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Old 07-15-2013, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default Boy Scouts Of America Excluding Overweight Members From 2013 Jamboree

Link to original article here (with video)

One of the more difficult things to go through as an American youth is being overweight. The almost constant bullying and abuse from classmates can easily turn what once was an outgoing child into an unhealthy homebody. It is hard enough for kids who don’t measure up to what arbitrary standards are put in place, but when an organization like the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) also tells a member that because of their size they are not welcome, it can be the Coup de grace to a child’s self confidence.

Every three years the Boy Scouts of America hold a national Jamboree and this year’s is the most physically demanding ever. The Jamboree began today July 15, and will run for 10 days from its new location in West Virginia at the 1,000-plus acre Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.

Activities ranging from rock climbing, to whitewater rafting, biking and rappelling are all in store, making this year’s event designed only for the fittest of Scouts.

It is not a case of a lack of activities for Scouts who may be overweight; these kids are being excluded from the Jamboree altogether. The Boy Scouts of America have instituted new physical fitness requirements that have eliminated morbidly obese Scouts from participating.

For this year’s Jamboree, 30,000 Scouts ages 12 to 20 and their leaders were required to meet a threshold for body mass index (BMI), and other health factors before being allowed to participate. Jamboree applicants with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher were deemed ineligible, and those who fell between 32 and 39.9 were asked to provide even more personal information to Jamboree medical staff in hopes of being allowed to participate.

Dan McCarthy, director of the BSA's Summit Group says that "Part of the design in building this site was to address the need for physical fitness in our youth, which of course is a longstanding component of Scouting.”

Dan is correct that physical fitness is important; in fact Obesity is the most prevalent nutritional disorder among children and adolescents in the United States. Approximately 21-24% of American children and adolescents are overweight, and another 16-18% is obese.

The problem is that the Boy Scouts of America, an organization which has a history of being exclusionary to atheists and gays is now keeping overweight Scouts from attending the year’s biggest event. From the statistics above we know that obesity is a problem in children, so if the Boy Scouts of America are truly concerned about the physicall fitness of its young members they should offer activities which promote that model, not tell a Scout he is not welcome at the Jamboree.

There are 50 mountain bike trails, 11 BMX tracks and jumps that total the size of about five football fields. The grounds also boast a paved skateboard park which was built by the same team that designed venues for the Summer X Games, which includes a bowl, a vertical ramp, street-style combinations and a foam pit for Scouts to try out new tricks.

At some point during the Jamboree, every participating Scout will be asked to take a 3-mile trek up a mountain; the irony is that the reward for finishing the 3-mile excursion is a barbecue waiting at the top of the mountain.

Gary Hartley, the Summit's director of community and governmental relations said,"We certainly want to get the Scouts outdoors, challenge them and have a healthy lifestyle," said. "We talk about the three C's as kind of the pillars, and that is cardio, character and citizenship. We have all of those embodied here."

While cardio may be represented in this newest incarnation of a Jamboree that tells a group of Scouts they are not good enough and therefore are not welcome at this year’s Jamboree, BSA's version of the remaining pillars of characters and citizenship leave a lot to be desired.

A message left with Boy Scouts of America has yet to be returned.

Some information for this article was obtained from Yahoo.com
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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Well lets take what may be the physical activity and socialisation of some of these kids and make them feel even worse and take away something that they would have been looking forward to

wtg American scouts

seriously that is beyond crazy.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:59 PM   #3
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Hate to say it, but the obese are becoming social outcasts. We're lowest in this beautiful American Caste system. Our promotions, our peace, our days free of judgements and now our boyscout jamboree are taken. Why do thin people detest obesity so much? Is it the fear of what could be? Is it ugly? I don't understand.

I also LOVE how the boyscouts deny the challenge/physical activity to kids that need it. I think society is doing its own natural selection.

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Old 07-15-2013, 07:09 PM   #4
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For an organization that is capable of such great things, BSA sure is run by a bunch of fuckheads.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:18 PM   #5
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If I were a mom with a son, I wouldn't let him join the Boy Scouts. Not just because of this, but because of all the discrimination they have done. There are better organizations for kids out there. 4-H, for example, does not discriminate (at least to my knowledge or memory, having been in it). Also you don't have to live on a farm to be in 4-H. I was a city kid and in it til I got into high school. Went to the State Fair a couple of times with one project in computer programming (I had done a trivia game in BASIC -- hey, I was like 11) and one project in woodworking. The experience of staying overnight for a couple of nights at the State Fair was pretty cool. I even saw the Beach Boys for my first concert -- it was 1980 something and they played Kokomo, which was their new single back then.

