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Emergency Preparedness MB question... what is Troop Mobilization and Emergency Service Project ??

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We often accept the summer camp rules, procedures and emergency drill for this requirement.  

 

Scouting requirements are best when they are real and usable.  Summer camp emergency procedures get used regularly for bad weather or missing scouts.  We've used them and will again and in some really bad conditions.  IMHO, it's a great way to fulfill the requirement.

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We often accept the summer camp rules, procedures and emergency drill for this requirement.  

 

Scouting requirements are best when they are real and usable.  Summer camp emergency procedures get used regularly for bad weather or missing scouts.  We've used them and will again and in some really bad conditions.  IMHO, it's a great way to fulfill the requirement.

@@fred johnson, so if calamity hits your neighborhood while all of your adults are off at University of Scouting somewhere, will your youth know where to go to be of service to emergency responders?

 

Camp drills are important. The question is, do they translate into what folks need out of us the other 50 weeks of the year?

 

We need to encourage boys to "mix it up." This might eventually mean teaming up with scouts from other troops in the district. Or other service-oriented local groups. Thinking outside the box is what really adds value to preparedness requirements.

Edited by qwazse

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so if calamity hits your neighborhood while all of your adults are off at University of Scouting somewhere, will your youth know where to go to be of service to emergency responders?

 

Ummm ... yes.  Away from the emergency.  In 1940, maybe a 14 year old would be useful in an emergency.  Today, they add danger and an unknown that emergency responders want to minimize.

 

 

We need to encourage boys to "mix it up." This might eventually mean teaming up with scouts from other troops in the district. Or other service-oriented local groups. Thinking outside the box is what really adds value to preparedness requirements.

 

Agreed.  But this is one merit badge and merit badges are "individual" requirements.  So if a troop or district wants to focus on teaching emergency preparedness in different aspects, fine.  But to earn the merit badge, we think the camp drill is real, used and needs to be understood by the scout.  As such, it can fulfill the requirement.

 

Always continually teach and grow the scouts.  But the original post was about a specific requirement for a specific merit badge.

Edited by fred johnson

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@@fred johnson did we got a bit off topic?  :)

 

Point taken, but a lot of what is done in the MB's is great teaching opportunities for the troop as well.  I had a group of ladies that did a lot of kayaking and other silent sports year around and their organizer asked me to come and do a seminar on maps and compasses.  She felt the ladies would benefit with some knowledge considering the activities they do.  

 

Well, I went and purchased the work books for the seminar and one of the ladies piped up, "Hey, these are Boy Scout MB books!"  They all agreed it was definitely worth the seminar just to have the book.  Too bad our boys don't react the same way.

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You can simulate anything at a campout.  How detailed is up to you.

 

Barring that, summer camps usually can do a better job.

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@@fred johnson did we got a bit off topic?   :)

 

Yes.  You're lucky.  I had a whole diatribe about the wording "emergency service project".  I envision an extremely rushed situation to trim some shrubs.  

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If they can do it, why can't we, if necessary ? http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/derna-boy-scouts-step-in-to-help-run-city-after-isis-is-driven-out-of-libyan-stronghold-10344233.html

 

So what is it we do in Scouting, if not Prepare for Emergencies?   Do we not train our Scouts to "Be Prepared?"   CPR, First Aid,  swimming, Life Saving, Map and Compass (get lost?) ,  staying calm when things get unnatural..... foul weather gear,  lightning training, which way to go if you see a tornado,   listen before you act ("Scout Sign!"),  fire safety,  Knife & Ax  Safety,  health and hygiene,  how to cook in extremis,   how to "make do" when things ain't right ,,,,

 

Summer camp year before last, they came up one "buddy" tag short on the waterfront.  EVERYBODY in camp had to be counted, and report to the dining hall.  They were about to start a sweep of the lake when the two boys whose tags stuck together came back from their "buddy hike" around the camp.  Phew!

 

Every Scout should play the "what if" game, occasionally.  What if the lights go out?  What if the road is blocked by high water?   What if our neighborhood is threatened by....Zombies? 

 

I remember when our Fire Department was fully volunteer ( I was but a Cub).  The whole FD was volunteer staffed and financed.  Pancake suppers bought the engines.   The dispatch was county run, but when the alarm siren went off, people came from every point of the compass.  Businesses were immediately closed.   Tractors were left in the fields.  Garages were left open.  Now, the FD is staffed by tax paid professionals AND volunteers . Both are trained to the same standard.  But what does that mean to us Scouts?

 

How could we be a resource in an emergency?  What skills and abilities do we have that could be of use?  There are VCrews that train as Junior EMTs  and actually help staff crash wagons.  How would a Scout unit get together "in an emergency"?   Any one remember Phone Trees?  Do they still work?  

Is there a plan?  Would a Scout Troop actually be useful as messengers,  traffic directors,  food and water handouters,  supply keepers,  ?    Or would your boys view it as a "game" , a thing to get thru and  get back to my schmart phone app?

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How could we be a resource in an emergency?  What skills and abilities do we have that could be of use?  There are VCrews that train as Junior EMTs  and actually help staff crash wagons.  How would a Scout unit get together "in an emergency"?   Any one remember Phone Trees?  Do they still work?  

Is there a plan?  Would a Scout Troop actually be useful as messengers,  traffic directors,  food and water handouters,  supply keepers,  ?    Or would your boys view it as a "game" , a thing to get thru and  get back to my schmart phone app?

