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scout_father

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About scout_father

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  1. scout_father

    Nature or Nurture? Kids brains

    I am the new forum member that Beavah is talking about. I want to clear up Beavahs complete misrepresentation of what I brought up for two reasons. 1) I dont like having things incorrectly attributed to me, and 2) I think it would lead to more interesting comments from others. I never used the term fundamentally incapable. I never used the word incapable. I never broached anything about having to take care of kids until their mid-twenties. For the record, I too find Beavahs opening paragraph complete balderdash. The term I used was, difficulty of impulse control. This difficulty is based on kids difficulties with making quick sound judgments. I also said they cant control themselves all the time due to the immaturity of their neurological development . This is all based on current neurological studies by some very prominent doctors and scientists in which I agree. It also helps me understand why sometimes a really good boy does something so out of character, so out of the blue, so nonsensical that it leaves you wondering why; and when asked why, they say I dont know. Keeping in mind I'm not out to change anyone's thinking, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on these less provocative comments.
  2. JMHawkins: What do you propose to keep Boy Scout aged boys from getting away with the I dont know answer? How do you handle it when that is a kids response?
  3. Beavah: This response has nothing to do with debating our beliefs. We disagree and nothing will change that. I did want to clear up a couple things: My difficulty understanding you isnt based on how you speak. It is based on your shoddy citation. Your replies can be confusing at times because you address things that were neither said nor implied. The only assumptions being made are by you, with your comments on what MRI machines would find in your various examples. I agree with the current neurological science, and act accordingly. By your logic one has to experience something before they can make a proper judgment about the correct action. I hope you arent one of those have to learn everything the hard way people, because I know a few and they sure make life tough on themselves. Beavah I do appreciate you spinning the teenage neuroscience off to another thread. It will be interesting to read what others think. I just wish you had not skewed the premise to be more in line with your thinking. I never used the term incapable. And the implication you add only serves to influence peoples reaction to your view.
  4. Hey Beavah: I didnt plan on posting back to back but I didnt realize I hadnt posted my earlier response to you the other night so I wanted to put it out there. (I do them in Word then cut and paste) Sorry about the back to back to back posts. thanks
  5. Yah, sorry scout_father, I'm afraid yeh got the neurology research wrong, eh? Beavah: No need to be sorry. Youre the one who has it wrong. Youre just commenting on one aspect of the research. I am aware of the learning issues you describe, and believe the science behind them; but that doesnt have anything to do with judgment and impulse control. That is a different area of the research that you are ignoring. Maybe Harvard researchers and physicians Urion and Jensen arent as knowledgeable as the real cognitive and neroscientists that speak with you, but Ill give them the benefit of the doubt. Da notion that kids lack impulse control is an excuse we've developed for our poor parenting and teaching. If it's biological then it's not our fault, and we can keep right on with what we're doin' or even make it worse, rather than confront the consequences for kids of our own choices. Fortunately, the U.S. legal system disagrees with you. As for your comment, A lad who can drive a car at 16 is certainly capable of operating a canoe at 14. I never said they werent. It is notable however, that sixteen year olds with all their phenomenal learning capacity have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. We use youth as assistant Canoeing MB counselors and lifeguards and whatnot at camps across the country. I have never heard of an assistant MB counselor, but I do know the youth do all these activities at camps and have no problem with it as long as the safe swim and safety afloat rules are being followed. personally I just haven't had the issues that scout father describes Im glad youve never experienced a time where a really good boy does something so out of character, so out of the blue, so nonsensical that it creates a problem. Ive only experienced it a couple times and it caused some problems but nothing that we couldnt resolve. In the grand scheme of life we usually spend a very limited amount of time with other peoples children. Because of this we will probably rarely see the manifestations of this difficulty. It does not preclude the kids from doing things in scouts. It does not preclude giving kids responsibilities and having expectations of them. It is however one of the reasons why kids have adult supervision. It is a reason that kids arent allowed to do certain things. But because this exists, as remotely as it might manifest itself, a non-swimmer who is uncomfortable in the water should be with an adult. With all that said it doesnt matter what either of us thinks because the Boy Scouts already have the situation covered. Also, we will never agree because we view the science of the brain differently.
