Guns

Boy Scouts Can't Squirt Squirt Guns at Each Other and Must Use Goggles

Definitely not helping the uncoolness factor of being a Scout

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Water gun
Dreamstime

Boy Scouts can't shoot squirt guns at each other. Here's the rulebook (see page 99). And here's the article for Boy Scout leaders that points out some additional (absurd) safety requirements:

 "Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn."

Water balloons, meanwhile, have a size limit: "For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball."

First off, I was not even aware biodegradable balloons exist. And filling any balloon to only the size of a ping pong ball is like saying, "Please do not grow a pair. Ever."

But in terms of the squirt gun rules: Why can't kids shoot each other with a stream of water?

Because it's harmless? Because it's good clean fun? Because it's a time-honored thing for kids to do?

Or is it because of a sort of blind belief that if we outlaw every activity that involves boys being boys—even an activity with the word "Boy" in its name—somehow we will have triumphed over original sin and avoided all possible lawsuits?

Boys do not end up killers because they shoot squirt guns, any more than they end up as rampaging nut jobs because they knocked down some building blocks as kids. For that matter, playing Transformers does not mean a boy grows up to become part robot. Kids are allowed to play without us reading a dark future into every shove.

And I say this as a mom who really loves the Scouts. Both my sons belong to the organization and it has been great for them. I admire the troop leaders and all the volunteer parents who help out. And at our troop, at least for as long as my sons have been involved, there has never been any anti-gay discrimination.

But there's a reason most kids don't wear their uniforms to school or even discuss their involvement much. It's the uncoolness factor. That factor is not mitigated by these rules. 

If anyone is going to go on a rampage as an adult, maybe it's the kids who were forced to wear goggles to shoot a squirt gun at a non-human target.

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  1. Definitely not helping the uncoolness factor of being a Scout

    Jesus, Lenore. Why not just call all the dorks out there that were in scouting dorks?

    1. I learned how to smoke, curse effectively, and set fires while in Boy Scouts. I consider it time well spent.

      1. I learned how to sneak over to the Girl Scout campground

        1. If you’re looking for adventure of a
          New and different kind,
          And you come across a girl scout who is
          Similarly inclined,
          Don’t be nervous, don’t be flustered, don’t be scared.
          Be prepared!

      2. I also learned how to pack a gun powder charge, make my own musket balls and shoot reasonably okay.

        Definitely time well spent.

  2. What if the squirt gun is filled with a slightly more viscous fluid, say a milky white, kind of gooey tapioca-like substance?

    1. isn’t that type of firing mechanism already considered an assault weapon? The feministas tell me it is.

    2. You mean tapioca?

      1. No. He means Elmer’s. Duh.

    3. Tapioca breast milk?!? Sign me up!

    4. “a slightly more viscous fluid, say a milky white, ”

      Only certain adults (18 to 22 yr old) scoutmasters are allowed to squirt that type of fluid at the younger teenage boys.

      1. Is there a badge for that?

        1. You get all the badges for that.

    5. You mean santorum?

  3. One of the reasons I think I have a natural proclivity for this libertarian fad is a zillion years when I was a kid, a friend tried to get me to join the Cub Scouts. “You learn to tie knots and go camping and all sorts of stuff.” “I can learn to tie knots on my own, and go camping without the Scouts, right?” “Well, yeah.” “So why should I join the Scouts?”

    Just never understood this weird need to get group approval.

    1. You weren’t very popular in high school, were you.

      1. I’m sure he wasn’t. Because, you,know, all the cool kids in high school wore their scouting uniform to school every Friday to show how fucking cool they were with their merit badges on their sashes.

        1. Um, that wasn’t the part of the post I was responding to.

          1. I know but it let me get a little bit of hate in on those dorks that did that.

            1. and so concludes Friday’s two minutes of hate, BSA edition.

            2. I had one friend growing up who was in the Scouts. He used the skills he learned there to live in the woods and grow pot. Now he’s in prison for cultivation and a bunch of firearm modifiers. I doubt I’ll ever see him again, not that I’d want to. He was a total dork.

            3. Kids really did that? I was a Scout in the ’70s; I never did that, nor did anybody else in my Troop. I couldn’t imagine anyone other than my immediate friends caring one way or the other about any of my outside activities.

