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Kudu last won the day on May 19 2019

Kudu had the most liked content!

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About Kudu

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    Senior Member

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    ESE Education ("Self Contained" Classroom)
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    Primary Objective: To learn to produce short explainer videos for Free-Range "Lone Patrols" unaffiliated with "leadership skills" Troop structures.
  • Biography
    Webmaster of the Traditional Scouting Website, www.inquiry.net - Editor of the first edition of Traditional Pathfinder Handbook, http://www.inquiry.net/traditional/handbook/index.htm used by US Baden-Powell & Independent Scout organizations - 20 years as Scoutmaster and instructor for BSA district and council training courses, including advanced OKPIK

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  1. Looks like I buried the lead! 😎 The purpose of my post was to show how actual gung-ho outdoor kids in a BSA Troop can experience (if only for one weekend in their entire lives) a Free Range Patrol System as it was known to Baden-Powell and William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt. Absent this "mountain top" experience, I don't see how the material from Kudu.Net can help but sound like magical thinking (to paraphrase @dkurtenbach ). Just idealistic words on an electronic screen. Yes! Baden-Powell held in disdain the American invention of summer camps, calling them "Parlour Scouting" in "canvas towns." Render unto Caesar, but I wonder how many Eagle Scouts ever experience a single night of Patrol camping at Baden-Powell's minimum distance between Patrols?
  2. Keep in mind that the above reference is to Baden-Powell's Patrol System, not the Patrol Method. Two relevant differences: 1) There are no middle managers in Baden-Powell's "System," no SPL, no ASPLs, no JASMs, no TGs, nor anyone other than Patrol Leaders with a vote in what Americans call the PLC. In other words, ONLY the Patrol Leaders run the Troop. This means that the most gifted outdoor Scouts rise (yes, are appointed to) the position of Patrol Leader, as opposed to the tendency in the USA to regard it as an entry-level "Position of Responsibility." In Baden-Powell's System, there are no POR requirements. 2) For Free Range outdoor kids the "Adventure" of Scouting is to get out on the trail, especially without adult helicopters. This is the fundamental experience in Baden-Powell's system, to get the Patrols out on Patrol -- and likewise for William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt's "Patrol Leader Training" http://www.inquiry.net/patrol/green_bar/index.htm and his Wood Badge http://www.inquiry.net/traditional/wood_badge/index.htm So, one secret "to just stand back and let the magic happen," is to a) Announce a rugged backpack campout. This will weed out kids who are in Scouts just to get Eagle on their resume, as well as their helicopter parents. b) If necessary, let the Scouts divide themselves into two ad hoc Patrols, the more rugged of which will hike to a set destination without adults. The other, usually less mature, might hike a shorter route to the same destination, but with adults trailing a mile or so behind. For the first time, I would appoint the two most gifted natural leaders to the rugged Patrol, and let them work out the actual dynamics between them as they go. Note that the more rugged Patrol will likely include a few gung-ho smaller Scouts. c) At the agreed destination, the two Patrols camp Baden-Powell's 300 feet apart, likewise for the adults At the end of the weekend these members of the Troop (including the adults) will have experienced the Patrol experience that once made Scouting so popular. Now, how to integrate these Scouts into a BSA Troop is a different question πŸ˜• Yours at 300 feet, Kudu
  3. "Sabattis Scout Reservation is located on over 2,000 acres in the heart of the Adirondack Park. It offers the premier wilderness camping experience in the northeast United States. Sabattis is a traditional full-featured patrol cooking camp" http://www.cnyscouts.org/camping/sabattis-scout-reservation/
  4. Certainly Baden-Powell's First Class Award is the very definition of Free Range. The final requirement, the First Class Journey, is a 14 mile overnight backpack or canoe trek, alone or with one peer. No two-deep helicopters! > The tracking probably wasn't needed and while the plant and animal identification is nice, it's not really a core skill. > On the whole, it seems to be a bit obsolete Despite the significant controlled risk involved in the First Class Journey, not to mention the increasing challenges of the subsequent Journey and Expedition requirements of the more advanced Awards, Baden-Powell's program has some higher outdoor aspirations. > What skills would make a scout more adventurous? In addition to the practical skills a Scout needs to undertake his or her Journey, B-P's requirements include Observation Skills which, for some, are the whole point of outdoor adventure: These skills are known better in the 21st century as "mindfulness," with roots in secular Western versions of zazen and kinhin. "In the summer of 1898 Baden-Powell took a trip to Kashmir which convinced him that the outdoor life, enjoyed purely for its own sake without any military objective, was immensely valuable. Before setting out, he paid considerable attention to his equipment.