You Won't Believe What the Boy Scouts Are Doing Now

Boy Scouts
A Boy Scout works on a project. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

The Boy Scouts of America fired off a missive to leaders, reminding them of a long-standing rule—water gun fights and water balloon fights are not allowed.

So why does Boy Scout leadership have its neckerchief in a knot over Super Soakers?

Well, according to their official Scouting magazine, water guns are considered "simulated firearms."  

"It's a good time to remind you that BSA policies prohibit pointing simulated firearms at people," Bryan Wendell wrote on the BSA's official leaders blog. "Yes, that includes water guns."

I'm assuming that also means kids won't be able to cool off by running through semi-automatic sprinklers.

Wendell explained that it's just impolite for a Scout to point a Super Soaker at another Scout.

"Why the rule? A Scouter once told me this explanation I liked quite a bit: 'A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm (simulated or otherwise) at someone is kind?'" he wrote.

The BSA also forbids paintball, laser tag, crossbows, flintlock rifles, short-barreled rifles, cannons, bottle rockets, blowguns, spear guns, spears, potato guns and ninja weapons.

"Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized," Wendell wrote.

So watch where you point those fingers, young men.

They also ban boomerangs. Sorry, mate.

BSA spokesman Deron Smith tells me the policy has been on the books for quite some time—and the blog posting was simply a reminder of longstanding safety rules.

"We're not an organization of noes," he told me. "We're an organization of do's."

For example—scouts are allowed to use water guns and water balloons for target practice.

But the BSA has strict policies governing such activities.

"Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn," Wendell wrote. "For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball."

A ping pong ball?

Smith told me the regulations were determined by "health and safety experts."

"The most important thing is BSA works hard every single day to make sure we are providing relevant, exciting experiences to American families and youth," he told me. "We want to do that safely."

Don't be surprised if the BSA bans campfires and replaces them with simulated flames on portable smartphones. Can't risk the kids burning their marshmallows.

It certainly doesn't sound like the same Scouting organization that I joined as a small kid.

Oh, how I fondly recall those carefree days—learning how to tie a knot, building a pinewood derby car and running through the woods playing cowboys and (culturally insensitive word referencing an indigenous people-group deleted).

At this rate it won't be long before the Boy Scouts are teaching kids how to do needlepoint and make milk foam butterfly art for their lattes.

It's no wonder thousands of kids are dropping out of the Boy Scouts.

That's why I recommend that parents get their sons involved in Trail Life USA. It's a faith-friendly and family-friendly alternative. 

Trail Life also wholeheartedly endorses Super Soakers and water balloon fights.They even let their kids play paintball. 

In other words – they let boys behave like boys.

Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is God Less America.


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