UFI -- Shocked by the electrocution of three Scout leaders at their national jamboree, the Boy Scouts of America today announced a new Electrical Safety Merit Badge, to be known as a "Sparky." Avoiding potential electrocution during tent erections will be covered along with a variety of other short subjects.
"From Ben Franklin on down, Scouts have been both fascinated with, and yet, somewhat ignorant of lightning and electrical hazards" according to Scout Grandmaster Ken North. "But there weren't overhead wires or 3-phase outlets at Scout campsites twenty years ago."
"All that has changed" North said, "With the latest Eddie Bauer tents equipped with 110V receptacles for espresso makers, vcr's, bug zappers, and X-boxes. It's time Scouts caught up with technology, and electrical safety. For instance, aluminum tent poles should be replaced with fiberglass," said North. "Learning how to use a VOM is as important today as a GPS. Getting lost around electricity can kill you just as fast as getting lost in the woods.
"Just being prepared" means understanding how ground-fault interruptors work, how to reset circuit breakers, and avoiding overloads. Just as you can overload your pack, you can overload an electrical circuit" said North. Whether it's rubber-soled shoes, rubber gloves, almost about any kind of rubber can give Scouts the protection they need"
Although the BSA doesn't accept openly homosexual Scouts or Scoutmasters, political correctness will still be encouraged during the training, with jokes about "gay electrons blowing all the fuses" forbidden. If a Scout experiencing a pup tent were to "accidentally blow a breaker" so to speak, a "don't ask, don't tell" policy is in effect.
"All scouts will get a stern lecture about erections" as well, said North. Putting up a metal-framed tent beneath an overhead power line is a recipe for disaster. We want all erections handled in a safe manner. If a boy isn't sure what is or isn't safe to touch, he can consult his Scoutmaster."
In order to earn the Sparky badge scouts will have to construct a working 10,000V Tesla coil, lick a 9V Duracell battery, re-wire a boat trailer, and submerge a toaster (protected by a GCFI) in a bathtub containing a fellow scout. "After that," said North, "We feel they'll be ready to safely handle even the largest erections at Jamboree."