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Boy Scouts ban obese children from national gathering

The Boy Scouts of America changed its stance on gay scouts not long ago, but another group appears to be getting thinned down.

CBS DC reports that this year’s Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree, a gathering that takes place every four years, has banned children who don’t meet certain fitness criteria 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.

More than 30,000 Scouts and Scout leaders were required to meet a body mass index (BMI) – a measurement based on height and weight – of 40 or less, along with other certain health factors that would allow them to participate in this year’s Jamboree.

“We required a level of fitness in order to come to the Jamboree that we haven’t required before,” McCarthy said. “And that has motivated an enormous return in terms of both kids and adults getting serious about improving their health.”

The Jamboree will include physical activities such as hiking, fishing, mountain bike trails, rock climbing and water rafting.

“We certainly want to get the Scouts outdoors, challenge them and have a healthy lifestyle,” said Gary Hartley, the Summit’s director of community and governmental relations. “We talk about the three C’s as kind of the pillars, and that is cardio, character and citizenship. We have all of those embodied here.”

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