Monday night was the Bear Den meeting and I was asked to do a knife demo and talk about the Whitlin’ Chip. I though, perfect I can do this. I was also asked to show how to sharpen a knife. Because I went to Culinary School I had a three tiered stone and a good chef knife. I also brought a folding knife that I have in my 10 essentials.
What I forgot was the Whitlin Chip pledge card info. However, I had my iPhone and it has the app called Pack Badges. I reviewed it earlier in this posting. It has the info that I needed. The boys started off by getting use to carving with plastic knives and bars of soap. (A Scout is Clean). Once they had a good grasp on how to carve, it was down to business.
I started out with explaining to the boys the rules of the Whitlin Chip:
- I will treat my pocketknife with the respect due a useful tool.
- I will always close my pocketknife and put it away when not in use.
- I will not use my pocketknife when it might injure someone near me.
- I promise never to throw my pocketknife for any reason.
- I will use my pocketknife in a safe manner at all times.
I then explained that the knives will stay with their parents when not in use. They must talk to their parents about using a knife. (I did not want them bringing it to school for any reason).
I then explained what I call “The Circle of Pain”. I extended my arm and moved it around in a circle. Explained that if there is anyone within this circle that they can get hurt. This also includes when using sticks, rakes, shovels or anything in their hands.
As I went through all the steps, the boys got interested and did pay attention. They listened very well. As a Cook, I have been to the hospital several times for the 18 stitches that I have gotten during my time. Because of that, I am very careful around knives. With that, I showed them all my scars on my hands. I explained how I got them, how deep they went and that it hurt. This all lead to why handling knives is very important. I think that they got it.
Finally, I read through the five rules of the Whitlin Chip and had them repeat after me. I asked them to explain them and to confirm that they would abide by them. Of course they all agreed and complied.
Overall, I think that they got it. I think that they did because in the earlier part of the meeting they went through the emergency prepardness sheet that I had handed out at the earlier pack meeting. The Bear Den Leaders had them talk about it and answer trivia questions about what to do when.
I will say, that my son did well. I told him before that if he did well, and took it seriously that we can look into getting him a knife that I would keep for him. He asked if he could use it for carving sharp points for marshmellows and carving sticks in general. I said that he could. Which I shows me that he gets safety and being respondsible. To that, earlier in the day he came home and moved all the lumber off the deck and finished power washing. We spent the weekend power washing the deck. He did this to earn Magic Cards. But the amazing thing is that as I explained how to use the Power washer, he listened and did what I said. He was very respondsible.