…On this trip he adopted clothes that he would occasionally claim as the inspiration for the Boy Scout uniform; these included the Stetson he had worn in Rhodesia and a flannel shirt, but not the famous shorts. Yet in spite of all the planning, Baden-Powell viewed camping and walking in wild places as an experience which transcended practical considerations: 'Going over these immense hills - especially when alone - and looking almost sheer down into the deep valleys between - one feels like a parasite on the shoulders of the world. There is such a bigness about it all, that opens and freshens up the mind. It's as good as a cold tub for the soul'." http://www.inquiry.net/ideals/beads.htm Those who roamed the woods alone as teens may recognize this experience: Baden-Powell's "Religion of the Woods." Your mind chatter ceases, and your pupils dilate with interest in the subject of attention, causing the forest light to brighten and colors to saturate. It is a quiet clarity of mind that can last many minutes, similar to the experience of ceasing intense work on a problem, only then, seemingly from out of nowhere, the answer presents itself full-blown. Yours at 300 feet, Kudu http://www.kudu.net Second Class: Observation: Describe in writing, 20 out of 24 well assorted articles, following one minute of observation (Kim’s Game). Follow a half-mile trail of at least 30 woodcraft signs, in 25 minutes. Read the meaning of a series of simple tracks made in sandy or other suitable ground covering at least 20 feet. Follow real animal tracks or a trail made for you by someone else. http://www.inquiry.net/traditional/index.htm (To the above, I would add the tactile feel of rope work and the mental flow of Signalling.)
  5. Seems worthy of a new thread, "Natural Leaders."
  6. My initial inclination is to encourage Free Range Kids to organize around the original fortnight edition of Scouting for Boys. As in the days before Troops were common, a Lone Patrol would seek out, as needed, adults in the community with expertise in the outdoor skills they wish to master. Perhaps a church, school club, hiking group, outdoor store clinic, local chapter of Let Grow, former BSA volunteers, etc. (I'd be interested in additional suggestions). Adult Led / Youth Led then becomes: Youth Led adults whose services can be terminated as needed. Some day I'd like to see a spin-off thread on the research behind @Eagledad's observation that only about 3% of the population are "Natural Leaders." In my experience Barry's figure is exactly right. In a Troop of 32 Scouts, typically I trust only one or two to take a Patrol out into the field with no adult supervision. And, like @qwazse, I do sometimes meet these 3 in 100 "Alec in Wilderland" kids, with a Patrol-size following. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXHCiIQtqoQ&t=11s Yours at 300 feet, Kudu Kudu.Net
  7. Thanks to @RememberSchiff @Sentinel947 @Eagle94-A1 @desertrat77 @willray and @DuctTapefor the warm welcome back. 😎 This summer I do hope to participate in a few threads like this, but with the goal of learning how to make short "explainer" graphs and videos for Free Range kids. What would be the pros and cons of joining a "Troop," if you are a Lone Patrol of kids encouraged by your parents to seek adventure on your own? Thanks again! Yours at 300 feet, Kudu Kudu.Net
  8. Very proud, indeed! 😎 Kudu Flaming Fry Pan Patrol
  9. We meet on Monday nights. Most Patrols shop the Wednesday or Thursday before the campout.
  10. In my retirement I too volunteer in a one-Troop town! The local unit was an adult-led Eagle factory, far worse than any descriptions in this thread or elsewhere. No Scoutmaster in this Troop was ever even a Cub Scout as a boy, but every adult is an expert on Eagles. I don't want to be a Scoutmaster again, so changing Troop culture these days is more difficult than in my past. As I have detailed in other posts, my strategy was to establish a High Adventure program first. I used backpack trips to introduce the Scouts to a backwoods Scout-run Patrol Method under the Troop's two best Natural Leaders (300 foot Patrols, day journeys without helicopters, etc.). High Adventure attracts outside volunteers. Then thousands of backpack, canoe, climbing, and SCUBA photos on Facebook, Google+, etc. brings parents and Scouts from Troops in nearby towns that do not camp. I was lucky that one of the new moms on the Committee was a former Scoutmaster. She arrived just in time to help me transition into a PLC-run outdoor program. Even so, after six (6) years it is still a constant battle to save the outdoor program against the nasty side of indoor Eagle nature. For instance, one of my secrets (to get 20-25 Scouts out to backpack, climb, or canoe) is to require they pay $10 four (4) weeks in advance (before the Scouts and their families make other plans). But next month's Committee meeting includes a motion by an agressive indoor mom to reduce that commitment down to four (4) days! So, yes it is possible to change a Troop culture, even without being the Scoutmaster, but every Troop is different so you just can't tell in advance where the tipping point will be. Yours at 300 feet, Kudu http://kudu.net
  11. Eagledad, The Medium is the Message My thought was that Wood Badge was invented to teach indoor volunteers how to think like outdoorsmen: Specifically how to navigate through the backwoods. Before "leadership skills," a Scoutmaster's job was to teach his Scouts how to actually "scout" (the final test of every rank was a semi-solitary Journey), and to teach his Patrol Leaders how to actually go out on "patrol" (the purpose of a Patrol was to patrol the backwoods at least once a month). Since most of the promotional material for "Trail Life" features "trail life" in the rugged wilderness (always with snow-capped mountains looming overhead!), I would incorporate navigation into every aspect of their training. For a weekend beginners' course, perhaps each outdoor skill session a football field away, marked on a map...
  12. I've been asked to help invent a weekend outdoor skills training course for local Trail Life Troops. Can anyone give me a general idea of how the week-long Backpack Wood Badge course of yester-year was organized? Thanks! Yours at 300 feet!
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