I do think this is partially a reflection of our lawsuit-happy society. I think there is part of our society that thinks the overweight kids are going to get sick or injured or something and then the parents will sue. But hey, skinny kids get sick and injured, too. Why single out the overweight kids except to discriminate and bully?

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Old 07-16-2013, 03:23 AM   #6
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So sad the read this. I've been a scout, and I've learnt so much from scoutism. Very sad and unbelievable
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:25 AM   #7
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I was raised in scouting during my teenage years. I made it to Life Scout rank, and was part of the Order Of the Arrow. My father was a scoutmaster, and we attended Jamboree when it was an annual event.

We had both leaders and scouts who were fat. It was never made an issue of in our troop. We had a gay assistant scoutmaster as well. Nothing was ever discussed about pedophilia or teenage sexual abuse.

Scouting today seems to be exclusionary, not what Lord Baden Powell had in mind when he first thought up scouting. I think that the Boy Scouts of America have become out of step with our contemporary world with their positions on gay scout leaders (hey dudes, did it occur to you that the gay scouts you allow into your troops will grow up to be scout leaders, and then won't be allowed to participate?), and now this.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:55 AM   #8
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If they were worried about the ability of scouts and leaders to be able to do the planned events, perhaps they could simply have required that troops complete some similar events, with leaders signing off that scouts planning to attend had done a four mile hike in under some time, and some other activities.

Mind you, planning a jamboree that is challenging and fun for some, but honestly may be difficult for anyone who is out of shape seems kind of stupid to me. Lots of kids aren't very heavy, but are very sedentary (granted, the ratio of this may be lower than average in scouts, but you know it is still there).
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by EMH1701 View Post

I do think this is partially a reflection of our lawsuit-happy society. I think there is part of our society that thinks the overweight kids are going to get sick or injured or something and then the parents will sue. But hey, skinny kids get sick and injured, too. Why single out the overweight kids except to discriminate and bully?
I think this is TOTALLY a reflection of our lawsuit-happy society. I believe the legal term is in loco parentis, which is Latin for "if you're supervising a kid and anything happens to him, you're toast." According to the OP, Scouts with BMI's between 32 and 39.9 were not excluded, but were asked to provide additional medical information, which sounds to me as if the organizers were covering their fannies. Which may not be entirely stupid, because if you look at what they've planned for the kids, it sounds like an Iron Man Triathlon. Climb a 300-ft. mountain? Sure, skinny kids get sick and injured, too, but if a skinny kid demanded to climb that mountain carrying a fifty-pound weight on his back,wouldn't the authorities be justified in asking him to provide additional medical info? Yes, it's humiliating; and it may very well be wrong; but even Scout leaders -- maybe ESPECIALLY Scout leaders -- are going to put self-preservation first. Be prepared, right?
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:24 AM   #10
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Interesting points about the legal aspect. I wonder if it just isn't as bad up here? My son's venturers group has had a lot of hikes where there were no leaders present (they had emergency cell phones, and an adult to check in with when they were setting up camp, but that was it. (I don't know if the age groupings are the same in the US as up here....here Venturers is the next one older than scouts, basically high school aged). Granted these are high school aged kids, but still minors.

(side note: scouting is organized on national lines. So while they were all inspired by what Baden Powell wrote and set up, organizations differ quite a bit. Scouting in Canada does seem to be fairly different from scouting in the US, at a macro level. At the troop level I'm sure it is still kids wanting fun and adventure and leaders trying to provide the same)
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by FatAndProud View Post
Hate to say it, but the obese are becoming social outcasts. We're lowest in this beautiful American Caste system. Our promotions, our peace, our days free of judgements and now our boyscout jamboree are taken. Why do thin people detest obesity so much? Is it the fear of what could be? Is it ugly? I don't understand.

I also LOVE how the boyscouts deny the challenge/physical activity to kids that need it. I think society is doing its own natural selection.
Carlos Mencia made a joke "..In America, someone is ALWAYS IT..", meaning that someone is always on the bottom taking the brunt of jokes, abuse/harassment etc. Though, he was referring to socio-economic status as Blacks and hHspanics switched places with Muslims after the towers fell; I think the same theory can go towards the GLBTQ community switching places with the Obese especially after the Supreme Court decisions as of late.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:18 AM   #12
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The powers controlling the Boy Scouts brought most of this mess down on their heads themselves. Remember back to the 2005 Jamboree which was similar to the voyage of the Titanic. First four adult scoutmasters were electrocuted while putting up a tent pole too close to an overhead powerline.. One paper reporting on the carnage said the men were inside a tent when the pole contacted the live high power line and the tent caught on fire. It also said that the men could not be saved and the nearby Boy Scouts had to listen to the men scream as they burned to death.

