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Owl62

Banned/Discouraged Items Camping

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Whoever said that you can listen to your walkman when you get home is wrong because a walkman is portable and banning it defeats the purpose of its portability. What's the purpose of having a portable device if you are forbidden to take it with you?

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"Just because it's portable doesn't mean you can take it everywhere. Do you listen to it in church? In class during school?"

 

Let me make this explicit. You think it's unnecessary for a Scout to bring his Walkman on the campout. He disagrees and explains why his use of it won't be disruptive. Your respons, essentially, is "don't bring it because I said so." This doesn't teach him anything, except that you consider yourself the boss of the troop. Why don't you let him bring it? If it is disruptive, that proves you right, and you can tell him not to bring it in the future. If it isn't disruptive, that proves that boys can still teach you something.

 

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madkins007 writes:

 

> A lot of the items discussed for banning/discouragement seem to be

> placed on the list because they violate the posters idea of what a

> perfect campout should be. Some things seem to interfere with some

> people's ability to commune with nature or violate some sense of the

> 'Scouting Way'....

 

The Scout Way (Hillcourt's first Method of Scouting) is "A Game, NOT a Science" (emphasis in the original).

 

I said that I look to The Scout Way for guidance, not that it supports one particular position in this discussion.

 

As I see it, the Scout Way is the spirit in which the other "Eight" Methods of Scouting are applied.

 

Every Troop has its own personality, and so the "game" of Scouting is played differently in every Troop. One of the current Methods is "Adult Association," which in my mind implies that adults are individuals and all have different areas of expertise and experience which ultimately effect how the game is played in their own Troops. This is true even in radical "Scout Run" Troops where the adults believe that they have no influence over how the Scouts run their Troop.

 

In my version of the game of Scouting, I favor the "commune with nature" aspect of the Outdoor Method (which B-P called the "Religion of the Woods'), but I will swap it for the Patrol Method if the Scouts set up their Patrols far enough away from each other to function independently. Likewise, we use our own version of the Uniform Method to get the Scouts to buy olive-drab nylon zip-off cargo "activity" uniform pants, so that they all have at least one pair of non-cotton pants for campouts.

 

From your posts, it sounds like your priority regarding the Outdoor Method is just getting them into the woods. We go through cycles of that too, so we don't have rigid written "scientific" lists of what not to bring on campouts.

 

Currently, the only other adults who are willing to camp with us are two Commissioners who have sons in the Troop. The three of us would rather be backpacking than car camping, so we tend to try to prepare the Scouts for more challenging outdoor experiences down the road. This translates to things like discouraging cotton, and forbidding personal snacks because they tend to encourage Scouts to eat in their tents.

 

Scouts (and their parents) tend to ignore the cotton rule until they get really wet on a campout, but I'm not sure what the "allow them to fail" learning curve would be for getting mauled by a bear attracted to the smell of chocolate and BBQ potato chips ground into the floor of a tent on a previous campout.

 

For those who are interested, my version of the rules of our game can be seen on the permission form and equipment list for our backpacking trip tomorrow:

 

http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/equipment/coh_campout.htm

 

http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/equipment/backpacking_summer.htm

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I Me Mine

Writer, lead vocal: George Harrison

 

 

All thru' the day I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.

All thru' the night I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.

Now they're frightened of leaving it

Ev'ryone's weaving it, (No cotton socks!!)

Coming on strong all the time,

All thru' the day I me mine.

 

I me me mine, I me me mine,

I me me mine, I me me mine.

 

All I can hear I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.

Even those tears I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.

Ev'ryone's frightened of playing it

Ev'ryone's saying it.

 

The above was brought to you by the all new Scouting program cafeteria. A place where you pick and choose which parts of the program you like, change what you don't like. Alter anything that suits your mood.

Best of all is that everything is free all you need is an American Ego Card.

Eamonn.

 

(This message has been edited by Eamonn)

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Mr. Mori,

 

No, I do not listen to my walkman at church nor in class during school. In church, you should be paying attention to the preacher. In class during school, you should be paying attention to the teacher. Listening to your walkman at church or in class during school would distract you from what the preacher or teacher is saying, respectively. However, I do not quite understand why walkmans have to be banned from campouts. At a campout, you should be having fun, and IMO listening to my walkman is fun. Therefore, walkmans should not be banned from campouts. I think that leaders who ban walkmans and other electronic devices from campouts are acting like a campout is a serious business rather than a fun event.

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Eamonn,

 

Would you care to translate your mystical personal attack into something more constructive?