              1. They did it in my middle and high school. I distinctly remember.

                1. When I was a freshman in high school – there was one kid who showed up in his scout uniform. Once. And never again.

              2. The 1st time I heard of marijuana was from a friend from school who was in the Cub Scouts & singing, “Sweet Marijuana”. What’s that? It’s a type of cigaret. Oh. I figured it to be a brand.

            4. My nephew is hugely into scouting and wears his uniform every week.

      2. Probably not, but I didn’t care. My agenda was getting the hell out.

        1. Ditto. For a couple years after I would run into people I went to school with, and all the popular ones had peaked. All they could talk about was things they had done in school, while I was busy forgetting that shit and starting a life. I still snicker about it. Fucking losers.

    2. That was always my feeling about scout organizations too. It’s probably good for kids who don’t have parents who can do any of that stuff.

      1. That was always my feeling about scout organizations too. It’s probably good for kids who don’t have parents who can do any of that stuff.

        And that’s what they were intended for. Lord B-P’s first troops were made up of kids from the London ghettos.

    3. Meh, for me at least it wasn’t the group approval thing. In the late ’80s I was in a fairly suburban town with no local access to the outdoors. At the very least the scout group provided transportation to campgrounds and guidance on camping. Plus the Scout manual of the ’80s was obviously very different. Does the current version even teach one how to light a fire or fire a rifle?

  4. and this is why the best comedy is born of reality.

  5. The dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.

  6. ” Or is it because of a sort of blind belief that if we outlaw every activity that involves boys being boys?even an activity with the word “Boy” in its name?somehow we will have triumphed over original sin and avoided all possible lawsuits?”

    Mostly this and God how I hate it. When I was in scouts, we used to build catapults to launch water balloons at each other. We also learned knife/tomahawk throwing and played paintball w few times. Why does everything have to suck now?

    1. Because the Patriarchy must be destroyed!

    2. It’s all part of the “progressive” notion that boys are just defective girls in need of re-education.

      1. Aye.

    3. +1 Potato cannons!!!!

  7. Boy Scouts Can’t Squirt Squirt without positive consent?

  8. I’ve been thru this before but as Scouts in the 80’s we:

    – Went on 50 mile hikes with no legal forms
    – Injured ourselves and others regularly with knives, hatchets, etc… and then performed first aid
    – Terrorized each other on snipe hunts
    – Played with fire and made our own explosives (a lot)
    – Got into fights with other troops
    – etc….

    This pansy-ass shit drives me nuts. I picked up a copy of the Boy Scout Handbook a couple of years ago and there was a whole page devoted to “What to do if you think somebody is touching you inappropriately during a wrestling match.”

    Missing from the book was “How to properly take a dump in the woods” and other useful information.

    1. “What to do if you think somebody is touching you inappropriately during a wrestling match.”

      Putting on tights and water polo headgear so you can roll around with another dude is in and of itself inappropriate, isn’t it?

      1. Only if you don’t thank each other afterwards

      2. *Narrows gaze*

    2. I was a Scout in the 70s. I had my own knife, hatchet, and matches when I was 11.

      1. I wasn’t a scout until ’81, but I had a knife by age 7 – and it’s not like I was some sort of outlaw or anything.

    3. yeah, but look how you turned, posting in a known libertarian hot house about things like liberty, responsibility, freedom, and all sorts of other subversive, if not icky, things. You and your free range scouts are one reason we can’t have nice things today.

      1. You joke, but I definitely think that my experience as a scout led me down the dark path of individualism and liberty.

    4. Ahhh snipe hunts.

      Add to that list dropping trousers and farting into the campfire.

      When we went camping in snake country, the adult leaders/dads open carried their pistols. No one thought anything of it.

      I wish I still had a copy of my Scout Handbook.

      1. We were rough on snipe hunts. Terrorized one kid to the point that he had to be hospitalized for full-blown shock. Admittedly we went a bit too far on more than one occasion.

        1. See ? SEE ? it’s nerds like you that ruin it for all the other nerds.

      2. wish I still had a copy of my Scout Handbook and any number of other printed reminders that once upon a time, this was Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!

