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Posts posted by ianwilkins

  1. I'd be tempted to have some snacks, and yes, maybe lunch, but also an emergency snack. This is an individual list right? Because I'd maybe have some group kit rather than individual kit. Why have 5 compasses and maps when you'll be walking as a group? Instead of everyone shelling out for a lifestraw, as a group take some water purification tablets for emergencies. We'd probably have an emergency mobile or two, sealed in a watertight bag.

    And, of course, your very small backpack...needs to be big enough to fit everything in!

    Of course, your mileage may vary, and you might be more likely to need more than 2 litres of water in a morning in Texas than you would in a whole day in Blighty. In which case, individual lifestraws make more sense (assuming your route will actually cross any likely water sources).

    Lists are good! :)

    • Upvote 1

  2. 7 hours ago, shortridge said:

    The whole thing strikes me as largely a joke. I fail to see the point of yet another doo-dad for a service project.

    I guess the point of it is that it is a worldwide award, that any scout in the world can earn, and so making the point that we're part of something bigger than our patrol/troop/unit/group/district/county/state/country.


    • Upvote 2

  3. Saw an interesting documentary by an expert in the field of population, Hans Rosling, an very entertaining and informative presenter he was too. If memory serves, as countries "sort themselves out", as women get educated, as health outcomes improve, the birth rate drops dramatically. We are not being replaced by more people in the next generation. There's a "bulge" of people living longer, while in some places more are born than die. As this sorts itself out, population will level off. Basically. But with more examples and said in a much more interesting way. We'll still have to manage 10-11 billion people on the planet though.

    Of course, when a few generations down the line we're all gender neutral and the estrogen in the water has turned all the men infertile, and we're all living in some Handmaid's Tale dystopia, that should sort population levels out. Well, for those that stay on earth anyway. (dons tin foil hat to stop the government mind control waves)

    • Haha 2

  4. Hampshire's the county next door to me, I guess he's one of their ambassadors as in "a representative or promoter of a specified activity." and does it internationally, as he's off on his adventures abroad. I guess it's a fairly loose arrangement, him going to see local scouts around the world is a bit of glad-handing and a bit of making the kids go "wow" and serve as an inspiration or open their eyes to possibilities etc I guess.

    I've always been impressed with Hampshire scouting, way back when we used to hire a big marquee from them that they rented to us on a fairly commercial basis, they'd rock up and put up this clear span 30'x60' marquee, custom trailer, landrovers, the works. Talking to the leader it helped pay for various adventures. A nice bunch.

    It was Hampshire that organised a scout everest expedition for the centenary in 2007:


    No mean feat.

    This year (I think) they had a team ski to the south pole and kite ski back to base. Like you do.


    Two of my Explorers, despite not being in the county, have just come back from a Hampshire led expedition to Malawi, not sure what they were doing, some community work, safari, I'll find out when we start again in a week or two.

    Hats off to them for sure.


    • Like 1

  5. I caught something on the radio last night while I was in my car, some fella reminiscing. I missed the start, or it wasn't clear, but I think he was there (maaan), and said how food was the big issue, and how the local hotels and restaurants had no business because all the roads were blocked, the army ended up picking up food from the hotels and helicoptering it onto the site. He said they'd get these giant vats of marinated lamb, and he said "yeah, because I was a boy scout, as were my friends with me, we were used to cooking on open fires, we cooked it all up, stews, shish kebabs, every variety we could think of, we started selling it, but then no one had any money, so we were swapping it for cigarettes and dope, or just giving it away"

    I guess you never know when your scout skills will come in handy. :)

  6. If you want a heavily weighted anglo-centric but international group, there's 1st facebook scout group. It's a bit busy, so for pity's sake don't leave notifications on for it, and it takes a bit of getting used to sometimes, but it can be useful, especially for reaching out to random countries for information or to make contact for international type badgework requirements and so on.

  7. On 8/7/2019 at 4:21 PM, Eagledad said:

    Well, hmm. I find my moral soul being cornered. I was actually thinking more the appearance of naivety of Americans.

    It seems I forgot my parachute. 

