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GAMEBOYS ?

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We allow them for long trips, but to prevent theft we keep them locked in cars.

 

We do a game night every quarter and let them bring all the electronics they want. The funny thing is they start with them and end up with board games or cards before meeeting is over.

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We allow our troop to take electronics only on long car rides, then they must be left in that car and locked up once we get to our destination. The only person who carries a cell phone is the SM. Other adults carry cell phones, but they must be left in there vehicle upon arrival, unless they are needed for a work connection.

 

It seems to work well for us.

 

Cheryl

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NO!!

Only exceptions are for long car trips. We just came back from a 3 day backpacking trip to the Smoky Moutain National Park (300 miles each way) and we allowed the boys to takes electronics for the drive and it worked well. I had 3 boys in my truck and I made them take a break every 45 minutes so that we could talk for 15 minutes.

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Electronics for adults has never been an issue in our troop. We too have various medical personnel and a few dads who are on call for various computer systems.

 

Electronics have no place on an outing or at meetings. The only exception is for extremely long car trips to the trail head or put in point and back.

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Electronics are not allowed on our campouts and events, though on long rides, we have allowed the boys to bring music tapes and cd' players - which are left in the bus at all times. I haven't seen any game boys - they have been flatly refused in the past, and I think they'd be frowned on if they did show up.

 

Our Troop is lucky enough to own their own bus - and though it is old, it is a great tool. one set of seats on each side is set up facing each other with a table and checkerboard painted on it in between - the boys play chess, cards, checkers, and have other board games to play, and interact with each other.

 

the adults are allowed cell phones, etc - but they use them sparingly.

 

I will say, however, that I found my PDA very handy at camp this year - I intended to leave it in my car - until I broke my watch the first night there - after that - it was the only alarm the troop had, and the only "watch" I had. Plus, we did use it one night for the star charts I had downloaded from the internet - which helped us find a meteor shower to watch at 4 am!

 

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I think Laura has it worked out.

 

There is a difference between communication responsibilities and un-needed communication (which takes the boys focus away from camp etc).

 

There is a difference between games and information storage and retrieval. If I had the spare cash a palm pilot would be highly useful for its ability to store all of those personal details, electronic policy documents, etc. The lap top does the same thing ina more bulky fashion.

 

Laura may disagree here but I would even think that such a device could be used for boys to write home about what they are doing (email) and the letter will get there before the boy gets home from camp (if it is uplaoded somewhere - cell phone perhaps). This doesn't have to be done live. The up and down load can be done remotely (camp office, public phone) once a day - better than snail mail. And they still don't get to talk (verbally) with mum thus avoiding the homesickness attack. At the last Jamboree here I saw the internet cafe being used like this quite regularly.

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Fully support them. However. Rules for them:

1. If damaged, stolen, or lost, the scout's responsibility

2. If it is disrupting others, its put away.

3. If it is heard and has unscoutlike overtones. Its history.

4. Phones are for adults only.

5. Talkabouts are for leaders (SM, ASM, SPL, ASPL).

6. Never had them at meetings.

7. You bring it, you carry it.

 

These are just a few I use. I don't see them as putting a negative nature theme to an outing. Most of us have our vices. I like to listen to the mulit-band radio I take. Listening with scouts, it can get interesting listening to other language's shows. We sometimes play bugle calls on a "boom box". Burl Ives scouting cassette in the current catalog is hard to play without power. Just like everything, abuse is easy to do. Common sense and consideration of others is needed. It is sometimes a good bridge for the generation gap to see leaders compete with scouts on an equal playing field. Most of us wouldn't win. They show us something, and then its our turn to show them something (hopefully, nature type stuff).

 

Bottom line: The electronics should never be a substitute for nature's entertainment. Fun yes, but not a substitute.

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I agree with DoubleEagle. You want to bring it, your responsbility. If it is interferring with scouting, then it away it goes. Never at meetings, you can live 1 1/2 hours without a video game.

 

When the kids show you their video games, tell them about PONG. My son has a PS2 game that plays PONG when it is waiting for the real game to load. He wanted to know if we used to get bored playing with PONG! Hard for him to understand we could not imagine they things they play today!

 

Most of the Scout camps I know of, you can use the phone. Maybe if you walk to the top of the hill/mountain.

 

One of the adults at summer camp taught the radio merit badge at night and the boys got to talk to people from other countries. Also, the gameboy could just not compete with catching bugs and frogs, and manning the campsite gate!

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Definitely no electronics for the scouts. Long trips CD players are ok if the driver agrees. Books are allowed, don't want to discouage reading. The troop usually carries some game boards (checkers, chess, etc.) on overnights for when the weather does not allow activies (heat, very heavy rain, etc.) One scout in the troop tried to get around this by having a flashight with a built in radio, which was allowed after the batteries were removed and the battery compartment duct taped. Adults carry comm devices that may be necessary for safety or work.

