scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Knives
Jim Peterson (jpeterson@TZNET.COM
Thu Jul 06 2000 - 10:10:46 CDT
John Blanchard wrote:
> Chris, you're right it never ceases to amaze me what some units do.
> believe that sheath knives are banned. Members of my troop
constantly try to
> get around the ban on paint war (or whatever they call it). Not
> happened under this tenure believe me.
Paint ball is specifically prohibited by the Guide to Safe Scouting.
Sheath knives are not! The line "Avoid large sheath knives." appears
in the G2SS, but it is in italics, _not bold_, therefore it is _Not_ a
rule, but merely a guideline. Personally, I don't understand why
anyone would want to ban all "sheath knives" from scouting. First of
all, what is a "sheath knife"? If it is, as the name indicates, a
knife housed in a sheath, specifically a sheath worn on the belt, then
many Scouts and Scouters carry "sheath knives" in the form of folding
knives carried in a sheath and even the popular multi-tools (i.e.
Leatherman tools). Carried in a sheath, worn on the belt, these are by
definition "sheath knives".
O.K., so you say I'm being too literal ... we only want to ban fixed
blade sheath knives, not folders or multi-tools. Again I have to ask,
why? IMHO, a small, fixed blade knife is safer than a BSA folding
pocket knife. The BSA knife has no locking device, therefore the blade
can close during use ... and I have scars across two of the fingers on
my right hand to prove it. I much prefer a fixed blade knife or lock
blade. I've never cut myself with a fixed blade knife. I notice that
the BSA Chef's Tool Kit includes two knives, a paring knife and a
"slicing knife". But neither of them is a folder. Uh oh! These are
fixed blade knives ... I wonder why? _Because they're safer!_ Oh, but
we don't carry these around in a heavy, reenforced leather sheath. No.
we carry them around in a light weight nylon wrap, which the knives
can easily cut through. In fact, I had to deal with an angry mom once,
when her son came home from a backpacking trip with the large slicing
knife sticking through the nylon case and his new back pack. Know what
I did to keep that from happening again? I made heavy leather sheaths
for the knives in that kit! Now I did it, I turned that cooking knife
into a sheath knife! Call the knife police!
Now I know that some Councils, camps, and troops impose their own
prohibition on "sheath knives". Others set a limit on the blade size
allowed. I take a slightly different approach. I tell my scouts that
knives need to be appropriate for Scout camping. I show them a
selection of knives from my collection that I would consider
appropriate. Then I show them knives that I consider inappropriate for
Scouting. Invariably, someone asks me why I have these knives if I
consider them inappropriate. I explain that they are inappropriate for
_Scouting_ All of my knives are appropriate for the purpose for which
I own them. Like the 16 inch "Crocodile Dundee" style bowie knife. It
sits in the display case and looks really cool. That's what I bought
it for, that's _all_ I've ever used it for, besides showing it to
Scouts as an example of what _not_ to bring camping.
Remember, knves are tools. Just like a saw, axe, or hammer, used
correctly they are safe. Used incorrectly they can cause injury. It
isn't the "sheath knife" that is unsafe, it is the user.
Jim Peterson Scoutmaster, Troop 379, Blenker, WI
Scoutmaster, Samoset Council Contingent,
National Jamboree 2001
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I used to be a "Singing" Eagle - C-8L-97