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"BSA lawyers would disagree with you."


So? They are wrong to use that term. And I'll be happy to say that to their faces. They don't understand what a "religious organization" is, and should never had used that term.


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I visited a troop meeting once where scouts were chastized by their SM for bringing a football to a meeting and throwing it outside during the game (not actually playing football). He said that football is banned by BSA and any injury sustained involving a football will not be acknowledged by BSA insurance.


More to the point of my original post, what are your experiences with these myths?(This message has been edited by Buffalo Skipper)

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But they were officially representing the BSA in the US Supreme Court. By being their representatives, they spoke for the BSA. BSA has not rescinded that position. So I submit, saying that BSA is not a religious organization IS an urban myth.

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I was going to spin a new thread but keep getting errors.


> BSA is not a religous organization. (false)


> But they were officially representing the BSA in the US Supreme Court. By being their representatives, they spoke for the BSA. BSA has not rescinded that position. So I submit, saying that BSA is not a religious organization IS an urban myth.


I keep hearing this, but can never find any details. Supposedly, the BSA stated they are a religious organization; as best I can tell, this was a case in Kansas in the early 1990s.


Ed Palmer

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A Scout who has earned the Totin' Chip can have it taken away if he has four corners cut off, one for each transgression of the rules.


Only summer camp directors can wear Smokey the Bear hats.


There is such a thing as a Class A or Class B uniform.


An Eagle project must be a certain number of hours.


Non-members are barred from observing Order of the Arrow ceremonies.


Certain skits, songs or cheers have been banned by [council, National].(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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Ok, I'll bite...

So when you folks cite something as a myth, can you please provide information on what the "real deal" is?


Speaking as an inexperienced Scouter, I would greatly appreciate not only knowing what the myths are, but what the real source/guidance/way to do business is.


For example, all I have ever been told (with the exception of the below example) is that once you cut the four corners off the Totin Chip, then the Scout loses it, and must reaccomplish the training to re-instill safe knife handling practices before being allowed to carry a knife again. The exception: I was told that in our council it was a "one strike, your out" policy and the card was to be ripped in half, deeming it null. When I asked where the Council policy letter was on that I got the blank stare, but was told "that is the new policy." BTW, no-one else I talked to knew about this.


Also, since we are on the topic of myths, can someone cofirm or dispel the following information? When the Webelos camp with a Scout troop (as part of their requirement for the Arrow of Light) they can only camp for one night and that camping for more than one night at a time is violation of BSA policy.


Thank all of you for the insight you provide to us relatively new folks!

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"Your organization has the Scouting program on charter from the Boy Scouts of America, but the Scouting units and their leaders belong to the organization and are part of its "family."




Source: The Chartered Organization Representative, How Scouting Operates, The Units Belong To Your Organization

pg. 3



"Packs, Troops, Teams, and Crews are owned, operated and administered by community-based organizations whose objective, mission and methodologies are compatible with those of the BSA."

On the back cover.

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On the Totin' Chip issue, there is absolutely no "BSA policy" or "National guidance" on cutting corners, tearing the card in half, etc. A unit may have its own policy as set by the PLC, but there's no mandatory anything.


Personally, I think a four-strike rule is stupid. That gives a Scout who's already proven to be irresponsible or forgetful about basic safety rules three more chances to hurt himself or someone else. A goofy "policy."

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Totin' Chip:

From "Boy Scout Requirements" #33215A, pg.228: (below the first 6 "requirements", it sez): "The Scout's 'Totin' Rights' can be taken from him if he fails in his responsibility". What it DOESN'T say is how that failure is to be judged. The corner clipping is a "tradition" of some units I have seen/heard of. How egregious the failure that is observed (by a Scouter?) could lead to one to four corners at any single time. Or, one event could be enough for the SM (who is usually the In Loco Parentis that makes the judgement) to remove the privilege. Then the Scout must RE-EARN the privilege. This re-earning is implied, but nowhere mentioned in "official" form. Unit "tradition" again.

As is the tradition of making a tentpeg to demonstrate one's skill and safe technique in using an axe/hatchet/pocket knife.

I watched one Scout present his 2 foot long tent peg, be encouraged to make it better, and eventuallyend up with a very pretty 6inch tent peg.


The same discussion can be made about "Whittlin' Chip" for Cub Scouts.

But not today...


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Many of the myths are very funny and I've heard quite a few of them, yet no one can show me a National reference that says a partial is only good for six months (true story of a nearby troop and they refuse to remove it).


I even know of a Troop that at the SMC for any rank you are retested for every requirement from every previous rank and you can fail the Eagle SMC by doing the clove hitch wrong.


I love the one that I've heard recently that an Eagle Scout project must be 1,000 hours, cost at least $2,000 and ONLY scouts are allowed to work. This was actually said by an Eagle Scout who is now 35 and in charge of helping Life scouts pick Eagle projects at a nature center.


Others that I enjoy are about sheath knives and axes.


Three weeks ago my son and I went to the gun range to shoot pistols. When he was talking to a friend of his at another troop he was told by a scout that he is not allowed to ever shoot a pistol because he is a boy scout. He just chuckled.


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