scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: JLT Accident
Mike Malone (fogeyman@BIGFOOT.COM
Tue Apr 11 2000 - 12:01:13 CDT
When I went through COPE with a group of Scouts (none of whom was in my
troop, by the way), the Trust Fall was preceded by other exercises designed
to teach us the proper attitudes during the exercises.
One I remember particularly was "Willow in the Wind". One person stands
with all the others close around him. He stands as straight as he can, but
doesn't try to balance. As he falls, he keeps his body perfectly stiff and
straight. The person toward whom he falls gently pushes him back upright.
Proper preparation and setting the attitude of the Scouts involved is the
key to keeping the trust fall safe. Now, that being said, I would certainly
not do the trust fall over concrete or anything hard. At COPE, the ground
was soft forest floor.
There are other exercises in COPE that are just as dangerous, if not more
so. One was called the "Stump Jump". I had to stand on a stump and jump to
try to catch a crossbar that was several feet in from of me. The others in
my team were ranged on either side to catch me if I missed. By that time we
had done the Trust Fall several times, and I KNEW they would catch me should
I miss. This was important, because I had to extend my body fully to make
the leap, and a fall could have hurt me seriously.
I will say that doing Trust Fall the first time was the single most
difficult thing I have ever done. And yes, it is dangerous. But how many
dangers will we insulate our children from? The world is not necessarily
"user friendly". Building trust is the reason for this exercise, and it
works. And it is REASONABLY safe if supervised properly.
Want to make Scouting safe? Take away those pocketknives! Keep the Scouts
out of the woods! You can get bitten by snakes out there!
Sioux District, Greater St. Louis Area Council