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LeCastor

Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv

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Since Darwins theories can not be replicated in a laboratory nor has it ever been witnessed in nature, it cannot be defined as science.

Stosh

 

Stosh, seriously? Seriously?

 

It is some years since I studied science, but I did study Molecular Biology at university and still have a love of the subject. And I can tell you that yes, evolution is most definitely a science. It underpins the vast majority of what biology is all about. Canyou witness evolution in a lab? Yes you can. It's quite a common technique.

 

Let's say, for whatever reason, we want to introduce a new gene into a sample of bacteria. This can be done by using something called a plasmid if I remember right.

 

The DNA though won't end up in all the bacteria. So how do you purify out those that have taken it up? You include on the strip of DNA a second gene that provides some kind of protection against a given toxin. You introduce that toxin and kill off all the bacteria that have't got the DNA in them.

 

In effect you evolve it out.

 

Simples!

 

On a larger scale, have you heard of multi drug resistant bacteria? 50 years ago they didn't exist. But along came antibiotics. Used widely they have introduced a strong evolutionary pressure on the bacteria population. The result is that the strains that were naturally resistant to antibiotics have become dominant in some places.

 

Look at the human population. It has evolved so that populations that have been closer to the equator have more melonin in their skin (ie more resistant to UV light and less likely to get skin cancer) those closer to the poles have less melonin thus allowing them to absorb more UV light and not suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

 

The examples in nature go on and on and on and I am seriously suprised that anyone, in the 21st century can say that evolution has not been witnessed in nature.

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Dear Moderators: I want this thread to be about working with kids in nature. It was never my intention to make this a discussion about evolution: theology vs. science.

 

I don't want to move this to issues and politics, so let's try to keep this on how to get kids back outside.

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LC - my apologies for helping drag it off topic. Am happy to continue the discussion elsewhere.

 

Back to the original topic (ish) a good book can really help inspire kids to get outside. As a kid I simply loved Swallows and Amazons. I don't know if it ever made it across the pond but its a story of a group of kids left mostly to their own devices on a sailing holiday in the English Lake District. It's a work of absolute genius and well worth reading.

 

 

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My 7th grade English teacher turned me on to the Foxfire books. They are a compilation of articles written by a high school journalism class documenting mountain living, skills, traditions and folkways. Volumes 1-9 are on the shelf behind me now. As a result, in high school I started building a cabin. It took over 10 years to build (college, jobs and a new wife slowed progress), but now my sons and I all enjoy going there, walking in the woods, following the creek, sitting by the fire.

 

I still want to try building a still, though.

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Along with the Foxfire books, the Mother Earth News (now on the internet) is a fantastic resource. Off the Grid works too but tends to be more sophisticated with it's suggestions.

 

Stosh

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On Monday during my SM minute, I told the two Patrols that I'd be at the trailhead of a local county park this Saturday at 10:00am with doughnuts if anybody wanted to join me. Several said they had prior engagements but one Scout has said he and his dad will be there! We're talking February in WI here and it's pretty cold right now. But this guy's coming out! We're going to look for tracks in the snow and listen to the sounds of winter. It's going to be great!

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LC found a full length version of the film of Swallows and Amazons on youtube here

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE13WUjSkFM

 

They've put in adverts so I'm assuming it's legal!

 

Anyway, it's so middle class and English it almost hurts. I would add that the film version is far more "twee" than the original book was.

 

Final point of note..... our troop went sailing last summer at a sailing club on a boat that was owned by Arthur Ransome who wrote the original book. Photos here

 

http://12thcambridge.org.uk/scouts-summer-term-2014/

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so let's try to keep this on how to get kids back outside.

 

Let's start a new program, called FASSS Scouts: Fun, Adventure, Science, Sweating and Skills :) ... Just trying to push some buttons.

 

I read that book a few years ago and I really liked it. One thing great about the outdoors that is really hard for kids to understand is that the best things are never planned. The most fun, inspiring, or encouraging is never expected. Kind of like a good joke. Another consideration is that different kids respond to different things. Some kids like a physical challenge, some like fun, camaraderie, science, fishing, adventure, .... So, for each kid it's different and it's hard to plan the really good stuff. My only suggestion is to encourage a lot of it. When I was a kid and we went "outdoors" it was usually not a campout and, at least during the summer we went a lot more than once a month. Maybe the trick is to get the scouts to do more half day activities near by. I think it would be great if for every weekend in the summer at least one patrol was organizing something in the outdoors. Ultimate awesomeness would be every weekend of the year.

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One kinda' cool thing about the Patrol Method is that, given choices, Scouts tend to pick what they believe will be fun.

 

I think it would be great if for every weekend in the summer at least one patrol was organizing something in the outdoors. Ultimate awesomeness would be every weekend of the year.

 

Exactly.

 

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I am happy to announce that 1/3 of the Atomic Tacos Patrol showed up at the trailhead this morning along with a few dads. We took advantage of the warm temps (low-20s) and hiked around a marsh area. The Scouts pointed out evidence of animal tracks: raccoons, deer, and turkey for sure. It was a lot of fun once we got going. One of the Scouts said, "the sooner we get this done the sooner I can go home." But that same kid soon got lost in the fun of the hike and started searching out tracks and scat. I love when experiments like this work out well! :D

 

I'm one happy Beaver!

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