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Thread: Fixed Blade Knives....Boy Scouts

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    Bushmaster Supporter AlteredMentalStatus's Avatar
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    Default Fixed Blade Knives....Boy Scouts

    ok....I know there has been a lot of talk over the last few years about fixed Blade Knives being "outlawed" by BSA, but that it is not true:
    this is taken from the "Safe Guide to Scouting"
    A sharp pocketknife with a can opener on it is an invaluable backcountry tool. Keep it clean, sharp, and handy. Avoid large sheath knives. They are heavy and awkward to carry, and unnecessary for most camp chores except for cleaning fish. Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature. We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility.
    Remember—knives are not allowed on school premises, nor can they be taken aboard commercial aircraft.
    References: Boy Scout Handbook, Fieldbook, Bear Cub Scout Book, and Wolf Cub Scout Book...
    Here's what we're starting at our troop and I need some help form you guys...
    "A Fixed Blade Knife Certification Course"
    The boys will be required to be 2nd class or higher, have a complete Tote-n-Chip card,complete a required course that will cover hand grips for the fixed blade,Knife Care(sharpening),only allowed to carry certain types of fixed blade knives (full tang or 3/4), (5" or smaller blades), Demonstrate knife handling proficiency (must make item required by instructor) just to name a few. If you were going to do this what would you require from the boys....looking for suggestions, I'll post up completed course when it's finished
    Let me hear your ideas.....
    Thanks

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    I would only allow them to carry on a camping trip. Not to meetings unless working on the skill. Make sure they have a sheath for the knife. Not just a rolled up tee shirt, box or plastic edge cover. Make sure that they understand that any misuse will be an automatic revoke of the certification and clear rules as to what misuse would cover. And as always written consent from a parent.

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    As a Scoutmaster, I'm thrilled to hear someone else besides myself shooting down the "no fixed-blade knives" myth. A Scoutmaster from another troop tried fervently to convince me that it was true, at which point I pointed out that, very technically speaking, axes are fixed-blade knives. Big, heavy fixed-blade knives. And we let Scouts swing those in the axeyard. So why, oh why, would a useful fixed-blade camp knife be outlawed? He had no answer. And if it's a "policy", why is it not written in bold on the Tote-n-Chip card and in every handbook? I secretly cheered for myself. But I digress . . . That being said, fixed-blades are not necessarily for every boy. Just because they CAN doesn't mean they SHOULD.
    In our troop, we are setting about to do something very similar to what you have written.
    HAVE to have the Tote-n-Chip
    HAVE to be 1st class
    HAVE to have proven that they are ready

    I think I'm a little stricter than most others when it comes to the Tote-n-Chip. Normally, there's the whole "four corners" rule, where a corner gets cut off at each misuse. In our troop, the card has one corner. Foul up, and it gets taken away. Yes, I know that strays from BSA policy, but I said I was strict. So far, I have yet to have to take away a card for misuse. They all seem to take it seriously, which was my goal. Anyway, if they've ever lost their Tote-n-Chip, it's harder to get back each time. So proving that they are ready includes being responsible enough to KEEP the Tote-n-Chip.
    I've been toying with the idea of having the prospective young man teach the Tote-n-Chip skills to a younger Scout in order to show that he has "engrained" the principles, so to speak. Maybe do a presentation to the troop, etc.
    Another concept I was thinking of is only allowing those fixed-blade knives that have been specifically given out BY A SCOUTMASTER. So a boy can earn the right to carry one, but it has to be one given to him by me (probably a Mora or something similar). More cost to me, but I'd rather pay that price than the alternative (a boy showing up with a POS knife that breaks on the first use and injures someone, a boy showing up with a 12" Rambo knife to show off, etc.). This concept ensures that the blade will always be a certain size and quality, and that it is earned by individual merit. The Scoutmaster decides which boy is ready in the end. Frankly, there are Scouts I've seen in other troops that have fulfilled the requirements to carry a knife, but who still shouldn't have blades in their possession because they're just too careless or non-chalant about them (or, more likely, their Scoutmasters haven't been serious enough with them on the topic of what a knife is for). Just a couple of thoughts.
    I'm very interested in reading what you come up with, since I haven't gotten any cemented ideas yet.

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    I might consider a "sit down" rule. It would help to insure that the scouts sheath their knives when they should, and are not moving around with an exposed blade.
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    I dont know what the bsa was thinking on "banning" fixed knives, but i imagine what they meant was that a woods knife doesnt "have" to be a big monster bowie Rambo knife (which a lot of kids and adults assume)

    honestly a reasonable fixed blade is much safer than the classic slip joint scout style knife, its just more convenient to carry. a slip joint can accidentally close on ones finger (I know! )

    if your looking for good info there is a lot of old Scandinavian books written for school children on the use of a fixed blade (which was a large part of their culture) those may be good resources for a safety/use class. i think their might be one in the downloads section here. i will go look around and see if I can find anything.

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    yup found it.. its a teachers guide for sloyd carpentry, it looks like it delves into far more than just knives, but maybe it will be a help. http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/downlo...do=file&id=839

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    Maybe some kind of cerimony when they do Earn their Card and Knife. Making it an achievement to be proud of, might help to instill a more responsible attitude as far as proper handling and such.

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    are boys are given a fixed blade after thay coplete there red hike and there training in knife safty there has never been one boy play around with there knife as thay know I would float test it for em in the closes lake

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    I was'told' BSA had a no fixed blade policy and believed it. Now that I think about it it may be our council policy or some blow hard spouting off.
    I did hear on the news that in England BoyScouts had banned pocket knives? Can't figure that one out, but I did hear it on either CBS or ABC radio news. Can anybody confirm or refute that report. I would cerrainly hope it isn't true.
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    All great comments. My one comment is I would only limit the length of the blade and not necessarily the type. The Scout Shop sells or used to sell a 5" lock blade so that might be a good limit on length. With your tang requirement you would leave out companies like Buck, Case, KaBar and Mora. I believe years (and years) age the Scout Shop used to have KaBar hunting knives. I do recommend that all knives come with a STURDY sheath and care taken to make sure the knife is worn properly as well (when worn on the front the knife can pierce the sheath and enter their leg).

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