    Am I lost in translation? I think I'm understanding that you're saying that you aren't all parsimonious tee-totallers and prohibitionists? It's ok, I've watched Cheers, The Simpsons, and Family Guy. America is just like all of those shows right? I know some of you must like a drink.

    The parachute reference though...whoosh, straight over my head that one!

    I've stepped back...Run free moral soul!

  8. 54 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    So, what is the point of a beer tent. Is that something normal in European scouting? 

    Are we Europeans being painted as degenerates again? ;)

    I'd have thought the beer tent that only served Heineken would be bad enough, but zero alcohol Heineken? [shudders]


    48 minutes ago, Cambridgeskip said:

    A leaders bar is quite common at major events in the UK. We have a strict no under 18s drinking rule and adults who have been drinking are not meant to deal with the scouts directly and we have to maintain minimum adult to scout ratios with adults who have not been drinking, but yes a leaders bar is a thing. Gilwell Park actually has a bar in the main building and the pub quiz on the Saturday night at Winter Camp each January is the stuff of legend!

    Not sure about the rest of Europe.

    My only experience is at the Spanish National Jamboree which was a dry event with no bar on the Jamboree site. Mind you, the sometimes febrile atmosphere of the 00:30 leaders meetings were feisty enough, let alone adding booze into the mix, it would have been carnage!


  9. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    @ianwilkins, follow Bryan's blog. He already made one post ... https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/05/31/theme-logo-for-2021-national-jamboree-will-invite-scouts-to-face-the-challenge/

    Rollout of registration will be very soon. At least that's the scuttlebutt from my connections.

    Truth: I am not a big convention fan. There were times in the last two weeks were I selected an out-of-the-way trail just for some quiet and to pick some blackberries or sassafras root ... or track a bear. Most of the time I met someone on the trail who was doing the same thing. Two-deep with a stranger of like mind is a good thing.

    On another scout forum, they had a name for it, are you a backwoods Benny? Or a Jamboree Johnny? :)

    And it sounds like even Jamboree Johnny's need a little me time. I can imagine it's pretty full on for two weeks, or more or less three weeks for the UK mob, with extra days at the start and end.

    I wonder what South Korea will be like. A quick search suggests Summit is 57km2, while S.Korea will be 10km2. Japan was 3km2! I'd guess less emphasis on activities and more on that sort of global learning educational togetherness type stuff.


  10. 7 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    To change the mood, anyone else going to be at National Jambo in 2021?  I will be there.  I would love to meet y'all


    To ask a possibly stupid question...can foreign johnnies muscle in on BSA national jamborees? Or is it pretty strict? Just an idle thought, I think flight costs may be very prohibitive. We got invited on to the Spanish National Jamboree a few years back and I'm always looking for something similar.

    Have not heard much from my Explorers that are there, once the mobiles ran out of battery I guess. A few updates from units on social media. I know there was a post Jamboree UK contingent thing in Washington for a couple of days, including the aforementioned trip to a baseball game. Then our county's three units went to Canada to stay with scout troops up there. I think they're finally back in the UK a couple of days time, flying back from NYC.




  11. One of mine sent me some photos of New York where most of the UK Contingent went for a day or so pre-Jamboree. It looked New Yorkey, and like they were having fun.

    The bits of the opening ceremony I saw were pretty impressive! Not just the drone show but mainly the 45,000 scouts from 150+ countries all together. The flags and the joy and the enthusiasm, all rather uplifting.

    Then I saw a picture showing how big the place is, one of the three Surrey Unit's site in the photo, and the other unit by some distant tower near the horizon in the photo, and the other apparently an hour's walk in the other direction. Crikey!


    • Upvote 2

  12. Oh, we do that. Blindfold drop. Standard Explorer Scout activity here in the UK. Well, we might well make sure they know where they are, and where they're going, and what route they plan to take, but more or less, we do that.

    Meet at the scout hut. Give them a map, compass, first aid kit, whistle, load them in the car, put blindfolds on them, drive randomly to a location we've planned, stop, they work out where they are, we wave them off, we drive to the finish, we have a cup of tea.

