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Outdoors

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About Outdoors

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  1. SOLO http://www.soloschools.com/index.cfm?event=courses.show&ctid=1 Extremely easy to find a course. Very useful. Took one last spring, 2 year certification. There is another one that does WFA courses in New England, I forget their name but a 25 second google search should tell ya.
  2. "Without the scout promise then what is it that they're practicing? It isn't scouting." I find that highly offensive. So what you are saying is Atheists can not be trustworthy. Atheists can not be kind, loyal, helpfull or brave? Atheists can not go camping, hiking, or teach kids orienteering or first aid skills. Atheists posses no leadership qualities and are on par with what, pedophiles? Well yes, that is exactly what BSA says. Which yes, I do find highly offensive. BSA does not have a monopoly on "scouting". BSA does not define "scouting". BSA has a legal trademark on the name and can legally prevent any other organization in the USA of using the word "scout" in their organization's title. But no, BSA does not "own" scouting and neither do you. There are millions of people involved in scouting through the world as well as in this country that are not part of BSA and do not agree with the BSA and they have every right to do so and they are in every way a part of the scouting movement as started by Baden Powell. Just as BSA has every right to set whatever membership requirements they wish and if they want to force people to be religious if they wish to be a BSA scout then so be it, they can and people can or can not join. Yes, BSA is scouting. So is everyone else that does not subscribe to BSA's policies whether they are religious or not that is part of the world wide scouting movement. What makes a person a good person comes from within themselves and has nothing to do with whether or not they consider themselves religious. There are plenty of evil people who are or were religious. All those horrible Catholic priests that molested kids? Bin Laden believed in a God. Even Hitler in his own words stated: "I am fighting for the work of the Lord". Yet, BSA would rather have him be a leader than a very kind and wonderful person who just happens to not believe in a higher power. My point is simple: BSA scouting is just one scouting group. There are many more valid scouting groups out there with vastly different views than what BSA has. Even Baden Powell himself, while critical of Atheists in his own writings recognized that not everyone believes in a higher power yet those children should still have the opportunity be a Scout. And one version of his original Scout Promise allowed just for that. The original outlanders promise did not have God in it. And the original law did not have 'reverent'. You don't like it? Tough, argue the point of what scouting is with the person who founded it. BSA can do whatever they want however they want, they have the right and neither my personal opinion nor yours is relevant. But don't you dare for a moment tell someone else they are not a true Scout just because they are not part of BSA.
  3. Wait?! You mean the Earth isn't flat? Shucks, don't tell the Muggles.
  4. Outdoors

    Physical Preparation for backpacking trip

    Basementdweller, I have no idea what you are trying to get at or if you are trying to pick a fight. So to prevent that, i'm not going to say anything else on this thread after this reply. A question was asked, I gave a response. I also am not sure if you are implying that 12 year olds are not old enough to go backpacking? Some are, some are not. Some 30 year olds couldn't handle it, some can. You can not make a blanket statement and apply some arbitrary age to say who can and cant. The youngest person to complete the AT was only 6. That is a pretty decent backpacking trip, one I could not do right now. If you dont think kids under 14 can backpack, try reading Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure by Patricia Ellis Herr. I believe those girls were around 6-8 when they completed all of NH's 4000 footers (something I have not done) and many of those trips were backpacking trips. Some covered 18 miles in one day. And I will repeat myself. If a troop does a 50 mile trip, they should do lots and lots of smaller trips. Anyone interested in the 50 miler, should go on all the shorter ones to both test themselves as well as demonstrate to the trip leaders that they can handle it. Condition by doing, load up a pack, go for a few miles at first and build from there. Educate yourself in safe hiking, bring the essentials, and understand that knowledge is more important than gear - but don't skimp on the gear, know how to use it. Rely on yourself. Children can accomplish great things, just believe in them. edit: oh, and no my son is not a wolf - what does that have to do with anything (This message has been edited by Outdoors)
  5. Outdoors