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Our troop does not allow electronics of any kind except for long road trips. When we arrive, the elctronics are handed over to either parents or the SM to be returned for the drive home. We do have one outing a year, a weekend outing that we call our Cadilac campout where they are allowed. On this trip we try to find a state park with good fishing and hiking and let the boys relax. They can work on advancements if they like, but the trip is just for pleasure and relaxation.

 

I am very confused though that some troops do not allow adults to bring cell phones or pagers. What a foolish rule. Most parents need to have contact with their work or family in case of emergencies. I own my own business and if that ruled applied to adults in our troop, I would have to leave the troop. After all, my business supports my family. If I cannot have contact with it, then there is no point. Remember, family first.

 

ASM1

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i'm not sure i agree with the ban...i think scouts should figure it out for themselves. I've been to summer camp several times, and there have been a couple things i have noticed about electronics toys with the scouts...

 

for one: i used to bring things like cd players and palm pilots, but i found that i never used them at all

 

but also for the kids who do use them, it is probably a good thing. I am thinking of one expirience where a few scouts got bored. and knowing the feeling, i know that that is not a good thing...they got bored, started messing arround, and winded up distroying some equiptment from another troop. i know the adults in charge of that trip whould have rather seen those boys quiet in their tent, even if they were playing gameboy or whatever

 

eric

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Hi guzugi,

 

I'm not too sure about that. I think it comes down to a personal philosophy of what we are doing in Scouting. For me I see the unpleasent things that you mention as being opportunities to learn serious and deep lessons. How to occupy yourself without flicking a switch, being irritating to others or being destructive is a valuable lesson. I understand though if people do not see this as their role or why they are in Scouting - the work is difficult and requires much emotion and energy.

 

I'm quite convinced though that waiting for Scouts to figure it out for themselves is unlikely to hit the target in the vast majority of kids and for the remainder will probably need a lot of experience in camp. So it can happen but it is more effective if adults provide (read force) opportunities for Scouts to experience alternatives to electronics and show by example how to play without being entertained by something or someone. It's all about providing new experiences and processing the learning that the Scouts get from it. "Processing the Experience" by Luckner and Adler? is an excellant text and is available form American Camping Assoc and others (bit expensive though).

 

On the other hand if the electronic device is a tool it rates up there with reference books (Fieldbooks etc), axes and tents.

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We don't permit electronics at troop meetings, but they're not an issue anyway, 'cuz we keep it moving. On outings, they're okay on the bus/in the car with headphones. Once we get where we're going, they're stowed away. Although I discourage cell phone use by the Scouts, I will not overrule a parent who wants them to carry one. I have to remember we're in an overseas high threat area and despite our experience and caution, parents will worry and quick check-ins are the norm vs. calling girlfriends, etc.

 

I don't try to restrict leaders at all. They're grownups, and almost all have to have phones or pagers on all the time for military recall reasons, myself included. Pain in the neck, but thank bin laden.

 

I'm okay with books and board games. The chess set one of our Scouts brought to summer camp was the most popular free-time activity in our site.

 

I always take my PDA (all BSA requirements on it), a small portable radio (news & weather), and talkabouts...

 

These things are a part of their lives, and times do change. If they want to listen to a CD before they fall asleep, I don't think it'll make B-P roll over in his grave. Frankly, I've gotten to know many Scouts on another level by discussing their music and their taste in games (which relates to their taste in movies, etc) while on the bus, on the ferry, taking a break, etc. At 45, I became a Nickelback fan...they rock.

 

KS

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Definitely no on the electronics. When we go on our trips we involve the boys in the navigation. The boys have to read the maps and let the driver, (usually an ASM) know where to go. Most of them now can get you anywhere in Western North Carolina. Also, you never know when they will see something educational along the way. Something I would hate for them to miss because the were buried into some electronic game. As far as the CD player goes, much of the music kids listen to probably hasn't been edited by their parent and I don't need the new scouts learning new improper words and spreading it back home. It's real imbarassing when a parent comes to you asking how their son learned a four letter word on the campout. The boys seem to have some pretty interesting discussions they would never have had if they all were using electronics to ignore the others. We made the mistake once to allow CD players to summer camp with the restrictions that they could only use them in their tents. It seems some CDs were stolen. We don't allow them at all now. There are too many other options.

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No. On a long car trip....maybe, but not even sure about that. Personally, I have such a strong dislike for them, my son doesn't even have one. And we don't have any nintendo or gamecube stuff either. We have a computer, and that is plenty. Good grief where do kids find the time to play with all that stuff anyway??? We are just too busy doing the old-fashioned stuff I guess.

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