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Everything posted by ianwilkins

  1. ianwilkins

    Movies worth watching (with Scouts?)

    Can we put the subtitles on and sing along? If so I'm IN! You could say The Sound of Music makes important points about loyalty to country, family, honour, finding your place in the world and so on, AND you get to sing Do-Re-Me! Ian
  2. Simple...when they scales tip too far away from "fun" to "not fun" for too long. Maybe I'm being flippant or trite, but I think every example we've had so far, it's something/someone sucking the fun out of it. It's supposed to be fun, and it's supposed to be an adventure. Ian
  3. Yes, definitely have a big sell off of scout land, after all, it's not like there's a finite supply of it is there? Ian
  4. ianwilkins

    Have to ask why.

    A view from the UK: Girl scout cookies are part of the tradition, culture, and heritage, of the USA. It makes a good heartwarming "and finally" story. Boy scouts popcorn just doesn't have the same ring to it. Ian
  5. ianwilkins

    Who carries a firearm on Scout Outings???

    But apart from all that...what did the British ever do for us? All is forgiven, Now simply speak the language correctly, convert to our measurement system and all will be good. Ah, well, I do try and use a pint measurement on a regular basis.
  6. ianwilkins

    Who carries a firearm on Scout Outings???

    Which doesn't need to be broken down by year. Here's the list for the USA... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_police_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty It's all unanswerables and imponderables though, the what ifs. I mean, I could say...how many of those would still be alive if hardly anyone had a gun? But that might start an argument, so I won't. I do worry, and I do think it's changing a bit in the UK, or maybe it's the media coverage, that things are slowly escalating, that as more crims have guns, more police are armed, so more crims get guns, so more police are armed. And yes, indeed, the image of the british bobby with his (or her) trusty truncheon is a little out of date. I have a friend that who worked for the police, and was armed, he had good reason. You go some places in London and it's quite right that the police you see are proper tooled up. Airports, Downing Street. They're the main two I can think of. Then I shall have to be terribly British and apologise unreservedly for anything and everything that anyone may think we may have done. Ian
  7. ianwilkins

    Who carries a firearm on Scout Outings???

    Aaah, you see, that example would be a very very unlikely occurrence, so the follow on logic is based on a false premise. I live close enough to London to see their local news, and I can see that maybe not everything is reported, but generally there's some gang violence, sadly teenage males seem to stab each other on a not infrequent basis, but the last jewellery heist I saw reported it was machete's and the sledge hammers and baseball bats used to get into the cabinets. And still some bystander tried to pull one of them off his moped as he rode away (he backed off when the perp started waving a machete about, fair enough). Lies, damn lies, and statistics... in the whole of the UK, the police shot and killed three people last year, one in 2014. Firearm related death rate by homicide is 0.06 per 100,000 people. In the USA it's 3.55. If it's any consolation, Honduras is 66.64. So I think it's ok unarmed bobbies coming to the rescue in the shopping centre, as the perp would also be unarmed. Yes, definitely different worlds. To vaguely scout relate it, we had some Portuguese come over the other year, and they loved air rifle shooting (.177 I think) as they can't do it in Portugal...but they've all done shotgun shooting, as that's the more "normal" over there. We could also do shotgun shooting, but it's expensive. I have been to a local rifle club and shot some of the members shotguns, and their range of historic weapons, mostly rifles, but also a revolver, which was only legal as it was black powder, so you had to put a cap in, load a measure of black powder, add a ball bearing, and cap it off with grease... x 6. Hardly automatic. Insanely loud and an impressive cloud of smoke though. Good fun! Ian Somewhat!?! Ewwwww! Ian
  8. ianwilkins

    Who carries a firearm on Scout Outings???

