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ianwilkins last won the day on November 23

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  1. ianwilkins

    And so it begins

    As an aside, nice to see in that article the old trope that Baden Powell would be spinning in his grave. [eye roll]
  2. ianwilkins

    And so it begins

    It was evolution, no designer. It took all the time in the world. Current science says earth is 4.51 Billion years old, and life first started about 3.8 BILLION years ago. The first fossils with eyes date from about 540 million years ago...so that's 3.3 billion years to evolve the eye...seems eminently feasible to me.
  3. ianwilkins

    And so it begins

    It's an opinion piece. As we in the UK would say, tomorrow's chip paper. And arguments about god's place in scouting? That's nothing new. I mean, usenet used to have a ggg group, and a pretty unedifying place it was too.
  4. ianwilkins

    "Pilgrimage" to Scouting's Roots...

    Farnham Explorer Scouts, and no, we didn't even exist in 1995. Never been to Youlbury or Kingsdown (sadly while still a campsite that has special rates for youth groups, Kingsdown got sold off a while back, so isn't a scout campsite anymore - HQ needed more money, sound familiar?). We created that necker design when we were formed in 2002. And sorry to correct you but neckers are definitely not unique to one group in the UK, I think our rules suggest they are unique within a district (which could be anything between 3-4 groups to 30-40 groups), so that when you do district things you can tell groups apart. And even then it can fall apart, two groups in our district have two subtly different shades of yellow necker, not ideal.
  5. ianwilkins

    "Pilgrimage" to Scouting's Roots...

    Looking back at this thread it seems I mentioned my impending trip to Brownsea, so it seems right to feedback... We actually did it. It's probably only a 2 hour drive from us, but I'd never, in 42 years of scouting (on and off, man and boy), been to Brownsea. Executive Summary: It was glorious. Okay the weather helped but...And had just enough of the heritage side of things, and "the feels" to be a great nights camping. We only went for one night, right at the start of our week long summer camp. There were 42 Explorer Scouts, aged 14-18, 18 girls, 22 boys, and 5 leaders. We had the hard work of getting all the kit together getting down to our main site, unloading, packing for the overnight, and dropped off to catch the ferry across the harbour mouth, then into the ferry to Brownsea itself. Once the ferry unhooked from the dock, I felt a weight lift off, that was it now, there's no ferry back until the morning, no shop, we'd just have to deal with anything that came up as and when, nothing more I could do except go with it. That was a good feeling to have. The ferry was all our own on the way over, as it was the last ferry, no day trippers outbound or they'd be stuck. We walked across the island to our site, not "the" site, that was next door I think. We set up our hammocks and tents, cooked dinner, no open fires, so it was trangias, hike stoves. In fact, they lent us some tables, as they didn't even want gas stoves on the floor due to the fire risk (it was a very dry summer). This was good, as I think the begging peacocks would have just helped themselves straight out the pot if they could have got away with it. One of the Explorers had brought a bluetooth speaker, I made them switch it off, it just didn't feel right. We were camped next to a large group of Scouts from Switzerland and Lichtenstein. The evening was spent walking down to an old quay at the other end of the island (photo two attached), Pottery pier, where the Explorers amused themselves practicing their skimming techniques, making mosaics like others had done, and having a paddle in the sea, while the sun set. Managed to sit quietly in the woods for long enough to see the native Red Squirrel, now rare in the UK thanks to the invasive Grey. In the morning, we had breakfast, fighting off the peacocks again. We wandered up to the commemorative stone marker, had the obligatory group photo, we then invested some of our new Explorers, and had a couple of leaders from the Lichtenstein group join us for the ceremony, as they were passing. A special moment I hope. One of our Explorers sported a blue and red necker for the rest of the week, and a leader in Lichtenstein now has one of ours. We then sat down while I read a couple of passages from Scouting for Boys, about a typical day schedule on camp, and BP on scout laws. Had a bit of free time, so some went searching for red squirrels, some went to the providore, where there's badges to buy, and some cases and displays of historical interest, as well as the ceiling of neckers (photo one attached), yes, one of ours was left behind to be put up at a future date. Time to leave and we walked back across the island, helped another group off the ferry who had brought approximately three bazillion tonnes of kit, so much kit and so long it took to unload that the ferry wanted to leave without us...we protested and jumped on. And that was that really. It definitely felt good to go, always good to meet scouts from around the world, and "walk in the footsteps" of BP.
  6. ianwilkins

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    UK story...last year I was on a plane with 56 other scouts all in matching t-shirts and neckers, on our way to summer camp. We clearly and obviously and unmistakably had girls amongst our number. There was an angry man on the plane. Got on red faced and cheesed off. He sits behind three of ours. I'm not sure what happened but I was sat across the aisle and a seat or two away in the same row, and I not infrequently heard him spluttering "****** boy scouts [inaudible muttering]". He was quite old. In the UK we dropped Boy from Boy Scouts in 1967. Nineteen sixty seven. Actually 50 years previous. So yes, definitely decades.
  7. ianwilkins

    Where did you go to summer camp?

