scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: JLT Accident
Marc Godbout (marcgodbout@LANCAST.COM
Tue Apr 11 2000 - 10:45:02 CDT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Forshaw [mailto:dtlfor@BRIGHT.NET]
> 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.
It's interesting that COPE was brought up, because this very game is
"played" as part of COPE training. And, yes, COPE is run with safety
equipment, but the on other end of that equipment is a boy on belay and
another as backup. Failure of the belays would result in much more serious
I've seen, and participated in, this trust game many times, with both
Scouting and non-Scouting participants, and have never seen any injuries at
all. It's an extremely common exercise. Instead of the knee-jerk reaction
of banning the practice altogether, maybe we should see how this particular
incident failed. Maybe this pickup truck was too high a starting point.
It's also been done with the "fall-guy" just standing on the floor and
falling over backwards, which IMHO is just as effective. In COPE training,
I think it's extremely valuable to have a little fear in a trust game.
There's a lot more fear to conquer up on the high ropes without adding the
fear that your team-mates are going to drop you.
> 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?
I really do think the game itself is safe, but can be performed unsafely -
just like most everything we do outdoors. We, as leaders, should make sure
we provide the proper safe procedures - just like most everything we do
SMA - Venture, Troop 98