A bunch of great points. I so no reason why with proper preparation and training most Scout Troops couldn't be a useful resource in an emergency. The problem is that in a society where 13 year olds instead of being babysitters need babysitters, where parents can get arrested for allowing their 12 year old to ride his bike to the park, where even 16 year olds walking in broad daylight can generate a call to the police (eek! Unaccompanied minor!), how can a troop of children be allowed to help?

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CERT (community emergency response team) should hold drills once a month.  I'd contact them to see if the scouts could come participate.  BTW, the minimum age for cert training is 14, so some boys can take the training to be on the team.  (A lot of the training would cover the merit badge.)

 

This is great advice! Our town does them once a month and they do a great job. Have the troop get involved and it 1) helps your leaders and scouts understand how to put on such an event, and 2) it allows those scouts needing EPrep to get credit for attending said event.

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Looked at our city, our county and a near by county.  

 

Our town does them once a month and they do a great job. 

 

Things must vary around the country.  In our city, our county and near by county, the CERT related programs require age 18 or up.  One county web site says the state requires CERT participants to be 18 or older.

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Looked at our city, our county and a near by county.  

 

 

Things must vary around the country.  In our city, our county and near by county, the CERT related programs require age 18 or up.  One county web site says the state requires CERT participants to be 18 or older.

 

Some municipalities will do mock drills for the younger kids if you ask. Some have even come to local troops who have asked for them. Worth asking.

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A lot has to do with various laws and ordinances. I remember about 17 years ago, I left the All Hands conferene in Nashville early to avoid getting stuck there due to a hurricane. I was lucky as I got onthe last plane out of Nashville to home. When I got to my apartment, I had a message that the OA chapter was being called up to be part of the emergency response team and to set up and man  the local evacuation shelter. Yep the OA did the work.

 

For whatever reason, that stopped when I came back to the area 5 years later. I think they put an age requirement on doing the job, but I honestly do not know.

 

I do know that some organizations that use volunteers, both locally and nationally, have put a minimum age of 16 in order to volunteer. Mostly due to legal issues.

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This is a difficult to pull off requirement in the real world and we found it takes some creative interpretation, some might call it cutting some corners.

I was fortunate that while I was SM I was also a volunteer fireman in our local community in the rockies west of Denver, certified in structural and wildland fire at the time and had a few years experience under my belt to know what happens in major incidents that a scout troop might play some valuable part in, given that we went with a realistic plan but pulling off a re-enactment is problematic.

 

We settled on the concept of the scout troop assisting local animal shelters that mobilize to support with temporary kennels when we have area evacuations due to wildfires. Pets and other animals are brought to these temporary emergency kennels by animal control folks, law enforcement, citizens, heck we have had dogs in the fire trucks when prepping property and brought them to the emergency kennels ourselves sometimes.

 

First roadblock is the result of lawyers.....the kennels wouldn't allow anyone under 18 to assist in ANY way without that persons parent present, releases signed and notarized were no good so in reality, the scout troop assisting with this was never going to happen anyway (sad, thanks to the lawyers again).

 

What we did do was plan what the troop could do and plan it in detail, even though it would never happen in the real world. They planned communications, record keeping, inbound needs (pet food, cages, water) how to schedule and feed, walk, water, disposal, contact and tagging for owners etc. We did not actually set up cages, bring in pets, feed them walk them etc, we discussed and planned in detail. With that we called the requirement good. I actually proved to be more valuable as a group brainstorming, organizing and planning excercise and since pets were the topic, it didn't get boring.

 

They had fun playing with a real inch and three quarter and the SCBA after we were done. Most fun merit badge we ever did.

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First roadblock is the result of lawyers.....the kennels wouldn't allow anyone under 18 to assist in ANY way without that persons parent present, releases signed and notarized were no good so in reality, the scout troop assisting with this was never going to happen anyway (sad, thanks to the lawyers again).

 

What we did do was plan what the troop could do and plan it in detail, even though it would never happen in the real world.

This really bothers me. If we are reduced to pretending because we will never be allowed to actually help in the real world, I think the requirement should simply be dumped. Then we can spend our time on things that actually matter. What message does this send the scouts (I'm not sure)?

 

I really wish the BSA would actively push back against the "children can't do that" and "no risk is allowed" trends in our society instead of kowtowing to them (no pioneering project can be higher than five feet, must be 14 years old to use a wagon, etc.). The BSA should be backing the whole Free Range Children movement.

 

I realize this comes across as criticizing your activity. I think what you did sounds great! I'm criticizing the need to do a pretend (something that would never happen in the "real world") activity.

Edited by Rick_in_CA

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It doesn't come off as criticism, I too am sad with the results of over litigation that has negative impacts in so many ways. I too wish many organizations would fight back instead of rolling over to the threat of litigation crowd, or fear of not being politically correct situation or fear of someone being scared, minor injury (cuts scrapes) insulted, breaking some simple and un-necessary regulation etc. The end result is we can do less and less in society, with more and more beauracracy in order to do much of it and it dis-incentivizes participation.

 

We had another instance where one of our scouts wanted to do a volunteer/public service activity supporting a local SPCA shelter in feeding animals, walking them, watering them etc. Same deal, had to have a parent, wouldn't take a release and this was while they were posting on local community forums begging for help.

 

Tried to get our troop in on assisting the fire department at slash collection days, department was so concerned about liability they said thanks but no thanks.

 

Another thing that comes out of this is the general CYA posture and that is the driving force behind a lot of the training and extra hassle BSA pus on it's volunteers. After our past chief was lost to a Brain Tumor, our new chief, a former Eagle Scout was interested in starting an explorer program. He told me that after he saw all the brain damage and requirements to do that, he decided to not bother.

 

If Confiscatory taxes are not what kills this nation, Over regulation and Litigation certainly will.

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