That Jamboree continued its voyage and hit another "iceberg". This time over 300 boys suffered from heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke during an afternoon they had to stand for hours in the hot sun waiting for President Bush to arrive. (The Pres cancelled his trip however.) Many boys had to be rushed to local hospitals and/or military medic units to be threated. A post note to the problem said the scouts did not have enough water, no shade and were wearing two shirts to look nice for Bush. The day was incredibly hot and total sunshine added to the heat disaster.


After the" Jamboree of Doom" in 2005, people around the country were screaming for the Scouts to tighten up safety - to learn safety, to practice safety, and to have a written safety program that was put into action and not just on paper. I found a document that they had some safety professional prepare and the link is given below.

Fast forward to 2013 Jamboree. The Jamborees are held every four years and usually brings 40,000 scouts. Until 2013 it was held on a military base where they scouts had access to many of the bases training perks. However, in 2013 the Jamboree was moved to another location - one owned by Bechtel in West Virginia. (There is some controversy about the move and the Governor of Arizona is in the middle of it. I won't repeat the issues involved by you can read them at the link below.http://nevadagovernor2014.com/nation...ory-vanderbeek


Since this Boy Scout move is complicated, I will cover the rest of the story in my next post.

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Old 07-16-2013, 02:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GordoNegro View Post
Carlos Mencia made a joke "..In America, someone is ALWAYS IT.."
Isn't this true in every human society? We're hierarchical little devils. Think about the prejudice against Pakistanis in England, North Africans and Senegalese in France, Koreans in Japan... and native peoples practically everywhere.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:44 PM   #14
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I was raised in scouting during my teenage years. I made it to Life Scout rank, and was part of the Order Of the Arrow. My father was a scoutmaster, and we attended Jamboree when it was an annual event.

We had both leaders and scouts who were fat. It was never made an issue of in our troop. We had a gay assistant scoutmaster as well. Nothing was ever discussed about pedophilia or teenage sexual abuse.

Scouting today seems to be exclusionary, not what Lord Baden Powell had in mind when he first thought up scouting. I think that the Boy Scouts of America have become out of step with our contemporary world with their positions on gay scout leaders (hey dudes, did it occur to you that the gay scouts you allow into your troops will grow up to be scout leaders, and then won't be allowed to participate?), and now this.

I agree. This move by the Boy Scouts really disgusts me. I was an Eagle Scout, and my parents gave thousands of hours of their time to support the Scouts. My experience was that the Scouts were always very inclusive, but apparently that is ancient history. I never went to a Jamboree, but I understood that they were basically big camp-outs with a variety of activities, much more than just exercise and physical fitness.

My guess is that the Boy Scouts have received some "generous donations" from the weight loss industry and perhaps also from makers of fitness equipment, so they are being well-paid to project this image at their Jamboree. But regardless of the reason, it's a very stupid and short-sighted move. They should realize that the image of a prejudiced fat-shaming organization is what will persist long after the Jamboree, and it will discourage many boys and their parents from participating in local troops. I can certainly say that if the Scouts had had this single-minded physical-fitness image when I was a kid, I NEVER would have been interested in them. I got enough of that crap at school thanks to JFK and his "Presidential Physical Fitness" bullsh*t.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:36 PM   #15
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Default Scout's Safety Program at Jamboree (Part II)

The CDC, OSHA Consultants, the Safety Community, and Congress all pressured the Scouts to greatly improve their safety program - especially at Jamboree after 2005. Handily, OSHA already had thrashed out a generic S&H program and had been using it for over 10 years. (I myself worked with many companies and helped them fit this program in place at their workplace.) It's salient points are . . . .

OSHA Gives Components of Safety and Health Programs
1. Management commitment and Employee Involvement
2 Worksite Analysis
3. Hazard Prevention and Control
4. Training

Here's the problem with the above safety & health program and the scouts' vision of it - no where does the professional program recommend selection of people to work in hazardous jobs. The scouts' decided on their own that a subset of their members (fat boys) couldn't handle the stress of the "New Bad Ass" jamboree activities. I sincerely doubt if there is any scientific data backing this decision.

And to the men that control scouting - let's get real. You guys and I know that there are other things that young boys can do during Jamboree beside a triathelon, or climb Mt Everest, or run barefooted thru cactus fields or learn to live by drinking their own urine.

You will need communicators, data processors, field supervisors, sag wagon drivers (to pick up the walking wounded), data analysis reporters, report preparation, cooks, medics, and a host of other people handling skills that young men are good at. Weight is not critical but brain cell functioning is.

The scouts' upper level think tank, being the stand-up guys they are, did not make a concession for this kind of help to their membership. However, they gave the fat boys a year's notice to lose weight and get in shape for the 2013 Jamboree of Doom or drop your fat butts out of our "program of excellence".

