Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Pheasants
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 01:54:28 -0500
I really wanted to stay out of this thread, but
couldn't resist the bait (it was too tempting)...
> From: "Nicholas J. Henshue" <njh5880@SRU.EDU>
> Subject: Pheasants
> Heidi- Ho!!!!
> I recieved the following question via email from one of my fellow
> scoutmasters, and thought I would pose it to you.... The context of this
> letter is the planning of a "Pioneering: Back to 1806" thematic campout
> with the troop.
> ...."I have considered legaly securing six (6) hen pheasants. These would
> be brought on a campout where we would allow the Scouts to butcher, gut,
> pluck and cook. Cooking would/could be using a variety of methods including
> dutch oven, bucket method and rotissery. Butchering would be by
> decapitation and plucking follows immersion in hot water."... "The question
> which has come up when discussing this with other adults is whether or not
> this might be perceived as some sort of cult or other "bad" thing? I only
> believe this to be teaching basics to Scouts being brought up in a
> styrofoam society, however, when in doubt we are taught to go to our
> What should I tell him?
You and your leaders (youth and adult) need to decide what is right
for your troop and your scouts. However, here are some things to think
about before a decision is made:
1) Be prepared to have your "event" in the media (TV, radio, newspaper).
A troop in the Dallas area did this a couple of years ago with chickens,
and it got constant (negative) air play for two days. Whats the message?
Should we bow to public pressure?
Should we be aware of how the Scouting program is perceived by the public?
2) Who is "planning" this program? I haven't seen evidence that this
is something the boys asked to do. Isn't that the tenet of the Patrol
Method? The adults stay out of the way and the PLC plans their program
(following BSA and troop guidelines of course). If this is an adult
idea -- planned and executed by the adults -- its probably a hint
about what you should do.
3) Considering "survival skills", snaring food is the least critical item in
the BSA Wilderness Survival Merit Badge. The 7 critical skills (in order of
a) Positive Mental Attitude
b) First Aid
d) Fire building
You may or may not agree with this list, but thats what BSA says is
important. Think of all the lost people who have survived for DAYS
without a food source. Its not important until you are lost for a
long period. Also, since you need fluids to digest food, you really
shouldn't eat until you have secured a safe water source.
4) Personally, I have never killed an animal to eat it (and yes I like
beef, pork, fowl & fish). I don't think I'm the lesser for it.
What value does this really bring to the boy? Are you going to make him:
Grow the vegetables in a garden before he can eat a salad?
Mine ore before he can use aluminum foil?
Cut down a tree and make pulp wood before he can use paper?
Why the focus on killing the animal before he eats it? And, how does
it prepare the scout to grow into an adult in the 21st century?
Finally, you have gotten many excellent suggestions about informing the
parents and giving the boys a choice. I don't need to repeat them here.
ASM T-259, ACM P-200