Boy Scouts Not Allowing Obese Kids to Take Part in National Jamboree

boy scouts.jpg
The Boy Scouts of America is currently holding its 2013 National Jamboree, where scouts from all over the country converge in West Virginia to whitewater raft, climb mountains, zip lines, mountain bike, and participate in other Boy Scouty things.

But, apparently the scouts' body mass index criteria to take part in the jamboree excludes scouts with a BMI of 40 or higher.

So, basically, no fat kids.

But the the Obesity Action Coalition (or OAC) is calling on the BSA to change that.

OAC thinks that the last thing the Boy Scouts should be doing is excluding overweight boys from participating in activities that would, you know, help them not be overweight anymore.

"The BMI requirement is limiting physical activity to those needing it most and goes against the BSA's own core value of 'developing personal fitness,'" said Joe Nadglowski, OAC president and CEO.

"The opportunity to participate in the jamboree and increase one's physical fitness should not be limited to a certain population of scouts."

Ah, but the scouts have excelled at limiting certain members of society from participating in their activities. That's just how they roll.

And, as it is with all discrimination involving kids, this one has potential for long-term negative affects.

According to OAC, boys who are obese are constantly teased and bullied, and they often stop engaging in physical activity because they are discouraged or embarrassed.

Well, stop feeding your kids junk and get them more active, one internet troll will inevitably say in the comments section.

Very true, internet troll. So, allowing obese boys to participate in the annual jamboree would include getting them more active.

And it would be with their fellow scouts, which means it would be fun, which means it would open doors to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Today, one in three children is obese in the United States.

The Boy Scouts of America can help change that.

But for now, the Scouts are apparently still just about wearing shorts and handkerchiefs and building fires in the woods while excluding people who need them the most.

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there are other local Jamboree's, that do not exclude scouts. 

-this is about the  NATIONAL event. 


30 is considered Obse. (not overweight) so they add on an extra 10 points before excluding anyone.    

-seems reasonable, when you actually look at the details.


For every step forward the BSA makes, it takes giant leaps backward.  Why would you not allow the kids who most need the activity to actually take part in those activities?  It makes no sense at all.

Sarah Theresa
Sarah Theresa

Not Cool, not cool at all, Doesnt seem like the Boy Scouts are to accepting of others, why would you want you kids to be part of such a organization, its like they are teaching hate... Homophobic, not allowing over weight children, whats next poking fun and mentally challenged kids. Eff you Boy Scouts, take the America out of your name, you dont stand for America!



BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
  • Overweight = 25–29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater



- because they might just die.   

Jamboree's are physical tests, and training.  repelling, human ladders, building,  tests of strength,  etc. 

bmi over 40 is a pretty high number.    which is unhealthy.  

so what they are saying is if you are unhealthy you can't participate in a physical tests.

 I guess they could do some other psychical tests.    but BMI is fast and simple.

What would you do?  lower the physical events to include fat kids?



the real story:

To start, we should be clear on the stakes here: The BSA is not banning over-40 BMI boys or leaders from scouting in general, but rather from this specific event. That’s because—before you even get to the physically demanding and potentially dangerous “high-adventure” activities like white-water rafting, high-ropes, and rock climbing—navigating the Summit Reserve itself is a formidable physical challenge. The new Jamboree site is a mountainous 10,000 acres and, because there will be no buses or other motor vehicles to move people around, participants will have to hike miles, often uphill, each day from activity to activity.

>>> Event organizers announced the change in the 2013 location and health requirements two years ago with the hope that scouts and leaders who were not physically prepared for the challenge would use the time to get in shape.    <<<

*(get that 2 years notice to get in shape)*

(Incidentally, the BSA’s national commissioner also posed the challenge to himself in a video announcing the policy.)


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