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Everything posted by ianwilkins

  1. Non-sequitur of the week award goes to Eagledad. Congratulations!
  2. ianwilkins

    New girls in Scouting

    So, without discussion or agreement they've assumed you are a pack that will accept boy and girl dens? And I'm assuming you're a pack of boy's dens and it's been agreed that you want to stay a boy's only den pack? Does your CO have any desire to open a mixed or girls only pack? I guess the rep will learn pretty fast that making ultimatums to volunteers can backfire somewhat. Or that maybe they shouldn't assume stuff. That's going to be a pretty unpleasant job, telling the girls that there is no girls pack or mixed pack with you, and they'd need to go find one somewhere else. Pretty unfair of the rep to do that to you.
  3. ianwilkins

    New girls in Scouting

    Sometimes it goes wrong. Sometimes whatever's planned doesn't work. Try to have a plan B up your sleeve. Ian
  4. In the UK: You have girl scouts now? [tries hard not to roll eyes] Yes, only for the last 20 years or so (or 40 years for Ventures)
  5. Gosh! Is scouts still going?
  6. That doesn't sit well with me, it doesn't sound like courage but fear. Still, I guess admitting you're afraid can be a brave thing to do. I would have thought the brave thing to do would be to "do your best" to "help other people". I guess if from your point of view you are not helping by accepting them as they are then logically "help other people" is what you think you'd be doing by excluding them. I think you're wrong, but hey, mine's just another opinion, worth what you paid for it. All grist to the mill, life's rich pageant, etc etc.
  7. Hammocks. Hammocks is the answer. No no, don't mention toilets and showers. To be honest, just about anything can be figured out with a bit of compassion and decency.
  8. Best go full co-ed then. Problem disappears.
  9. ianwilkins

    New Wolf Neckerchief /hats now what?

    Tell them to go look at the scout law again. A scout is thrifty.
  10. Are you saying that scouters should therefore, if you have to accept a transgender child, to actively discourage them from being transgender as it's behaviour that could be harmful? Because doing nothing is accepting what they are, and therefore encouraging, and therefore possibly abuse?
  11. ianwilkins

    Fishing, BSA, and PETA

    PETA been watching too much Finding Nemo? "Fish are friends not food"
  12. ianwilkins

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Oi! Don't try and blame us!! And on a serious note, thank you for your time helping the young men in your care. You've made a positive difference to the world I feel sure.
  13. ianwilkins

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Ummm, because not that long ago girls were taught separately so they could learn to be homemakers, home economics, textiles, sewing, oooh, let's be radical and teach them to type so they could join the typing pool! Sport? Something nice and gentle. Engineering? Oh no, that's a boy subject, not for girls. No need to study hard, your job is to snag yourself a man make babies. All those schemes are just trying to balance things up, so my Explorers won't have to battle against those that say "no, that's just for men that", can become professional kick-boxers, engineers for Rolls-Royce, ski instructors. They're opening up options for girls, not shutting down options for boys, boys have always had "you can do anything" available to them.
  14. ianwilkins

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    and also, in my experience, while "that boys and girls behave differently, learn, differently, and develop differently" is true, so is it true that boys behave differently learn differently, and develop differently. I mean, in Explorers in the UK the age range is 14-18, we've got some boys at the start that haven't reached puberty some by the end are going steady, and everything in between, some are bright kids that need telling once, some that need telling, showing, telling again, showing again, showing again a different way, etc etc. And the girls are the same. I.e. we, both leaders from boys only sections, and co-ed, have always had to cope with a range of abilities, personalities, intelligence, etc etc. This summer I had 42 Explorer scouts on camp from four different units. We split them into patrols. The eldest were the PLs, some were boys, some were girls, the rest of the patrol was a mix of boys and girls. When we went to the beach, they all went for a swim. When we went climbing, they all gave it their all, to the best of their abilities, some of the smaller boys and girls struggled, then again some didn't, a factor of arm strength really, but they all supported each other. They weren't doing a girls climb and a boys climb. No need. When they emptied and cleaned the cattle trough, at one point there were 5 kids in there bathing, three girls at one end, two boys at the other, they managed that all by themselves without leader help. Going co-ed isn't the bogeyman it's being made out to be in my opinion, other things like the poor public image of scouting, changing and limiting the programme, losing the patrol method are.
  15. ianwilkins

