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Cub Scout Pack 79
(mentor, Ohio)
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What is a Whittling Chip


A Whittling Chip card is issued to a Bear or Weblos Cub Scout to show that they have had and passed the necessary trainign to carry and use a pocketknife at certain Scout activities. The Den Leader will let them know when a pocketknife is needed, the Cub Scout should check with the Den Leader to find out if a pocketknife will be needed or allowed at each activity. If the Cub Scout is not sure, don’t bring it.



 In return for the privilege of carrying a pocketknife to designated Cub Scout functions, the Cub Scout agrees to the following:

  1. I will treat my pocketknife with the respect due a useful tool.
  2. I will always close my pocketknife and put it away when not in use.
  3. I will not use my pocketknife when it might injure someone near me.
  4. I promise never to throw my pocketknife for any reason.
  5. I will use my pocketknife in a safe manner at all times.

Akela (any leader, parent, or adult) can ask for the Whittling Chip at any time a Cub Scout has a pocketknife in his possession. If the Cub Scout does not have the card in his possession, the knife is to be collected and returned to the parent.

            The Whittling Chip does not allow a Cub Scout to bring a pocketknife onto school property at any time, even when school is out. Having a pocketknife on school property, will result in loss of the Whittling Chip card and possible expulsion from school.  It can not be earned back in our pack.

             An accident which results in another person being injured will also result in loss of the Whittling Chip card, it can not be earned back in our pack.

             Violation of a safety rule may result in having a corner torn off the card or temporary loss of the card depending on the seriousness of the violation. If all four corners are torn off, the Cub Scout must earn the card again by taking another class.

Knife Safety Circle

Safety Circle – Hold your arm out as far as possible with an object like a ruler and turn around. This represents the required space necessary that nobody is allowed to cross when using a pocket knife.  If someone else enters their circle for any reason you should close your knife and lay it down.  The knife weilder is responsible for anyone entering the circle, even from behind. 

  • A knife is not a toy, it is a useful tool. Like most tools if it is not used properly, it can injure someone.
  • Always walk when carrying an open knife or a pair of scissors and carry it with the blade pointed away from you.
  • A knife should never be used to dig in the dirt. Dirt and moisture will dull and/or rust the blade.
  • Always cut by pushing the knife away from you. Be sure your hands and body are out of the way.
  • A knife should never be thrown at anything. Never try to throw it and make it stick into the dirt, a tree, or any other object.

    Always close a pocketknife with the palm of your hand, never by pushing the blade against another object like your leg.
  • Always keep the blade as sharp as possible. A dull knife might not cut into the work properly or slip resulting in cutting yourself or something else unintended. A sharp blade is more likely to cut into the work as intended.
  • Never cut the bark from a live tree it could kill or seriously injure the tree. Never carve on something that does not belong to you.
  • A knife should always be closed and put away when not in use. Any knife left out on a table could cut someone who does not realize it is there. A pocketknife, even closed should be put away so it does not get lost or played with by other children.
  • Do not try to catch a knife if it drops, step back and pick it up after it comes to rest.
  • A knife should never be used instead of a screwdriver or other tool, each tool has its purpose and must be used properly.


How to Sharpen a Knife

  1. Place the whetstone on a cutting board or countertop, with the coarse grit face up. A wet paper towel underneath the stone can help keep it from sliding.
  2. With one hand, grasp the knife by the handle and hold the edge against the stone, point-first, with the cutting edge meeting the stone at a 22½-degree angle.
  3. With moderate pressure, slide the blade forward and across the the stone, covering the entire length of the blade and keeping the blade flush against the stone at a constant 22½-degree angle.
  4. Do this 10 times, then flip the knife over and give the other side of the blade 10 strokes.
  5. Now flip the stone over to the fine grit side and give each side of the blade 10 strokes.
  6. Finish by using a sharpening steel to hone the blade, then rinse and wipe the blade dry to remove any metal particles.


  1. Always sharpen in the same direction, whether it's front-to-back or back-to-front.
  2. Despite what its name might suggest, keep your whetstone dry. Using oil or water on a whetstone traps tiny metal particles in the liquid, which in turn produce a more ragged edge than when using a dry stone.
  3. Don't believe the hype about knives that supposedly "never need sharpening." Cutting produces friction, and friction causes a knife's edge to lose its sharpness. There's no avoiding the laws of physics!


How to Pass a Knife

Passing a knife - The blade should always be closed.  When you pass a knife, it should not be released to the recipient until the other person says "Thank You".  This indicates that the other person realizes that they are recieving the knife and are ready to accept the responsibiltiy for it.  After hearing "Thank You", say "Your Welcome" as you release the knife.  This indicates that you have released the responsibility for the knife to the other person.