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Col. Flagg

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Everything posted by Col. Flagg

  1. As Ronald Reagan once said, "There you go again." You have this incessant need to be right or close down debate when things don't suit you. Let me be clear (again): I am NOT talking about DATA!! That is YOUR argument. I am talking about getting ACCESS to and FINDING them!!! I'm done. You may have the last word.
  2. You are answering your own questions. How about you stay focused on what *I* asked. How is this any better than a cell phone or sat phone? Answer: It isn't because it does not provide any greater ACCESS to the lost party. THAT was my point. You are providing to answers to questions you asked but are not germane to the point under contention.
  3. Meh...and how exactly will it communicate that data to SAR teams? You have to FIND them first. Unless you are aware of some new way to cover the back country with network coverage -- which every wireless and telco would LOVE to have -- you are making a moot point. I will make this simple: How will this device find a network -- by which it can tell SAR teams where someone is -- any better than a cell or satellite device?
  4. We solved this by posting to the website. Reduced email traffic to 1-2 emails to the troop a week. The automated nature of the eBlast -- the weekly "newsletter" of the updates to the website -- handled the rest.
  5. You are addressing the DATA that the tech can give to SAR resources. This has NOTHING to do with what I said. *I* said that the tech cannot communicate to the SAR teams in real-time any better than a phone can; meaning all that data is useless unless you can FIND the person first. The use of this tech is no better than the last ping from a cell tower or from a transponder on a satellite. You're missing the key point in all of this: It is not the data but the networking of these devices to the grid. Data is all well and good, but it is useless unless you can find someone faster.
  6. So enlighten me. How exactly does the Ethereum blockchain and mercury protocol communicate with a device in the back-country different from a cell phone or a sat-nav device? I'd love to learn more.
  7. Read what I said. It is no more effective than cell phones or any other device with similar communications capabilities.
  8. Think you may have forgotten the link. Now if WB today taught this stuff they'd have a line out the door.
  9. Guys, you are missing the point of what blockchain data is, how it is stored, mined and used. Here's a decent primer on it. It can't be used for real-time SAR activities any more than a phone can. The tech on how this all works -- the blockchain, as well as the Loomia gadgets -- is highly prorietary; though I am concerned about them using a public blockchain as opposed to a private one. I would not buy any such gear myself. As @FireStone said, it is a bit creepy that my gear can relay ANY information I don't want it to, not to mention the RF exposure and other creepy things about the data. I'll pass.
  10. +1 for SOAR as a website. Our unit has used it since 2009 and we love it. It makes keeping in touch with folks VERY easy. It also allows Scouts to take control of their advancement and see their status. It allows patrols to communicate, as well as other troop entities (OA, troop committee, PLC, etc.). You can integrate with PayPal, register and pay for camp outs, etc. For the price it is worth ten times what we pay. As a former unit lead I can tell you it 1) saved me HUNDREDS of hours in communicating and information dissemination (e.g., "Read the website...it's under xxx), and 2) it kept the adults from pontificating at COHs and other events.
  11. You have to tailor the questions to what you are teaching. I would recommend this: Figure out what you want to teach (e.g., parts of a compass, basic navigation terms and symbols, etc.). Develop how you are going to teach each thing (e.g., map reading game, presentation, etc.). Once you know what and how you will teach things, think up questions. One thing I learned as a soccer coach a long time ago, when you develop a drill/game for your players it should always allow those of varying skills to learn something, AND you should be able to adjust the drill/game based on one's ability. That means you need something you can add to the existing game that will challenge those guys who "get it" early. For example, if guys have no problem finding whether something is uphill or downhill on a topographic map, have them calculate the elevation gained and lost.
  12. LMC and I will get back to you. EDIT: Had a look and couldn't find them. Have asked the Librarian and JASMs to have a look in our online archive. In the meantime, try this.
  13. I doubt any of this is new. I recall doing this when I was a Scout. The pizzas may be new...well, at least different. It's a bit like geocaching but rather with an edible stash. Try this site and this site if you don't already have it. It is a collection of all the Troop Program Resources and Troop Program Features books that BSA puts out. They are literally "meetings in a box" for PLCs.
