BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

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Totin Chip and whittling chip

I’m told the whittling chip the kids earned in 3rd grade as Bears no longer allows them to carry or use a pocket knife at scouting events once they cross over to Boy Scouts. I understand that the Totin chip is needed for the other wood tools but no longer able to use their pocket knife??? Is this true? I can’t find any solid answers just opinions like,” who is policing it anyway.”

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Whittling Chip is a Cub Scout award and does not carry over to Scouts BSA. A Scout needs to earn their Totin’ Chip in order to carry a knife in Scouts BSA. It is a good practice to have them go over the rules as many Scouts need a refresher.

In my troop, Scouts know they can be asked for their Totin’ Chip anytime they have their knife and if they don’t, their knife is taken and returned to the parents.

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The Whittling Chip only grants Cub Scouts the ability to carry pocket knives at designated Cub Scout activities.

Stuff they did while Cub Scouts does not generally carry over to Scouts BSA.

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Ok, next question, who do we talk to about changing this? Sounds kind of crazy to me. I have a pack of 78 kids that would all side with me. Plus I don’t know how many older boys in the troop that thought it was pointless.

I would have your Scout talk to the troop and find out what their policy is. They might want to make sure that the Scouts still know, understand, and agree to follow the safety rules.

Did. My scout already got his totin chip with all his friends after all the confusion and now I’m seeing the newest Webelos cross over with the same confused thoughts. He wants to stay by the rules which is fine. The rule just needs to change. Everyone I talk to thinks this is a very confusing rule.

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You could try sending an e-mail to myscouting@scouting.org and asking but chances are nothing will change. There are many things in Scouts BSA that Scouts learned in Cub Scouts that must be repeated. For example, all of the requirements of the Scout rank were learned during the Scouting Adventure in Webelos.

Keep in mind the standards between Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA are different. A Cub Scout just needs to do his/her best while in Scouts BSA, the requirement must be completed as written. This means a Cub Scout could earn the Whittling Chip by trying to understand the rules. In Scouts BSA, the Scout must demonstrate knowledge of the rules.

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Cubs had to “demonstrate “ safe use of knife. It should transfer.

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Personally I have no problem with a Scout having to demonstrate they still have knowledge of knife safety when they join the troop. I would not trust that a Scout remembers, especially when the Whittling Chip can be earned several years before joining a troop. When it comes to safety, a refresher never hurts.

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Our scouts typically use knives every time they go anywhere from the time they earn their chip. I clearly let them and all the parents know that if any of them are seen using it inappropriately it can and should be taken. But the worst that I see happening is a cut finger and a little more first aid training. Maybe we’re made out of tougher stuff.

Just because they did something in 3rd grade doesn’t mean they still remember all of the safety rules. Safety is a priority. The Scoutmaster can decide after they demonstrate their knowledge.

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You say “remember something from 3rd grade”. What I’m saying is they have 3 years experience. It’s not like these kids earn it and put it away with a pocket knife on a shelf somewhere.

Then they should be able to quickly demonstrate their knowledge and earn their Totin’ Chip. Yes, there are a few more requirements, but it doesn’t take long to teach and learn those either.

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Well, this is probably where it became a problem. The kids had to wait on a class to take at summer camp and that ended up as a total joke ( I heard they fired the guy) and no one got the chip. Then they were told they can’t just do rank advancements on their own and had to wait for someone else to put together a class. Now the new kids are going through the same thing… waiting on summer camp hoping it’s better this time. Our back up plan is pulling out of class and teaching it ourselves. And until then they can’t even cut a rope unless they use a pair of scissors. I can’t be the only one that thinks this is a bit absurd.

Scouts can earn Totin’ Chip in their unit. They do not have to wait for summer camp. Any older Scout in your troop can and should be teaching it to the new Scouts. New Scouts in my troop all earn Totin’ Chip before our first campout.

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And who told Scouts they can’t do rank advancement on their own? Please show me where in the Guide to Advancement or any other official BSA source that states this. Scouts are encouraged to learn on their own, then when they are ready they demonstrate to the Scoutmaster or someone the Scoutmaster authorizes they have completed the requirement.

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Thank you for sharing that. I found the pages that stated such. And sorry if it sounds like I’m venting here. I have three kids in this program (second year scout, first year Webelos and a wolf) I’m $680 into summer camp costs, 78 or so cubs and Webelos I’m I charge of and there are really great youth programs and camps popping up all over that aren’t going to tell ours 11 and 12 year olds they can’t use a pocket knife. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just be better to teach them all what I want to outside of scouting.

I agree with Ed. Scouts can learn most of the requirements on their own (they are not difficult), and then demonstrate what they know to the Scoutmaster or Scoutmaster’s designee. The Scout learns, the Scout is tested.

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Depending where you live or where a Cub Scout pack meets, knife usage may be infrequent. My son’s pack meets in an elementary school, and knives are off limits there; Bear dens usually do the Whittling Chip at a park or other location away from our regular meeting space. And we live in a relatively suburban area, so the kids don’t have as much opportunity to regularly use a knife as someone who may live in a more rural area and use a knife all the time. Lastly, several parents have a “no weapons” policy in their homes, and choose not to give their child a knife, even after earning the Whittling Chip.

That said, it is entirely conceivable that there may be a number of new Scouts that have not reviewed knife safety for several years, or used a knife during that time, so having them review it again as part of the Totin’ Chip helps keep everyone safe. I believe that when it comes to sharp tools (knives) and first aid, you can never have too much training.

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I like that they are separate awards and separate requirements. The safety requirements to carry a pocketknife in supervised and special events (Whittlin’ Chip) is different from being able to carry a pocketknife, bow saw, and axe at your own discretion (Totin’ Chip).

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