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ianwilkins last won the day on June 25

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About ianwilkins

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  1. ianwilkins

    Parent Wars: The Helicopter Strikes Back

    Wave goodbye. Try and look sad. You can't win 'em all.
  2. ianwilkins

    Son is at YMCA camp this week.

    Our UK Explorer Scout Camp in two weeks time (yikes!): Day 1: Travel/camp on Brownsea Island Day 2: Brownsea Island/back to main site and setup Day 3: Day hike probably, possibly to a beach, or maybe just scenic Day 4/5/6: Coasteering and climbing booked for late afternoon/early evening. Mornings free to do something or nothing. Options: Swimming, beach, local castle. Day 7: Beach/Town Day 8: Pack and return All breakfasts cooked in patrols Dinners days 1-4 in patrols, 1 on portable stoves, 2-4 open fires Dinners days 5-6: Mass catering but done by some Explorers not on activities Dinner day day 7: Fish and chips takeaway Apropo of not very much really, but there's nothing magic about our organising skills, if I can do it, if you want to do something less structured and teachy, go for it, you'll attract the kids that like it.
  3. "A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room." - BP
  4. ianwilkins

    Identifying a Mystery Patch

    I'm fairly convinced I saw symbols like that at the Spanish Jamboree last year. In which case, the main Spanish scout organisation is ASDE. The complication will be that Scouts in Spain has gone through a few name changes over the years, it apparently started in 1912, and 50 years after that is during the Franco dictatorship, but scouts was allowed. So still definitely feasibly a Spanish badge. I agree with the text at the top possibly ending La Mancha, a region of Spain just south of Madrid. My that's some rough embroidery!
  5. ianwilkins

    Sea Base Sleeping Gear

    Prop the gun ports open. Sorry, watched too much Black Sails, I'll stop with the pirate schtick.
  6. ianwilkins

    Sea Base Sleeping Gear

    Arrrr me hearties, depends on the boat don'tcha know... Cut and paste from https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php/56770-Naval-Hammocks-Photo-Diary-and-First-Bridge-Design
  7. Knights and noble steeds Knights: cardboard helmets shields and swords, heraldic decoration of same, maybe a costume for good measure. Noble steeds: Make backpacks out of sticks lashed with twine, tie some things to it. Two hollowed out halves of coconuts. The steed has to follow the brave knight around and be their horse. Hunt the Holy Grail. Maybe don't visit castle anthrax. Design a shrubbery. A nice one. With a picket fence. Sorry! Bring silly! I'll stop that. Lance tests? One kid in a wheelbarrow* with a "lance" is pushed across the field and tries to catch some small hoops with their lance. * Or sedan chair, bicycle, old pram, etc etc. Cardboard castles. Or cane and paper castles, then a wet sponge fight.
  8. ianwilkins

