Over the past few months there has been some discussion online in Scout forums regarding Scouts using various power tools and the BSA policy regarding their use. We’ve helped out on a couple of Eagle projects, and quite ignorantly, have broken several of these rules. In one forum, Scouters were talking about pushing a power mower since 10 years old at home, something most 10-12 year old boys learn to do, yet the BSA restricts use of a gasoline powered mower until age 16. Turns out it isn’t just BSA policy – the Boy Scouts of America released a statement yesterday which pointed to the fed’s website youthrules.gov and details that specifically push mower use is prohibited before age 16. Other jobs of interest included operation of power driven hoists, woodworking and metal forming machines, almost any power driven saw, roofing or any kind of roof work, and trenching or excavating which could include drainage tile or irrigation lines.

I was also surprised to learn that youth under the age of 20 have their own minimum wage – just $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days. That’s only slightly more than what I made per hour as a teen nearly a quarter of a century ago. It’s tough being a kid!