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DuctTape

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Everything posted by DuctTape

  1. My dad lives in Germany. The german system is entirely different in its structure. Students are tracked into different programs from about the 5th grade. IIRC, about 25% of German students go to the university prep school (was that the Arbiter exam?) Another 25% go to the realschule (did I spell it right?) In the US the schools are intermingled. Except for private prep schools, there isn't a tracking system in which students may never switch. The Gymnasium, Realschule, and the vocational are integrated into one system which students are not identified, and tracked into a predetermined outcom
  2. One problem with the NAEP scores article you posted and the 40% proficient... There are four levels of which the bottom level is the only one considered "failing" as it is below the basic competency. The proficient is the name of the second highest level. Reporting that 40 % of the students achieved a proficient level or higher is akin to saying 40% of the students received B's or higher. The system isn't perfect, and there are certainly specific areas which need some help. However the current meme that the system is fundamentally flawed is false. It is much better than the perceived per
  3. The article began with a statement of "fact" regarding US students. My initial post was in response to that opening line.
  4. The CC and the other "reforms" are attempt to fix something which isn't broken. It isn't the educational system which is broken...
  5. The unfortunate part of the article is its initial premise. The "it's long been known...", is the narrative many would like us all to believe. Fortunately that narrative is extremely misleading. More info: http://www.epi.org/blog/international-tests-achievement-gaps-gains-american-students/ What is most unfortunate are the education policy decisions being foisted upon us by non-educators who believe the narrative promoted by those who have profit motives.
  6. I still disagree with your contention that "Ideals trump skills". Even the quote doesn't make that claim. They go hand in hand. The ideal to observe the law and do a good turn require the boy to have the skills necessary. To be prepared to do ones duty is to have the skills for "any old thing". One cannot fulfill the ideals without the skills. Neither ideals nor skills trump the other.
  7. Have heard that one before. Still funny though.
  8. Been in a hammock almost exclusively for quite a few years now. Cold is an issue just as it is in a tent, but is easily overcome with some skill. I hammock in subzero F all the time. Lowest was in the negative twenties F. I use ccf pads in these extreme temps. Inflatable pads are not the best to use. While hennesy hammocks have a big marketing presence, there are many other options available. One last comment about protection from bears; a thin layer of nylon provides no additional protection from such an animal. I have had bears sniff around my tent in the past and also sniff around me in my
  9. I hope I didn't come across as providing accolades in an attempt to make someone feel better. My point was more about the many who never fulfilled the requirements but were just signed off . It isn't the scouts fault, it is the adults who subtracted from the requirements.
  10. I think I see where our disagreement lies. It appears you are operating under the premise that the goal of scouting is to develop character. I don't disagree with it as a goal, I do not think it is the only goal, nor even the primary one. Scout virtues as defined by the Oath and Law provide direction but do not supplant the goals of Scouting. I take my direction from the "Aim of Scouting" penned by John L. Alexander, "The aim of the Boy Scouts is to supplement the various existing educational agencies, and to promote the ability in boys to do things for themselves and others. ...The method is
  11. I would say high character and low competence is far from equally successful as high in both. Secondly, just because a few professionals choose a different knot for their specific need, doesnt mean the original bsa knot is never used by anyone else for a different specific need. I agree with you that the figure 8 on a bight is NOT easier to untie than a bowline especially after a significant load was applied.
  12. Agree - its a step in the right direction, and i appreciate your input on an important topic affecting personal growth, adult association, advancement, and character development. I also recognize that this type of discussion is part of T-2-1 requirements and is typically handled as the last step of advancement, and done during the start of the scoutmaster conference. (i.e. Tenderfoot #11 -- Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life. Discuss four specific examples of how you have lived the points of the Scout Law in your daily life.)
  13. Agree - its a step in the right direction, and i appreciate your input on an important topic affecting personal growth, adult association, advancement, and character development. I also recognize that this type of discussion is part of T-2-1 requirements and is typically handled as the last step of advancement, and done during the start of the scoutmaster conference. (i.e. Tenderfoot #11 -- Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life. Discuss four specific examples of how you have lived the points of the Scout Law in your daily life.)