The arbitrary rules that select against fat children, with no basis in fact, were used to embarrass, harass, and ruin the young mens' summer fun for no reason other than mean spirited prejudice. We see young gangsters continue to bully and be mean to fat children. What never ceases to amaze and infuriate me is when adults do the same idiocratic ideas.


Post script - I also read that the think tank adults in Scouting agreed to invite girls to this years' Jamboree. Those girls are probably also selected on weight (no fat girls) but I wouldn't be surprised if they also included some other tasty statistics questions in choosing girls, such as . . . . . breast size, cooking skills, dancing experience, and ability to mend torn scout uniforms - the boys' of course.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:24 AM   #16
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Is scouts not co-ed in the US yet?
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:38 AM   #17
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Is scouts not co-ed in the US yet?
There's Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

GSA has proven themselves to be far more inclusive and progressive with what they do than BSA, and as an added bonus they have delicious cookies that are addictive like crack.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:08 AM   #18
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Ah OK, up here the cookies come from the Girl Guides/Brownies, which historically haven't had the same degree of outdoors focus as the scouts have (although as always, it varies by leaders). So for some good while some girls have preferred to go into cubs/scouts/venturers (I'm not sure when that started up here....wasn't the case when I was a kid, was well established by the time my son hit that age).

Adds some logistical challenges for camps, but from what I've seen the girls who do join scouting seem to be the kind more inclined to stick with it over the years, so the ratio seems to go up at the older age groups--but small sample size and all of that. And it adds some diversity in view points. So overall it seems to have been good for the programs.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:05 AM   #19
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Ah OK, up here the cookies come from the Girl Guides/Brownies, which historically haven't had the same degree of outdoors focus as the scouts have (although as always, it varies by leaders).
Girl Scouts (US) = Girl Guides (UK and Canada; dunno about Australia). Someone once defined courtship as "the boy scouts, and the girl guides."
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:27 AM   #20
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The exclusionary attitude of BSA really sucks. Especially since scouting is a way for many kids who have trouble fitting in to have a group to which they belong. I was a Cub Scout on Long Island before we moved to Canada. My Cub Scout group was full of fat kids and dorky kids.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:31 AM   #21
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I was in Girl Scouts for four years. Sold cookies, made crafts, learned to cook over a campfire, did some basic camping out.

As a mom, I enrolled my son in Cub Scouts for a few months. He was miserable, the program leaders did not know how to make the crafts they were trying to teach the boys, and we were uncomfortable with the sociopolitical subtext to the basic Christian theme we were hearing.

And why is the Jamboree on a Bechtel site instead of a military base? Makes no sense.

Not to mention, as other posters have said, plenty of kids who are not overweight are not in shape for the activities they have planned. It's Scout Camp, not Boot Camp.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:53 AM   #22
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There's Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

GSA has proven themselves to be far more inclusive and progressive with what they do than BSA, and as an added bonus they have delicious cookies that are addictive like crack.
Yes the GSA are very different -- in a good way.


http://ideas.time.com/2013/05/23/the...he-boy-scouts/


The fact that the GSA annoy conservatives with their "pro-abortion bias" promotion of "homosexuality and sexual promiscuity" is, at least for me, a badge of honor.


http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/cw/post.php?id=621


http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lauren-...arch-gay-pride
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:24 AM   #23
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I was a girl scout and loved it.
My son, Max, often asks about being a boy scout. Aside from not having time for it, (we're a martial arts family) I don't like their history of discrimination. I explained to him how the organization wouldn't allow his Papa to participate in activities because he's gay and it made me uncomfortable with that idea. He seems to understand. This is just one more reason to dislike them.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:09 PM   #24
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we here in america are too ignorant for our own (or anyone else's) good. too quickly polarized, and lacking in the ability to separate a person from some aspect of humanity/society that we don't agree with, which leads to demonizing and downright high school-level ridicule...which is why i'm a firm believer that american social development reaches completion in high school.

this is an issue that needs to be addressed and acted upon, rather than treating it like a germ, and the BSA, like most other american organizations, seem more concerned with image and "prosperity" than whatever the hell they claim as their slogan.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:35 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=ClashCityRocker;1998742 the BSA, like most other american organizations, seem more concerned with image and "prosperity" than whatever the hell they claim as their slogan.[/QUOTE]

As Susan Cain points out in her bookQuiet, this sort of concern is typical for extraverts, who require feedback from others in order to decide if they're on the right track (introverts tend to march to the beat of their own drummer, or possibly accordionist). America has always had a bias for extraverts as leaders, decision-makers, and public figures of all kinds. We encourage our children to become more extraverted, and one way we do it is through group organizations like the Boy Scouts.
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