Boy Scouts Invite All Non-Obese Members To Jamboree
The Boy Scouts of America might be a far more inclusive organization now that its members have voted to allow underage gays, but thereís still one group of kids that wonít be allowed to participate at the upcoming Jamboree: the fatties. In an effort to prevent any children or teenagers from having heart attacks while rock climbing and hiking, the powers that be decided to refuse any applications from Scouts with a BMI higher than 40 and force those with BMIs between 32 and 39.9 to get medically cleared by a doctor.
The Boy Scouts of America Jamboree happens once every four years. In the past, it took place in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, but starting this year, the event moves to Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia after three odd years of construction and perfecting the more than 1000 acre campsite. Over the course of ten days, attending scouts will participate in activities such as mountain biking and rappelling. Because of those potential dangers, the Scouts decided to be proactive about requiring some level of physical competence, but not surprisingly, plenty of critics are crying foul.
According to Fox News, many weight advocates are of the opinion the organization should have allowed heavier scouts to attend and simply given them a modified schedule of activities or kept them out of the more strenuous ones. After all, while it might be hard for an obese eleven-year-old to zipline through a forest, it's a whole lot less difficult for him to shoot a bow and arrow, listen to music or sit around a campfire with his friends. Yes, itís entirely possible some of the Scouts who were left out will use the blow as motivation to shed some pounds and get into shape, but itís also possible the distances will forever cause a rift between them and the organization.
BMI is far from the greatest measure of obesity in the world. It uses weight and height to quickly spit back a Body Mass Index which tells people whether theyíre underweight (below 18.5), a normal weight (18.5-24.9), overweight (25-29.9) or obese (30 or greater). Based on peopleís body shapes and the amount of exercise they do, very healthy people can often find themselves in the overweight category and in odd cases for professional football players or bodybuilders, the obese category. Considering the rule is about younger Scouts less prone to weight lifting and anyone with a BMI up to 40 can still get admitted, however, itís unlikely there would have been many even reasonably healthy people left on the chopping block.
The Boy Scouts of America Jamboree began this morning. It runs through July 24, which means itís highly unlikely there will be any alteration to this policy for this year. Since the event only takes place every four years, though, no doubt all the successes and failures will be closely reevaluated to determine whether or not they should change moving forward.