Boy Scouts of America jamboree camp excludes obese Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts of America's new headquarters for the national jamboree comes with new requirements on participating scouts. Too high of a BMI score and a scout cannot attend.
AP/Charleston Daily Mail, Craig Cunningham
Glen Jean, W.Va.
This year's Boy Scouts of America's national Jamboree is being billed as the most physically demanding in its history: There's rock climbing, rappelling, whitewater rafting and biking. And Scouts will go about the sprawling, hilly landscape the old-fashioned way – on foot.
Thousands of Scouts gather for 10 days starting Monday at a new location in West Virginia. Officials designed the 1,000-plus acre Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve to take advantage of the Mountain State's natural assets, and they also put into place new physical fitness requirements that eliminated morbidly obese Scouts from participating.
"Part of the design in building this site was to address the need for physical fitness in our youth, which of course is a longstanding component of Scouting," said Dan McCarthy, director of the BSA's Summit Group. "We saw this as an opportunity to integrate some new challenges ... so we deliberately spread the site to enable us to encourage Scouts and basically require Scouts to move about the site by foot."
This year, 30,000 Scouts ages 12 to 20 and their leaders were required to meet a threshold for body mass index and other health factors before being allowed to participate. Jamboree applicants with a BMI – a measure of body fat determined through height and weight — of 40 or higher were deemed ineligible. Those who fell between 32 and 39.9 faced providing additional health information to Jamboree medical staff.