Pandora’s precious receptacle seemed harmless enough, appealing to look at and touch. But, a looming lock marked it as restricted. Do not open the box, said Zeus.

Unfortunately, she just couldn’t resist…bringing terror upon everyone.

Scouts do a lot of things. They learn, grow, experience, and immerse themselves in the world. But, there are some things that are restricted activities in the BSA just like Pandora’s box. Scouts can participate in these activities on their own time but not in the program.

Just a reminder, this is a list of ten restricted and unauthorized activities created at a national level for safe Scouting:

motocross-1283303_640 (1)1. ATVs are banned.

Got it? They may be fun, but they can only be used in council approved ATV programs.

2. Boxing, karate, and most martial arts are no-nos.

If you love judo, aikido, or Tai Chi, you’re in luck. Those are allowed. So, enjoy balancing your yin and yang.

security-1662042_1280
Where is his protective gear?

3. Chainsaws and mechanical log splinters can be used with restrictions. 

You must be over 18, trained, and following local laws on protective gear. So, most of your boys probably won’t be using a chainsaw. Dangling limbs just doesn’t sound like a great Scouting moment.

4. Exploring abandoned mines is not allowed.

Don’t do it. It’s not worth being crushed to death.

5. Varsity football teams and interscholastic or club football competition are unauthorized.

We love football. We love watching it and playing it. You can play football for fun in Scouting. But, if you want to be part of an organized Varsity football team, you’ll have to try out at school or elsewhere.

6. Using fireworks or watching fireworks is unauthorized unless a professional is involved.

Then, enjoy the display with a certified/licensed control expert.

Likely a display by a licensed professional.
Likely a display by a licensed professional.
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Probably not a licensed professional.

7. You can’t sell fireworks. 

The Boy Scouts says the following about firework selling: “The selling of fireworks as a fund-raising or moneyearning activity by any group acting for or on behalf of members, units, or districts may not be authorized by councils.” If you can’t use it, it makes sense you can’t sell it either.

8. No hang gliding, ultralights, experimental aircrafts, parachuting, or untethered hot air balloon rides. 

You also can’t fly in a plane as part of a search and rescue mission (though that does sound cool).

9. No water chugging activities.

Chug. Chug. Chug. Chug!  Slurping down water as quickly as possible can lead to serious health problems like hyponatremia.

10. Unless you are a law enforcement officer, you can’t bring a firearm to camp (or any other activity that is not specifically for shooting). 

Breaking this rule could lead to issues. Really big issues.

Pandora had a box. She was told not to opened the box. But, she opened the box anyways. Bad things came out.

Don’t open the metaphoric box! Restricted activities are restricted for a reason. To get a full list of BSA’s  restricted activities, click here.

Comment below on why you think these activities are restricted. Or, do you think some of them shouldn’t be?

6 comments

  1. Jay says:

    When the BSA says banned, you should read “Our insurance isn’t going to cover you.” That’s really the crux of it. If you and/or your troop decides to do something that is banned, there isn’t anyone there to police you to stop you from doing it. However, if someone gets hurt doing one of the banned things or anything that doesn’t follow the Guide to Safe Scouting…well, I hope your Home Owners Insurance is up to date because you personally will be footing the emergency room bill and open yourself up to possible lawsuits. Following the rules & guidelines = Protection.

  2. Glenn Rauhofer says:

    Ok question this seems to be weird is this in scout camp or real world for all scouts. As a leader for over 20 yrs if seen a lot and when i was in scouts had alot of fun.
    1. ATVs are banned. ( i know of scout troops that have used them on camp outs to transport kids and everything need.
    2. Box­ing, karate, and most mar­tial arts are no-nos. (scouts can not interfere with home life)
    3. Chain­saws and mechan­i­cal log splin­ters can be used with restric­tions. (Ok liveing out east dealing with stroms after storms scout troops rally to help there local areas. yes clearing and use of chainsaws is left for older scouts and leaders)
    4. Explor­ing aban­doned mines is not allowed. (when i was a scout out west that was some of the best times going in the old silver mines and lava tubes. still today troops go thru old caves and mines with proper instructors.
    5. Var­si­ty foot­ball teams and inter­scholas­tic or club foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion are unau­tho­rized. ( once again you cant tell kids they cant do it part of being a kid. At camp there is always kids playing football in there free time.)
    6. Using fire­works or watch­ing fire­works is unau­tho­rized unless a pro­fes­sion­al is involved. (Well ive camp several fouth of Julys there is always a hand full of kids that set of fire works yes there are taken away from them. Watching fire works i know six camps that you can watch them at night from a distance.
    7. You can’t sell fire­works. (That is in the rule books)
    8. No hang glid­ing, ultra­lights, exper­i­men­tal air­crafts, para­chut­ing, or unteth­ered hot air bal­loon rides. ( I have read in boys life about scout troops going in hot air ballons)
    9. No water chug­ging activ­i­ties. ( I have no problem with this but scout do it i have seen it as a race to see who ends up doing dishes)
    10. Unless you are a law enforce­ment offi­cer, you can’t bring a firearm to camp (or any oth­er activ­i­ty that is not specif­i­cal­ly for shoot­ing). ( I know a lot of leaders that bring them they are placed in range masters hands for care I got to shoot my first AR15 at scout camp. )
    Ok not being miss under stood but so we dont scare kids away from the program we must not jump out and say no no no every thing a troop does is well planed out permits in place. Scouting is becoming one of the last places for kids to get out the house. We should not not be saying no we should say yes with care and supervision. My scout master taught us to have fun and have safe fun safe.

    1. Jay says:

      When the BSA says banned, you should read “Our insurance isn’t going to cover you.” That’s really the crux of it. If you and/or your troop decides to do something that is banned, there isn’t anyone there to police you to stop you from doing it. However, if someone gets hurt doing one of the banned things or anything that doesn’t follow the Guide to Safe Scouting…well, I hope your Home Owners Insurance is up to date because you personally will be footing the emergency room bill and open yourself up to possible lawsuits. Following the rules & guidelines = Protection.

    2. Darryl Alder
      Darryl Alder ( User Karma: 9 ) says:

      Glenn lots of people do things they shouldn’t in Scouting. When they do and someone takes us to court, we cannot always stand with them, especially if they knowingly ignored the Guide to Safe Scouting. The list of restricted activities are a clear warning to leaders that they have gone beyond the Scouting program. Another test is this: if it isn’t in the Scout Handbook, it likely is not part of our program.
      We don’t have to say no to most things and clearly when they are part of our published program.

    3. Michelle Carpenter
      Michelle Carpenter ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

      These are restrictions/unauthorized activities for the Scouting program. Of course, Scouts may choose to do these things on their own time. Some of these rules come with particular stipulations or allowances. For instance, you cannot ride in an untethered hot air balloon, but you can ride in a tethered one. You cannot create a Varsity football team, but you could play football just for fun. An individual can bring a firearm if the plan is to use it for a target shooting activity. Please review the list in more detail on the Scouting website: http://www.scouting.org/Home/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss08.aspx. There are only 19 restricted activities in total.

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