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Posts posted by MattR

  1. 5 minutes ago, thrifty said:

    Just this past weekend my son's Law Enforcement Explorer leaders emphasized to the post youth to keep their opinions to themselves and not wear anything identifying them with law enforcement for their own safety.   Got a lot of feelings and thoughts about all of this but I'll just keep them to myself.

    A scout, that used to be in my troop and is now a cop on the city police force, said it's a very complicated mess. As long as people appreciate that fact I think it's possible to talk about it. We talked about a lot of issues and I learned a lot. Let's just say I'm proud of this scout and my town's police force.

    I think this is one of those areas where there are lots of assumptions on both sides about how easy it is to solve that just make things hard to talk about.


    • Upvote 1
    I copied and pasted the text here, as @SSScout's  link didn't work.


    You might say we Icelanders received a nasty wake-up call this weekend when it comes to trusting folks who say they'll quarantine when they come to this country.
    Yesterday it was reported that two people had been arrested for theft from a store in Selfoss, a small town about an hour's drive east of Reykjavík. The Selfoss PD had requested the Reykjavík police arrest the people, who were allegedly en route to the capital in a car. Arrests were duly made, and it transpired that the pair, who are Romanian nationals, had arrived in Iceland four days earlier, and were therefore supposed to be in quarantine. Which they obviously were not.
    They were subsequently tested for Covid 19 and were found to be positive.
    As a consequence, sixteen police officers who were involved with their arrest are now in quarantine. Of those, eleven are officers in the south Iceland jurisdiction, and comprise one-fifth of the total staff. They are now out of commission for the next two weeks.
    Three other Romanian nationals had arrived on the same flight as the arrested pair, and had given the same address as to where they would be spending their time in quarantine. When police went there, it transpired that they had provided false information, and had never been at that location.
    A manhunt was launched, their pictures were published in the media, and by the end of today they had all been found. In the interim, of course, there was widespread panic that they, too, might have the virus, and be waltzing around infecting people. They tested negative for the virus (thankfully), but must be quarantined. None of them can be remanded in custody since they might be infectious, so a "quarantine hotel" was swiftly opened up to keep them contained.
    Police are now looking for another "gang" of people who arrived in Iceland at the beginning of the month, also from Romania, who appear to have some ties with this other group. As yet, they have not been apprehended.
    This business has shocked many of us here back to reality. The virus seemed to have been all but eradicated here in Iceland, with only five positive cases in the last month or so, and we were starting to feel like things were slowly getting back to normal, and that opening the borders tomorrow might actually be OK. Now, many people are anxious and fearful about this imminent move.
    The plan for opening is that people will have a choice as to whether they want to be tested for the Covid virus at the airport, or go into quarantine for two weeks. What many of us now fear is that folks will come, choose the option to go into quarantine, and then just go off adventuring, thieving, or whatever else they feel like doing.
    I guess we have all been a little naive, taking the "þetta reddast" stance on the opening of the borders, believing people to be basically good and willing to play by the rules. Oh, the folly!
    What is also obvious is that Icelandic authorities do not have the capacity or resources to track people, or ensure they remain in quarantine like they say they will. And with tourists being charged ISK 15,000 for testing after July 1, I fear many will simply say "Oh, hey, I'll go into quarantine" just to escape paying the fee, while having no intention of staying there for two weeks.
    Gah. What a bloody mess.


  3. I think scouting is missing a huge opportunity right now. I was reading a discussion about positive ways to reform police departments and there was a really interesting observation. A study was done on ways to reduce crime in poorer sections of cities and they tried 3 things: increase police, increase social aid, and just tearing down abandoned buildings and putting in parks. The most effective was putting in parks. It created community and places for kids to play. They then mentioned that youth programs greatly help police. They mentioned Boys and Girls Clubs but didn't mention scouts. That kind of hurt. It hurt even more realizing that, as scouts currently stands, it would likely not work. And yet if there's ever a part of our cities that could use scouting, these are the places.

