Totin' Chip card

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Totin' Chip card

Postby cballman » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:03 pm

Guys we have had a question pop up in our troop. Are we allowed to cut off the corners of the card or is that not allowed now?
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby RWSmith » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:07 am

News to me. Why would it not be? Wait... maybe I did hear some rumor about it, several months ago. Officially though...

    Totin' Chip

    This certification grants a Scout the right to carry and use woods tools. The Scout must show his Scout leader, or someone designated by his leader, that he understands his responsibility to do the following:

    1. Read and understand woods tools use and safety rules from the Boy Scout Handbook.
    2. Demonstrate proper handling, care, and use of the pocket knife, ax, and saw.
    3. Use knife, ax, and saw as tools, not playthings.
    4. Respect all safety rules to protect others.
    5. Respect property. Cut living and dead trees only with permission and good reason.
    6. Subscribe to the Outdoor Code.

    The Scout's "Totin' Rights" can be taken from him if he fails in his responsibility.

There is no "official" policy allowing for cutting a corner off to indicate a minor infraction and that warning has been issued. This is tradition... not policy. However, as noted above, "Totin' Rights" can be revoked... and revoked means taking the card.

While cutting one or more corners (based on the SM's judgement as to the seriousness of an infraction) at a time is not specified above, it is the traditionally accepted and reasonable method (for the SM to use) in getting to a Totin' Chip revocation. IOW, the revocation is allowed for, but the method used to get there is silent; and, therefore, left up to the SM's discretion... as long as the method used is not in violation of some other policy.

Now, although re-training is not directly addressed, since Totin' Rights can be revoked, I can see the justification where... in order to obtain another card, the Scout would have to take the training. So, whether your card is seized -or- lost, then the only way to rightfully get another one (you never get the old old back) is to take the training. Period. (I recall another recent thread about some of us having to retake some other training because council does not have it in the system and we can't find, or did not get, a card. -- Same diff.)

Adults: The requirements above reference Scout, in each and every case, never adult. However, it's been my experience that even adults are (now-a-days) required to take Totin' Chip training and always carry their card, if they wanted Totin' Rights. I've been required by a camp director to present my Totin' Chip card... not to cut off a corner, but to prove to the Scouts (I was a teaching Totin' Chip class) that what's required of them, is required of us, too.

I'd tell whoever told you to give you the rule where you can no longer cut a corner, in writing. If the Council SE (or National) says it's so, then it's so. You may have to resort to seizing the card on the first offense, no matter how minor the infraction.

SCENARIO: You know, zero tolerance and all that garbage. Scout gets a corner cut off for a minor infraction. Then he cuts his finger off... parents sue... BSA loses $100k for loss of digit. RESULT: Policy change.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby cballman » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:39 am

Thank you for the answer. I was told it was harrassment and want to know for sure. So until we hear other wise we will just start cutting corners again and revoking the card just like the good ole days. The reason for this question was we have almost 30 kids that do not have theirs yet and are going to Summer camp this year.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby PaulSWolf » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:31 am

As long as its done privately, and not in a manner to embarrass the Scout, there's nothing wrong. But if it's done in an embarrassing manner, then it's hazing, and banned.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby RWSmith » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:05 pm

PaulSWolf wrote:As long as its done privately, and not in a manner to embarrass the Scout, there's nothing wrong. But if it's done in an embarrassing manner, then it's hazing, and banned.

Ah! Good point! I just assumed that part.

I mean, it's okay for anybody to yell, "STOP! STOP!"... Not, "YOU IDIOT!"
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:25 am

My guys would try to get a corner cut off. It was a big thing. One boy got his Tote n Chip andthe next day I had to take him to the ER for 23 stitches. Micro stitches not big ones. On the way back to camp he said How many corners am I loosing. I laughed and I said you suffered enough we will just take 1. He said Wow I thought you would just burn my card. You have to make it a learning and Fun situation for the scout.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby razor_strop » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:14 am

wagionvigil wrote:You have to make it a learning and Fun situation for the scout.


I believe that we should apply that excellent guideline to more aspects of leading and teaching youth in Scouting (SMCs, BORs, MB work).
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby evmori » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:14 am

PaulSWolf wrote:As long as its done privately, and not in a manner to embarrass the Scout, there's nothing wrong. But if it's done in an embarrassing manner, then it's hazing, and banned.


Huh?
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:16 pm

We take an axe and chop it in two and then we take it to build the fire for the Fireman Chit. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Is there a BSA training module for this? I remember going over this in IOLS. I did hear that it will be required training for adults to get registered. :P

The cutting of corners is well known scouting forklore. My newest scout seemed to know all about it and he couldn't even spell Totem yet. The good thing is that he said he's never going to get one of his corners cut off!!
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby FrankJ » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:24 pm

Heresy warning! don't read this. Totem chip is a tenderfoot achievement. It is not required to carry a knife unless your SM says so. Like wise cutting corners only has meaning if the SM says so. Otherwise what 168 said.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby Fred Johnson » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:51 pm

Reminds me of my 2nd favorite summer camp E.R. story. Two very smart and capable scouts were involved, my son and his friend. His friend brought a hatchet to camp in his personal gear. Clear rule violation. We didn't know. My son decided to cut rope with it and promptly chopped off the end of his finger. We learned something happened when a scout came up to us and asked for more gauze because they ran out. Ran out of gauze? Clear sign we needed to investigate.