        I grew up reading a 1915 (+/-) bound “Boy Mechanic” book that my grandfather had “borrowed” when he retired from teaching shop in the early 50’s. Instructions included things like “procure from your pharmacy 2 ounces of mercury” (to build a barometer), a complete set of plans for building a biplane glider big enough to fly in, and hundreds of other projects that even the lawyers of my youth in the 70’s would have nixed.

        But even as recently as the days of the internet (mid 90’s), I distinctly recall a Cornell Ag Extension brochure (I should have saved it, I can’t find it online any more for some strange reason) instructing that windfall apples were perfectly suitable for use in cider. Ten years later the information came out that you would die instantly and horribly from drinking cider that contained even a single apple that had touched the ground.

        A nation of wimps!

        1. Cool recommendation on The Boy Mechanic. The Gutenberg project has it online.

          http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12655/12655-pdf.pdf

          1. Bingo! I see that the glider illustration is the frontispiece. I still have my copy in the basement someplace (I’ll get my library set up day, if I every finish construction around the house).

            Thanks, you’ve put a smile on my face!

      3. I was able to find a used copy of one for my era online. And I was able land another from 1936 when the local public library cleaned out a bunch of old books. That old one is really great.

        1. Ok, so I was a girl scout, for a long while (after it was no longer popular – hey all the girls in my grade were in GSUSA, so it was popular). But I came across a copy of the same manual I had and bought a copy (library sale, what can I say). It was like old times.

          GS was about camping, there were no firearms badges (that I can recall) but there was this emerging technology area. So yeah I had badges for the camping, firestarting, cooking, sewing, and then I also had the technology badge- because I programmed on a TRS-80.

          I gave it up somewhere in 9th grade when I realized paying attention to boys was more fun, oh, and the Cure really meant something to me at that point.

    5. – Got into fights with other troops

      Yeah, Scout Camp was a constant warring with the other troops. Also, we pulled all the mattress pads out of our tents and piled them up so we could jump off a 30 foot boulder onto them. When one kid got hurt and all the scoutmaster did was show us how to better construct a landing pad.

  9. If I try really hard to be charitable, I could see the squirt gun thing as part of their gun safety training. But I have to try really hard.

    1. I,don’t,even think Mr Magoo could squint hard enough to see it,that way.

      1. Nope. Water guns these days look absolutely nothing like real weapons. They’re all sci fi ray gun shaped and brightly colored. Letting little kids play with realistic-looking toy guns does send a mixed message if you’re trying to teach gun safety, but even there, I’m unconvinced?I think children who are still at the “playing army” stage are capable of understanding the difference between a weapon and a toy. I’m open to arguments about that, though.

        1. Some never advance past the Playing Army stage, and become LEO’s.

        2. When I was a kid in the early 70s I had a squirt gun that was a VERY passable copy of an M1911A1… right scale, no orange tip or anything.

          Playing army one time, we were crossing an interstate exit ramp (cuz there were woods on either side), and my little brother got clipped by a car (resulting in one of his *many* childhood concussions). Cops showed up, and one of them asked me about it and I showed it to him. NOTHING. ELSE. HAPPENED.

          The goodle days.

    2. You probably need a more advanced degree to be sufficiently stupid. Something with ‘Studies’ in it, of course.

  10. Meh, just went camping with the Pack this weekend. We had 4 of these and if we’d had 20 it wouldn’t have been enough.

    300 ft. range, 10 rd. “magazine”, real slide action. Why would anyone bother with a squirtgun if it wasn’t hot?

    1. Noice!

      I need to get that for my daughter and niece to use on my mom’s property.

    2. So the sensor is on the gun. Are we just training our kids to shoot the guns outta the bad guys hands?

  11. When squirt guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have squirt guns.

  12. No doubt their next rule will be: no peeing while standing up. It’s a microaggression!

    1. I prefer to pee sitting down. And any man that is being honest with himself feels the same way.

      1. How can you anoint the toilet seat from that position?

      2. What the hell are you talking about?

        I prefer to pee outdoors (which entails standing), and any man that’s being honest with himself feels the same way about that.

        1. outdoors and into a body of water.

          All honest men feel the same way.

          1. Or off the edge of a cliff. You can’t hear it at all, it’s trippy.

          2. Not too sure about into a body of water, but upwards, to watch that magnificent arc sparkling in the sun. Just mind the wind direction!

