Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: help with laser tag
Re: help with laser tag
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 23:46:16 -0600
>I don't know what you are quoting from the Risk Management Division, but
>unless and until they actually PUBLISH a G2SS or other document which
>expresses these "feelings" there is no prohibition on laser tag,
>although we can talk philosophically all we want about whether there
>"should" or "should not" be such a ban.
There is no *national prohibition* on Laser Tag, Bruce...but there are some
Councils which have stated "nope, can't do it" and have asked National's
Risk Management Division to explain just where the line will be
placed....I've also asked as well, and I've been told that the new G2SS will
explain clearly *exactly what* "war gaming" is come the first part of next
year with the revision of the Guide to Safe Scouting.
>> Remember that the BSA is trying hard, Mike, to SEPARATE itself from
>> "militaristic-type activity and appearance" (no camo, no "war
>> gaming-type wide games", which Paint Ball and Laser Tag and their
>> variants are considered, no military rank).
>The fact is that we have had endless debates about exactly what the
>statement about use of military uniforms means and, again, without CLEAR
>statements from national that will never be resolved in a forum like
But Bruce, we can't get any clearer than what the Rules and Regulations
states about "imitating" or using military uniforms!! We can't.
>> I would stay clear of it no matter what the *current* Guide
>> to Safe Scouting says,
>There is absolutely NO BSA provided reason to do this. If, on the other
>hand, your unit's leadership doesn't feel it is an appropriate activity,
>then don't do it. But since you are asking whether it is permitted,
>that appears not to be the case. The answer to your question is that
>there is no current national prohibition.
But just because there's no current national prohibition doesn't mean that
his Council hasn't already made it a "prohibited activity." Some Councils
have taken a look at the BSA's firearms policy (Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts
cannot carry ANY firearms, and cannot use any firearms except in camp
firearms training situations) and have extended the policy to include
firearms associated with this activity. Other Councils have used the "war
gaming" prohibition and have extended it to include laser tag. Still others
don't care. The Council can still augment the Guide to Safe Scouting with
their own, more restrictive policies; that after all, was the entire
*intent* of the Guide: to explain the COUNCIL'S HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICIES
to all Scouters in that Council!
>> and if your unit STILL wants to do such an activity, to
>> make SURE you clear it with your Council's Scout
>> Executive (and NOT your District's Executive or
>> senior professional).
>I also see absolutely NO reason to do this. Why highlight something
>like this and allow someone to make an issue of something that is not an
You may not see this as an issue, Bruce....but it CAN QUICKLY become one
when a unit doesn't followup and simply ASK their Council's Scout Executive for
clarification!! That's what we ALL SHOULD be doing in the first off-start,
and you're saying NOT TO??
>Unless you have seen, or are provided, in writing, a statement
>about a resolution of your council's executive board which prohibits
>this activity, which prohibition should have been widely distributed
>within your council, your event is no different than any other allowable
As explained and clearly illustrated MANY, MANY times here over the past ten
years, there's a LOT that "gets distributed" from the Council level that
NEVER, EVER makes it to the unit leaders, the chartered partner
organization, or even to parents.
Case in point: the Guide to Safe Scouting itself. Can we take a poll as to
how many Scouters *here on Scouts-L* have ever SEEN A COPY (any copy, any
year) of this publication??
There's a lot of "stuff" that the Council's leadership decides upon (or that
the Scout Executive him/herself decides as it is it their prerogotive to do
so!) that seldom if ever gets down to the unit leader UNLESS:
*the Unit leader or an individual in the unit makes a mistake and does
something "wrong" OR
*a family sues the local Council and the Council explains that "it's in our
policies and they didn't follow it."
> File a Tour Permit indicating what you intend to do and just
>go do it unless you get flak about the tour permit.
While I can agree to do this, *I would* talk with my Scout Executive before
committing the unit to such an activity......who knows, he just may say
"have a great time!"
>Scout Executive CANNOT decide to prohibit this activity. He does not
>have that authority as he is NOT a policy making force in your council.
>Your council is bound by national rules unless its governing body, the
>executive board, has adopted more restrictive policies.
I don't know about your Council, Bruce, but in many Councils, the Scout
Executive can indeed decide (after consulting with the legal counsel of the
Council, along with the Council's President and Commissioner and if need be,
a majority of the Council Executive Board) to make the activity prohibitive.
He or she can do so in their daily action on behalf of the volunteers he or
If it's a health and safety issue, you'd better believe that the Scout
Executive is going to provide SOME sort of guidance....which is why I
recommended to Mike that he does what we always recommend to anyone in doubt
about what IS the "correct policy:" to contact HIS COUNCIL's Scout
Executive and simply ASK "Hey, is this okay with the Council?"
Makes great sense to me.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via email@example.com,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
professional inquiries via email@example.com
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