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Do you think excluding obese Boy Scouts from the annual Jamboree is wrong?

Posted by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM
  • 35 Replies

Boy Scouts Ban Fat Kids From Attending Annual Event

by Julie Ryan Evans

boy scoutsSince 1937 Boy Scouts from across the country have gathered every four years for a big Boy Scout Jamboree. This year an estimated 30,000 Scouts, plus 7,000 staff and adult leaders, will come together in the mountains of West Virginia for the national 10-day wilderness gathering, but there will be one big difference -- no obese Boy Scouts will be allowed.

According to USA Today, the organization won't let anyone attend who has a Body Mass Index of 40 or above; those with BMIs between 32 and 32.9 aren't allowed to attend without medical clearance.

Unbelievable.

Dan McCarthy, director of the BSA's Summit Group, told the Associated Press

We required a level of fitness in order to come to the Jamboree that we haven't required before. And that has motivated an enormous return in terms of both kids and adults getting serious about improving their health.

Motivating people to improve their health -- great! Excluding kids for something like this -- heartbreaking.

It's true that some of the "high-adventure" activities planned for the week, like kayaking, rock climbing, skateboarding, and hiking, could prove challenging for an obese kid, but what a great way to get some exercise and possibly find motivation in those things. These are the kids who need this kind of exercise the most!

Could it be a risk to their health? Possibly, but it could be to kids with asthma, diabetes, allergies, or other health issues too. What about severely underweight children? Requiring everyone to get a doctor's permission to participate or offering modified activities for some would have been a much better way to approach this.

While kids should absolutely be encouraged to maintain a healthy weight, the fact is they're often influenced significantly by their home environment. If mom buys all the groceries and fixes all the meals, some kids may not have the tools they need to effectively lose weight. To exclude them because they don't have parents who have set a healthy course or who are not willing to help them is wrong.

And what about body type? As Fox News points out, a BMI limit of 40 would mean many pro football players couldn't attend. Not to mention there's more and more evidence that some overweight people can actually be quite physically fit

Any way you look at it, it's wrong. I can't imagine how humiliating it must be for these children who were told they couldn't attend such a huge, meaningful event because of their weight. Shame on the Boy Scouts.

Do you think excluding obese Boy Scouts from this event is wrong?

by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM
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Replies (1-10):
cindilou13
by Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM
3 moms liked this

Wow.  As an overweight adult I feel bad enough when I don't fit very well in a public forum.  I am embarrassed when I can't do something with my kids because I'm too heavy. Yet I know, whether I choose to do anything about it or not is mostly my own fault to a point.  But a kid...how many of them have the knowledge and tools to take control of their weight on their own?  They are excluded because of the way they are raised/fed/etc. at home.  I can't even imagine how an overweight child would feel when excluded very specifcally and publicly like this...so humilated and left out...and that's certainly not going to empower them to get healthier, it's just going to discourage them.    I think they should offer a modified activity schedule, but still be able to participate. 

momto3infl
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:11 AM

 No because it is a high adventure center and all BSA high adventure centers and even summer camps have weight requirements and limits-I have no problems.  My dd is a ventrure crew and had to watch with everthing for Philmont-one of the adults got sent home first day because he was over the weight requirement.  With the kids the adult leaders who handle the health forms before events and dr who do the physicals will know if he child is within the requirement before getting to Jambo or any high adventure-the adult on my dd's crew was a last min addition so that is why he feel through the crack on being sent home after getting to the High Adventure Center.  I feel that the media got wind of Summitt's requirement because it is a brand new center and want to make a big deal when  if you are part of scouts you already know of this requirement at centers.

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

No

JTROX
by Gold Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:15 AM
1 mom liked this

Well said.

Quoting cindilou13:

Wow.  As an overweight adult I feel bad enough when I don't fit very well in a public forum.  I am embarrassed when I can't do something with my kids because I'm too heavy. Yet I know, whether I choose to do anything about it or not is mostly my own fault to a point.  But a kid...how many of them have the knowledge and tools to take control of their weight on their own?  They are excluded because of the way they are raised/fed/etc. at home.  I can't even imagine how an overweight child would feel when excluded very specifcally and publicly like this...so humilated and left out...and that's certainly not going to empower them to get healthier, it's just going to discourage them.    I think they should offer a modified activity schedule, but still be able to participate. 


yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM

 Not for this type of camp.  My oldest son goes to some adventure camps and they have fjitness requirements.

This being said, I am not a fan of the BMI.  According to it my very buff hubby is usually obese.

 

Luvnlogic
by Silver Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:59 AM
1 mom liked this
Yep. If the boys pay their dues and are allowed to attend meetings all year in good standing, I'd be pissed if my child was excluded. If their actual weight and fitness level excludes them from certain aspects of the camp for safety reasons, fine. But they should be able to attend and participate to whatever extent possible.
Firenygirl180
by Bronze Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 10:04 AM
This is ridiculous. I know that there are activities that can be more complicated if you are overweight, but there are other ways to deal with it.

It's really not surprising that the boy Scouts are losing donors.
TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM
2 moms liked this

 Oh, so they ARE allowed, if they obtain medical clearance.  Not a high bar.  Unless they are over 40 BMI, in which case, it would be difficult to manage anyway. 

Another misleading title. 

From article above:  According to USA Today, the organization won't let anyone attend who has a Body Mass Index of 40 or above; those with BMIs between 32 and 32.9 aren't allowed to attend without medical clearance.

supercarp
by Silver Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 10:18 AM
1 mom liked this

I think they are trying to motivate the boys to be fit, but I think that there are better ways to do that.

texassahm
by Bronze Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 10:23 AM

My dad was a scout leader - My brother is an Eagle Scout.  At one point my dad had gained some weight, but being active in Boy Scouts and all their outdoor camping, hiking, mountain climbing, etc activities are what helped him lose weight.

If my dad had been banned, my brother would not be an Eagle Scout today and my dad never would've lost that weight.

BOO BOY SCOUTS!!!

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