    Physical Preparation for backpacking trip

    Limiting backpacking trips by age is ludicrous. A child of any age can do ANYTHING, all they need is an adult to believe in them. However, if an 11 year old scout has never been on a 2 mile hike in his life, I would never permit him to go on a 50 mile backpacking trip. It is more mental than physical. I know of some 8 year olds that could carry a greater % of their body weight and hike longer and for more days in a row than many 38 year olds. I strongly believe that if a troop has a quality outdoors program they will have opportunities for many hiking trips through the entire year, at least once a month. They may be short day trips ranging up to that long 50 mile 3-5 day annual trip. It will be very evident which scouts have the interest and ability to complete that 50 miler by simply observing how they do on all the other trips. If your troop doesn't do lots of hikes and just the 50 miler and kids are not going hiking with their families, then you have a recipe for a trip that none of them will want to do again. Regardless of any other hikes during the year, I would have a shakedown overnight trip. Just a few miles in to a camp, spend the night, and a few miles back out. For any kids that have not backpacked before it is a good opportunity to figure out what gear works for them and how much they can handle w/o getting stuck on a long trip. For me personally, I try to hike and backpack as often as I can. But if I go a few weeks w/o (or months as it is now) then there is no way I could do a 50 miler - it doesn't take long for me to get out of shape. Teen age boys, probably not as big a deal. But I know my body, they need to know theirs. One of the trip leaders main responsibilities is to know the ability of everyone on the trip, and the best way to determine that is to go on lots of smaller hikes and trips before and observe. Best way to condition, is to do. Carry a large pack with all overnight gear, and go on a short day hike. Do that every weekend.
  6. While I could not possibly disagree with BSA policy more than I do I do support their right to do whatever they want. Nobody is forced to join. dont like it? Don't join. You will NEVER get BSA National to change, they are stubborn and set in their ways. So quit and join another organization that provides everything BSA does but without the stuff you don't like. We're not welcome here anyway, so why waist the time. You can't have a rational conversation with an irrational person. Unfortunately people often cant agree to disagree when it comes to religion. Just think, if instead of spending all that time arguing on this forum about an issue that you will NEVER agree on, you instead spent it on improving the local program for your kids, how much better would the kids be? B-PSA, Navigators, Spiral Scouts, Campfire, etc. Lots of options, with B-PSA being the most like BSA in my opinion. More than likely some of those are going to be better fits, some not, but I bet at least one is. And for those in the UK, BPSA is over there as well, WFIS has hundreds of thousands of members. No need to join and keep supporting organizations you don't believe in.
  7. See, this is why I think it is too bad that religion has any part of BSA. Once you bring that many people together (actually it only takes 2 or 3) you are going to get people of all kinds of beliefs who lack the capacity to be civil when discussing religion or politics. That's why I don't allow any religion in my den. We have several atheists and several religious folks. I told them all that I do not believe it is my place and should not be BSA's place to tell you how to teach faith to your kid, or even if you should. Leave it at home in the family. Everyone is in complete agreement. We have been extremely successful. Are we ignoring BSA's policies? Probably. Would BSA just as soon throw us out, or at least half of us? Yup. Then there would be no program for the local boys and the membership and money folks at council get less of each. That's why they probably are happy to just ignore us. Which is good, we ignore them so it is mutual. So BSA, you can (OGE here, the postor made a suggesiton to the BSA which is decidely not scoutlike) as I choose to instead focus on teaching kids respect, responsibility, leadership skills using the outdoors and community service as the classroom and allowing parents to decide how faith is taught. And hey, we ALL get along, of all religions and no religion everyone together having fun, learning, and accomplishing goals together. Imagine that. I believe THAT is the lesson that should be taught to boys AND girls. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)
  8. Outdoors

    Scouting for Adults

    I agree with what people said. But remember BSA does not have a monopoly on Scouting. They are just the largest in the USA. Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rover_Scout Scouting for adults, Rovering, existed in BSA years ago. And it still does in the B-PSA. If an adult wants to learn the same skills and badges up to 1st class then they can. Then it focuses on other achievements and you get more badges. If recognition of your achievements is important as an adult, check out B-PSA. But you can learn all the same things and achieve the same personal growth as a BSA Scouter you just dont get all the badges to wear on your uniform. You get what you put into it. Personally, I don't need any recognition beyond watching the kids learn skills and grow. I find the B-PSA very interesting for other reasons which dont belong in this thread, Rovering is not one. But for other people, Rovering may be important to them and it is great there is a viable option for them.
  9. Outdoors

    Families dropping out

    awanatech, Thanks for the comment. To others, Agree with the policy or not, that's not the point I was making. Many people refuse to acknowledge that some people A) are ignorant of the issue and B) when they find out they leave over it. That is a fact that cannot be disputed yet people here have made comments that those people must be lieing about why they leave. I do completely agree that most of the people that drop out do so because of a program that did not meet there expectations or conflict with sports. However, there are also many that either just find out about the policies or suddenly decide they can no longer support them and drop out because of that. And I may be wrong, but for every one of those there are probably several that never join in the first place over it. But, BSA as a private organization can set "membership requirements" anyway they see fit, I actually support that. I just personally don't agree with them and I and others always have the right to go elsewhere or stay because of the great things BSA does provide. What just gets under my skin and what made me lose my cool earlier was that people seem to pretend that the BSA does not discriminate (legal or illegal) and not acknowledge that for some people that is why they leave.
  10. Outdoors

