Re: Policy info request
Mon, 14 Sep 1992 19:37:26 -0400
On the subject of rapelling & Project COPE:
>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.
When I went to Camp School for COPE in 1991, we were told that BSA
rapelling publications were not the "difinitive" text on purpose. Seems
that if the BSA (as a group) doesn't become a recognized expert on
rapelling, then our collective and individual liabilities are reduced.
(Their rationalle, not mine.)
>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.
I'm surprised to hear that, since the last COPE standards I saw
specifically excluded climbing and rapelling. (Many of the techniques
and safety procedures would apply to both COPE and rapelling, but they
are different activities.)
The six-foot limit is a COPE standard measure for determining if an
event is a low course or high course event. High course events require
harnesses, belay lines, etc. Supervision requirements are different for
the high course, too.
>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.
I can't tell from the message header where you are from. COPE directors
course was taught at several regional NCS locations in '91 and '92.
Your region may only offer it at Philmont, but there are others around
that may be closer to you.
I think that your Assistant Exec may be misinterpreting the COPE
standards. I would suggest a call to your regional office. If they
can't help, go straight to the source in Texas.
(Of course, the COPE standards could have been changed to include
climbing. If that's the case, never mind.)
Please let me know what you find out.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City