    I mean, we don't have wolves and bears and snakes that kill you, nor millions of acres of not very much, so...


  13. Started seeing photos yesterday of the Australia contingent on their way, nice hats and "green and gold"* daysacks. And the obligatory airport shot of 100s of identical holdalls in lines.

    I'm getting excited by proxy!

    * looked more like green and a vivid fluorescent yellow to me but...

  14. 13 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    a Police Explorer post with 15 active explorers sold 600 boxes of donuts....oh, the perpetuation of stereotypes!

    ...and never left the police station. ;)


    Was at a fairly large camp last year and there were some police there doing a demonstration and general community stuff, and one came rocking up to the others with a big bag of fresh donuts...made me smile too.

  15. 13 hours ago, Terasec said:

    As an Immigrant myself from Italy

    idea of camping in Italy and most of Europe is different than US,

    in Italy there is almost no public lands that you can just set up a tent and few places that is allowed is highly regulated

    European national lands is more like US national and state  parks as opposed to US and state forests

    Yes, I think the key is private ownership in Europe, and the space in the US. I mean, our local UK campsite is 7 acres in size (are your acres the same size? Anyway, close enough), the largest one I know of is 400 acres. There's a fair amount of National Parks, but they generally don't allow random camping. There are a fair few scout campsites, and vary from not much more than farmer's fields, to farmer's fields with a toilet block, to all singing and dancing activity centres. Though almost none have mess halls. 

    Actually, in Scotland you can wild camp, and there's a test/trail going on in a few national parks at the moment.

    Then again in Sweden wild camping is okay apparently, and being on someone else's land is not trespass (in my simple understanding). Meanwhile in France, well, there was talk of us going there and camping, but if you do more than a 5 day camp, you have to get about three layers of approval, you've got to be 200m from any water or ancient monument, there were two more pages of rules and advice, and the local mayor can inspect your camp with the local police and shut down your camp (and arrest and fine the leaders) if they don't like what they see....we're not going camping in France. ;)


  16. 14 hours ago, FireStone said:

    World Championship...The event this year was attended by scouts from all over the country. I heard something about over 100 councils and over 20 states represented. 

    Aaah, the old "only one country takes part but we'll call it a World Championship" trick. ;)

    Only jesting, sounds like an exciting day, always good to meet lots of scouts from different places. 

  17. On 6/11/2019 at 5:12 PM, qwazse said:

    Better than tweezers: thumb and forefinger. Squeeze,

    Squeeze? Urgh! I feel a bit queasy even thinking about that!

    I thought the reason they recommend thin tweezers and tick tools and definitely not fire or a cigarette or Vaseline or fingers is the danger of forcing the contents of the tick's stomach out through the mouth and into your bloodstream. Which is not the way you want nasties entering your body.


  18. I would say this kid needs some counselling to get to the bottom of it, and finding ways to cope with it. I've had kids on the autistic spectrum not be able to cope with certain aspects of certain camps, one had to go home in the middle of the night. Not great. 

    My uninformed and unprofessional guess is maybe he's catastrophising, and that's working him up, and him getting worked up is slipping into a vicious cycle where he's worrying about getting so anxious, which is making everything worse, making him more anxious, which is worrying, and all rationality goes out the window. He's probably getting anxious at the knowledge that he'll be crying and having an anxiety attack when he goes to bed on camp, what will his friends think, and he feels powerless to stop it.

    My guess is the best thing would be someone calm and rational to talk to, even in the middle of the night, plus some counselling to give him some tools and coping strategies.

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    • Upvote 2

  19. On 6/15/2019 at 12:58 AM, fgoodwin said:

    Can you name a recent movie that shows Scouting in a positive light and doesn't make use of the pedophile or nerd tropes?

    Yes, my aforementioned Rim of the World. It's a female scout, but she's a-la-mode a strong capable female character.

    We've had a comedy series over here in the UK called Ghosts, where someone inherits a house, has an accident and can now see dead people, one of the ghosts trapped in her house is a scout leader, comes across as well meaning and enthusiastic, though admittedly a bit of a nerdy voice, and no mention of paedophilia. Which was nice.