Get fit.. or get left out…

So says the BSA… Now before I get hate mail.. Raise your right hand in the Scout sign and repeat after me..
“To keep myself physically Strong, Mentally Awake, and Morally Straight.”
In a minute I want you to watch this video.  This is Tico Perez, our National Commissioner talking about Jamboree 2013.  He discusses the challenges it will provide and the need to be physically strong as out lined in the standards that all of us should be using on the new medical form.  I would suggest that if you have not got on board with this yet, well then you should.
Comments please, but don’t shoot the messenger.
So here is my take before I pop in the video.
Do I want to exclude anyone, NO.. BUT.  I don’t want anyone getting hurt either.  AND.. I do not want to take away the adventure.  Everyone in our government talks about child obesity in America, but they are not willing to do anything about it really.  Statistics show that we are fat.  So let’s get skinny.  You can do it, if you want to.
Eat right, exercise, and get fit, or the BSA is going to leave you out of certain activities.
I had a dear friend that was extremely heavy.  Along with his weight came a lot of medical issues I am not going to dive into, but by and large you all know what those can be.  He applied to go on staff for Arrow Corps 5 a few years back.  He was declined because of his weight, or should I say BMI.  He was very upset about it, but in the end understood the liability that he would create in this high adventure activity.
My Troop is sending 2 crews to Philmont in 2012.  We will all be fit before we go.  One of the committment markers to signing up was that you would be fit and meet all the standards before you would be allowed to go.  Is this harsh?  No, it’s the real world and we need to help these Scouts stay fit.  Now you may say, Well I know Scouts that are heavy that out pack, out hike, and out last any of the skinny kids in the Troop.  Well good for them, but what is the harm in shaving a few pounds for the future.  That heavy kid is going to grow into a heavier adult and the problems on the horizon are many for him.  Don’t get upset, just know that this is a fact and we all can help by enforcing the BSA standard and helping our Scouts get fit.
OK.. so here’s the video.. let me know what you think.  Leave a comment, shoot me a voice mail or drop an email into my in box.  I love to hear what you think.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. I agree with the premise, but not the test.

    The last time I gave any weight (pardon the pun) to BMI was when I was testing for my Blackbelt in Taekwondo. The 4 years of training had me doing 150 consecutive knuckle push-ups, 150 ab crunches, and a variety of calisthenics and drills in preparation for an 8 hour test (with a 2 mile run). All of this was in addition to the kicks, punches, and sparring technique for my Martial Art. At age 44 (2 years ago) I stood 6′ tall at 220lbs., and the BMI charts all said I was 29.8 (with 30 rated as ‘obese’)

    I don’t have an alternative test to propose, but suggesting my prime physical state was near ‘obese’ was all I needed to discount the BMI measure.


  2. There is no way I would meet Philmont Requirements as I stand now. My son just returned from his 3 trek (and got offered a Staff Position for 2012). We made a promise we would go together in 2013/2014. 2 years to lose 100lbs. I will make it and Scouting is going to help me do it!



  3. I found that the Mid America council has started a program called Scout Fit that is attempting to address the issues our boys (and their leaders) have with living a health lifestyle. I’m not is that council but I get their information and love to see the changes the BSA is encouraging us as a community to make to continue to make a difference in the life of our boys.


  4. That sounds like great incentive! My BMI doesn’t currently qualify but I plan to get there! I most likely will not get the opportunity to go the 2013 Jambo, but if I do I hope to be ready.

    I live in Tico’s home council (Central Florida) he spoke to a group of adults at our OA Spring Conclave this year and mentioned an initiative to get in shape for 2013. He sure has set a great example so far, I noticed his weight loss right away in the video.

    It makes perfect sense for Scouters to set a good example of “physically strong”. I’m on my way as well, setting an example for my sons and the scouts in our Troop. I hope this catches on!



  5. BSA is living under a rock, it’s not 1990. These days BMI is not used as an indicator of fitness it’s simply height vs. weight. An irrelivent number. An average sized man weighing 225 lbs with very low body fat has a BMI of 32+. Most stick and ball athletes have a BMI over 32. Many factors go into determining if one is “fit”. Age, weight, height, percentage of body fat, drinker, smoker, job, activites, medical history ect…. BSA needs to leave this to a doctor and stay out of something they clearly know little about.

    I’m 6-1, 200lbs with a BMI of 25 am I “fit” able to handle jambo in WV? Let see, I smoke a pack a day, sit on my butt 5 days a week, eat fast food for lunch every day, don’t take my colesteral meds, a bad knee and back, and body fat somewhere around 18%. Hey my BMI is only 25, I’m good to go!

    [From Jerry- Thanks for the comment… be that as it may… this is the program that we will be adjusting to and using as the new standard. A comment on a blog will not change it. I tend not to agree with your point about a pack a day smoker being fit because of the BMI.. by the time you get to BMI on the MED FORM.. other disqualifiers will certainly be brought to light.
    Thanks again for the comment though]


  6. Jerry, Great place hear, Lots of very useful, real-life information! You may be surprised who follows these kind of sites.

    I was exaggerating just a little in my first post. I’m actually fairly fit for my age, fairly educated in fitness and take it all pretty seriously. I guess my point was; is National is putting a band aid on a broken arm. If you’re going to do something, do it right. (Do Your Best) Maybe a real solution to the problem would be to have standard fitness tests (think Personal Fitness MB) to scouts, leaders and parents that join us on outings. It would give leaders the ability to say to Johnny’s dad “sorry, we think this BPing trip is harder than your fitness evaluation indicates you can handle. We don’t want to put you and more importantly the boys at any unnecessary risk” We do it for aquatics activities.



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