    Winter Gear Up

    A layer underneath is worth two on top.
  9. ianwilkins

    Boys' needs

    Five posts in. [rolls eyes over dramatically] To state the obvious, different kids are different. There's a scale. At one end are risk takers, gung-ho, not thinking about the consequences and just doing it, if it goes wrong then they just do something else to try and achieve it, or do something else entirely different. At the other end there's the cautious thoughtful ones that don't really want to try in case it goes wrong, or want to know why or what the end goal is. For example, firelighting... Some you'll turn round and they've got the 5' branch vertically in one hand trying to split it vertically in half with the axe in the other hand, oblivious to the danger to limb, if not life. Some look at you in confusion and fear when you say "grab the axe then!" Some light the minimal amount of tinder, then desperately scrabble round to flop a great big log on top before it all goes out and they slump back dejected "I can't light fires!" Some listen to what you've said and at least prep some different sizes and will get a fire going. It seems to go in waves, sometimes we'll have a bunch of gung-ho, sometimes we'll have a bunch at the other end of the scale. I must admit, when I hear your talk of merit badge factories and classroom chalk and talks, I think...eh? One of the things scouting is is learning by doing. I reckon I've only got about 30 seconds of talk time before someone thinks starting their own conversation is a cracking idea. How do you teach practical skills? By doing and guiding and making sure no one loses any vital bits. Another example...Classic team building game we do, the egg drop challenge. Each team of 3-4 gets an egg, paper, pencil, another sheet of paper, straws, a limited amount of sticky tape, a little string maybe, scissors. We point to the rafters of the hut and say "we're going to drop the egg in your construction from 15ft, you have ten minutes to plan what you're going to build". Of course, they aren't engineering students. The idea is they chat and discuss and together make a plan to build it. Invariably there's a team that's finished their plan in about a minute. One guy has grabbed the pencil, drawn a parachute, pencils down, job done, chat about school, start playing with phones or mucking about. In the build phase, one team will invariably not really discussed the plan, one or two people will be doing the build, the others will get bored and withdraw. One team will not think it through and use all the sticky tape on two corners or on some straws and have none left for something else. In the end, the lesson is often that eggs are tougher than you think, and that Ian *really* doesn't like it when you start chucking them about. Hmm. Tomorrow night we're making modern coracles (little one person circular boats, look them up, they're odd). Off to a nearby pond. Stiff plastic water pipe that comes in a reel, probably 1.5" diameter, flexible up to a point, and plastic sheeting, and brown parcel tape. It's not something they'll have done before, so they'll all have to listen to the instructions, ho ho, some will have to wait until they've seen someone else's before they understand it. But I expect them all to throw themselves into it and have a go, as it's scouts, that's what we do with an unknown situation, have a go, maybe a bit of planning and discussion first, but have at it. It's also why pioneering is such a good team builder, you can't do big pioneering on your own, and you need to practice the knots, but you can practice them in situ. Shame our lot can't seem to keep any lashings in their head. I'm not sure we've been inside more than once this term. Oh, first three paragraphs of this is good... (and probably more, but I stopped reading) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scout_method Ian
  10. ianwilkins

    New and comprehensive Family scouting FAQs issued:

    Naa mate, don't you all worry about it. We Jonny Foreigners are all interlopers anyway. Life's too short to worry about whether people are unintentionally insulting, I have enough fun with the intentional insults (not from you lot, as far as I remember). The passion people have about scouting is a blessing and a curse, it can drive us to do extraordinary things, to put an awful lot of time, effort, emotion, money, everything into it. No surprise that sometimes views are strongly held and strongly put. At the core of it, despite all the protestations and machinations of HQs, scouting is local, it's shaped by the leaders and the kids involved. I know my version of scouting is different to the version of scouting down the road, let alone over the pond. Yet sit us round the campfire and we could talk all night and part friends. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, having been a leader while co-ed changes went through UK scouting. I'm seeing the same arguments, and the same strongly held opinions. UK Scouting is still there. We lost good leaders. We gained good leaders. Things are different, and yet they're the same. Some have told me I run no more than a youth club. Some parents have credited scouting with changing their kids lives. Not sure what I'm trying to say, but no change there.
  11. ianwilkins

    2019 World Jamboree

    In person training from the UK might be the kicker...well, and the cost, and the time off required, and....excuses excuses I know.
  12. ianwilkins

    2019 World Jamboree

    Do you mind where the leader is from? Crikey! You have empty slots that need filling? We were oversubscribed back in last September and had a selection camp in October to pick the 6 lucky ones from the 12 that wanted to go (and got their applications in on time) from our district. They're busy going on training camps and furiously fundraising as we speak.
  13. ianwilkins

    As an adult, what do you REALLY wear?

    I've had a quick look, and can't find anything. One of our more traditional branches of scouting in the UK (BPSA and BBS) wear green garter tabs, though I'm not sure about the leaders, I think they wear the same. Their uniform claims to be traditional and what Baden-Powell said they should be. There might well be something in the dump: http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com I would assume if they were green they would be a dark green, "bottle green". That's what I wore when I was a cub! That would also fit with the uniform being based on things you could get from army surplus easily, having a flash of red on your army uniform probably wouldn't be the greatest idea. Looking at the black and white photos, it looks like a dark shade of whatever colour it is. Oh, and I met a lovely scout leader from Argentina last year at a Spanish Jamboree on the Canary Islands, she wanted to have photos with us and chat, to be friendly she said, despite our history of conflict over the Malvinas/Falkland Islands, we agreed wholeheartedly. Her Scouts De Argentina woggle sits proudly on my necker.