  14. Here's what our PLC did a few months back: First meeting was the parts of a compass and basics of map reading. They had a game called Orienteering Baseball, where patrols played each other by answering map and compass questions of different value (some were "singles", some "doubles", some "home runs"). Like First Aid baseball only with navigation questions. Second meeting of the month was more advanced map reading. They learned about UTM and magnetic declination. We got several large topo maps of Philmont and made up treks. Patrols had to navigate from various points, get water, resupply and get back to base camp. It was a timed game and they had to record direction of travel, bearing and distance. Extra points for elevation gained and lost. Third meeting was a night-time orienteering activity in a local park. Everyone had headlamps and compasses. The Venturing Crew built the course. There were six different "treks" so no patrol had the same path. There were 16 "waypoints" assigned in the park (e.g., A, B, C, and so on). Patrol #1 might have to navigate from A to C to F to G, etc., Patrol #2 might have B to A to F to C. Each patrol had 5-6 waypoints. The waypoints were marked by soccer corner flags with glow sticks. Each patrol was given a sheet of paper with their "trek" waypoints noting distance and bearing; this way they could shoot the bearing and hike the distance even in the dark. The course requires some previous set up in order to note bearing and distances between the waypoints. You also need to get one "pace setter" from each patrol and mark off their # of step per 100 feet prior to letting the patrols on the course. The last meeting of the month was held at another park. There we did something similar to the third meeting BUT we had pizzas hidden at various way points. Those way points were guarded by ASMs or JASMs so the critters in the park would not make off with the pizzas until the patrols got them. This was so popular that the incoming PLC has elected to do this again next month!!
  15. Yeah well that's easily said. I think you missed my previous ramblings about how council and district is run by the Good Old WB Network, where any idea that's not theirs is discarded or mocked. This is why few units spend any time at district or council events. We've tried and failed. Time is better spent making our units better. So this method -- which is actually used by many of us -- allows us to engage any detractors directly and away from the Scouts. Since we have policy and signatures on our side they have no ammunition. So 5 minutes to complete a simple form and then get it signed avoids all that unpleasantness. That's FAR less effort than trying to take back Council or District.
  16. Yes many. Maybe not where you are but certainly where I am and among friends' districts around me in my state. Training? Besides reading, understanding and executing the Scouting program properly, you mean? Any trained leader -- certainly anyone with WB beads with 18 knots on his chest -- ought to know better you think. So to protect my Scouts and those of other troops, we unit leaders and Eagle coaches remain vigilant and run air cover for our Scouts against such tyrants. BSA should spend more time weeding out guys like this rather than other things they do.
  17. Non-NSP units have these too. They're called Patrol Leaders and Instructors. Adults drink coffee and train the Instructors when needed if a JASM is not around. I've seen more four leaf clovers in the last 15 years than I have seen UCs.
  18. Aren't those the same girls from that "photo op"?
  19. Again, I don't disagree one bit. But remember, many don't think that it's a done deal by the EBOR. Many think the EBOR is their last chance to pass judgement on the project and its suitability for credit toward Requirement #5. Others, myself among them, believe the requirements is completed when the Beneficiary and the Unit Lead sign off on the project plan's final report. I would argue that it is not a simple issue of "reading the doc" as much as it is a case of adults reading the rules, knowing the process and abiding by them. Simply put: A Scout can read, understand and abide by the rules and processes 100%, but can still be torpedoed by one over-eager adult who does not. The process I recommend above is the insurance policy against that.
  20. We've got a mom of trips...all with ADHD. I cut her so much slack...
  21. It must be regional. In my area they are as thick as mosquitoes. In the instance mentioned abovet, this person makes it their personal mission to determine if a Scout's Eagle project is "worthy" of being an Eagle, despite 1) not being an Eagle himself, and 2) only being an off-again-on-again volunteer to sit in on EBORs. He is not part of the sign off process and only insists on inserting himself on EBORs when he feels like it. He and his cronies are the reason few units in my district volunteer for anything.
  22. He may had misread what @Tampa Turtle wrote, thinking it was the mom of the Scout in the BOR. You know, the Scout's mom sitting in on her son's BOR...which would be highly odd.
  23. That's all very well and good but how would you do that during an EBOR? Very few Scouters know the rules and process well enough to help in such a manner. Couple that with some overzealous district person who is full of themselves and their own "power" and you have the making for a unnecessary paperwork showdown which takes both time and effort. The silver bullet to all of this is simply filling out the form and getting the district rep to sign it at the same time he's singing off on the proposal. Done! Needless? Perhaps. But 5 minutes at this phase can save a candidate a ton of headache down the road. And if they don't have an Eagle advisor then they're not at the mercy of some egotistical district rep full of self-importance.
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