      3. I do when nature calls at night, and I’m too damn tired and don’t want to turn on a light. But I don’t invest it with any great psychoanalytical significance.

        TMI?

        1. TMI?

          What does transcendental meditation have to do with it–and who has the time to sit around and wait to be in the proper mental state?

          You’re worse than sloopy!

          1. it was transcendental medication, thus the psychoanalytical aspect of peeing in the dark.

            Actually it sounds like someone is toilet trained to leave the seat down.

          2. TMI? = Too much information?

            But then you knew that, you nighttime floor-anointing son of an aardvark…

            BTW, NO ONE is worse than sloopy. It’s like 0 degrees Kelvin – you just can’t get below it.

            1. Nikki is worse than Sloopy.

        2. agreed. The 3 am pee can be done sitting, sans lights. The work day, different situation.

          Good grief, it’s like a libertarian quilting bee.

          1. Good grief, it’s like a libertarian quilting bee.

            I know, right?

            I wanted to brag some more about how proficient Broodling No. 1 is with the slide eject/reload on his laser tag gun, how he’s getting his whittling chip this year, and how he came home from school this week with a young reader’s book on the Vietnam War and you ninnies want to have a “who’s the least macho?” pissing contest.

      4. “I prefer to pee sitting down.”

        I tried that but it feels strange to have my pecker hanging down in the water.

        1. “Deep, too.”

        2. Change out your porcelain throne for a new low flow model and you’ll never have that problem again.

          Well, until the damned thing clogs.

          1. I recommend the Toto Eco-Drake. It outperforms any toilet I’ve ever owned for flushing performance. That thing is unstoppable.

            1. Challenge accepted.

            2. Oh really?

              *arms self with two large burritos and a bottle of rum*

      5. Whatever, you guys are all crazy. You pee sitting down so you can comment on H&R stories. You do it so you can check scores on ESPN (even though their new design is worse than the holocaust). You do it so you can relax…

        1. Whatever respect I had for you, sloopy, has been pissed away.

        2. Save that for taking a dump.

          I do agree 100% with your ESPN site evaluation. Its like they don’t want me to ever visit again.

        3. Do you face the back so you can use the tank as a shelf?

      6. SITZPINKEL

        Peeing off a cliff or building is the best way to pee, for what it’s worth.

        1. Eroding an Afghan village mud wall is the best use of a manly urine stream!

      7. Ever since I watched Wristcutters , I associate sitzpinklers with Purgatory.

      8. I don’t really piss sitting down. I just wanted to stir up some shit.

        I stole it from the episode of Curb I watched last night.

        http://youtu.be/MeG9VVWxItA

  13. I took my kid to a kindergarten birthday party a couple of weeks ago. The mom of the birthday girl set up fun, old timey games, which was a refreshing departure from Disney-themed bullshit. One of the games was the egg toss, using water balloons, which of course quickly devolved into a water balloon fight. One parent freaked out and had all of the kids throw their water balloons against a tree, because she was taking her kid to an event after the party and didn’t want little Laney to get wet.

    1. goddamn it, that’s is infuriating. If you’re taking the kid to an event, then just pull Laney out. Don’t screw up everyone else’s fun.

      My word; all the kids would have been talking about how much fun they had but instead they’ll remember fun they could have had till Sally Spoilsport jumped in.

  14. Aiming center mass is better anyways. Faces can be hard to hit.

  15. This might be some namby-pamby shit the national organization puts out, but my son’s Cub Scout pack doesn’t operate this way, thankfully. In fact, about half of the camping trip they just went on was spent in a huge water gun fight. If his pack got all chickenshit like that, I’d encourage him to give it up.

  16. “First off, I was not even aware biodegradable balloons exist”

    Natural latex rubber balloons are biodegradable. That’s probably the only sensible bit of advice in the whole thing, frankly; no sense in littering when there are easy, cheap biodegradable options.

  17. Just echoing what others have said above, our Troop doesn’t worry too much about this either (off the record, of course). As a Scoutmaster my only thought about squirt guns is why the hell bother, the camps have rifles and shotguns to screw around with.

    Back when I was at the Cub Scout Pack level I went to a training session where they told us not to have the kids toast marshmallows for s’mores (something baout lighting the marshmallows on fire and flinging them at each other or something). My thought was: wow you guys are fucked up if you’re letting that sort of thing happen.

