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Cambridgeskip

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Everything posted by Cambridgeskip

  1. Interesting thread to see from this side of the Atlantic. We have no dangerous wildlife! The only advice we really have to give our scouts is don't wave you arms around wasps and in farming areas don't get between cows and their young. Other than that it's pretty safe. Quite scary to see stuff like this!
  2. Alternate promise was from around 2013 sometime. Although even before that for youth members at least there was not requirement to actually have a religious belief. You just had to make one of the (all religious based) offical versions of the promise to join.
  3. I suspect that Scouts Canada will simply be the latest in an increasingly long list of national organisations doing this. Scouting is a movement, it has to move with the times. Just like in the UK Scouts Canada are not ditching religion but simply making room for those with no religion. And that can only be a good thing, bringing people together with different beliefs.
  4. You can change the word all you want but people will still use it. In the UK we changed "master" to "leader" in the 1960s, I forget when, and half the people I meet outside of scouting still refer to scout masters. I really wouldn't worry about it.
  5. Being British with our 27 thousand words for rain or whatever it is I thought I'd throw in some comments.... First of all yes jacket and trousers rather than ponchos. Ponchos really are quite useless. Quite simply too many different ways for water to get inside. If you want something waterproof then make sure it is water proof. In practice I too rarely use waterproof trousers, they can be a bit too sweaty and awkward, they really only go on if the weather is utterly torrential. I don't know what the brands are like your side of the Atlantic but here you can pretty much pay what you want for waterproofs. I always warn scouts and their parents that if you go too cheap you really will get something useless but unlike an adult what fits today may not fit in 6 months. Bit of a balancing act. Taped seams. If it's going to leak that's where it will leak. Adjustable cuffs. You lose a lot of heat from your wrists, keep them dry. A hood that gives some face protection. I also like bright colours. I've not had to have mountain rescue come and get me yet but should the day ever come I intend that they will be able to see me, hence my current one is BRIGHT RED!!
  6. Hi Joris I'm based in the UK and have a couple of observations. Firstly yes, we have had very occassional comments that we are some kind of far right organisation. Mostly they come from very foolish individuals and it has caused very few problems. Secondly one of my assistant leaders is half German and has spent time with British and German scouts. She does say that the perception in Germany is very different. The group she was associated with in Berlin very rarely wore uniform at all.
  7. Exactly what we are doing here in the UK. Zoom has become the forum of choice for every age group and we use all the above. The other thing to remember about the two deep rule is that presumably that is the rule for your normal troop nights? What we are trying to do at our troop here is try to retain a sense of being as close to normality as possible. So our zoom meets are at the same day and time as our regular troop nights. We still have flag break (I share my screen and show a video from youtube of a flag break and ask them to stand up, to attention and salute during it), we still use the patrol system as far as zoom allows (break out rooms), of course it's not the same but I think the sense of normality is helpful for everyone. The point being that maintaining your two deep rule can simply be part of that mainenance of normality.
  8. I'm getting Linkedin and new build homes!
  9. Not a totally unfair observation! I know that my lot, while quite good natured, can take a little prodding to break the ice. At our last summer camp we were invited by a neighbouring troop for a 1 August breakfast and promise renewal to mark the Brownsea Island aniversary (is this a thing in the USA? It's become quite popular here since 2007), it took a little bit of prodding to get them to mix and mingle a bit. An interesting observation a friend here made was whether it might be a class thing. Fact is my lot are unashamedly quite middle class given the area we draw from. If you look at sport in the UK the more traditionally working class football (soccer) has a culture of players arguing with the referee. The more middle class games of rugby and cricket you just simply do not argue. To the point in cricket a batsman who is out, and the umpire didn't see it (typically is the slightest contact with the edge of the bat before being caught out) will sometimes walk off the pitch as a point of sportsmanship. Traditionally anyway. You don't see it as much these days! Personally I'm not convinced its a class thing but thought I'd throw it out there anyway.
  10. I've not been in the military but I have many friends who have been or currently are. One thing that is consistent whether they went in as recruits or officers is they tell me that new officers, fresh out of training, may technically be superior in rank to their sergeant (or equivalent) but in reality especially for that first 6 months (but also after) when they are in it for real they look to that sergeant who is their deputy and who probably has 15 years in both age and experience on them for guidance on how things are really done. And if they don't they are a fool!