 

I doubt if I have anything to learn from anyone who wears cotton camping socks, but I'm willing to keep an open mind :-/

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We had a boy in our troop once. It was impossible to teach him anything. For the 6 mile day hike he showed up with tennis shoes, untied, with cotton socks.

"Matt, tie your shoes, you'll get blisters."

"I never get blisters."

Mile 2, we're taking a water break. Matt is sitting on a rock with his shoe off, examining his heel.

"Matt, your foot OK? Let me get you some Moleskin for that red spot, looks like a blister in the works."

"No, it's fine, I just had an itch."

"OK, tie your shoes and let's go."

"That makes my foot hurt."

"It will hurt less if we put on the Moleskin and you tie your shoes."

The other boys crowd around and make suggestions.

Matt says "It feels fine."

Mile 3, we stop unexpectedly (again) because Matt has a "rock in his shoe". The other foot is now developing a blister. The other boys are a little perturbed because we stopped again for Matt. More suggestions.

"OK, I'm ready!"

End of hike, Matt takes off his shoes and has two blisters (popped) the size of a dime. All crowd around and look. 12 boys learn a lesson, maybe Matt does too.

 

We could have put cotton socks and tennis shoes on the "forbidden list". There would have been no problem. And nothing learned.

 

Our mission is not to conduct the perfect day hike. It is to teach boys to make good choices.

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Well you aren't allowed to listen to your Walkman in church or class because it isn't the appropriate place to listen to your Walkman. And in my opinion, listening to your Walkman on a camping trip isn't appropriate. Sure there is time for fun. There is also learning time. Tell me, listening to your Walkman on a camping trip supports which Method of Scouting?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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With all the respect in the world Kudu, I really wonder when I read:

 

In my version of the game of Scouting

 

Likewise, we use our own version of the Uniform Method

 

The BSA's mission statement is about making ethical and moral choices. If it had any real-world

I always explain to my Scouts

 

I asked one of my 11 year-old Scouts to explain

 

In my Troop, every Patrol Quartermaster

 

I am involved in designing a small, highly-

specialized international youth program that is similar to what you call "Scouting,"

 

I don't see the Patrol Grouping Standards as a necessary, or even helpful function

 

I hate "Camporees." For one thing they violate my first (and most important) rule of Troop car-camping,

 

That being said, my younger Scouts

 

if you and I belong to the same organization?

What ever became of servant leadership?

I'm a big fan of Baden Powell, I served as leader to a UK Troop for a fair amount of years, but that was there and that was then. We can not turn the clock back, we serve the youth that are in the programs today and prepare for the youth that will follow. We do so as members of the BSA.

If everything starting with the mission statement is the wrong fit for you? Maybe it is time for you to devote more time and become more involved in designing a small, highly-specialized international youth program that is similar to what we call Scouting.

Eamonn.

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Ed said "And in my opinion, listening to your Walkman on a camping trip isn't appropriate. Sure there is time for fun. There is also learning time. Tell me, listening to your Walkman on a camping trip supports which Method of Scouting?"

 

Sorry, but I HAVE to ask... which Method forbids Walkmans? Ideals, Patrols, Advancement, Adult Association, Personal Growth, Leadership Development and Uniform don't touch on it, so it must be 'Outdoors'.

 

Cut and Pasted from the Penn. Dutch Council website :"Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoors that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with each other. It is here that skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Scouts gain an appreciation for God's handiwork and humankind's place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature's resources."

 

It must be the 'being close to nature' bit that is the key to this.

 

I can't help but wonder, however, what earlier generations of Scout leaders would think of the way the 'no electronics' folks camp- no trenching their tents, no cooking on open fires, no cutting tent poles and stakes at the campsite. Little axe use or pioneering. Coolers? Lighters?? Lanterns??? Where's the camp coffee pot nestled in the corner of the firepit? Where is the hand-dug latrine pit? Where are the woolen bed rolls and blanket pins? The canvas and wood backpack frames?

 

Ah, I can already hear you saying it- these were made obsolete by changes in society, changes in the wilderness itself (and our understanding of it) and changes in technology.

 

And hermetically sealed individual snacks and iPods are just more changes in society and technology- embraced by some, scorned by others... just like other changes in camping technology.

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Kudu said "From your posts, it sounds like your priority regarding the Outdoor Method is just getting them into the woods."

 

No, that is just the first step in my implimentation of the Outdoor Method. The rest of it don't mean much iffen you don't git their lil' fannies out there (don't know why I drifted to a odd Western accent there, but it was fun!)

