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ianwilkins

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Everything posted by ianwilkins

  1. Sad sign of the times

    Actually, I don't, up to a point. I know, all those guns would happily sit in a drawer or cupboard and not do any harm to anyone. And yes, it's way more complicated that that, sadly.
  2. New merit badge idea?

    UK used to have a Mining badge, probably not going to make a comeback...different times... "A Scout must have a general knowledge of one particular branch of the mining industry, such as coal, iron or other mineral, with the special dangers involved, and safeguards against them, and must have worked below the surface for not less than six months."
  3. Sad sign of the times

    I'm not sure the classification matters. There was a list of 17 kids who were the same age as my Explorer Scouts when they were shot and killed. Same age as my own children. They are gone and the lives of those around them are in tatters..
  4. Sad sign of the times

    Yes, it's not true, I usually go to snopes, when I don't know who to believe, and it tells me.... https://www.snopes.com/2018/02/16/how-many-school-shootings-in-2018/ Firearm attacks during school hours: 7 (incidents resulting in injuries or deaths: 5) 22 January: Italy High School, Italy, Texas – A 16-year-old student opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun in the school cafeteria, wounding another student. 22 January: NET Charter High School, Gentilly, Louisiana – An unknown person fired shots at students from a vehicle in the school parking lot. One person was injured (though not by gunfire). 23 January: Marshall County High School, Benton, Kentucky – A 15-year-old student opened fire with a handgun on school grounds, killing two and injuring 18. 25 January: Murphy High School, Mobile, Alabama – A student fired a handgun into the air during a fight with another student. No injuries were reported. 26 January: Dearborn High School, Dearborn, Michigan – Shots were fired during a fight in the school parking lot. No injuries were reported. 31 January: Lincoln High School, Philadelphia – A fight during a basketball game resulted in the shooting death of a 32-year-old man outside the school. 14 February: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida – A 19-year-old former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 and injuring 14. But what struck me wasn't the number, the amount, the statistics, fuel for a good discussion. I saw this list on a BBC article, with their ages, and it really took the wind out of my sails, not ashamed to say I get a little teared up every time I look at it... The students who died were: Alyssa Alhadeff, 14 Martin Duque, 14 Alaina Petty, 14 Alex Schachter, 14 Jaime Guttenberg, 14 Cara Loughran, 14 Gina Montalto, 14 Luke Hoyer, 15 Peter Wang, 15 Carmen Schentrup, 16 Nicholas Dworet, 17 Joaquin Oliver, 17 Helena Ramsey, 17 Meadow Pollack, 18
  5. Sad sign of the times

    I'm slightly hesitant to wade into this sad and dispiriting mire, and I won't presume to know what's right for your country, I really hope for all our sakes that change is made for the better.
  6. Has your troop ever gone to Disney World?

    I think I know where that co-ordinator is coming from. Every time he sits your boys down for a "where shall we go camping then?" and they all shout "DisneyLand!" and they get all excited and talk about DisneyLand and nothing else and when he says okay boys so that's $300 for the long weekend and they get all deflated and switch off. The co-ordinator has heard it all before and they want to nip it in the bud. They probably don't mean specifically the mouse, but generally excessively expensive campouts that aren't necessarily very "scouty". Setting the scene to manage expectations possibly. It's like when we do programme planning and ask our explorers what they want to do, and it's "yeah let's go paintballing and go-karting and quad biking and sky diving and buy a plane and all become pilots and and and"...and we go "yep, your budget for the term is £150. No, not each, total. So which three of you are go-karting while the others watch?"
  7. And people attending weddings at Gilwell Park (additional revenue streams eh?), and scouters that just fancy a bit of comparative luxury. Can't remember the last time I had Irn-Bru. I think I would drink beer in preference. Crisp flavours are entertaining, Worcestershire Sauce flavour *really* confused some Portuguese Scouts that were camping with us, on so many levels, from "they're ok I suppose" to "why did they do that?", then there's the pronunciation of it...
  8. I've never been, but I am fairly sure people can, yes, and it's at a campsite, but inside, in a big meeting hall, I think, or a giant marquee, there is a hotel at Gilwell Park.
  9. Apparently they changed the recipe recently, so it didn't have 15 spoons of sugar in every glass (my guess). Some Scots have been stockpiling the "old" bru. Anyway, the UK also has a Gilwell Reunion every year, y'all are welcome, I think they have the UK AGM there at which anyone can attend. I assume votes and questions can be asked. I was quite impressed, I went to an event at Gilwell Park for Explorer Scouts, just the 4000 or so, and the Chief Commissioner was there (basically the right hand man of Bear that does all the grunt work while Bear gladhands and signs autographs) and he was quite happy for me to ask him a specific question I had, and I'm pretty lowly.
  10. i.Scout