    1. for s’mores (something baout lighting the marshmallows on fire and flinging them at each other or something).

      jesus, that’s like playing with napalm!

  18. “For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, and fill them no larger than a ping pong ball.”

    When you’ve lost the Boyscouts…

  19. Lighting fires can be dangerous. No more fires.

    Handling propane tanks can be dangerous. No more cooking with propane.

    Flags often have pointy ends. No more flag ceremonies.

    Don’t even get me started on rifle, shotgun and archery merit badges.

  20. I grew up in the “inner city” – never saw a scout in my life. I did do a sort of Indian day camp one summer – other than the bullies it was all right but nothing I would have wanted to repeat.

  21. Meh… I was thrown out of the Cub Scouts for blasphemy. We were having a cookout at the packmaster’s house and one of my fellow scouts dropped his hot dog in the sand, then picked it up and ate it without rinsing the sand off. I exclaimed “Oh God!” and was dragged to the bathroom, had my mouth washed out with soap, mom was called to pick me up, and we were told that taking the lord’s name in vain is unacceptable and I was no longer welcome in the Cub Scouts. Fuck American scouting! Galactic Girl Guides for the win!!

    http://www.galacticgirlguides.com/page-1/

    1. Jesus fucking Christ… if that’s how they are, I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.

    2. If someone other than my parents had tried that on me I probably would have punched them in the crotch. That’s ridiculous.

  22. Boy Scouts Can’t Squirt Squirt Guns at Each Other and Must Use Goggles

    Well that sissy badge isn’t going to earn itself.

  23. There are enough campgrounds and privately owned land out there that new groups can be founded on whatever skills/ideals they like, and the BSA can become whatever it’s morphing into.

    How about the Libertarian Scouts? Other than ending up on the terror watch list and having the SPLC brand you a hate group?

    Who among you would be the first to receive the coveted “Rational Discourse With Tony” badge???

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  25. My Girl Scout troop in Vermont met in the school library. In fucking Vermont , we met in the ducking library. My Camp Fire Girls group did all kinds of outdoorsy shit. At one CFL campout, I found a jack knife with a mother of pearl handle. They held onto it until camp was over and then gave it back to me. What are the odds of that happening nowadays? SWAT would undoubtedly be called in and someone prosecuted for accidentally dropping a knife where some kid could just pick it up.

    1. Fuckin auto correct. *Fucking. *CFG

    2. I loved scouting. We had no CFG in my area, so scouts was it. I made it to a camp you had to apply to be in, a semi-military type summer camp, where you acted as guides to tourists at a historic Fort on Mackinac Island.

    3. They held on to the knife until afterwards? They should have been issuing knives to all the girls. Sheesh!

  26. This is what letting women run society brings us: The pussification of America.

    I say again, the 19th Amendment will stand as the biggest legislative mistake in the solar system, if not the galaxy or the universe. As soon as women got the vote, they started running up debt. That’s not opinion. See the research of John Lott on the effects of women’s suffrage on debt if you doubt me. And try to find an alternative explanation. (Good luck with that.)

    Having married the state (72% of blacks are now born to unwed mothers. Across all races, we’re approaching half. Who do you think the baby’s money-daddy is? That’s right: Uncle Sam), women now urge their “husband” to make the world safer… and safer… and safer… until it’s not worth living in.

    How may dads do you think are calling for goggles and not shooting each other with squirt guns? How many dads do you know who want golf-ball-size water balloons? No. This evil is done by women.

    Once the dollar collapses, and women are begging in the street for any morsel of food to feed their starving children (because Uncle Sugar’s money ain’t any good any more), self-respecting men should make it a condition of allowing the women to live that they never be allowed to vote – or express an opinion – without the approval of their husband. And no more social welfare programs. Period.

  27. With this type of thinking, TX A&M is well rid of him, but I have to wonder about the well being of the people at William & Mary.

  28. And they are worried about gay scout masters?

    1. Ever look at the history of the Scouts? Both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts were founded by persons who were attracted to the same sex – but not so much to adults of the same sex.

      Eventually these organizations drove such people out of Scouting – and since then there has been a decline in membership, and what remains doesn’t seem worth keeping.

      I’m not sure what all that means, but it doesn’t much fit what we’ve been told.

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