    Difficult Parent Interraction

    too true. And the worst bit is they think they're helping their kids.
  16. ianwilkins

    Lawnmower Parents

    Surely a parent that doesn't do everything for their child is just a Conditional Parent. Ian
  17. ianwilkins

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Isn't that always the way?
  18. ianwilkins

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    To be honest, most people who don't mind one way or the other wouldn't bother posting about it on an internet forum, so it's always going to tend towards the extremes one way or another. What I find interesting is the similarity in reactions to when the UK "bet the farm" on including girls, going from only Ventures being mixed to all sections being mixed. In some places, for some troops, it seemed everyone was against it, and in others everyone was for it. It was in pre internet forum days so none of it remains for posterity. I guess leaders of a feather flock together, and in places a vociferous one or two would convince everyone that was unsure or indifferent of the rightness of their opinion. So while in one troop in our town the leaders left en-mass, and the boys were very anti, in another the leaders switched to the new scheme with gusto, and the kids mostly went along with it. Girls are still very much the minority in UK scouting, but it's them that's driving the growth. The number of boys is static, while the number of girls is increasing. But then again, so much has changed with the programme and the age ranges and all sorts it's impossible to draw conclusions from the numbers. Like I've said before, good luck, change on this scale is not an easy path.
  19. ianwilkins

    First WSJ help!!

    At the last one I got back reports of having to get up at 6am to get into an hour long queue for breakfast, so yes, the advice to eat whatever you see whenever you see it is good, you won't necessarily know when what and how big the next meal is.
  20. ianwilkins

    First WSJ help!!

    Take earplugs. I'm not being a negative nelly. Take earplugs. It'll be noisy of that I have no doubt. You might be working shifts. The tents will be packed close. Someone near you will snore. Take some things you can swap with friends you make, badges, scarves. Make sure your kit will keep you warm/cool/dry for that long. So a comfy sleep mat, the right sleeping bag. Don't expect to have a lot of time to do laundry. Basically, look after yourself so you can look after others. Then it's the obvious, a good scout smiles and whistles in all circumstances, as the man said. A friend of mine went to the Swedish Jamboree and went all bright eyed when he talked about the great team he was working with and what a great time they'd had. He was working on refuse collection. For 10 days he was a binman, and loved it, because of the people he met. Basically, throw yourself into it and see what happens. Should be good.
  21. ianwilkins

    10,000 Girl Cub Scouts

    "conditional scouter" sounds like a term used as a stick to beat people with. The sort of thing that would rile me somewhat I think.
  22. ianwilkins

    Can you not give it 100%?

    I think it's universally true (ok, you're in the USA, and I'm in the UK but still...) that a den/pack/troop/unit etc etc will lean towards what the leaders finds interesting and/or has the confidence to deliver. That despite the rules the strictures the awards the guidance...every den/pack/troop is different. Birds of a feather flock together. So while your den is all crafts and stem, and has attracted those that like that programme, while another might be more hiking and fishing, or trips out, or whatever. There is room in the programme for variety. And variety is the spice of life. Now, I know I love a good team building game, and another of our leaders is an amatuer engineer, so the number of times we make a parachute for an egg out of paper and string, or spaghetti and marshmallow towers, or paper and sticky tape etc etc is large, while another unit in the same town is off to the buddhist temple, while another is up the park playing a wide game while another is making their own sheath knives. I know a leader in central London that's ended up doing a lightweight cooking evening in a park next to the London Eye but hasn't handed out a badge in years, while others plan for all their cubs to have an armful of badges by the time they leave. They all attract the cubs/scouts that like that approach and those activities. Scouting is a broad church. What I'm saying is, you sound like a step-up kind of guy. So maybe get in with the den leader on their planning sessions, make a few suggestions of things you could basically run, I don't know, push the open door of crafts and do some basic whittling but out in the woods or something, or ephemeral nature art might be a more open door, or there's a thing in the UK at the moment of painting rocks and leaving them for others to find, and having pushed that open door of craft but outside, then suggest more active things, or outside stem things like water or stomp rockets. Or start a new den and run it your way Ian
  23. ianwilkins

    Parent Wars: The Helicopter Strikes Back

    Wave goodbye. Try and look sad. You can't win 'em all.
  24. 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.