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    • I hear you and agree with your sentiment - not everything has to be geared around high adventure and skills are scaleable. I keep harping on the use of car-based GPS because Second Class scouts are almost always not yet driving and therefore couldn't independently apply the skills. That's why I'd lean towards teaching GPS skills at a local park or even the CO facility if it's reasonably large. A simple course could be set up with way points/coordinates to help scouts learn the device's input interface and understand the level of accuracy of different devices in different settings (tall buildings, tree cover, etc).
    • To me, the requirement is intended to teach that GPS navigation is valuable for certain situations, but is not quite superior to compass/map.   Smartphone GPS especially is reliant on satellite and cellular signal triangulation (and in most cases, internet signal to download the map).  If you are in a backcountry area with limited to no cellular signal, it can be pretty widely imprecise.  A dedicated GPS unit is  typically more reliable.  This requirement itself is just a basic learning experience, so I wouldn't ask a youth to use the GPS and locate a spot 5 miles away and walk the route.  I have used it within a scout camp and within a local park and had the scouts pick a spot that was perhaps a 15 minute walk, which gave them some perspective (much like with a compass/map) that as much as they need to give attention to the GPS, they also have to lift their head and watch where they are going.  I have a pretty high-end GPS unit, with topo maps for most of the Northeast loaded- I used to do geocaching, but haven't in a bit- but most basic GPS units don't have full topo maps included.  So, lesson learned that just because the GPS says to go directly north for 1,500 feet doesn't mean the GPS understands that there is a ravine ahead, or a river, or a building, or a jungle gym, etc.      I would, in your shoes, not sign that requirement, but offer to the scout we'll take some time on our next campout (or, even offer to meet them and their parent on a Saturday morning at a local park) to do this exercise to get them their sign-off.  Encourage them you are glad they had that experience, as they now understand the basics of how the GPS navigation works, so this will be an easy requirement for them to complete when you get together.   
    • Have you ever made grits?  You have to boil for at least 5 minutes for quick grits (15 minutes for regular grits). That and the cleanup make it impractical for backpacking.  
    • 🤩 I have occasionally responded to an SPL question with a couple of questions - 1) is it safe?  2) if that answer is yes, what do you think you should do?  If where and how he wants the scouts to set up camp on a backpacking or kayaking trip does not present any safety hazards, it then becomes his decision.  Sometimes that becomes a learning experience, like the ones whose response to 'are you sure that is where you want to put your tent' was yeah, why not.  They learned why not early the next morning when taking the tent down after heavy dew, only to find out what happens when that tent is pitched on Florida sand rather than in the grass like everyone else.  I am fairly sure they will not do that again.  
    • Well, while I understand outdoor adventure of Boy Scouting is a natural influence for your "learning how to use a GPS for backcountry travel", I don't see that much detail in the wording of the requirement.  I think back of the compass skills I learned as a youth, I was pretty good. Yet, I learn those skills on compass courses in town. I later got to apply those skills on adventure trips and enhanced my skills. I can't say you are right or wrong, but I think adults should model honesty in the respecting the rules. I think what set our troop program apart from many programs around us is that we broaden the experiences of many requirements by adding adventure. If you want the scouts to gain more from any requirement, set up an activity to give them that adventure. Hey, maybe even figure out how to use a drone to add fun. Be creative. Barry 
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