  11. I had some interesting conversations with my older (13-14 year old) scouts on Thursday night. With an expedition style hiking camp coming up in the spring I ran a session for the PLs and APLs about dealing with emergencies and how to take control of things if something goes wrong. We did a few role plays where I invited them in turn to be the one in charge in various scenarios including first aid, being lost, dealing with busy roads etc. As we went through I gave them some coaching on body language, tone of voice, keeping instructions simple, all that sort of thing. Generally how to come across as confident and how to keep things calm when something is going wrong or there is an element of risk. They did pretty well so I moved onto a scenario which was a bit more challenging was based on a real life incident I was involved in* some years ago. It was being in charge if an adult arrives on the scene who wants to do something daft. In this case I played the role of a bumbling adult who wants to move someone with a suspected broken leg, but who is in no immediate danger, while waiting for the ambulance. Essentially getting the scout to tell an adult clearly and firmly NO! I was genuinely surprised at how difficult they found it. It is of course something they are not used to, they are well used to doing as parents, teachers and, indeed, scout leaders tell them. They found the idea of saying no to an adult genuinely awkward and totally out of their comfort zone. I don’t know if that’s a reflection of our area or the kind of kids that come to scouts in that they generally do as they’re told. It brings up all kinds of questions in my mind. Is it the same the world over? Has it always been this way? And of course what age do we trust young people to over rule adults? Lots of things to ponder! I was curious how that would compare to your side of the pond. Would a 14 year old in the state find it hard to do that? On a darker note it did open my eyes to actually how vulnerable kids can be in terms of being drawn into crime, being abused etc. *I came across at RTA where a motocyclist had come off and was on the ground complaining of pains in their neck. There were a couple of other adults who were trying to remove the casualty’s helmet and were refusing to listen to a teenage girl, who turned out to be an air cadet, who was telling them not to and they wouldn’t listen till I backed her up. Even the paramedics didn’t attempt it! They got her on a spinal stretcher and off to hospital before attempting it.
  12. Nights like tonight don't happen very often in the UK scout section, where PLs are aged 13 and 14. Nevertheless tonight I ran flag break, flag down and pretty much nothing else* instead the PLs ran the night.** The 4 adults present stood to one side and let them get on with it. One interesting observation though was while 3 of those adults were quite experienced and happy to take that step back one is a parent where the family recently moved here from China. While scouting has started to reappear there it is generally not a thing. He was clearly not used to simply standing back and letting the kids get on with it. It does make you realise how revolutionary this whole scouting idea must have been in its early days. *one kid fell over and bumped his head. Checked for concussion, told parents, no problems. ** I'm not getting too excited, based on previous experience they may struggle to walk and breath simultaneously next week.
  13. To add to Ian's comments, I too find it hard to recognise the UK that article depicts. Like Ian as well I am lucky. I live in Cambridge. A relatively small city at approx 160K local residents and around 30K students, and also a very wealthy area, but an urban area nonetheless. And I can say there is not a single street or area that I would feel in any way unsafe visiting. There are perhaps 2 or 3 streets where, should I find myself walking through them at 2am, I would keep my wits about me and not wave my wallett or phone around, but nowhere feels unsafe. Some of our larger cities do have some more dangerous areas. Nottingham, for a while at least, had some dangerous areas. Manchester has one or two areas I would steer clear of. Nevertheless these are exceptions and I don't know of anyone that feels generally unsafe. There has been a rise in violent crime in recent years. Yet these are percentage point changes in what are already very low numbers. Some of our more shouty newspapers keep going on about "Wildwest Britian" but this is a picture I don't recognise. There have been some terrible tragedies, the Jodie Chesney murder earlier this year was particularly shocking, yet these are still isolated incidents in the bigger picture. Fact is that on Thursday evening, when scouts has finished, me and the other leaders will go for a beer at a pub called the Carlton Arms. In theory the Carlton is on a street that has a high crime rate as the UK goes. I can tell you I will think nothing of walking up and down that street. As for these calls to ban pointy knives, it has no momentum behind it at all. Find an absurd suggestion, any absurd suggestion, look hard enough and you'll find someone arguing for it. It doesn't mean it will happen. There are people in this country who believe the earth is flat. Says it all really.
  14. To add to the last one, Neil Armstrong actually took his scout world badge with him to the moon! If memory serves it is on display at world HQ in Geneva.
