Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cub Scouts: Masters of Arms in Disguise

I recently read, with some dismay, that there was talk of taking away pocket knives from Scouts in the UK. I will avoid getting on my soapbox except to say I earned my "Totin' Chip" when I was a Boy Scout and never felt compelled to stab anyone just because a knife was available.

What is interesting, however, is that in the not-so-distant past, Scouts could get a merit badge as a Master-At-Arms. Here is a link to the article. That's right, we used to teach quarterstaff techniques to our youth!

Here is the entire text, a free download at Lulu. In addition to quarterstaff, the badge covered boxing, jujitsu, fencing, wrestling and more. Obviously, at 39 pages, it is a very brief overview of the arts, but a neat idea nonetheless.

In retrospect, it was probably a good idea to restrict these teachings. Those kids are hard enough to turn away for popcorn sales and Unicef donations. Can you imagine if they had a hickory staff in one hand, too?
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