  14. Outings are not exclusively camping. If possible I would like to see meetings be held out of doors too. Here in NY, the climate isn't really conducive for it. I don't think a patrol that likes to camp should necessarily exclude those who do not. If the boys like to hang with others who don't camp when at meetings, that is fine. The patrol is doing scouting things together, just not ALL things. I am assuming they are doing scouting things at the meetings. Perhaps the non-campers will eventually want to attend a campout if there buds are going. This increases in likelihood as the patrols do ot
  15. Used a timber hitch last year, interestingly for its designed purpose. We needed to move some logs for a lean-to we were fixing and the timber hitch was the perfect choice to tie on to the human mule powered line. I have never used the sheepshank. Even its designed purpose is "dumb" IMO.
  16. I hate the workbook. I hate the standardization. Too many professional BS'ers attempting to improve something which needed no improvement. No coaches should be needed to hold the scouts hand. There should be no hoops to jump through, no standard forms to fill out for the project. The only form that should exist is one filled out and signed by the SM when the Scout has completed all requirements and needs his Eagle BOR. /rant
  17. I would have no problem giving my email address out to anyone. I already get spam but my hotmail filter gets rid of most of it before I even see it. Also, email addresses listed on a Scout website could easily be disguised to avoid spammers as in bobwhite at yahoo dot com. Also, I am aware that there is not a requirement for boys to be able to recite verbatim his merit badge material a year or anytime after receiving the merit badge. I only mentioned it because I believe that many boys cannot tell much of anything about what they quickly crammed into their brain just a few weeks or months
  18. A patrol is a gang of boys who do scouting things together. Too often we focus on numbers or ages instead of who the boys want to be with and what they want to do. If a troop has many instances of little participation, perhaps it is the activities being planned that is the problem? I have no problem with a patrol in which 2 boys show up for the campout. However, I would start with encouraging the patrols to plan activities, camping trips etc... that they want to do instead of what the adults have planned as a troop. I am not suggesting that ones troop isn't boy led, but it may not be patrol b
  19. I just received a survey for the BSA regarding district/council and their responsiveness, leadership, etc... in providing the scouting experience. I commented the focus on raising money (at National, council and district levels) instead of focusing on the scouting program was a big problem.
  20. As a scouter who spends about 20% of the year camping in the back woods, tying knots is a skill which I use almost as much as fire-building. A scout who cannot tie a small variety of knots isn't spending much time in the woods being a scout. I have seen a lot of troops who never leave the park-n-tent campsites and the scouts never get to fully appreciate the wild. They don't "scout" the unknown woods and explore using all the skills they have "learned". When the requirements are just a list, and ranks are a completion of lists they cease to be descriptors of competence. A true first class scou
  21. I still haven't figured out how 15 year olds can BE merit badge counselors at camp. Is there some small print codicil which permits other scouts to be merit badge counselors at summer camps?
  22. I have a copy of the 1911 Handbook (an original, not a reprint). Pg 10 lists the twelve points as an "abbreviated form of the Scout Law". It is this form to which the scouts "are to commit to memory". Pg 15 Provides the laws "which relate to the BSA, are the latest and most up to date". 11. A scout is clean. He keeps clean in body and thought, stands for clean speech, clean sport, clean habits, and travels with a clean crowd.
  23. There is a difference between being an Eagle Scout and wearing a patch. There are Eagle Scouts who never got the patch, and patch wearers who aren't Eagle Scouts.
  24. No direction will yield chaos. Instead, provide direction but no organization or meddling. Get them started on something, but don't interfere unless it is matter of safety. Example, bring the cubs to a creek show them how to look for crayfish and let them have fun. A campout isn't a time to "do requirements". Instead, do fun stuff and later, (car ride home) or next den meeting when discussing the fun bring up the fact requirements were met and have the cubs look at other badges and think of fun things they can do which will meet those requirements for the next campout. Scouting should be fun,
  25. I never understood the need for the BSA to have a declaration of religious principles. I mean, we don't have a declaration of patriotic principles which would refer to the same line in the Oath. Or a declaration of physical fitness. Do we kick out scouts or scouters for being obese or those who maintain dual citizenship or openly state their conscientious objection to govt actions and refuse to participate? Shouldn't the only principles by which a scout declares be the oath and law themselves (perhaps also the Slogan)? Why have a special declaration highlighting religion above all other
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