    From across the pond, I've read this thread with bemusement and incredulity*, and you're all making the USA sound very dangerous! I'm not judging, if you consider carrying a gun necessary, you're the best judge of that not me. * But that's only because I'm looking at it from this end, in a country where handguns are illegal, the police don't routinely carry, and the only bears are in zoos. Definitely not trying to start an argument! Ian
  9. ianwilkins

    Breaking Bad ... Scouters

    Did all his scouts have the advanced chemistry* merit badge? * Excuse the UK boy not knowing if this is a real merit badge or not.
  10. ianwilkins

    blown away

    Make sure you doff it if you meet a lady in the street.
  11. ianwilkins

    World Jamboree 2019

    If you want another ball park, UK price for the Japan Jamboree was £3000, or $4400. That included transport. I would guess then that the fee component was around £1500-2000. So $2200-$3000. And, just a small point... The Who: Boy Scouts from All over the World I know that UK scouts also invite the girl guides along, and are also mixed, we send two lasses and a lad to Japan last year, so The Who: Scouts from All over the World Would be more accurate. Ian
  12. ianwilkins

    An Exhausting Year

    I don't need to ask. I know the answer. I feel your pain! We're not short of the odd weird and restrictive practice in the UK, though nothing to that scale, and I know I've got more risk adverse over time. I also worry that it's now so hard to get trained and approved for activities like climbing and caving that adventurous activities will just be bought in in the future, but that's all subjects for another thread.... Good work CambridgeSkip! Ian
  13. ianwilkins

    Girls Just Wanna Be Cub Scouts

    Yes, it's not rocket science (it's much more nuanced than that but anyway...) do stuff the kids want to do at a price the parents can afford. All the groups I know that thrive it's because of enthusiastic leadership and a good programme.
  14. ianwilkins

    An Exhausting Year

    Shakes head in disbelief. Again.
  15. ianwilkins

    Girls Just Wanna Be Cub Scouts

    Wow! That's some drop! I'd be cautious about sticking a flag on it and saying there's a definitive reason for it though. Presumably while it was growing it was mixed too? Otherwise I'm guessing the marketing wonks wouldn't be shouting about it. But I guess "why Venturing is shrinking" is a topic for another thread. Ian
  16. My local district/county could try! I'm always open to a full and frank conversation
  17. Hi folks, I run a(n unofficial) competition to find the best ten pin bowlers in scouting! It's for any section, from any country. The basic premise is, you enter, go bowling with your cubs or scout or whatever, and enter your scores on the website. Then when the competition ends, we add up all the scores, and see who has won! The competition is run by age group/section, so there's a separate competition for cubs, scouts, and adults can join in too! Previous years we've had entries from all over the world, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Slovenia, Spain, Germany, and the UK. It would be good to add the USA to the mix. There's fun/blanket badges available if you want. There's a small fee to enter too - $8 for as many teams as you want for your section/group. More details on our website http://www.jambowlree.org Or that facebook https://www.facebook.com/Jambowlree/ Or follow us on twitter @jambowlree Yours in Scouting, Ian
  18. Blimey! Interesting stuff! I'd still argue you, as a participant, is only taking part and paying an entry fee. It's me over in the UK that's doing fundraising. Still, if they want to pay for me to come and meet a "professional", I'm sure I could pop over, business class of course! In other news, we went bowling last night, 46 of us, had a great time! Not sure we'll be trouble the top of the leaderboard, but hey, it's not what it's about. Ian
  19. I had a long post the other day, but lost it in the troubles, so, in short, I volunteer, so all the money less costs go to my explorer group. Costs are web hosting, and for those that buy badges, postage and packing, I charge zero for my time. It's probably benefitted around 200 people since it started, from the website... We've used the money raised so far to support International trips to Portugal, and for some Portuguese Explorers to visit us, to help our Farnham Explorers who have been selected for the World Scout Jamboree, and as a hardship fund, as well as general unit activities. Thirdly, fundraising from scouting activities on this side of the pond draws the attention of our councils, and where we are told the checks should go can get "interesting." ​ Really? Paying to take part in an event would draw attention? Tell me more...
  20. ianwilkins

    Non-American & International campfire food?

    While we're on an international tip, the south africans have a thing called a potjie (pron. pot-chee), basically looks like a more witches cauldron type of dutch oven, with longer legs. Of course, much of south africa was invaded by the dutch as well as the english*, so it ties up they'd have something very similar, same source. I assume the english at the time thought lids were for weirdos. * gross simplification, no offence meant.
  21. ianwilkins

    Non-American & International campfire food?

    Seems fair. When I'm doing dinner, the DO is suspended over the fire, and tends to be cooking something pretty wet, so it's basically just a saucepan that's thick and heavy. That said, there were some pretty good pineapple upsidedown cakes made at summer camp last year, someone else was in charge, I think there was a spacer put on the bottom of the DO to lift a dish containing the upsidedown cake mix off the bottom. Then briquettes placed on top as you say. I think I was doing something else at the time. I had some of the results though. Very nice! Anyway, over this side of the pond we consider roast dinner to be typically british, at least I do, so if you had a campfire oven, maybe that's an option. Of course, another typically british meal would be a curry.
  22. ianwilkins

    Non-American & International campfire food?

