Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: first class req. 9b, c, d
Re: first class req. 9b, c, d
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 08:17:52 -0400
Lots of people have come up with potential cases where floating on inflated
pants *could* happen and that's why we should keep the requirement. But
there's lots of other things that *could* happen. If we've got limited time
and resources, shouldn't we concentrate on the things that are more likely
How many kids do you personally know who've been in bicycle accidents? How
many stories have you read where a seat belt would have saved a life? Ever
read about fires taking lives? Now compare that to all the stories you've
read, experiences you've had, about people drowning where maybe if they had
inflated pants, they'd be alive today. For the pants thing to work, you've
got to be wearing pants, the water should be relatively still, and warm
enough to prevent hypothermia. You've got to be left behind in a large body
of water for a long time, with no major physical damage.
Frankly, I hear more about bicycle accidents than any drownings, never mind
the specific circumstances where floating on pants would help. Now, the
Safety merit badge can cover bike, car, and home safety very well, probably
preventing far more deaths than floating on pants. But that's not a
required badge any more is it? Before it dropped from the required list, I
counseled easily 12 - 15 boys per year. Any guesses on how many I've
counseled since the news came out of its dropping some time last fall? Zero
would be the correct answer.
FWIW, I'm much more disappointed in dropping the Safety merit badge from the
required list than I am about adding the floating on pants thing. Floating
on pants is a kind of cool and painless thing to do, and may be a
comparatively useless skill, but most of the boys seem to enjoy it. It's
just that I'm a big fan of proaction before reaction, and when the
powers-that-be make changes in the other direction, I start to wonder what
goes on in their minds.
Now back to the Program.
SMA - Venture, Troop 98