weight' for my physical (and rechecks)since it is only about 10# but cannot imaging that the BSA would want anyone using unhealthy and dangerous methods to do this (ie OTC diuretics, dehydration, laxatives, etc).

 

I can also see problems arising with questioning of scale accuracys and questioing of height measurements. (I drop a full inch in height after a squat workout where I have had a heavy bar on my back.)

 

Hopefully common sense will prevail and some tweaks to the program will take place so that I will not need to decide if I need to give up my sport and loose muscle mass in order to provide my Troop leadership at summer camp.

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Yep, it's tough to litter evac anyone from an area, but nobody would have 11-year-old boy scouts doin' it in any event. You don't get a choice about when a helicopter is called, that's a determination made by the responding agency. There ain't a rope around that you'd ever tie a human into that only holds 250 pounds. So every one of his examples is bogus. NH&S have always been a bunch of third-tier professionals with a Napoleon complex. Glad to see Richard keepin' up the tradition. :p

 

Personally, I agree with the standard for backcountry travel, so long as it's properly adjusted for women and for guys like the California Governor (who wouldn't make the cut). But the definition of backcountry should be LNT's definition - outside of the day-use hiking area, aka more than a day's trip in from trailhead. Tryin' to make it dependent on evac times, response times, or proximity of trauma care is ludicrous, because those vary so widely. In some areas of the country it would prevent scouters from havin' a campout in their back yard.

 

Honestly, the proper choice is physician's discretion and competent trip leader's approval, and stop tryin' to force-fit some generic table or national 30-minute rule.

 

Beavah

 

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I find is interesting that so many are upset about this. Yes it will effect many scouters. But putting aside the ambiguity of 30 minutes from evacuation, don't we all pledge weekly to keep ourselves physically strong? I say this knowing that I've at least 80 lbs to lose. I can choose to complain about how this keeps me out of the backcountry (okay, Jamboree, since most are unlikely to be doing much in the backcountry anyway) or use it to motivate me to keep my pledge.

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Not everyone can just lose weight because they want to.

 

I have a medical condition which was preventing me from losing weight until I finally figured out what the problem was a couple years ago. NOW, I can lose weight -- and I'm working on it -- but BEFORE, I got down to 800 calories a day and the more I cut back, the more weight I gained (and the more sick I felt). The condition I had (well, have, but now it's under control) was messing with my metabolism. My body refused to burn any fat, and insisted on running on what I could feed it -- at 800 calories a day, I could barely stand up straight... especially after my hour at the gym each day. I stopped having the energy to weigh all my food so I practically stopped eating. I can't begin to describe how tired I was of being fat (and tired, and sick) and how motivated I was to change it. Doctors were no help at all (and I went to several, knowing that the math didn't add up). I could have died of anorexia and still been over 200 lbs. When I went to my doctor for help, rather than run ANY tests on me, she accused me of lying about my meticulous food and exercise journal I'd been keeping for 6 months, and refused to even look at it.

 

The point here is not to get sympathy, but to say that I just have a really hard time with this one-size-fits-all approach. Yes, some people are obese because they are lazy, gluttonous, have bad eating habits, etc.. I'm not saying that just because it's "harder" for some people to lose weight than others, that means those who have it harder shouldn't bother trying. But this really does amount to discrimination against people who can't lose weight. And the limits are arbitrary... some people can be within the limit and be very out-of-shape, and others can be professional athletes and be excluded for their high BMI. It makes much more sense to say your physician must sign off that you're ok for high adventure activities... which is what the form basically said before (my own physician, prior to getting my condition under control, wrote things like "no hiking more than 3 miles" on my medical form last time I had it filled out).

 

 

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I agree with Liz on this one. I've been on a medication (anticonvulsant) for the last 3 years that has caused significant weight gain, putting me over the edge of the chart. Although I'm active and strong, it's extremely difficult to lose weight on this medication.(This message has been edited by AnniePoo)

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