  6. Beavah: Im not really sure why you continue to infer things that were never implied, so I really dont understand the point of many of your comments. But because your comments are offered as if they are based on statements I made I feel I need to address them. I guess my experience is just different than scout-father's, eh? I've never had any trouble at all with older boys with lifesaving skills takin' care of younger fellows and non-swimmers on the water. I never said Ive had trouble either. Yeh remember this was just fine and even encouraged in the BSA for most of its history. Just because historically something was fine and even encouraged, doesnt make it valid or appropriate for all- time. And it certainly doesnt, in and of itself, make a good reason to continue doing something. One on one contact between adult and child used to be fine too. Things change. Honestly, a lad who has been with a troop for many years doin' trips is far more reliable in my experience than adults who are new or only occasional participants. Reliable doing what? Im not really sure what you mean by this comment. Bone-headed moves are evenly distributed between adults and youth, and are based on experience, eh? Here is where some of the confusion between us might be taking place. I understand that bone-headed was not the best term to use to describe an act due to difficulty with impulse control. So taking into consideration that stupid can be due to many different reasons, I understand your points completely. But with my intended meaning (an act due to difficulty with impulse control) in mind, I disagree with you on both points. I know I've made more than a few over the years, even with experience. I have too. Eagle92 is quite right in his observations as well. To which observations are your referring. Youll see in my response to him I agree with some of them. But da bigger issue is still the discipline one, for both youth and adult participants. I guess if I felt the discipline issue was such where I had to put a nonswimmer in my own canoe, I also wouldn't be willin' to take the rest of mixed-bag "swimmers" down the river. I'd want to correct the behavior issue first. Again, the issue is not the general discipline or behavior of the kids. I would never take a kid that was disobedient and a problem on any activity much less one on the water. I am talking about the difficulty with impulse control that kids have. Ive made that perfectly clear so Im not sure why you are unable or unwilling to recognize the difference. It isnt that the kids dont listen or do as they are told. It isnt that there is a problem with discipline. It is the fact that they have a greater chance to do something impulsive with bad consequences, and not really know why, than the adults have. And that difficulty with impulse control cant be corrected by you or me. So maybe it's that I trust the lads more, or maybe it's that my expectations of their behavior is higher, or both. I cant comment since those are relative and I dont know the degree you have in either your trust or your expectations. I will tell you that my trust and expectations vary depending on the kid. The latter would make me uncomfortable from a safety perspective, the former from a scouting one. Im unclear about this statement. If yeh read some of the historical threads, you'll find that I agree with yeh completely on the merits of EDGE. There are all kinds of other ways to think about teachin' and learnin', many of 'em better. I just knew we'd have to agree on something. I think, however, that goin' with just lecture-demo is still not a good thing, and that just about all of the other ways of thinkin' about learning would say the same thing. It might not be the optimum teaching method but it isnt a bad thing. It is more than adequate for the not very wide, a wade in most areas, calm, slow moving river you described. In fact that is basically the only type of water that Ill take other kids on. I do make exceptions for a few of my childrens friends. Also, many things do not lend themselves to doing immediately after one has been lectured and seen it demonstrated. That doesnt mean you dont teach it, and it doesnt mean that one doesnt learn it. I reckon most canoein' MB counselors at summer camp discover that a significant fraction of the lads for one reason or another have some difficulty gettin' back in a canoe, even after it has been demonstrated. Ive found that even after doing the reentry a couple times most kids and adults still have some degree of difficulty reentering the canoe. It is like doing an Eskimo roll. You learn it and do it a few times so you know how to do it. But it is only with a lot of repetition that you become proficient enough to feel comfortable doing it when it wasnt planned. SeattlePioneer's approach is the one I find more fun and effective. Beavah, I couldnt agree more.
  7. SeattlePioneer: I agree wholeheartedly. Canoe swamps are great fun for the "swimmer" boys that are comfortable doing this. Youre right about the safety training. Not only are they having a blast, they are improving their skills through all the repetition.
  8. Eagle92: As an older person who was raised in a very strict household, and self supporting at a very young age I appreciate your comments and thoughts. We are in agreement on more than you would think. I agree that kids general behavior is partly a result of some of what you described. But that is not the behavior Im discussing. I am referring to the difficulty of impulse control which causes a perfectly well behaved kid to do something that leaves everyone wondering why - including the kid. It is well accepted in the world of neurology that the young brain is still developing. Regardless if some call balderdash on the science, it is the consensus not just some research. Keep in mind that technology has progressed rapidly over the last few decades and the study of the brain has benefitted greatly. Also it is not surprising that you can see elderly folks with the same type of brain patterns as the 20 somethings in the research. You know what the comedians say, You start out needing diapers you finish up needing diapers. Now let me explain one more time. I never said that the kids Im dealing with arent behaving. In fact the kids that I deal with, and also the scout troop I belong to are all pretty well behaved and respectful kids. They are enjoyable to be around. There is an expectation of discipline and there are appropriate consequences meted out when it is not met. The statement I made was a general statement about kids, not any one particular group over another. I agree with you that sometimes the reason folks are not behaving is because there is no expectation of them behaving, and when they do misbehave, no serious consequences. Again, it is not this general behavior that I am considering. What I said was It is very difficult to control the horseplay of kids. This horseplay was my term for the difficulty of impulse control. It was not meant to describe a bunch of undisciplined kids. Generally speaking each one of those kids has a greater potential for a lapse in good behavior than one of the adults on the trip due to the above reason. For that reason; a kid who is a non-swimmer and uncomfortable in the water needs to be with an adult. It doesnt matter if the other kids are exceptionally well behaved and mature, which most of the kids are that I have taken out on the water. In this situation, if an adult can eliminate the possibility of this one off chance that the well behaved kid just might do something stupid and out of character, however remote, than they should.
