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Shotgun age 14 and up only?


Best Answer RememberSchiff , 27 August 2017 - 11:58 AM

@Stayseen welcome to scouter.com.

 

No age restriction for Boy Scout  shotgun shooting, though some camps may have height/weight minimums for their shotguns.

 

http://www.scouting...._Insert_Web.pdf

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#1 Stayseen

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:29 AM

I have a question regarding shooting merit badges. When my son went to summer camp as a tenderfoot last year he wanted to do rifle and shotgun. His scoutmaster said he could not. That he had to be at least 14 to do shotgun merit badge. He was bummed. This past summer we went away to summer camp in Oregon. My son again wanted to do the merit badge and was told no. Since I went to camp I decided to ask the shot gun instructor about this age restriction. He said there is no such age restriction for Boy Scouts. My son went on to earn the rifle and shot gun merit badge. He had the time of his life and now found a new sport I've since discussed this with my scoutmaster. He said it's only because we were in Oregon that we were able to shoot shot gun. That Oregon wasn't following the guide to safe scouting that the age should still be 14 and up. I haven't been able to find this anywhere in the guide to safe scouting. Can someone point me in the direction into finding out if 14 is the age? I have parents now wondering if their kids can do shot gun.
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#2 RememberSchiff

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 11:58 AM   Best Answer

@Stayseen welcome to scouter.com.

 

No age restriction for Boy Scout  shotgun shooting, though some camps may have height/weight minimums for their shotguns.

 

http://www.scouting...._Insert_Web.pdf


Edited by RememberSchiff, 27 August 2017 - 12:00 PM.

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#3 qwazse

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 12:00 PM

Laughing out loud: Son #1 was learning to shoot skeet the winter of his crossover year. I had a blast "pulling" for him and the other first years! On one pull he got both the high- and low- clays in one shot!

Bless the couple of ASMs who went through the trouble of becoming RSOs!
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#4 mashmaster

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 12:01 PM

A lot of summer camps place the 14 year age restriction blanket on shotgun and climbing


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#5 RememberSchiff

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 12:11 PM

After earning  Shotgun Merit Badge, my older son joined a local junior trap-shooting team and joined the Amateur Trapshooting Association  There are other similar shotgun shooting organizations.


Edited by RememberSchiff, 27 August 2017 - 12:12 PM.

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#6 Oldscout448

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 12:51 PM

Nope, not in the BSA rulebook.  That said  as an RSO I have discouraged a few smaller scouts ( read just crossed over) from signing up to fire a 12 or 20 gauge repeatedly.  Even with light trap loads their muscles just can't take the pounding.  They start to flinch, which means they start to miss, which means more shooting to qualify.     But if they really want to I have never told them no.   

 

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#7 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 02:24 PM

Variety of reasons why a camp will put age restrictions.

 

One reason is the popularity of the class. Age limits are used to restrict the number in the class to a manageable level.

 

Another reason might be to have incentives for the older Scouts to come back to that camp. 

 

But the #1 reason may be local laws.  Some jurisdiction do have restrictions on shooting sports. One guy I met told me that the camp he worked at straddled a state line. Shooting Sports areas was a distance from the bulk of the camp because the state that the areas was in allowed folks to use firearms at 16, and the state the bulk of the camp was in would not allow any shooting sports save archery.


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#8 Petey091

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:20 PM

You just ran head first into one of scouting's problems. I can't tell you how many times I have been told that something was against national BSA policy when it's not. In my troop it's  the belief that BSA prohibits open toed shoes and that aerosol cans and sheath knives  are prohibited.   My standard response is please show me in the Guide to Safe Scouting where it says that. Now a lot of this comes from summer camps that have camp rules that prohibit these items.  More scouters need to read the Guide to Safe Scouting.


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#9 Col. Flagg

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 10:30 PM

I've seen the same age restrictions on kayaking and other events. And BSA wonders why we lose members when adults place needless restrictions on the program national says to use.
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#10 Stayseen

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 11:42 PM

Wow thanks for the speedy replies. Much appreciated. Yeah i understand why adults place some restrictions due to weight and height. However, I think every scout should be given a shot at trying shotgun if they want to. Isn't that what scouts is about? Giving them experiences and memories that they wouldn't get without scouts. Some memories will be good some not so good. If it hurt his shoulder then he would know not to ask again? I'm thankful for the merit badge counselor at camp telling me to let him shoot. My son is on the smaller side. He qualified for shotgun faster than anyone at camp. He hasn't stopped talking about trap shooting. We've taken him trap and skeet shooting every weekend since he's been home from camp. He is so excited about this new sport. He wouldn't have that without scouts. 


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#11 qwazse

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 05:27 AM

@Stayseen, every scouter has a set of bad experiences that drive their tendency to over-caution. It's hard to judge them from this side of the Internet.

Enjoy your time with your son. My father-in-law and his son wound up on a competitive circuit for a while as a result of being introduced to the sport while the boy was a scout. If you have time, join a sportsmans club and become a range safety officer. That way you can spread the fun to other boys and girls.
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#12 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:17 PM

I had some folks look at me crazy last night when I was discussing sheath knives at a upcoming camporee. I actually had a parent pull up state law and attempted to say that sheath knives were illegal. I told him the key words to the law is "illegal to carry concealed."


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#13 krikkitbot

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:28 PM

I had some folks look at me crazy last night when I was discussing sheath knives at a upcoming camporee. I actually had a parent pull up state law and attempted to say that sheath knives were illegal. I told him the key words to the law is "illegal to carry concealed."

