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Discussions dealing with equipment topics (tents, lights, packs, boots, stoves, etc.)

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    • So last weekend I was on camp with my merry band of men and women and by the end of it two particular scouts had caught my attention, both for very different reasons. Both present things that need a little attention, and I have my ideas about what to do with both of them, but I thought I would see what the collective wisdom of this esteemed forum would through up. In both cases I was already aware of the issues but a weekend on camp really shone a light on them. Just as a reminder our scout section in the UK runs 10-14 year olds so the troop is generally younger, worth remembering for dealing with things!
      Scout number 1. 13 year old, female patrol leader. Quietly spoken. Genuinely nice kid. Been all the way through from a 6 year old beaver. Got made a PL at Easter on the recommendation of the PLs council. She's very competent, can look after herself, knows what she and everyone else needs to be doing. Has an absolute heart of gold. Trouble is that she find telling other people what to do very difficult. She's not making the classic new PL mistake of thinking that she needs to do it all herself, she knows she shouldn't be, it's just that she has told me she finds it awkward telling other people what they should be doing.

      I have some ideas about how to help her do that (bearing in mind she's a 13 year old and not a cadet at Sandhurst!) but thought I'd forage elsewhere.

      Scout number 2. Also 13 years old, but there the similarity ends. He's the total polar opposite of scout 1. Came into scouts aged 12, quite a gob on him. His problem is he's very much "me, me, me." He wants to do everything, but doesn't want to put the work in. On camp it was him doing the moaning when they were walking up from the station to the campsite, him that kept dodging his chores, him that had to be told multiple times by his PL and by me to do anything. Basically zero work ethic, zero team ethic. And the problem is we're now in a viscious circle, because he's annoyed the other kids and he's starting to get pushed out the gang. I tried having a word in his shell, explaining that he was winding up the other kids, but it didn't seem to sink in. When he did (briefly) pull his weight, he looked at me for approval, not the rest of the troop. He kind of missed the point.

      Again, I have some ideas on how to tackle this but thought I'd see what you chaps think as well.

      Actually one similarity between them, scout 1's dad is group treasurer, scout 2's mum is a troop assistant (essentially a regular parent helper).
    • Though IOLS and BALOO cover many similar topics, if they are done properly they are not almost identical.  They are (should be) very different in the depth of the information and in the approach.  BALOO is training for Cub Scout adults to plan and carry out a pack/family campout.  While IOLS is about the Scout leaders being able to guide their Scouts in planning and carrying out a patrol campout.  Part of the learning for Scout leaders should be for them to have an experience similar to what their new Scouts will have - being part of a patrol, with people you may or may not know, learning the new skills (and maybe struggling with them a bit), choosing their own campsite, setting up camp, planning and preparing their own meals, doing all this under the "supervision" of a Troop Guide.  AND - the level of camping skills and the camping rules are quite different between Cubs and Scouts. In my council, we run IOLS and BALOO concurrently but the only thing we overlap is campfire program and cracker barrel.  
    • Maybe we should let Amazon stock the drugs.  Seems like they can deliver within 2 hrs for a nominal fee.  Just send it by drone.
    • Well, I made it, and they didn't make any noise about turning me away! LOL! They actually had a fair amount of combined training. We spent the morning and through lunch with the people there for IOLS and then broke out into separate groups for the afternoon. My understanding is the SMS training (which I've already had) began the evening before. It was held at the hosting district's Camporee.  I can't say I learned a lot I didn't already know, but what do you do? I do understand why it's important to ensure someone on every campout knows how to put together a first aid kit at least.
    • Thanks for the pointer about her father's website.  I read the text there and it sounds like he's taking credit for it.  Seems to be positioning himself as a advocate for civil rights.  I imagine you can do that through influence and activism and avoid lawsuits.  I don't recall hearing that in the case of the BSA that change happened because of lawsuits - but again, if someone can point to a reference, I'm happy to learn here. On Sydney - I understand what you're saying.  If I have this correctly, you dislike that she pursued finding a way to get credit for her Scouting activities prior to becoming an "officially registered" member of Scouts BSA.  It was one thing to ask for gender equality - another thing to push for a special exception for girls now joining.  Fair point. I guess I don't mind so much that she lobbied and eventually found a way to get some back credit.  Yeah, it's probably unfair to the legions of girls who won't be able to do the same.  But, I'm sympathetic to the argument that "Hey, in a time where I was an unofficial member, I did all this stuff.  Why do I need to do it all over again, and in the process, delay achieving the rank of Eagle?"   If it were my daughter, I can imagine a similar conversation.  In my family, we'd have accepted the results and moved on.  But, he family is more familar with advocating for stuff like this and so they pursued it.  Again, unfair?  Sure, probably.   But, she does have enough of a point that I'm not going to criticize her from pursuing it.  Instead I'd tell her - go for it, maybe you'll win, maybe you won't, but it's a fair arugment to make.      
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