First Aid, BSA & Native American Culture
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Sun, 16 Oct 1994 02:28:38 -0400
Chuck raised a number of interesting points in his postings on these two
subjects, which I've combined to cut down on postings to the listserver.
Although Scout Leaders can and do train Scouts regarding first aid
requirements for rank requirements, it would still be better to enlist the
help of someone with specialized training. In our jurisdiction (Virginia) the
law is a little less helpful than in Arizona, meaning that liability is
At the District level, we've also been thinking about the liability issue
and how best to provide first aid support on site. Our solution was to
form a team headed by an EMT with supporting First Responders and an
Emergency Care Doctor as advisor. In our case the team is a service group
within the OA and part of the OA's general support of District camping
activities. This combination of professionals and trained supporters has
really helped deliver better quality first aid and emergency treatment to
the inevitable accidents when several hundreds of Scouts camp together.
BSA & Native American Culture
The idea of inherent copyrights to names and symbols is interesting, but
probably won't get too far. Yeah its hard to predict where the Courts
could go, but they would be leary of creating a precident that would apply
equally to all names and symbols of any culture. Also it would be hard
for most groups to make a case that its symbols were unique to them or
that a name was unique, because the same names (in different languages)
and symbols were used by many tribes.
While we need to be sensative to Native American cultures and its better
to use authentic local costumes, etc., I don't think we should be bullied
by someone's idea of political correctness into stopping dead in our
tracks. Most of BSA's use of things from Native American culture comes
from the fact that its programs use outdoors camping as a tool to get at
the real goals. And what better way to inject more fun and excitement
than by introducing boys to the cultures of people who knew how to live in
the outdoors. While doing this, we have also promoted respect for other
cultures. This is in itself good. While some may have made mistakes and
while stereotyping has in the past been a problem, I think we are as whole
more sensative and make greater efforts to be respectful.
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City