“Today, though, BSA Health and Safety team lead Richard Bourlon announced a new knife policy that changes things a bit. For the first time in the organization’s history, the BSA is mandating a maximum blade length for knives used within Scouting.
The magic number:
60 inches. The policy is effective beginning today, April 1, 2013.
So grab your tape measures, Scouters, because bladed objects used at the unit level now must be no longer than five feet. If you forget your tape measure, consider identifying a Scout who’s five feet tall, hold the blade vertically, and ask him to stand next to it.”
The above is actually an April Fools post on Scouting Magazine’s online Blog. Read the whole thing. It is fairly amusing. It is few years old, but it was brought to mind after some comments on a photo I posted to our social media feeds this morning…
There were a couple of comments expressing the incorrect belief that fixed-blades were verboten in Scouts.
Q. What is the official BSA regulation on carrying sheath knives?
A. The Boy Scout Handbook, Bear Handbook, and Webelos Handbook contain the program for the safe and responsible use of knives. The BSA believes choosing the right equipment for the job at hand is the best answer to the question of what specific knife should be used. We are aware that many councils or camps may have limits on the type or style of knife that should be used. The BSA neither encourages nor bans fixed-blade knives nor do we set a limit on blade length. Additional information is found in the Guide to Safe Scouting.
“The BSA believes choosing the right equipment for the job at hand is the best answer to the question of
what specific knife should be used.”
Such a wonderful sentence, and policy for that matter.
Many of us remember earning (and losing corners from) our “Toten’ Chip” cards. The Cub Scouts have a corresponding knife-only “Whittlin’ Chip” which allows them to use (but not carry) knives under supervision. While I can’t say with absolute certainty, I would be surprised if there were some prohibition on adult Cub leaders carrying a fixed blade. If there is, it is beyond my Google-Fu skills to locate it.