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Guide to Safe Scouting- Not Official?

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Is it published by the Boy Scouts of America? Does it have a copyright by the Boy Scouts of America? Does it have the Boy Scouts of America logo/seal on it?


Then it's part of the literature, just as the Boy Scout Handbook is.


Is it a policy document? Nope. Does it have policies from a/the policy document in it that must be followed? Yep. Does it have guidelines? Yep. Can everything in the guidebook just be treated as a guideline because it's not a policy document? Nope.


It's not unusual for handbooks and guides to have both recommended guidelines and required policies and requirements in them. The Boy Scout Handbook has requirements for ranks in it. It would be silly to argue that because the Boy Scout Handbook isn't a policy book, that the rank requirements are mere guidelines. It's just as silly to argue that because the Guide to Safe Scouting is just a guide book and not a policy document, that the policies it does contain, which the guide book identifies as being in bold type, are mere guidelines.


As the guide states: "The Guide to Safe Scouting provides an overview of Scouting policies and procedures rather than comprehensive, standalone documentation." It seems that when the G2SS states that fireworks are not allowed, it's an overview of a Scouting policy (and if you need a more thorough documentation of what "fireworks" means, the official policy quite likely lists it). But let's not forget that "For some items, the policy statements are complete." Looking them up in the offical policy book, and you won't see a difference.


Methinks too much credence is being given to the title of the book, rather than the contents.



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The Tiger Cub handbook contains a footnote with a stern admonition saying that it's a violation of BSA policy to physically turn kids upside down while awarding their Bobcat badge.


It doesn't state what the penalty is for doing so. But even so, I have thus far refrained from physically turning Cub Scouts upside down while awarding their Bobcat badge. It never would have occurred to me to do so in the first place, although I think when I was a Cub Scout, the _badge_ was pinned onto me upside down, even though I remained right side up.


If someone else suggested that it would be a good idea to turn Cub Scouts upside down, I would probably point out that footnote.


As a matter of fact, I have never turned a Cub Scout upside down, even on occasions other than awarding the Bobcat badge. Presumably, according to that footnote, it would be OK to do so when awarding other badges. But I still don't do it.


On the other hand, there are other things in the Tiger book that it says I'm supposed to do, but I didn't do! I'm sometimes a little bit lax about handing out those beads, even though the book tells me exactly when I'm supposed to do it.


In other words, when it comes to the Tiger book, I sometimes deviate from what the book says, if my common sense tells me to do so.


And when it comes to the G2SS, common sense might sometimes call for deviations, although those situations would be less common than in the case of the Tiger book.


I just signed up to counsel stamp collecting merit badge. I didn't know this, but according to the G2SS, carbon tetrachloride can be used to reveal stamp watermarks, so I'll be sure to demonstrate that to the Scouts. I bet it works great, which is why they had to put it in the G2SS. And I've also recently learned that a good way to look for gas leaks is to use a lighted match, so maybe I should sign up to counsel Safety merit badge, so I can share that piece of wisdom. And as far as I can tell, the G2SS doesn't even prohibit it, which means that this practice has the BSA seal of approval. :)

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which the guide book identifies as being in bold type, are mere guidelines


Yah, please remember that da former practice of using boldface for "policies" in the G2SS has been deprecated. It was actually never closely adhered to.


Da current version of G2SS uses boldface only for emphasis. They did a reasonable job with da rewrite, which places much greater emphasis on directin' folks to resources rather than tryin' to pretend to be policy. That's what the book is for, as a guide and resource.




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I must admit that I have often been accused of over using logic, but here goes.


"Avoid large sheath knives. They are heavy and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for cleaning fish."


It clearly indicates that there are legitimate Scouting uses for sheath knives. It says "Avoid" them not 'Don't Carry them'. The Boy Scout Motto says "Be Prepared". How else can a Scout be prepared unless he has it with him when it is needed?


"We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility."


If we have a "duty" to teach "how to use, handle and store legally owned knives", How can we fulfill that duty if a Scout is not allowed to carry one? And just as importantly, how can a Scout ever become proficient in these things if he does not practice? How many of us have seen Scouts "pass off" a requirement for advancement and then never practice it, only to forget how to do it 6 months later. Becoming proficient is one of the most important parts of "concern for safety and responsibility".


My Troop does not have a written policy banning sheath knives, and most of our boys don't carry one. But it is frustrating when our Council (and other) camps do ban them. And quite often they don't even know why they do, (this was stated to me by more than one camp director) but the policy just keeps showing up in leaders guides event after event because someone thinks it is BSA policy. And so far we have not hit on the right way to go about getting it permanently removed from their policies.



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Hey speedy


Don't worry at the rate Mazzuca is redefining the "real" purpose of scouting and the outdoor aspect continues to get diminished pretty soon all knives and axes will be banned in scouting as well as all firemaking activities. After all we don't want our boys to accidently injure themselves do we. It would not surprise me if National adds a new point to the scout law,


"A scout is fearful" - a scout will avoid any and all occasions where they may feel uncomfortable or scared in the outdoors or on any other scouting activity.


G2SS new guideline - "All scouts and scouters will avoid all tools or activities, such as knives, axes, rope, all camping or high adventure activities of any kind due to the remote possibility of being injured.


Ok I am being slightly sarcastic but I really see the BSA heading toward the edge of this cliff where if National does not get its head out of the sand and continues in its current direction the BSA will surely go right on over that edge.

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Well, as pointed out numerous times in numerous threads, the G2SS is a guide except where it is bold type and then it is BSA policy and rule.

From the G2SS: BSA Rules and Policies

Bold type throughout the Guide to Safe Scouting denotes BSA rules and policies. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Resources/Guidetosafescouting.aspx'>http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Resources/Guidetosafescouting.aspx

That would be "rules and policies" as oppossed to "guidelines". Yarrrr!

And Beavah says da former practice of using boldface for "policies" in the G2SS has been deprecated


I wanted to clarify this for myself, so I looked up the references.


The new version of the G2SS was published on 03/04/11. It no longer contains the phrase Bold type throughout the Guide to Safe Scouting denotes BSA rules and policies. Older versions of the G2SS did have that statement clearly documented in the preface. It's gone.


However, National has not removed that statement from here: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Resources/Guidetosafescouting.aspx - which is the link that SR540Beaver posted. Since the statement is gone from the G2SS, I'm trusting that was intentional and the web site is the overlooked item.

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