    Holy Thread Resurrection Batman! As a child my first summer camp was in north Wales, near lake Bala apparently, I was 6, tagged along with my parents. A farmer's field. As a child and then a scout, then a Venture, then a Venture leader farmer's fields in Brecon Beacons, south Wales Gower, south Wales North Devon Dart Valley, South Devon - where we could see a preservation steam in action across the valley As an Explorer Scout leader Collard Bridge, Barnstaple, North Devon Broadstone Warren - Sussex Corf Campsite - Isle of Wight Tansley Wood, Matlock, Peak District A dust bath "nature reserve" and a school gym floor, Canary Islands Farmer's field in Corfe Castle, Dorset Also sent Explorers with other leaders to San Jacinto, Aveiro, Portugal Kandersteg, Switzerland Barcelona, Spain
  8. And also, if you want to look at old scout books, The Dump is your friend. pdfs of loads of scout books. Pertaining to girls in scouts, there's a chapter at the end of this one... http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/21years.pdf I only had a brief scan but it looked pretty relevant. Ian
  9. ianwilkins

    Need for tree identification

    5. Identify trees and parts that are "useful" for bushcraft/backwoods activities. e.g. birch bark, pine for resin or needles, for fire lighting.
  10. ianwilkins

    Time to Go.

  11. ianwilkins

    Must you have an "official" uniform to salute the flag?

    Small point of order, I'm not sure where or why the friendship knot started or gained traction, whether it was in the UK or what, but there are still plenty that are more than happy with woggles (slides you say? How odd. ) over this side of the pond*. Though it does seem to have either come down from above, not sure when it started, but a desire to be seen as more "action" and less "stuffy". If memory serves I think it started getting traction in the UK around the World Jamboree in 2007. It may seem like it comes from the higher-ups as they're more likely to go to these international junkets. A UK forum (might even have been usenet) some members started disparaging HQ initiatives that they disagreed with as product from the "woggeless wonders". Though to argue both sides, the friendship knot is becoming more and more common. Then again, may a lot of it's part of the gradual casualisation of clothing generally in the UK. My first job I was required to wear a proper suit jacket and tie. These days many don't even wear proper shirts. * Though, I confess, I'm more of a friendship knot man these days, but with a couple of woggles slid onto the "arms" of the necker before tying the knot, otherwise no one would ever see my Scouts de Argentina woggle gifted to me from one of their leaders, and that would never do! I'm generally only switching to a "proper" smart woggle arrangement for things like Remembrance Sunday (Veterans Day) parade.
  12. ianwilkins

    Jambowlree is back

    sounds like what we in the UK call skittles, 9 pins in a diamond, small balls, though looking a wikipedia, only a superficial similarity. Seems there's a nice wide variety of "let's chuck a ball at bits of wood".
  13. ianwilkins

    Jambowlree is back

    Hi Matt, If you want to submit photos, you can either email them to us info@jambowlree.org and I'll put them on facebook, or what a lot of people do is just post them straight onto our facebook page. If you just want to look at some of the photos, said facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Jambowlree/ is the place to go. If you are logged in you'll see everyones photos, but even if not there will be some there. What I've learnt is bowling alleys look more or less the same all over the world. Garish carpets and dazzle camouflage backwalls especially. Cheers, Ian
  14. ianwilkins

    Jambowlree is back

    I'm running Jambowlree again this year, and it would be great to get some more teams involved from the ten pin bowling motherland Jambowlree is the (unofficial) Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition, Dec '18 - May '19. Entries open to all sections from any country. You'll definitely be taking part in an international competition, check out the website under "global" for maps of where teams have entered from. Premise is simple... Go bowling Enter your scores Wait See if you've won Ok, it's a tiny bit more complicated than that, like there's a small entry fee ($7) for as many teams as you like, but not much. And there's a blanket badge. Of course. http://www.jambowlree.org http://facebook.com/jambowlree http://twitter.com/jambowlree Cheers, Ian
  15. ianwilkins

    History of Merit Badges is a Cultural History of US

    Indeed. I have recollections of a UK reprint of a badge book from the 1920s-1930s that had a Mining proficiency badge in it. One of the requirements was to have spent "at least six months" working down a pit. Those were the days eh?