  9. Beavah: Thanks for the welcome. Ive been reading this forum for awhile and only recently been able to register. Ive enjoyed getting to know the online personalities of the few dozen posters that I read most frequently. My statement It is very difficult to control the horseplay of kids is a statement of fact. It doesnt mean there is chaos or lack of discipline. It means that kids control themselves. Adults can teach, cajole, threaten, reward, punish, make the scout sign, or whatever, to achieve control but in the end they are dependent on the kids' compliance. Do boys always comply? No. Is it because the leader wasnt great or wasn't trying? No. Boys at the scout age just cant control themselves all the time due to the immaturity of their neurological development. That is why the number one answer from a kid when asked why they did something completely stupid is I dont know. Is this a constant problem? No. Boys tend to work this stuff out on their own with one another. However, when you have a non-swimmer like Engineer61s son that also doesnt seem to really like the water, you try and control as many contingencies as possible for his safety and comfort. That is why you put him with an adult whose neurological development allows for better decision making. That was the point of that statement, in the context of reasons why he stays with an adult. It wasnt meant to imply that the kids I deal with are out-of-control and undisciplined. They actually are really quite good, but occassionally commit a bone-headed act. By the way they are not scouts. I am not a scout master and our troop does very little water activities. As far as EDGE training I havent forgotten it. It just isnt applicable to every learning situation. I am not one who believes EDGE to be that great. In fact I think there are much better teaching methodologies than EDGE. But since that is what the boy scouts require in certain situations I know it so I can make sure the boys follow it when instructed. I disagree with your statement that Just demonstratin' getting into a canoe isn't enough for lads to learn. They actually have to "do" - first with guidance, then on their own. I've been on many rafting trips where the professional guides explain and one person demonstates the reentry. And everyone seems to be able to muddle through it when they need to. Also, there are many instances in boy scouts where EDGE isnt followed when boys learn things and that is because the doing and redoing isnt practical. If you however, truly think that EDGE is the only way a kid can learn something, because "they have to "do" - first with guidance, then on their own", well there are a few classes I hope you never teach.
  10. Engineer61: I really appreciate your concerns. While not an ACA trained paddling instructor like Beavah, I have spent numerous years on the water with rafts, canoes, and kayaks. The biggest problem I see is that most people just don't respect the water and its power. It is nice to hear someone who does. As far as the non-swimmer being with an adult I can only guess from personal experience about the reasoning. 1) Most adults' judgment is more mature than the young scouts' so the "horseplay leading to a problem factor" is minimized. 2) When two people go overboard and one person panics they can be very hazardous to the other person in the water. The physical difference between a grown man and a young scout could be all the difference in preventing the panicked person from harming the other person. As for Beavah's correlation between the commercial airline pilot and the scoutmaster, I don't get it either. Unless the particular scoutmaster has hundreds of hours in training and water time, access to up-to-the-minute conditions, and constant guidance from others if there is a problem, then there is no comparison. The trim problem he mentions due to weight differences is real but should be a non-factor for any adult with good canoeing skills, especially in calm waters; so that doesn't excuse the adults from not following the Boy Scout guide. In fact if this was a problem for the adult, than that is more reason to question things. As the parent you should always do what you feel is best and don't be swayed by others, especially adults that might not know that much more than you. Now that you know I respect your concerns and feel you should make the decision you're comfortable with, I'll explain why I too, like Beavah feel that it isn't that big a deal for a non-swimmer to go depending certain conditions are met. It sounds like it is very calm water. I would have him with a skilled adult, no exceptions. It is very difficult to control the horseplay of kids. Some of them thrive on trying to scare the other person in their canoe especially when they smell the fear. So again only with an adult. I have taken numerous kids on simple slow water floats. I ensure they wear a pfd at all times and I check it to make sure if is fitted and fastened properly. They are always with me or another adult. We have a safety talk beforehand. We demonstrate what to do if you fall in, and I always show how to get back in the canoe, raft or kayak if someone goes overboard. Usually one of my children will demonstrate this since it is more effective that another kid can do it. We stress never getting separated and have predetermined points where we all gather for a break and check on everyone. If your scout leaders are skilled in water safety, canoeing, conscientious, reliable, good decision makers and mature than your worries should be minimal. If however they tell you one thing then do another without good reason, or listen to your request knowing they won't fulfill it, but don't explain this to you at the time, I would not have confidence in them with my non-swimmer and a water activity.
  11. scout_father

    Ideas for a Patrol of 17

    MapleScouter: Two questions for you. 1) Why are you in your particular scout troop since you describe yourself as "I'm philosophically/ ethically/ morally/politically/ and etc. differently minded from my scout friends"? Either your morals and ethics mirror the Boy Scout Oath and Law or your Scout friends' ethics and morals mirror the Boy Scout Oath and Law. Either way this incongruity will be an impediment to the growth of all the scouts. 2) Is your forum name a play on the slang term "maplesucker" which means Canadian resident?
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