scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: Knives
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Sun Jul 09 2000 - 22:11:14 CDT
> Anthony Mako wrote:
> > Actually, only part of your point is valid. Yes, you need to use the
> > tool for the right job. My point is that on an average Scouting campout,
> > there is little need for a sheath knife - if any at all.
> On an average campout, I agree that the need for a sheath knife is
> minimal at best. My point is that there are valid reasons within a
> scouting context that a sheath knife is appropriate, so I disagree with
> those who would ban them outright as useless.
Apparently, there's a great misunderstanding when it comes to a BSA sheath
knife ban. According to the BSA's G2SS, sheath knives aren't banned -
they're use is discouraged. In my council, there is a ban. There has been a
ban on sheath knives since I was a Cub Scout (1970). The ban DOESN'T prohib
the use of a sheath knife where it is appropriate. The ban covers GENERAL
Scouting acitivities and any activities on council property.
I've asked before. What are the valid reasons? Sure, Ventures can go
hunting. Sheath knives are very useful while hunting. Beyond that? Scuba
Diving? Sure. Deep sea fishing? Sure. Backpacking? Probably not. Hiking? No.
Weekend campout? No. Summer camp? No.
I've heard a lot of comments about how much safer sheath knives are because
"the only cuts I've had to deal with involves Scouts trying to close a
pocket knife." That's hardly an argument for sheath knives. It certainly IS
an good argument for more vigilence in promoting knife safety. It's very
difficult to cut yourself when closing a pocket knife properly and safely.
> > As I've pointed out, it's possible to take part in the activities you
> > mentioned without the use of a sheath knife - with the exception of
> > So, while a sheath knife is very useful while hunting, it really has no
> > in the campsite. Therefore, prohibiting its use at a council camp
> > be a problem. In my council, that's why the prohibition has been around
> > long as it has - no reason to get rid of it.
As usual, this thread started when someone asked why sheath knives would be
banned. I posted a message explaining why my council has a sheath knife ban,
and immediately the discussion turned into an argument against a ban. Here
are the facts:
* The BSA doesn't have a sheath knife ban.
* My council does. I've asked them why, and I'm satisfied with their answer.
* I don't know if any other council's do, but you should check with your
council to find out.
* In 30 years of Scouting, I've never had a need for a sheath knife. I don't
need one when I'm backpacking, canoeing, or fishing. I don't happen to
believe that sheath knives are safer than pocket knives.
* If you believe you need a sheath knife to get through a weekend campout,
go for it.
A. J. Mako, Scoutmaster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council