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qwazse

Phoning it in ...

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Now that our council has expanded our VOA cabinet is relying on phone conferences. Each youth officer is more than an hour away from the others.

We tried video but that had a host of problems. (Didn't work for everybody, sometimes not for anybody. When it did work didn't help the discussion advance much.)

Except for 15 minutes of fumbling because the wrong # was circulated, our first phone conference of the year seemed to go well, and I'm looking forward to hearing our VOA President improve as the year goes forward.

 

Besides making sure everyone has the right number :p, Does anyone have tips/tricks for managing phone conferences?

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My local Eagle Scout Association does our monthly meetings by phone conference. It helps if there's somebody clearly in charge with an agenda. If people have something that needs to be brought up, if they can get it to the coordinator or leader of the conference it helps keep things a bit more organized.

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www.joinme.com is something my business uses all the time. One scout could have the agenda on his computer and share with the group. Everyone else with an Android or computer can link in and follow the agenda, preso, or whatever the host wants to share. Set up phone conferencing and you're all set to go. By the way, if the remote wants to edit something on the host computer, it's possible as well.

 

Stosh

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On 3/16/2020 at 5:27 PM, qwazse said:

Resurrecting this discussion. So, Bryan's article has discussed the "how to" for BoR's. And, I'm sure there are some favorite services not mentioned. But also @FireStone raised the question of how to make it work for other scout/scouter meetings?

More importantly, can anyone move us from "how to" to "how to make it fun?"

I'm looking for similar suggestions!!

I've done a few Zoom meetings, and son is currently doing an online merit badge session.  Here's what I've found so far:

Zoom (and Skype, etc.) have a small lag time, and it's harder to read body language, so there's a lot of talking over each other, then stops and starts.  It's hard to accomplish anything in a decent amount of time.  I don't see this ever working well for den or patrol meetings, but not sure there's any other option.

The merit badge session is a webinar.  The counselor is live on the top of the screen, and he has a PowerPoint going on below him.  There's a moderator off screen, but whom you can hear.  She is watching the chat/question box.  With 800 scouts participating, she is only relaying questions that are arising frequently, and that's the only interaction the scout has with the counselor.  They provide links for reference - to the worksheet, webinar content to review, and the merit badge pamphlet, but there's no way they can answer 800 questions, whether it's through the chat or email.

I have a couple ideas for getting scouts outside and doing something fun.  Will let you know if I'm able to get them approved and we can start doing them.  One is an orienteering treasure hunt.  One is a fire-starting contest where the scouts would take video and post to a secure site, like our troop's Shutterfly.  Couple more ideas not really fleshed out yet, but I'm trying!

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2 hours ago, swilliams said:

... One is an orienteering treasure hunt.  ...

I was thinking about that for my orienteering club. Instead of punching in. Take a selfie of yourself with the control.

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2 hours ago, swilliams said:

With 800 scouts participating

And there you have it, the reason I'm starting to look elsewhere to give my time. It's becoming too much. The idea that a massive online MB class is scouting is just telling of deeper problems we've already discussed.

On 3/16/2020 at 3:27 PM, qwazse said:

More importantly, can anyone move us from "how to" to "how to make it fun?"

I tried bringing this up a week or so ago and the response was that kids already know how to have fun on the internet.

23 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I was thinking about that for my orienteering club. Instead of punching in. Take a selfie of yourself with the control.

That would work. I think you could even take a hike "together" assuming there is cell service. Split the patrol into buddy pairs. Everyone brings a map to the trail head but can't get out of the car until they're called by the pair before them. There are checkpoints along the trail. Once you get to one check point you have to wait until the pair ahead of you leaves the next check point before you leave yours and also signal the pair behind you to leave theirs.

I had scouts that once made a hilarious story around a camp fire by taking turns adding another sentence or two to the story. That would work great over zoom.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

I was thinking about that for my orienteering club. Instead of punching in. Take a selfie of yourself with the control.

The New England Orienteering Club is doing something like this.  "Stay tuned . . . as we work with land managers and club volunteers to implement a number of bring-your-own-map events. Participants will be able to navigate around a course on their own time to minimize interactions."    https://newenglandorienteering.org/news/1082-orienteering-during-the-covid-19-outbreak

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18 hours ago, swilliams said:

...She is watching the chat/question box.  With 800 scouts participating,

In keeping with the day may I suggest an interactive over-air solution from back in the day...Winky Dink and You.  National gains a revenue stream simply by making the viewer kit part of the uniform. The BSA official viewer kit, only sold through Scout Shop, contains official BSA trademarked Magic Window, erase cloth (unsold neckers), and Magic crayons.

My $0.02,

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22 hours ago, qwazse said:

I was thinking about that for my orienteering club. Instead of punching in. Take a selfie of yourself with the control.

I was thinking about having a letter at each checkpoint that spells out a word when finished.  My youngest (12) doesn't have a cell phone yet, along with one other scout.  I suppose he could borrow one. 

It would be a lot more fun (I would think), for them to share their selfies.  Again, on a secure site.  It might also give us some photos to share in an iMovie - or something - if we can't have a regular COH with slideshow.

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