Saturday, July 20, 2013

Obese Scouts not allowed, per BSA. (Not quite)

If you are a Boy Scout with a BMI of 32 or higher you will not be allowed to participate in The National Boy Scouts Jamboree unless you submit health information and are individually cleared for participation. Boys with a BMI of 39 or higher are barred from participation in the ten-day camp-out. The reason? Dan McCarthy, director of the BSA’s Summit Group, told the Associated Press this years summit is the most physically demanding since 1937; activities range from mountain biking and rock climbing to scuba diving and a water obstacle course,  all strenuous exercises that require physical fitness.
The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination has fired back stating: “BMI measurements are not always accurate proxies for a person’s general health, they say. There are boy scouts who are heavier than average but extremely fit and capable of strenuous physical activity. At the same time, it is patently absurd to assume that just because a boy is thin, that means he is capable of a three-mile hike up a mountain,”
The most physically fit cop that was in the police academy with me, also had the highest BMI. He could do more push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, or sit-ups than anyone. 
But.....
The Scout Oath says.....
On my honor, I will do my best 
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; 
To help other people at all times; 
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
If the scout lives up to the oath, then let him. Odds are that if he has a BMI above 32, he won't be able to perform. But some can. The BSA left an opening. All Scouts have to get a physical for camp, so it is no great imposition to ask the doctor to check the BMI. The health form and permission slips do have an area that discusses physical limitations. The scouts doctor can sign off yes or no. 
It is just bad policy to have a "One size, fits all" policy. Especially if the media has a target on your back, like they do on the BSA. 
Read more here