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    • #121580
      Larry Erskine

      Strange question was asked today and I thought I knew the correct answer but after conversation with others, now I’m not sure. At what height should you place ropes to mark off the axe yard? Before you answer, I’m not looking for your opinion but actual standard with supporting documentation. Why would I ask such a simple question, let me explain. Typically I but the rope at waist height. Is this not a violation just like a clothes line that is too low? We all know that clothes lines need to be above head height to prevent injury. Think before you post reply. If you have answer, please post it.

    • #123796

      My rule #1: Never ask for a rule. Someone will make one for you, and you’ll live to regret it!

      There is no recommended height for “roping off” an area. The point is to demark a boundary so clearly that folks won’t accidentally stumble over it or stroll under it. (BTW, caution tape is a wonderful thing.)

      There is also no recommended height for clotheslines. Head height? Which head? I’ve had little people in my troop. Their clothesline could be a tripping hazard for me. My line would be so high that the little people would have to make due with wet laundry (trust me, that would be bad). Fortunately, we both are sufficiently astute as to respect whatever we set up to keep camp operable.

    • #125699

      No written “rule” exists. In fact, unless you are at a “long term” camp, roping off a defined “axe yard” area isn’t even required.

      Clearly, if you want to know “how high” to make axe yard ropes, the answer is… “high enough to be SEEN”. It’s not an “electrified fence”, it’s simply a VISUAL indicator that within a set area, axes are being swung, so stay away/alert.

      Also, since we’re on the topic, now is a great time to clear up any “urban legends” about Boy Scouts and knives. There are NO RESTRICTIONS from the BSA other than what blade length is banned by state/local laws. While a “small, folding, preferably locking” blade is suitable for 99.99% of scouting activity, fixed blade (sheath) knives ARE allowed. Perfect examples are filet knives for Fishing MB.

      Here’s the text you requested…


      The BSA neither encourages nor bans fixed-blade knives nor do we set a limit on blade length. Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature. We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility.

      Remember—knives are not allowed on school premises, nor can they be taken aboard commercial aircraft.
      References: Boy Scout Handbook, Fieldbook,
      Bear Handbook, and Wolf Handbook
      online Guide to Safe Scouting: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss08/

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