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All about planning and going to Summer Camp

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  1. Bathing suits at camp

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    • I guess I'll carp about a couple other things as well: One is that the lack of specificity of things like "show evidence" leads to people being willing to sign off on requirements like that, without the scout actually doing what the requirement intends.  I can "show evidence" of 10 different kinds of native plants with a handful of soil and leaf-litter from the forest floor.  I can actually do what the requirement intends, and explain something about why the evidence supports there being at least 10 different kinds of native plants represented too, but the typical scout or adult signing off, isn't going to ask me to demonstrate that I actually have some knowledge of the topic, they're just going to say "yup, that's evidence" and sign my book.  We can't "require more than the requirements", but we can darned well require that they actually can convince us that they've met the requirements. Second, neither you, nor your senior scouts need to be able to do the requirements, for your scouts to satisfactorily complete the requirement.  Part of the meta-requirement inherent in the requirement, is that they learn the material necessary to complete it.  That doesn't mean that you need to teach it to them.  In fact, it's almost certainly better if you don't.  It's also almost certainly better if your senior scouts don't.  What your senior scouts should be teaching them, is "this is how you go learn the material", not the material itself.   If you, or your senior scouts teach them the material, you deprive your scouts of the opportunity to learn how to learn.   Teach them how to learn, and then let them come back and convince you that they learned.  You'll know it when they've learned enough to complete the requirement, whether you can do it yourself or not.
    • The OA is already signaling a return to the original ceremonies.  Weren't there principles in the black robes at NOAC?  This is one of a few items in the trading post referencing the original three tests,   https://tradingpost.oa-bsa.org/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=2018-E-003.
    • Regarding the Arrow of Light ceremonies, I think the packs around here just used the same ceremonies that they have used for years.  While the OA lodge said that the new script (skit?) was available, there was no push to use it. Packs did their ceremony. Arrowmen shot arrows in uniform with sash. Boys were happy. Parents were happy. OA helped out. If Den leaders were somehow forced to use the new script, then there is no role for the OA, and the thing would be done in ten minutes.
    • That's what I'm thinking.  Create a ceremony that doesn't include the NA references.   You could even take a script from one of the existing ceremonies and rework it so that it's done in a way that doesn't make the NA references.
    • Heh - it's all helpful from my point of view.  In an economics sense, your tootsie-roll-box at the campsite is a form of trust game, so it's possibly helpful to think about other formulations of the same underlying principle. Usually (in the economics sense) in a competition, trust-games are better at pointing out sub-optimal behavior, than at encouraging good behavior, but It's additionally (possibly only academically) interesting to think about whether there are trust-game based competitions that positively reinforce good behavior. At the end of the day, my goal is to collect ideas that units could try, to increase the day-to-day living of Scoutly values, and to catalog some specific implementation details that empirically work, or that should be avoided.   "Use the patrol method" is great, at least for relationships with the patrol-team, but it's not terribly specific, and it's obvious that a lot of units struggle with it.  "If you're going to do year-long inter-patrol competitions, provide daily feedback on the points awarded and the standings" is specific, and while some might think it's obvious, clearly, at least my troop hasn't figured that out.  I'd bet that others are in the same boat. So, I'm happy to hear, and discuss any thoughts anyone has regarding what has worked with their units.   This is a bit afield of the idea-harvesting, but, I'm curious what advice you have for dealing with expectations that aren't met.  I'm styling my particular experiment here in terms of Scoutly Values reinforcing activities such as campfire-program content, scoutmaster-minute-and-thirty discussions, and games/competitions that could be embedded in the normal program (even if it doesn't look like a game, like your Tootsie Pops), but, I'm also generally interested in how to maximize the utility of the normal program/methods as well. One challenge that I see (and for which our boys troop has a couple specific exemplars) are scouts (and patrols) that "just don't care".  You set the expectation that they will be up at 7:00AM, prepare their meal, break camp and be on the trail by 8:00, and you get a scout who simply refuses to get up.  No amount of talking to, etc, from his patrol leader, SPL, or even SM, gets him out of his tent.  When he finally does get up, he goes over to where his patrol is just finishing cooking breakfast, grabs the plate of pancakes and takes one bite out of each one.  When he finishes eating, he just stuffs his dirty dishes into the patrol mess-kit (that the rest of the patrol just finished washing).  By the time the rest of the patrol and troop have broken down camp and are ready to move, he hasn't even started to pack. This is an extreme example, but it's one of the things that I, personally, really struggle with.  Professionally, I do a lot of mentoring (slightly older) youth, but I get to do it in a capacity where my expectations have teeth.  I'm not sure how to implement teeth in most Scouting expectations, and the teeth that are the most readily available, don't seem entirely appropriate.  The scouts that have the most trouble being good patrol members, are the ones who need scouting the most, so saying "you blew it, you don't get to X" just deprives them of whatever growth they could have gained.  You seem to have some wisdom in this area that I lack, so I'd appreciate your insights into how to push patrols to meet uncomfortable expectations and actually have the scouts try to achieve them.
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