Policy info request
Jon D. Lyksett (jlykset@EIS.CALSTATE.EDU)
Mon, 14 Sep 1992 09:54:49 -0700
Recently our Assistant Scout Executive gave us a National Publication on
Rock Climbing and Rapelling. Though reasonably written, it was not what
I'd call the definitive text on the subject. With nearly 30 years of
climbing and mountaineering experience, including several expeditions in
Alaska, Chile and the Himalayas, I feel I'm somewhat of an *expert* and
capable of teaching interested youth and adults the fundamentals. A few
weeks later, as a group of us were completing construction on an
artificial climbing structure, we were told by this same Exec that it
could not be used at District or Council events if the Scouts climbed more
than *six* feet above the ground *unless* there was a BSA CERTIFIED COPE
COURSE INSTRUCTOR present to supervise.
Here's the hitch: No COPE Course instructor in our council, nor any of
the seven nearby councils. COPE certification only taught once a year and
that's at Philmont. No alternate requirements for supervision (ie,
longtime experience, demonstrated proficiency, etc). No help from the
council in finding solutions to this problem.
It seems that the bean counters, actuaries, and lawyers at National are
turning Scouting into a CAN'T DO organization rather than a CAN DO one.
Sure you might be sued if a kid is hurt, but in all my years of climbing,
and all the partners I've had, the worst injuries I've seen are scraped
knuckles and knees and a sprained wrist.
Thanks for any help that may be forthcoming. Pretty soon we will have
virtual reality camping trips with scratch and sniff campfires.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City