The Talker: Overweight Boy Scouts banned from national jamboree - New York News

The Talker: Overweight Boy Scouts banned from national jamboree

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Boy Scouts from across the country are in West Virginia this week for the Scouts' national jamboree.

The event is held every four years, but a lot about this year's version is different. For one thing, the 10-day jamboree is held in a new location on 1,000 acres of land in the mountains of West Virginia.

The Boy Scouts are using the land to challenge the scouts' physical abilities. Every scout will be asked to hike 3 miles up a mountain and most of the activities are physically demanding -- things like rock climbing, rappelling, mountain and BMX biking, skate boarding, scuba diving, kayaking and white water rafting. There's also fishing on four different lakes on the grounds.

The Boy Scouts say the overall design of the campsite was aimed at stressing the importance of physical fitness for youth.

Another goal is to build self-confidence. In that department, the jamboree could end up with a mixed record. On the one hand, different arts of the campground require different skill levels, so everyone can feel good about being able take part.

The flipside is that not all Boy Scouts are allowed to be at this year's jamboree. The application for the jamboree had a Body Mass Index requirement above 40, which is severely obese. Those over were barred from the jamboree. Scouts with BMI's between 32 and 40 -- also considered obese -- were considered, but had to give the scouts additional medical information.

We talked with someone at Chicago Council of the Boy Scouts. He said with such physically strenuous activities, the scouts want to avoid putting anyone who might not be able to handle them in a dangerous situation. He said it's a matter of being cautious.

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