Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Campout Program Idea
Re: Campout Program Idea
Fri, 9 Oct 1998 11:44:26 -0400
>Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 07:45:50 +0100
>From: Jim Peterson <kupete@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
>Subject: Campout Program Idea
>scouts rode the "zip line" over the lake and dropped off in the water.
>(the lake at this point is about 30ft deep and we dove and probed for
>obstacles). The boys came out of the "rather cool October water" and
>straight into the sweat lodge! What a campout! The boys are still talking
Sounds like your boys had a wonderful time on the camping trip. I hate to
but a damper on the experience that you proudly shared, but I see two
possible ares of concern that I'll mention merely as constructive
1) The Zip Line. I am a National Camp School certified Project COPE
director, and serve as a Project COPE Visitation Team member for my Region.
I've also just helped three other Project COPE Directors design and install
a new high course at our council camp. I would be very leery about
constructing a temporary zip line as you have above.
Obviously, it's worked for you so far -- otherwise, you wouldn't be doing
it! :) However, if someone were to ever get hurt, not only would it be
horrible for the boy, but you're also placing yourself and the rest of the
unit as risk. As visitation team members, we've always been taught that if
it looks like COPE, and smells like COPE, then it is COPE -- and is subject
to COPE requirements as an approved activity. Your current activity does
not meet those requirements, in terms of construction or staffing.
If you guys want to keep up with that kind of activity, I'd strongly
suggest that you speak to the Project COPE people in your council, and get
some feedback from them. I know that when building our course, the zip line
receives an incredible amount of force, and really should be done on a
permanent structure, properly constructed, with the proper safety backups
2) The sweat lodge. Sweats are a very serious part of the religion of many
Plains peoples. It's chief among their sacred rites of purification and
prayer. Just as you wouldn't want the boys doing mock baptisms or communion
or anything else, you probably should treat this one carefully. If you're
using the sweat lodge as more of a "sauna," maybe it's best to call it
that, and let the boys know why you are doing that? If anyone ever reads
the alt.native or soc.culture.native Usenet newsgroups, you'll find an
incredible disdain for people to co-opt native rites in the wrong context.
The Lakota nation has actually signed a declaration of war (you can find it
on the web) for those who abuse their cultural and religious ceremonies.
Tread lightly :)
Sounds like a great parcel of land to camp on. Hope you and your boys enjoy it.
Yours in Scouting,
Branden Morris email@example.com
The trees, speaking one to the other, said
Watch out for the axe handle;
he is one of us, you know.
-- Maori saying