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    • I know this article is now 8 years old, but it is one of the dumbest things I have read in a while.   Yes, going to the store.  This is one of my favorite activities and truly encompasses all that "outside" as to offer.  Sight and Hearing aren't perfect in everyone and not everyone experiences these senses in the same amazing way that the author implies.  Yes, the Louvre... the cheapest round trip flight I can find from here to Paris is around $1100. That's isn't including all of the other expenses with that trip.  My VR setup cost way less than that... I love the outside and I spend as much time there as I can, but this kind of snark isn't convincing anyone.  It is a great read for people who look at kids and their computers/phones/"vidya games" and scoff.  It is really annoying for people who enjoy those things or have various difficulties interacting with "outside."
    • I think six to eight would be a good number.
    • GOING OUTSIDE . . . is not a game or a program, not a device or an app, not a protocol or an operating system. Instead, it’s a comprehensive experiential mode that lets you perceive and do things firsthand, without any intervening media or technology. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/03/28/just-in-time-for-spring 
    • I was wondering what you think is the proper number of Scouts in a single Leatherwork Merit Badge Class should be? Our Council schedules 20 per class and up until recently it was for a 3 hour class.  Now it is 4 hours. At 4 hours, by myself, I am able to get all the kids done and signed off.  If I had an assistant, we might be able to get more Scouts through, but I'm not sure that is a good idea. Any thoughts?  
    • Several years ago, I sat in the leatherwork merit badge class at summer camp (as a Scouter).   I had recently started leatherworking myself and wanted to see what they were teaching.  The counselor was a Scout (not unusual at summer camps) and based on his knowledge, I'm not sure he did the merit badge himself.  After camp I went to our council office and had a discussion with the director.  I explained what I witnessed at the camp and this what he said.  With some merit badge classes, the counselor is chosen by the process of, "whoever is not doing anything else at the time".  That was even more disappointing.  We then got into a deeper conversation about merit badges in general.  I brought up the issue of the "Merit Badge" events and whether the kids were able to learn anything in the 3 hour classes.  He said that kids today have a shorter attention spans and that most kids wouldn't go through the same process,  I did as a scout, of finding a MBC and scheduling a time and actually reading the MB book before seeing the MBC.   So they have to provide these opportunities for them. Fast forward a year and my son had turned 18 but I still wanted to stay involved.  I decided to become a MBC for Leatherwork so I went to one of these events and assisted the MBC that was teaching the class.  He actually had taught the class several times so I was looking forward to learning from someone that knew what they were doing.  I was excited.  The class started and after introductions he said, "I know what I'm doing because last night, I read the Leatherworking MB book 3 times".  What?  Sure he knew some of the basics but when asked some questions, he got them wrong. Then, on top of all that, they didn't even have any projects to work on.  The had some suede mystery bracelets and leather lace.  Nothing they could stamp on.  So I went to the person in charge of merit badges at the event and told her the situation.  She said, "there is nothing we can do about it now, so we have to use what we have".  I explained that what they had was not enough to complete the merit badge and she said that the blue cards had to be signed.  So I offered to run home and get some projects for the next class.  I got back just in time for the class and offered to teach it while he observed and did all the paperwork.  We were able to get all the requirements done but a few had to stay late to do it.    So I've worked my way to be the "go to" person for any leatherworking.  I've done some Cub Scout Day Camps and more MB classes.  I did get them to change some things.  We order the MB kits that come with everything they need to complete the class.  Now the LW MB classes are 4 hours long instead of 3.  I'm trying to get a helper in every class. Is it perfect?  No.  But we do manage to get all the requirements completed.   Yes.  Ideally, I'd like to spread the class over 2 days.  This way the leather can have enough time to dry after dying.  We can assemble the next day plus give them some extra time to stamp on some leather scraps just to have fun.    
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