Everything turned out fine. It was re-attached. Works and looks fine. It is just one of my favorite stories because it turned out okay and all the scouts handled it so matter of fact-ly. These two boys are extremely capable and they know it. And to be honest, it was a painful lesson to learn, but I'd rather have him learn he is vulnerable and to be cautious now than later with a car or something else.

I kept thinking it must have hurt like heck. My son just remembers getting to watch cable TV for a few hours at the hospital and having dinner at McDonalds. The summer camp food was not that good.

I brought it up because I've always heard jokes about losing corners (card, not fingers). This is the only time where it did happen. When my son got back to camp, the scoutmaster (who is great and easy going) looked at my son and told him he will be re-taking knife safety. Very nicely understated. The real penalty was not being able to continue his riffle and swimming merit badges all week.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:35 pm

FrankJ wrote:Heresy warning! don't read this. Totem chip is a tenderfoot achievement. It is not required to carry a knife unless your SM says so. Like wise cutting corners only has meaning if the SM says so. Otherwise what 168 said.


The chopping in half part? :lol:

TC is usually achieved by while a scout works on Tenderfoot but it is not a requirement to make Tenderfoot. It is an Award.

It is required to have a Totin Chip for Wood Carving MB though.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby deweylure » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:48 am

I can agree that making it a learning experience is the way to handle it, for a scout.

I did have one leader who did not obey the rules and his card was revoked permanently. He brought a large sheath knife even after it wa explained tht he could not bring it.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby PaulSWolf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:08 am

deweylure wrote:I can agree that making it a learning experience is the way to handle it, for a scout.

I did have one leader who did not obey the rules and his card was revoked permanently. He brought a large sheath knife even after it was explained that he could not bring it.
Of course, there's no national RULE against Large sheath knives. They're discouraged, but not banned.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby wagionvigil » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:20 am

Many Scout Camps ban them I know Ours does. You know there are National Rules and Camp Rules LOL
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby ThunderingWind » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:20 pm

My large sheath knife (Army issued Pilot knife) is also my shovel, ax, hammer and saw. I used it dig more fox holes than my Army issued entrenching tool.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby razor_strop » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:31 am

I don't know, TW; I'd have a hard time classifying a 5" blade as large, considering many folding blade knives run 3" to 4" blades. I'm a fixed blade (the correct term, regardless of what G2SS calls them) kind of guy, having seen far too many folders (even by the recognized mass-production brands) with "fail safe" locks fail, resulting in varying degrees of injury to Scouts and adult leaders alike. Oddly enough, I've never seen a fixed blade fail and cut someone (when used properly, of course...seen a few knucklehead "grown ups" use a knife well outside its function and pay for it either figuratively or literally). Never saw a fixed blade knife cut or stab through a sheath, either, even after the person wearing it landed after falling a couple thousand feet through the air. But hey, much like many of the TSA's security measures, the most important thing is to FEEL safer, regardless of the actual security efficacy of them.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby FrankJ » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:59 am

I have never seen anybody shot. Doesn't make guns any more or less dangerous. :)

5 inches is on the large side a carry knife. Fixed or folding. I would not have a problem telling a scout to keep it in his locker unless he had a specific need for it. I would not even refer to G2SS since it is not prohibited there. If you fail a locking blade knife, I expect you are using it in a way it was not intended. If you want to see a fixed blade cut some one, spend a week watching wood carving (finger carving to some) at summer camp. I am not against fixed blades in general-- they are certainly easy to keep clean so they make since in food prep & cleaning fish.
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby scoutaholic » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:39 pm

FrankJ wrote:Heresy warning! don't read this. Totem chip is a tenderfoot achievement. It is not required to carry a knife unless your SM says so. Like wise cutting corners only has meaning if the SM says so. Otherwise what 168 said.


The Totin' Chip is pretty well covered by doing the 2nd Class requirement 3c. This does not mean the Totin' Chip is required for 2nd Class, nor does it mean that everyone who earns 2nd Class automatically should receive their Totin' Chip.

Totin' Chip is about proper use of Knife, Saw, and Ax (Hatchet).

If we are just talking about knife safety, the proper 'chit' is the Whittling Chip, which is a cub award. It is part of the requirements for Bear (19d).
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Re: Totin' Chip card

Postby FrankJ » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:36 pm

I guess i was a bit vague. I did not mean that the totem chip was a rank requirement. More of one of the first things a scout should learn is sharp object safety which is what the totem chip is about. Their fore a tenderfoot achievement.
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