    Put another way, if scouting can't figure out how to work in these places then I think scouting has become irrelevant. And it's not because parents don't care for character development, it's that the current program is all twisted out of shape from what it started as. Didn't scouting start for kids in cities? To me it seems that the target group of kids are those in suburbs.

  4. 9 hours ago, DuctTape said:

    Though I would encourage all adults to steer scouts towards planning and executing their own adventures, even the high adventure ones.

    I almost went to Philmont. Other than that I've done about 15 trips with my troop, all of which we put on ourselves. I will admit, it does take more work than just writing a check but a wiki full of ideas would cover that.

    • Upvote 2
  5. 5 hours ago, Kudu said:

    and the year that the BSA decided to replace  Hillcourt's "Real" Patrol Method with a "Nine Leadership Skills" version of White Stag http://www.inquiry.net/leadership/9skills.htm .  

    Well what do you know, that's the perfect description of why I'm not a fan of BSA training. I keep telling scouts if they really knew the material they were trying to teach it would be really easy to both teach it and easier to come up with fun events to use it.

    I went and read the BPSA Pathfinder manual. In all honesty I really liked it. It stops at First Class. Very little describe, discuss, explain. Lots of practical do. Some MB's, like first aid, require retesting every year, just like the adults. Senior proficiency badges. And the capstone req for First Class is to go on a 14 mile backpacking trip or 30 mile bike trip on your own or with another scout that goes overnight.

    No eagle, but hey, no eagle! The scouts would have to figure out what they want to do. That and it would be a lot cheaper.



    • Upvote 4
  6. 27 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    BSA has a long way to go here...how many of your council camps have been logged??

    One of our camps is used by a local university's forestry program as a lab on how to thin forests. Is that the type of logging you're talking about? Or is it logging wood to sell? If the latter then not us, as all we have is Ponderosa Pine.

  7. I recently drove from Iowa to Colorado. The traffic on I80 is mostly back to normal. Lots of semis. Lots of RV's. Lots of traffic cones. Lots of people without cruise control that can't make up their mind if they want to tailgate, pass, or just slow down in front of you. Lots of extra wide wind turbine blades. It cleared up a bit somewhere around Grand Island and the last part, after the I76 interchange, was just open and crank up the sound system. So, pretty normal.

    • Upvote 1
  8. 1 hour ago, swilliams said:

    (By dedicated, they meant assigned to a pod for the entire week.)

    So so close! I like the idea of a pod deciding what they want to do together. How about, rather than an adult, pick one scout as the pod leader. Oh! And the scouts could vote on their pod leader. And if the scout struggles there could be a senior pod leader that could help him out. As for adults, maybe just a couple in camp would be needed for guidance. They could be called the pod master and assistant pod master.

    Sarcasm aside, using the patrol method at summer camp could solve a lot of problems and be a lot of fun.

    36 minutes ago, karunamom3 said:

    Our scouts are excited to get back to basics and spend more time together as a unit instead of splitting off in every which way. (Units stay together in a 'pod' the whole week). Some are sad there will be no completed MBs, but at the same time are looking forward to an array of MBs being worked on. With blue cards handy and a list from camp/council detailing what skills go towards which MBs. For sure none of our scouts thought to do metalworking MB, but are now excited that they will be working with the camps forge toward metalworking, for example. Often how scouts feel depends on how the adults or SPL present the activity.

    This is exactly the patrol method. I think it's how all summer camps should run.

    • Upvote 4
  9. 55 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    You are missing the point. There is no silver bullet for the BSA.


    Oh, now I understand. I guess I also read that differently than what you had intended. Thanks for clarifying that.

    • Like 1
  10. 1 hour ago, SSScout said:

    How come I now have a side to side scroll bar and the whole home page (for instance) is not totally visible like before?  

    My guess is accidental fat fingering and zooming in. I think it depends on your browser on how to get out of it. Worst case, restart your browser.

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