    I thought it was a UK thing too. But hey, world scouting is just an extension of Empire so we're all good selling i.scout to the great unwashed of WOSM Actually, I do know that the world scout shop is run on behalf of WOSM in the UK. Maybe there's a crossover. That iscout game, I suspect once the world scout shop get wind of it they'll get a cease and desist warning for infringing trademarks or copyright or something. I thought it was just branding, a set of casual clothing that makes clear that the wearer is a scout. A play on iPad iPod iEtc. Almost as soon as it was created, and PR people seem to nearly always have the UK high-ups in their iScout hoody and scarf tied in a friendship knot, supposition started that "proper" uniform was on its way out and we were basically a youth club and it was all going to hell in a handcart with all the casually dressed iscout degenerates.
  11. Fat Tuesday Dinners

    I'll let you have that one. At least that's sweet and not savoury. And my American History is sketchy at best so thanks for the history lesson. You old romantic. I bet there will be some awkward moments tomorrow as chocolates are given only to receive the reply "I've given them up for lent".
  12. Virtual Campfire

    You mean like @Pselb? If so...You type an @ sign and start typing the name, and select it from the list.
  13. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    If I understood what you're saying, yes, it would be food for thought. Something lost in translation I think, sorry for my lack of understanding. I think what 'Skip is saying is that when he does get drama queens, of either gender, turning up, they either change/act differently, as his troop is not the place for drama, or they leave, for the same reasons. The rest of the kids just carry on in scouting. Why kids leave in the UK is for all sorts of reasons, not sure many of them are gender related. I have no evidence either way though. Yes, boys and girls are different, but you know what? Boys and boys are different too. So you treat them all the same, differently, depending on the sort of kid they are.
  14. Fat Tuesday Dinners

    I've looked at that link, and it seems once again we're not just "two countries separated by a common language". They look more like what we'd call drop scones, or maybe scotch pancakes, and it might just be me, but serving it with sausage [shudder]. Pancakes, proper pancakes, as I know them (so they must be right), are more like a French crepe, simply served with lemon juice and sugar. Though I have developed a taste for chocolate spread (proper chocolate by the way), or nutella, and maybe whipped cream, or a bit of toffee sauce, fruit, and other fancy ways. UK tradition is just lemon juice* and sugar. This post was brought to you along with my application to the Diplomatic Corps. and in the interests of mutual international understanding. I hope their fundraiser goes well. * Do you have those little lemon shaped bottles of lemon juice in the states? We did pancakes at Explorers last week, luckily I took some proper lemons as I don't know how old this bottle we had was, but the juice had turned brown and refused to come out of the little hole in the top. I guess it may have been past its best before date.
  15. Help

