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We are a Troop that collects and stores during outings. We have had boys lose, destroy, 'borrow' phones on campouts, text girl friends all weekend, and just play all day on them until the batteries die. While I think I think we may be on the losing side of the war I will keep fighting those battles.
I look a little askance at a Scouter in a suit recommendations.
"It clearly beats the compass when it comes to learning about effective land or water navigation." Clearly the Orienteering MB will be discontinued soon. That ranks right up there with Kudu's favorite quotes from scout executives.
I pretty much agree with the Deputy CSE. I"m a smartphone user. I use it on campouts and even backpacking treks. It's very useful, within it's limits. Does it take away from the outdoors? Sometimes, yes. Does it make the experience more pleasant or safer? Mostly, yes.
Our troop has transformed in the time I've been with it (4 yrs). Original rule was electronics only in the cars on the way to and from an outing. That worked fine, but over time it stopped being enforced. We didn't notice any problems with cellphones/smartphones, etc., except for one boy who called home during a Camporee because he wanted to leave early. Other than that, no big deal. We haven't had the play games with the phone all day. We haven't had any "borrowing" or loss or destruction. We've had no problems, up to this point during campouts. Did have a problem once during a meeting, when boys were supposed to be working on skills, we had three in a corner watching funny youtube videos. I addressed it with them, haven't had a problem with those boys since.
Basically, until we have a problem, we will keep this up. If we start to have problems, our first idea is to institute the "cyber chip" similar to the way the troop I was in growing up, didn't use the totin' chip, until some boys started to misuse knives and machetes.
I don't like the idea personally, but it's not a hill I'm willing to die on. If my Scouts insist on having them, I'm not willing to fight a losing battle for the cause of no cellphones when there are other things that matter much more. My PLC consistently keeps the no cell phone rule, but then breaks it rather consistently.
The Scouts in our Troop have been using cell phones/ smart phones in their personal lives for the last four or five years. Cell phone use has slowly grown in our Troop over the last two to three years.
While I personally don't care for the scouts to use them on outings, it has become difficult to police. For the last two years, our Council Camp has been promoting the use of camera phones/smart phones to take and share pictures with other campers, and to submit photos for a contest that the camp runs. With the advent of solar chargers an additional electrical outlets at some camps, it seems inevitable that mobile devices are going to be a part of a scouts equipment list.
I am glad to say though, that the boys only seem to use their phones at bedtime, just to check FB status. I have yet to see anyone calling home. So maybe there still is hope.
Because he realised young people could be useful members of society. It was quite simple really.
Cell phones and smart phones are here and here to stay. They are simply part of the world we live in and will be part of the world the scouts enter when they are adults. Courteous and sensible use of them is something that we can teach simply as part of the programme. eg I expect them to be put away during meal times. It gets them used to how it will be when they go out to work. I wont lend them a charger or allow them to use mine if the battery runs out, They learn the hard way how to nurse their battery life.
Trying to ban them is a hiding to nothing and misses the chance to teach valuable life skills.
Well, you can't fight it but you can't win. The smartphones will assimilate us, Resistance is futile. Best bet, as the man says, is to find sensible rules that can work in your troop environment. They just have too many features that are useful to rule them out because they cause some problems with game playing an texting.
I must belong to the worst parent in the world club from reading about all these boys here and on Bryan that can self control their electronic habits. Some pinhead that goes by KDD was rightfully accused of unscout like conduct over there as well. Two thumbs up Twocubdad.
There is not one use for a smart phone mentioned here or on the blog that merits their inclusion. At best, competent but lazy people want to use them as shortcuts, at worst incompetent people need them to keep themselves from learning.