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The 45-Year-Old Boy Scout
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Organizations and rules on 06/25/2010 08:53:38 MDT Print View

It's a problem with organizations. They are looking for the common good and things drop to the lowest common denominator. In this case that means fire and CO emitting equipment in the hands of children and uninformed adults. People kill themselves all the time using fuel heaters indoors, etc, etc, etc. And then there are insurance companies...

That aside, it looks like Esbit stoves would be a good UL option for the Scouts. For those councils that allow liquid fuels, there are certainly decent manufactured alcohol stoves like the Trangia. The 28-T would make a reasonable Scout cooking kit.

Any option needs some adult supervision with the younger ones. There are some brain/reality disconnects with kids and firebugs can pop up now and then.

Joseph Schwartz
(craftsman) - F
Re: Re: Re: BSA and alcohol stoves on 07/07/2010 13:09:52 MDT Print View

Rodger, the policy is rediculous but they may not even allow a "fireball priming" MSR. When I was an ASM they were forcing us to convert or replace our white gas Colman stoves to propane. Insurance risks were too high. It sounds to me like inattentative leaders not properly training their charges.

Michael Sagehorn
(msagehorn) - F
Scouters sometimes play it too safe on 07/26/2011 18:21:39 MDT Print View

I'll weigh in a bit. A good share of BSA's struggle are the local council and district leaders.

One issue about teaching Scouts low impact/lightweight camping is the structure of the outings themselves. Camporees, for example, are more about creating base camps similar to backyard picnics--tables, heavy stoves, units dependent on trucks,large SUV's, and leaders sleeping in trailers, campers, and even RV's and cabins on the outing sites. At one camporee I attended the Camp Director was so obese he traveled from troop campsite to campsite in a bloody golf cart!

At the district level, I proposed an expedition-type theme camporee. We have a local mountain with several campsites suitable for large groups. Boys and their units would "climb the mountain" (a 3-4 hour walk) with only their backpacking type gear. A "safety vehicle" would be onhand for any med issues. Much of Tenderfoot, 2nd, and 1st Class requirements could be completed as well as much of the Backpacking and Hiking merit badge tests. The State park rangers were key to it as well and agreed they could come up with a mix of service project ideas for a two hour period.

It was rejected because it was too "high adventure" and some of the adults could not keep up with the boys or even walk that far. I made no sense and I retreated from leadership roles beyond my own unit. The issue wasn't the BSA lawyers, it was the some of the Scouter's themselves.