    Families dropping out

    "BSA doesn't discriminate, they have membership requirements." OMG are you serious? If that makes you sleep at night I guess. Have you looked up the word discrimination in a dictionary you moron? So when African Americans had to sit in the back of the bus it is because the front of bus had membership requirements for white skinned people only. That wasn't discrimination either I guess as far as you are concerned. I am completely dumbfounded at that comment. (You can ask if the poster is serious without being vulgar in describing "How serious and OMG is plenty) OGE (This message has been edited by a staff member.)
  11. Outdoors

    Families dropping out

    I have found that quite a few families actually have no idea about the extent of BSA's discriminatory policies. And all of them that I talked to strongly feel those values are wrong to teach to their kids. They also feel that the positives outweigh the negatives because the local unit puts on a good program and there is no other alternative. I am aware of quite a few people have or are planning to leave BSA because of their policies. B-PSA is an option for them.
  12. Outdoors

    So what do you think of this????

    Yes you guys are right, wasn't in a good mood I think when I posted that and I sound a bit crazy now that I read it. Sorry. We can all call ourselves crazy once and a while can't we? NJ, that list is in fact all merit badges. I grabbed the list and just read down it and typed in the names of the outdoorsy ones. And you are correct, by participating a boy will not gain 100% of the requirements for the badge. But they will get 100% of the knowledge and skills. The rest is paperwork and perhaps a "formal" test/demonstration. But still, it is the knowledge learned that is important and that is what you gain from an outdoor program. The rest is just a badge you can sew on your sash for recognition.
  13. Outdoors

    So what do you think of this????

    I find it truly amazing that every time I make a post on these forums that implies that a Boy Scouts should get outdoors to camp, hike, canoe, fish and just simply be outdoors people here immediately jump all over me. These should be part of a monthly program (not all of these every month, but every month should including an outing that includes one or several of these activities) (first aid skills should be practiced on a regular basis): backpacking, camping, canoeing and/or kayaking, cooking, first aid (actually every outing should have at least one WFA certified person), fishing and/or fly fishing, hiking, orienteering And these probably a little less often but part of a yearly program climbing, cycling, geocaching, pioneering, rowing, swimming, whitewater, wilderness survival I could find several more if I looked at the list more closely. That is just my opinion of course. Flame away as everyone here always does. I apologize for sharing some of the ideals of Baden Powell and Green Bar Bill in my desire to get kids outdoors which is no longer part of the modern core program. Which is why, if you really do want to be part of a program that teaches kids leadership, responsibility, respect, and many other values using the outdoors as a classroom then BSA is not the place. BSA could be and there are many troops that do an awesome job at it, but personally for me finding like minded people that share my opinion has been a lost cause. Being involved with scouting has reduced both the quality and quantity of the camping and other outdoor activities I enjoy with my family and I am not so sure that is what Scouting's founding fathers intended.
  14. Outdoors

    So what do you think of this????

    If a unit has a proper yearly program in place consisting of a true outdoor program then many MBs will be EARNED by the boys just by participating in the troop's events. Some MBs will require the classroom lecture format unfortunately. But in my opinion, scouts should be all about kids DOING things not sitting there in class, they get to do that already in school. And lastly, to touch upon my 1st point again, I prefer to focus on the program (activities during meetings & outings) and the skills and lessons learned on the journey and not on ranks, badges, and rewards as those will come naturally for any scout who fully embraces the program.
  15. Outdoors

    Demonization of the pocket knife

    Today I just bought my 8 year old son a small fixed blade knife. I will always keep it and if he wants to use it he has to come and ask and get it from me and use it safely under my constant supervision. But just imagine if he accidentally brought it to school (which would also require me to forget to take it back from him), they would have the school locked down, SWAT brought in, and CNN news crews there and he would be expelled and I'd be thrown in jail for child endangerment and have both kids taken away. Heck, he can't even bring it to scout camp so we'll have to get a folder for scouts and then use this other one for other outings. (I dont want to start a fixed vs. folder debate - both have their strengths and weaknesses and like everything you need the right tool for the job) Heck, when I was in high school ('88-91) I do not remember what the policy was on knives. But I do know what the policy was on guns. If it was deer season you could bring your rifle to school as long as it was unloaded and you immediately checked it in with the Principal. And then you picked it up when school entered just before leaving. Students did that that wanted to hunt right after school in the woods behind the school w/o having to go home first. So it was not unheard of to see kids walking down the hall just before school started carrying a gun on their way to the office to check it in. Sounds crazy today, but we are only talking just over 20 years ago. Guess how many kids were shot? None. I do have my grandfather's well used pocket knife. I would like to pass it on to my son. The way society is going it will be outlawed and confiscated from my home long before that time ever comes.
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