 

I've done the Volunteer Naturalist/Trail Guide gig for so long that I can still do long speils on Hop Hornbeam or Poison Ivy. I can successfully teach Webelos 7 different local trees in a half hour AND have them be able to point them out a day later. I can identify pretty much any local animal by its prints and I know enough about reading spoor to show where a fox startled a bird to flight. Astonomy is a weak point, but I can still tell great tales about the Dippers and binary star systems on Orion's belt. Many of the local campsites either sit on loess soil hills and/or have the remains of houses from the Nebraska Culture Man group and I know a bunch about both.

 

Most of the folk posting here can outdo me in a heartbeat in this and other areas- but all of our collective wisdom, all of our love for the wilds, all of our belief in the Outdoor Method- none of it helps another person if we can't get them outside.

 

I say let'em bring iPods, GameBoys, decks of cards, and comic books. If I can get them out there, I have a better than even chance of waking up their sense of wonder and curiosity.

 

Remember- I just say we don't ban or list it on the 'recommend you don't bring' list. I NEVER said I wouldn't try to open their eyes to the glories of the world around them.

 

 

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> We could have put cotton socks and tennis shoes on the "forbidden

> list". There would have been no problem. And nothing learned.

 

OK, but I hope that you do realize that this is a faith statement. Scouting is a game, not a science, and this is certainly a great story about a well-played game. But there is no scientific proof that the 12 Scouts wearing the correct foot wear would not have learned anything if Matt had not gotten blisters. My faith statement is that Scouts can also learn from good experiences, and that positive experiences build knowledge, confidence, and the willingness to try more challenging activities.

 

Simply put, there is no scientific proof that Scouts make better citizens, are more fit, or exhibit better character than boys who do not get involved in Scouting. In the end, we take that kind of thing on faith too. Scouting is a game, not a science.

 

You didn't say if your equipment list for the day hike recommended hiking boots and non-cotton socks. I doubt that you remain silent and force your Scouts to discover blisters through blind trial and error, as some radical advocates of hands-off Scout-run philosophy propose. We probably also agree that car-camping trips are the appropriate times to learn the consequences of not following directions. My guess is that we differ mainly on how we characterize how these "directions" are conveyed, and some of this is due to the limitations of the written word.

 

I do try to forbid things like cotton on backpacking trips, because it is irresponsible to allow Scouts to risk blisters or hypothermia in high-adventure situations where they can't just get in a car and ride away from the consequences of their actions. That being said, I know that one of my Scouts, Brandon, who can't afford good gear, will be wearing cotton socks this afternoon, so I have packed extra socks so that he will be in compliance. This is simply not the situation in which to teach him some kind of lesson. On that we may disagree.

 

> Our mission is not to conduct the perfect day hike. It is to teach

> boys to make good choices.

 

Your mission, maybe. My mission is to give the Scouts a clear checklist of everything they need to conduct the perfect day hike. If my best efforts fail, THEN I can chalk it up to their "choices."

 

Oh, that reminds me, how do the Scouts in other Troops react to "Roses & Thorns" sessions? This reflection on the consequences of actions is another adult thing that some of us impose on our Scouts, how about you?

 

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We dont use equipment lists much, and dont have a forbidden list. The Boy Scout Handbook already has lots of lists. We talk about cotton, wool, polypropylene, nylon, and the problems with cotton. Once the pitfalls of cotton are learned, theres no point in putting it on a forbidden list. If a boy wears it anyway, so be it. Its up to the boy, his PL, and the SPL to decide whether or not they will ignore what has been taught. They know up front what may happen from wearing cotton socks. They know the whole patrol may need to stop every 20 minutes for the cotton boy to tend his feet.

 

That doesnt mean though were going to start down the trail on a 50 miler with ill-equipped boys. We would discuss the whys and wherefores of different choices until they make choices that wont jeopardize health and safety .

 

The mission of Boy Scouts, (including this leader) is to prepare boys to make good choices in their lives. If they make a poor choice, that is their prerogative . I will not forbid a boy from making a poor choice. If the mission was to have a perfect outing, wed have adults plan everything, and write lots of do and do not lists. In my mind, the purpose of an outing is to give boys opportunities to make choices. Where to go, what to eat, what to do, how to do it. Our job is to teach them and prepare them to make good choices. Teach them to choose wool instead of cotton, if you will.