    Yeah, just seems very specific. I could understand it with the cobbler, as you had to brown the top.
  23. ianwilkins

    Non-American & International campfire food?

    Another view from the UK here... As it happens, we camped at the weekend, and a meat and veg in foil was done. Breakfasts we try and do a full english most mornings, fried bacon, sausage, egg, tomato, and cooked baked beans, maybe some black pudding. It's always a bit tricky with lots of people as it's almost all fried, and that takes up lots of space, some sometimes it's scrambled eggs instead. Over the last few years we've got into dutch oven cooking more and more. We do one called South African Chicken Stew, no idea how authentically south african it is, as it's spiced with "cajun" spice, but anyway, always goes down well, as well as a chicken/chorizo in tomato thing we made that didn't have a recipe. "raw biscuit dough from a can?" I'm not sure we even have such a thing. We did have a phase of making flatbreads over fires, making the dough, and cooking it on a flat bit of steel (or frying pan) over the fire. Oh, pitta pocket pizzas, look like a car crash, usually taste great. "Have your Scouts ever caught fish, then ate them that night for dinner?" Yes, like CambridgeSkip says, sea fishing, over here, most lakes are small, and you go to all the trouble of catching a fish, then have to put it back, and if you did eat it, they'd probably taste like the bottom of a pond, not sure about rivers, fishing not my bag. Anyway, we did go sea fishing at summer camp a few years back, and caught enough fish for not just us, but all our neighbours too. We have a problem with American Signal Crayfish, escaped from captivity, and are spreading across the country rapidly, killing all the native species of crayfish...oversized, oversexed, and over here! Anyway, last year we camped at a local site with a river, put a trap out, and caught some, which you aren't legally allowed to put back, so we had to eat them Just looked at last summer camps menu... Gammon, veg, jacket potatoes Minced beef cobbler Spicy chicken Fish & Chips (bought) Beef Stroganoff and rice Chicken Fajitas It's all done from ingredients rather than pre-prepared stuff. And yes, at some point, marshmallows have to be cooked on the fire. Last week we had a curry night, but that was on gas in the hut, then again, no reason you couldn't do that on the fire in a dutch oven. The main problem we have in the UK is you look on the internet for dutch oven recipes, and so it's all a cup of this, and a cup of that, whereas we tend to use weights and volumes. On the other hand, you can buy your american cup measures over here, and I guess on camp it might be easier, we certainly don't take scales, though we might have a measuring jug, so things can be a bit vague at times. And it's probably a personal thing, but all this "8 briquettes on the bottom, 12 on top" business? Stick it on the fire! stop mucking about! Ian
  24. ianwilkins

    What if the Boy Scouts went coed?

    Well, I've been told I'm wrong, that boys and girls sharing is against the rules, it is not true (in the UK). Or even if it's not against the rules, that I shouldn't do it anyway. I've had parents reckon there'll be mass orgies as soon as our back is turned, If memory serves I think I managed to bite my tongue and didn't say this said more about them and their opinion of their child than anything else. On a practical level, on a weekend camp, we've had them in big tents, mixed up, and they either change in the toilets, or in sleeping bags, or tell all the boys to get out while they change, and vice versa. It gets sorted practically anyway. I like to treat my explorers as if they are a bunch of friends, it seems to work mostly. After all, a scout is morally straight right? And "trustworthy, ...courteous...clean" so how would sharing a tent be a problem? You are right though, image is still important, the wrong parent gets the wrong end of the stick, and the wrong image can be portrayed, the jungle drums take over, and you've got a situation on your hands. As a final point, it's not so different to a single sex provision, after all, you could have a single sex couple in your unit. Of course, I'm inured to the whole thing, I've been in mixed scouting since aged 15, and that was some time ago. Sorry, yes, forgetting the units differ, 0 centigrade, 32 Fahrenheit. [looks up what 0F is...-18C] It would be a rare event to get down to zero F if you weren't in the wilds of Scotland or up on the Yorkshire Moors.