Re: Re Knives
Dewitte A. Baisch (dbaisch@DATASYS.NET)
Sun, 22 Jun 1997 21:55:33 -0400
If you use "Guide to Safe Scouting, A Unit Leader's Guide for Current
Policies and Procedures to Safe Activities" as the "rule book," there
are NO BSA national headquarters policies or regulations regarding
knives. In the Preface of the book it states: "Note: Bold type denotes
BSA rules and policies." With that in mind, when you turn to page 24 to
look at the section discussing knives, you will note that nothing in the
entire section is in bold print. That puts the information in the
category of "guideline," not policy, not regulation.
For those Scouters without their own personal copy of "Guide to Safe
Scouting" (and EVERYBODY ought to get a copy!) the entire section on
A sharp pocketknife with a can opener on it is an invaluable
backcountry tool. Keep it clean, sharp, and handy. Avoid large
sheath knives. [This last sentence is in italics. Me] They are heavy
and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for
cleaning fish. Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily
on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets
more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature. 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.
That's it. No rule. No regulation. Just a guideline. A suggestion to
avoid large sheath knives. Plus a guideline to keep all knives clean,
sharp, and HANDY. They don't get any handier than in a properly designed
belt-pouch. Whenever a Scout, Scouter, or parent says something that is
effectively a rumor ("...that ANY non-approved BSA knife is not
authorized to be carried by any Scout.") then it is our responsibility
and, yeah, duty, to ask to see the rule in writing. When they can't
produce such a rule, you can whip out the trusty "Guide to Safe
Scouting" and show them the appropriate reference.
Personally, I'd be interested in seeing a BSA "approved" or
"non-approved" ANYTHING! The only such possible listing I've seen is in
my well-worn GTSS and that is the list of Unauthorized and Restricted
Activities on page 23.
But back to knives, one more time. It makes no since to train a Scout
to safely handle and take care of a knife and then not let him carry one
properly during a Scouting function (campout, camporee, hike, whatever).
Unless a camp has a regulation prohibiting a youth from carrying a knife
(and it WILL be in writing!) then un-, mis-, and/or ill-informed adults
who remember the rules only the way they want to remember them need to
be ignored! Better yet, they need to be shown the right information.
I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
Dewitte A. Baisch (Sandy)
Scoutmaster, Troop 411, Circle 7 District, Alapaha Area Council, Georgia
"..if it ain't raining, we ain't camping!"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City