scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: JLT Accident
Musto, Neal (NIDDK) (MustoN@EXTRA.NIDDK.NIH.GOV
Tue Apr 11 2000 - 10:34:01 CDT
Let me weigh in here. I think the inherent goal of this exercise is valid,
that is generating trust among the members of the group. What is off the
mark is the consequence of failure of that trust, that is injury. Perhaps
what we need here is an exercise that engenders trusts, but whose failure is
less consequential. No, I do not mean putting mattresses under the "victim"
but perhaps something like doing it over a bed of soft mud or a pile of
By the way, where I have seen the "trust fall exercise" done the "landing
zone" was a relatively soft bed of wood chips, not either hard ground or a
wooden floor and the height from which the faller drops is relatively low
(i.e. 2-3 feet). As such, even if the catch team fails to keep the faller
from hitting the deck, they at least break the fall sufficient to insure, in
combination with the soft LZ, no injuries. When done this way, I dare say
that without anyone to stop your fall, you would not suffer injury. Perhaps
there is room here to think over how we implement such exercises and make
sure we have thought out all the potential consequences.
One of my mantras to the boys is, to think about the consequences of their
action. Should we not do the same as their leaders?
Scoutmaster, Troop 33
Takoma Park, MD
From: Forshaw [mailto:dtlfor@BRIGHT.NET]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 11:02 AM
Subject: Re: JLT Accident
+AD4- Now don't this beat all? The game is a +ACI-trust+ACI- game where
+AD4- there is nothing
+AD4- to protect you except your fellow Scouts/Scouters. You
+AD4- +ACI-trust+ACI- them to
+AD4- catch you. It is part of a team building exercise and if you
+AD4- eliminate the
+AD4- need for the trust the game becomes moot.
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
Yes, the mental part of the game would be somewhat different if a Scout
knew that he wouldn't get hurt even if he wasn't caught. However, I
think we leaders should be challenged to come up with new games that
will help Scouts learn to trust each other without posing dangers to one
of them. Trust, after all, usually means something much deeper than
this game would imply.
P.S. I keep my asbestos suit within easy reach of the computer. I'm
prepared, so fuss all you like about what I wrote.