The following information is to be used
to help scout leaders teach scouts about the totin'
chip. The following is only an outline and is not
complete. This outline is intended to be used for
two 30 minute sessions.
Objectives - By the end of these sessions you should be able to:
Name the parts of the ax and pass an ax correctly
Know how to sharpen an ax
how to setup an ax yard correctly
Know how to use a knife, take care of it properly and
sharpen a knife
Use and carry a saw properly
Location - To be done outside if possible
Materials - axe, hatchet, sheath, rope,
knives (pocketknives, lock blades), collapsible
saw, sharpening file, sharpening stone.
1. Parts of the ax - (Go over parts
of the axe throughout session for repitition)
2. Passing - Questions:
Who knows the correct why to hold an ax? (Hold the
ax incorrectly and ask the scouts if it is the right
way to hold an ax). When the scouts have determined
that the way you are holding the ax is incorrect ask:
"Why is it unsafe to hold the ax the way I am?"
The correct way is to hold it by the axe's shoulder
and heel. The ax handle rests along the persons arm
and and the ax bit points down.
Why is this a good way to carry an ax?
It helps prevent people getting hurt when a person
carrying an ax falls. An ax should never be waived
in the air and held still when being carried.
Who knows the correct way to pass an ax? Try passing
it incorrectly and ask if it is correct. As a scout
to come up to you and try passing the ax incorrectly
to them. Some ideas of passing the ax incorrectly
is passing the ax across your bodies, pass with the
ax bit facing you or the scout and pass the ax with
the head the wrong side up (When showing the incorrect
way to pass the ax NEVER let go of the ax).
The proper way is to pass the ax along
the side of the body with the bit facing out and
never across the body. If
the passer passes the ax with his right hand then
the receiver will take the ax with his left hand
What do you say when receiving an ax? Thank you -
It lets the passer know you have control of the ax
Keep heavy end (head)down.
Down pass across the body Must say "Thank you" after
have ax Bit to the side
Activity: Get in a circle and pass the
ax around. Once the ax has been passed to someone
they must show the correct way to hold the ax. (If
large group divide group in two and have patrol leader
take a group to run activity.)
3. Setting up ax yard -
Rope off area. Hold ax by head and move in a circle
know nothing is around you to get in the way of a
swining ax. Hold ax above you to make
sure there are no low branches to caught ax while
chopping. If some one is in ax
yard already, ask permission before you enter.
People must be 10 feet away before
you can chop.
Wear long pants and leather boots
What is wrong with wearing sandals or
tennis shoes when chopping wood? If the ax slips then
the sandals and tennis shoes provide no protection
for the feet while leather boots do provide some protection.
Activity: Have the patrol set up an
ax yard and then comment on good points and then bad
points of their ax yard.
4. Sharpening ax- clamp ax on bench
or table, use a file and start at one end and move
the file down and across the bit.
5. Show different types and sizes of
knifes -good and bad points about each.
Small better for young scouts because they are easier
Serrated blades stay sharp but become hard to sharpen.
Stainless steel knives good because they will not rust.
6. Proper Passing a knife - folding
and fixed bladed knives. A folding blade knife should
always be passed closed and never across a person.
A fixed blade should be passed with the person passing
the knife holding the blade(dull end touching palm
7. Scouts should only carry a folding
blade - While there is no official national rule
scouts carrying a fix blade most Boy Scout camps
do have a policy of no fixed blades. Older Scouts
remember when the Boy Scouts sold fixed blade knifes
which had about four inch blades. Many scouts decided
they wanted bigger knifes so they started to bring
seven and eight inch knifes. In the interest of
scout camps forbid them. In most cases only small
8. Opening/closing knife - Have scouts
go around opening and closing knife while passing
it. Open and close a knife with both hands.
9. Talk about when and where to use
a knife - Only during day, not around someone(campfire,
middle of walkway). Why is it a bas idea to use a
knife at night even if their is a full moon? There
is not enough light to be able to see what is being
10. Show how to sharpen a knife on dry
stone - 35 - 45 degree angle away from the body.
11. Show proper way to carry saw -
your side similar to the ax. Blade should be covered
when carrying and passing saw.
12. Passing a saw - blade facing out
and not across the body. Receiver says thank you when
he has control of the saw.