    If you are on that facebook, post the same request on 1st Facebook Scout Group. I'm not its biggest fan but for this type of request you should get plenty of responses.
  16. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    It's not really the same though is it? Having been there at the start of Explorer Scouts in the UK when all sections went co-ed (as opposed to just Ventures previously), I've seen the type of girl that is brave enough to come along and be in a unit or troop with no other girls, they are more than happy to do everything that's expected of them, to do all the activities available to them, they want to throw themselves into it, they want to be part of it. Anyone suggesting the programme got watered down for them would have got very short shrift. So it didn't really change, if it doesn't really change, why stop doing it? And this is co-ed troops, and patrols, which you may not even have. I.e. stick around, see what happens, and then, if you're not enjoying it, leave, don't leave in case you're not going to enjoy it.
  17. Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    This is what I don't get. Maybe, if they give it a go, and everyone approaches it in a positive manner, then it could easily still be fun, and they don't need to give up something they enjoy at all. "Leaving" is the same as "giving up", surely there's something in the scout law about that. After all, Venture Crews have fun right? My Explorer Scouts have fun too. The girls will probably surprise them, I'd imagine the first intake are going to be super keen, what's not to like about that? To leave without giving it a go seems, well, what would you say if a kid didn't want to try rock climbing in case they were scared of heights, but didn't know if they were? You'd encourage, cajole, enthuse, be positive. Why is it different with girls? Of course, the kids will see through a leader that doesn't believe in what he's selling in about two seconds flat. And they're only working off rumours and supposition, why not wait and see what really happens?
  18. Virtual Campfire

    Mate, they put up with me and a couple of others that aren't even in the same *country*, I say crack on.
  19. Scouting is doomed

    UK Slant... 13. Getting rid of berets 14. Banning "pegging out"* 15. Getting rid of patrol tents** 16. The Adventurous Activities permit system*** * Hazing, basically, but not necessarily the new kid, just someone who had usually annoyed the Alpha Scout, or was generally the victim. Tied out to four pegs and various jams (jellies) sauces food slops applied. Acceptable in the 80s. ** Great big green canvas things that slept the whole patrol in. And they're still used by some. *** That means, for example, you can't go climbing without being trained and checked that you know what you're doing. Of course, maybe it's already changed so much that it isn't "proper" scouting any more, and therefore scouting isn't just doomed, it's already gone.
  20. Scouting is doomed

    I don't mean to be critical, but I tried to sing along to your version and I couldn't make it scan at all. Ian (also an REM fan)
  21. Virtual Campfire

    Some Dutch don't like the Germans either. Or maybe they are fed up with Brits thinking they're German as Dutch sounds a bit German if you don't know either language that well. They bridle somewhat. You can normally tell they're Dutch as they'll have something orange on. Or if you're on a campsite in France, probably better to assume they're dutch. I'm convinced Holland must be empty in the summer as almost every campsite we go to is chockablock with Dutch. I seem to meet nice friendly people wherever I go from whatever country. I think there's a parable about that, or maybe an apocryphal tale. Something about an old man on the road from one town to another.
  22. Cubmaster Retiring

    [spits tea all over his keyboard and screen] Six HUNDRED dollars! Plaques and other engraved things are a good idea. Or you could buy something for the pack, and put a name plaque on it, and have a photo with the cubs and the thing framed for the cub master. To be facile, if they liked cooking, a new big metal ladle with "Bob's ladle" down the handle. One of our local huts has "Sue's Kitchen" but then she was the group scout leader and it was In Memoriam so slightly different. There's some nice stuff in the world scouting shop.
  23. Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    FYI, and out of interest...UK HQ directly employ about 300 people full time for about 450,000 young people. Though counties also employ a few people, we have at least one admin person, and staff to run campsites, in our County that's 13,500 young people and 3,500 volunteers, and about 3 employees, excluding campsite staff. UK wide volunteers, there's about 100,000 of us. Sometimes it's a bit creaky, and things don't happen as fast as an employee would get them done but...we muddle through.
  24. Pack YP equal or double standard

    Or just have no one-to-one between any leader and young person, no matter what the gender. I.e. there's always another young person or adult there. It doesn't really matter what flavour everyone is.
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