Scoutmaster Musings - Cub Scout Knife Use

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Cub Scout Knife Use
Cub Scout Pocketknife
A revision to the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting is out this month, with one very important clarification for Cub Scout dens. Cubmasters and den leaders make note of this!

Tigers and Wolfs may not use knives during Scouting activities. Bear scouts and Webelos are allowed to use knives, but should be given proper and thorough training before receiving that privilege. The Whittling Chip is a good start for knife training.

So, if your Pack has been letting Tigers or Wolfs whittle away, it's time to stop. I'm sure many first and second grade boys you know can handle a knife just fine - I had my own when I was that age. But, while Scouting, follow the Scouting guidelines and keep everyone safe. Review Age-appropriate Activities on for a chart of what's cool to do at each level of Scouting.

It's the unit leader's responsibility to know, understand, and follow the BSA safety guidelines. Give copies of the BSA Commitment to Safety to all your unit volunteers, get them trained, and enjoy Scouting.

Scout On
Posted: 6:29 03-12-2013 957
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 Mar 19, 2013 - cc Steve
Thanks for mentioning this.  It will impact all our local cub camps.

Have you seen an offical announcement that includes why the change?
Mar 19, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Steve - It's not a change, it's a clarification and emphasis of the guidelines that were already in place.
May 02, 2013 - Tina
I was just at LOE.  They told us that Wolves can get the whittling chip.  why would they be able to get the chip if they can't use the knives?

May 02, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Tina - They told you incorrectly.  Wolf Scouts are not supposed to earn the Whittlin' Chip and they are not supposed to have pocket knives.
May 18, 2013 - Jodi H
At what age are Scouts allowed to use power tools -- drills especially. I was doing a project with my Bears and had several new Boy Scouts who just crossed over helping out and it would have been handy if they could have done some of the drilling. I wasn't sure, so I had a dad do it instead.

May 20, 2013 - Steve Bechtel
how does a Wolf Cub earn his Outdoor activity award under this rule?  how can they "assemble" the 6 outdoor necessites if one of the necissities is a knife, and they can't have them?
Jun 21, 2013 - Jodi H.
In reference to the Outdoor Activity Award at the Wolf Level, the first 6 essentials (of the 8 listed in the Wolf Book, Elect. 23B) are:
1. First Aid Kit, 2. Filled Water Bottle, 3. Flashlight, 4. Trail Food, 5. Sunscreen and 6. Whistle, and they could all be carried by a Scout.
Of the other two items 7. Raingear, and 8. Pocketknife, the raingear is seasonal and the knife could be carried by Akela since you never hike alone. At least that's the way it reads to me.

Jun 22, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Steve - Conflicts between documents appear as different versions come out.  The 1999 version of the Wolf handbook had no Elective #23.  In 2003, the "Essentials" list was six items rather than eight, and did not include a pocketknife.  The Outdoor Activity award requirements were written using the then current Wolf handbook and mentioned the "Six Essentials".  
Around 2010, using the then current age-appropriate activity guidelines, the Wolf handbook modified Elective #23 to include a pocketknife.  In 2013, the age-appropriate activity guidelines were changed so Wolf scouts do not use knives.
I expect the Wolf handbook will see a change to Elective #23 in its next printing.

So, have your Wolfs assemble Seven essentials without the pocketknife.
Jan 25, 2014 - Daniel Przyojski

My name is Dan Przyojski.  I own the domain name Www.ScoutKnife.Com and will be selling the domain name.  If you are interested in purchasing the name please let me know and make an offer if really interested.

Thank You.

Daniel C. Przyojski

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