 

I've had similar discussions with parents and scouters. We did find out that in our state switch blades and ballistic knives are illegal. I now want a ballistic knife just because it sounds cool. I have no idea what it is unless it's like one of those knives in Call of Duty. 


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#14 NJCubScouter

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:40 PM

I've had similar discussions with parents and scouters. We did find out that in our state switch blades and ballistic knives are illegal. I now want a ballistic knife just because it sounds cool. I have no idea what it is unless it's like one of those knives in Call of Duty. 

 

Wikipedia says: "A ballistic knife is a knife with a detachable blade that can be ejected to a distance of several yards by pressing a trigger or operating a lever or switch on the handle."  According to the article, the LEAST powerful type (spring-propelled) is capable of firing the blade about 16 feet at 39 mph.  They also come in air-, gas- and explosive-propelled.  And here's one now, thanks to the same site:

 

250px-Ballistic_knife-01.jpg
 
I can kind of understand why people would be skittish about these things.
 
P.S.:  If I'm calculating this right, 39 mph is 57.2 feet per second.  So if it is only going 16 feet, it is getting there pretty quickly.

Edited by NJCubScouter, 29 August 2017 - 03:50 PM.

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#15 Col. Flagg

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:29 PM

Check your state laws because they vary from state to state. It may even be illegal to bring a knife legal in your state to summer camp if you travel through states where the same knife is illegal. Learned that the hard way about a decade ago.
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#16 JosephMD

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:43 AM

Wow thanks for the speedy replies. Much appreciated. Yeah i understand why adults place some restrictions due to weight and height. However, I think every scout should be given a shot at trying shotgun if they want to. Isn't that what scouts is about? Giving them experiences and memories that they wouldn't get without scouts. Some memories will be good some not so good. If it hurt his shoulder then he would know not to ask again? I'm thankful for the merit badge counselor at camp telling me to let him shoot. My son is on the smaller side. He qualified for shotgun faster than anyone at camp. He hasn't stopped talking about trap shooting. We've taken him trap and skeet shooting every weekend since he's been home from camp. He is so excited about this new sport. He wouldn't have that without scouts. 

 

​My son was 12 when he earned the shotgun shooting merit badge at camp.  I think that camp restricted first years and required either the rifle shooting MB or hunter safety, this ensures that the class doesn't have any scouts who have never handled a firearm before.  Also, rifle shooting takes a lot less staff than shotgun shooting, so there may be a method there to keep classes from being overloaded. 

 

It will come down to what the shooting sports director is comfortable with on the grounds of safety, but there is also an element of not setting scouts up to fail.  Some camps restrict the water sports merit badge to older scouts, based mainly on success rate, small scouts with no water skiing experience rarely complete the badge, and don't have access to boats or lakes to finish it at home.  The same could be said for shotgun shooting.  I've seen 10 year olds that do quite well in my son's youth trap shooting league, but these are the exceptions, not the rule. 


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#17 JosephMD

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:46 AM

I had some folks look at me crazy last night when I was discussing sheath knives at a upcoming camporee. I actually had a parent pull up state law and attempted to say that sheath knives were illegal. I told him the key words to the law is "illegal to carry concealed."

 

The old sheath knife debate. 

 

...concealed... like, in a backpack?

 

another useless law


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#18 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:24 AM

Concealed on the person, i.e. under a coat, shirt, etc.  At least in NC. In a backpack would be considered storing, plus with other camping gear you have an argument for a legitimate activity needing it.

 

Me personally, my buscraft/survival knife is HUGE :) My wife and her family got me a Becker 21 Reinhardt-Becker Kukri. I made a MOLLE compatible sheath for it so I can put it on the outside of my ALICE and other packs.

 

And just like firearms, you need to be careful where you bring ANY type of knife, sheath or folding. Until NC changed the laws stating sub-jurisdictions could not add to the knife laws, there were some areas in the state I could not bring my Gerber Gator because the blade length was to long.


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#19 fred johnson

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:43 AM

Good discussion above.  Exactly right.

 

Another reason some camps or SMs put an age limit, many give up.  Most first years don't complete shotgun.  Their smaller size makes the challenge much more difficult.  And if you don't do it right, it definitely can hurt.  We want younger scouts to have positive experiences and to walk away with the MB if possible.  

 

So age 14 is listed as a restriction, but it's more of a guide to avoid a bad experience.

 

Personally, I hate when groups add restrictions.  I see it all the time.  How about just a guidance note saying it's harder for first years and a friendly suggestion for scouts to hold off for a year or two.  


Edited by fred johnson, 30 August 2017 - 10:47 AM.

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#20 krikkitbot

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 02:37 PM

 

Wikipedia says: "A ballistic knife is a knife with a detachable blade that can be ejected to a distance of several yards by pressing a trigger or operating a lever or switch on the handle."  According to the article, the LEAST powerful type (spring-propelled) is capable of firing the blade about 16 feet at 39 mph.  They also come in air-, gas- and explosive-propelled.  And here's one now, thanks to the same site:

 

250px-Ballistic_knife-01.jpg
 
I can kind of understand why people would be skittish about these things.
 
P.S.:  If I'm calculating this right, 39 mph is 57.2 feet per second.  So if it is only going 16 feet, it is getting there pretty quickly.

 

 

Now I REALLY want one of these! ;) 

 

But back on topic, I recently had to turn away some scouts from climbing because the camp issued a rule that they had to be 13 or older. My training says that Boy Scouts may climb on natural rock but the camp issued a rule. I wasn't happy about it but it wasn't my decision.  


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