  15. I like to tell my scouts the story of the only time I've put someone in the recovery position for real, the moral of the story being don't make any assumptions. It was about 15 years ago now. It was late in the evening and myself and Mrs Cambridge Skip wrere walking home when we came a cross a man slumped on his hands and knees in the gutter. It was a busy road so we helped him onto the pavement. He was very unsteady on his feet and sluring his speach to the point that he was incomprehensible. We were also right outside a pub. Our assumption (and we all know what that is the mother of!) was that he was drunk. We sat him down and were debating whether to call him a taxi or the police when he slumped forward unconscious on the ground. We put him in the recovery position and called an ambulance. The emergency operator also called the police (I believe that's standard if the patient is believed to be drunk) and they arrived first. One of the police took a look in the man's pockets and what did he find? Insulin! It looks like he was in some kind of diabetic shock. They bundled him in the back of the car and took him straight to hospital. The moral of course being don't make any assumptions, especially if you didn't witness what actually happened to the patient!
  16. Some of mine have done the circus skills badge but alas no trapeze involved. Simply impossible to find the facilities!
  17. Just to add.... the link you provided is for the scout age range which is 10-14 year olds. There is a similar list here for explorers, 14-18 year olds, the two sections essentially overlapping what you call Scouts BSA. There are similar lists for Beavers (6-8) and cubs (8-10) Those badges marked as "staged" can, at least in theory, be done at any stage from 6-18. In reality the younger sections do the lower end ones and the older age ranges the higher end. For example at my group our cubs, as standard, look to complete emergency aid 2 before moving to scouts and we look to get them through emergency aid stage 3 before they move up to explorers.
  18. That I'm claustrophobic! Went into an artificial caving complex with some scouts and there is nooooooo way I am ever doing that again. More generally that being outdoors is great therapy.
  19. Been a little while since I last swung by here but I thought I'd drop in and share my new favourite scout photos. There have been many over the years that sum up a moment in time and this is the latest in a long line. So last weekend my merry band of men and women were away on camp. And the weather was horrible. I mean grim. It was always forecast to be pretty wet but even we in England, with our 197 words for rain or whatever it is didn't expect quite this. It started raining around 8pm Friday night just as the scouts were putting up tents in the dark. It proceeded to rain, with varying intensity, for 32 hours non stop. The mathematicians will have worked out that was 4am Sunday morning. On top of that the last month in our corner of the world has been pretty soggy so the ground is saturated and all the wood wet. To be honest I was a bit worried. We had 3 totally new scouts with us, one of who didn't speak English, only mandarin, and 3 more who have been with us a few months but this was there first camp. How were the younger ones going to cope with the conditions? I shouldn't have worried, the new recruits through themselves into with massive enthusiasm and we had a full turn out of patrol leaders who led from the front. I was really quite amazed! For our chinese scout it turns out the card game Uno is the international system of comms for 11 year olds as well. The moment that summed it up though was late Saturday afternoon. The rain was hammering it down. Water everywhere. I was giving serious thought to pioneering an arc! Our newest, youngest scout, only turned 10 in July, asked if we could have a camp fire. I think the troop looked at her in utter bewilderment on mass. Her PL looked outside the mess tent and asked if she'd seen the weather. Yes! Apparently she had, but was still convinced she could light a fire. So off she went with a couple of the boys to give it a go. This photo was take half an hour later. Had she got one lit? No. She'd tried pine cones, silver birch bark, cotton wool balls, tumble drier lint. None of them would get the utterly sodden wood we could find to do anything more than briefly steam before fizzling out. Was she detered though? Was she hell! She continued to attack that pile of tinder with the matches with what I can only describe as reckless joy and abandon. Giving up only when I directly told she was getting a hot drink inside her, that was an order. Despite this conditions, despite me now having a stinking cold that I blame on that camp it was truly inspiring. Long may kids continue to have that lust for life and the outdoors!
  20. 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.
  21. This is one of my favourite scout photos. Taken on the way home from our 2016 summer camp. Not a great photo in itself but the memories! We were on a public service bus that stopped outside the campsite that took us to the railway station. The scouts themselves weren't too bad, they had all showered. The problem was their clothes. We'd cooked on fires all week and absolutely everything stank of wood smoke. An awful lot of people got up and moved seats to get away from us! Made me chuckle
  22. Or as my grandad used to say, you can take a horse to water but a pencil must be lead. I’m here all week
  23. I’d always say never criticise another person till you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. That way when you upset them you’re a mile away. And you have their shoes.
  24. I think UK are being told uniform for travel, opening and closing ceremony plus off site days. Rest of the time the only uniform needed is their necker.
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