 

We do a roses & thorns session during or after every event. Thats when Matts blisters get discussed and how they affected him and the rest of the troop. BSA calls this reflection. There is a good discussion about it in the Scoutmaster Handbook and the Scoutmasters Junior Leader Training Kit. Its not an adult thing at all, though the Scoutmaster is there to guide the discussion as needed. Its a very important part of fulfilling the mission.

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Eamonn quotes some of my posts to show that I do not belong in the BSA:

 

>> In my version of the game of Scouting

 

Every Troop's version of the game is a little different, because of local conditions and the people involved.

 

>> Likewise, we use our own version of the Uniform Method

 

Prior to the BSA hiring a dress designer to produce a hot house indoor Uniform, William Hillcourt (the father of the BSA's Patrol Method) advanced the Uniform as a functional icon of outdoor adventure. Our Troop continues this tradition with our Activity Uniform.

 

>> In my Troop, every Patrol Quartermaster

 

If you really practice the Patrol Method, then you know that the Patrol Quartermaster is the one person most critical to a Patrol's true independence in the woods. This position of responsibility certainly deserves a position patch as much as, say, the Troop Bugler! As far as I know, there is no BSA rule that forbids multiple "Troop Quartermasters," any more than the BSA forbids multiple ASPLs.

 

>> I don't see the Patrol Grouping Standards as a necessary, or even

>> helpful function

 

"Patrol Grouping Standards" was the BSA practice which instructed "Scout Masters" to divide the boys into Patrols by their social class or by their height & weight. Are we to assume that you are so "loyal" and "obedient" to the BSA, that if they returned to these practices, you would actually comply? I would not, and that is the difference between us. Baden-Powell's "Unwritten 11th Scout Law" was "A Scout is not a fool."

 

>> I hate "Camporees." For one thing they violate my first (and most

>> important) rule of Troop car-camping,

 

This is the only quote that is relevant to this discussion. The point was that while my Scouts may take my "rules" into consideration, their PLC consistently thinks independently and votes to attend Camporees. Why then should I pretend to them that I do not to have a point of view?

 

> With all the respect in the world Kudu, I really wonder .... if you and

> I belong to the same organization?

 

Obviously not. There are four BSA's: 1) The pre-Hillcourt BSA era which instructed "Scout Masters" to keep Patrol Leaders out of the chain of command. 2) The Hillcourt golden era which produced the best explained Scouting methods in the world. Foreign traditional Scouting associations (Scouts Ireland, for instance) still use his materials, even though the BSA does not. 3) The politically correct era starting in 1972, which gutted Hillcourt's traditional outdoor methods in favor of urban Scouting, and gave us the current dress designer Scout Uniform, while at the same time removing the Uniform as one of the Methods of Scouting. 4) The current era in which the BSA positions itself as a conservative religious corporation.

 

I'd say that I belong to BSA #2, and you belong to BSA #4.

 

> What ever became of servant leadership?

 

I don't know, is that the latest BSA Wood Badge pop business management theory? If "servant leadership" is what you are practicing in this forum, then I am not likely to become a convert.

 

> I'm a big fan of Baden Powell, I served as leader to a UK Troop for a

> fair amount of years, but that was there and that was then. We can

> not turn the clock back, we serve the youth that are in the programs

> today and prepare for the youth that will follow.

 

The BSA is only one brand of Scouting, in the same way that McDonald's is only one brand of burgers. You can pretend that a corporate Scouting product is the inevitable result of "progress" ONLY when your WOSM association has an absolute monopoly on Scouting in a given country. If McDonald's had the same monopoly on burgers that the BSA has on Scouting, then "true believers" like you would say that fried burgers are the inevitable result of "progress," and that flame-broiling is an example of trying to "turn the clock back."

 

> We do so as members of the BSA.

 

The BSA currently has a monopoly on Scouting, so here I am.

 

> If everything starting with the mission statement is the wrong fit

> for you?

 

My guess is that if you set up a video camera and asked BSA Scouters to recite the BSA Mission Statement, 99% would not be able to do so. It is just harmless corporate fluff.

 

> Maybe it is time for you to devote more time and become more

> involved in designing a small, highly-specialized international youth

> program that is similar to what we call Scouting.

 

An alternative Scouting association will face overwhelming odds: many years of litigation from a multi-million dollar monopoly corporation that is opposed to freedom in the marketplace of ideas. If successful, most people who dissagree with the BSA's methods will remain, rather than abandoning it to people who are intolerant of other points of view.

 

Competition benefits everyone, and the first thing to go will be the senseless things that can only exist in a monopoly culture, such as an over-priced indoor uniform that should be on any list of Banned/Discouraged Items Camping :-/

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