scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: JLT Accident
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET
Tue Apr 11 2000 - 10:36:52 CDT
>I think Ginny had a valid point. Isn't Boy Scouting supposed to be
>safe? Would you send Scouts on a COPE course without adequate safety
>gear? Of course not.
>Ginny's point, I think, is that trust falls are potentially dangerous.
>A Scout could get seriously hurt. Isn't our job as leaders to
>anticipate potential accidents and make sure adequate safety procedures
>are in effect? Sure, we can't predict everything that could happen, but
>this is an instance in which it's easily foreseeable that a Scout could
My problem with this argument is that it leads quickly and easily to a
slippery slope. For example, let's assume that the scouts were taught
appropriately how to do a trust fall, that the young man who fell was not
6'4, 250#, trying to be caught by a brand new group of crossovers....
If we say that scouting is supposed to be safe and proper precautions need
to be taken, what are the limits beyond some common sense thoughts listed
above? For example, the next area of concern should be axe-yards--with eye
protection, shin and foot guards and gloves as mandatory equipment.
While agree that the a trust fall is, in some ways, inherently dangerous,
that is, in fact, part of the point of the activity. It is, I'm sure we all
agree, supposed to teach patrols, and the individuals within them, to trust
each other. Let us put safety protection on the scouts and give them a
safe, soft place to land. Are we not, then, inviting more horseplay, not
less? Horseplay or unsafe attitudes or improper instruction likely are at
the root of this accident. If we had a helmet and mats to land on, are we
not telling our scouts that it is "okay" to drop the boy, and dare I say,
even funny if you drop him?
I don't say these things to be funny, rather to raise a couple of points.
First, we can insulate ourselves too much. I'm not talking about what our
boys says when we don't let them take four-wheelers camping, the we don't
let them have fun. But I am talking about experiences that are necessary or
strapping ourselves in SO much that we can't function. We have little to no
control over the actions of others. If we are that concerned abou safety
and others, when do we stop driving to campouts, because another driver
MIGHT be drunk?
The second point is this--when we insulate ourselves so much, we become
reckless, and especially our boys do. This has been tried and tested time
and time again. We all know that boys think they are invincible. So let's
put padding on them more often to make them feel invincible more often?
I don't think so. And I hope not.