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Millennials and their phones.

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A thread about a missing QM brought up the problem of a scout who (maybe for good reason) does not do social media. I've only known one boy who as PL made a call to the household of each one of his members. Often they are uncomfortable with that. Do any of you work with your boys in improving their power of personal contact?

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We have a phone tree system so all the numbers are known to all. We also provide email addresses so the boys can communicate that way as well. I don't see what the big deal is, they are in contact with each other on a regular basis face-to-face, on the phone, email, and social media anyway per the limits imposed by the parents. If an important message has to get out, the PL can relay the message to all the scouts even if the phone number the family provided is the cell phone of one of the parents. We find the parents do fairly well relaying the message to the boys.

 

Stosh

 

By the way, why would anyone be uncomfortable about making sure everyone knows what's going on? I see making those phone calls as a good thing and excellent leadership technique.

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... By the way' date=' why would anyone be uncomfortable about making sure everyone knows what's going on? I see making those phone calls as a good thing and excellent leadership technique.[/quote']

 

Stosh, I absolutely want guys using their phones and making those calls. What happens, though, is a little more scatter-shot. For example, they may set up a mass-text list. Works great for 8 kids with the first event. A few months later, someone (let's say the kid who goes to a different school) loses their phone and gets a new one with a new number. Doesn't tell each member of the patrol ... or does, but the one member who forgets to update his list is the one with the next big announcement.

 

It's not just about making calls ... it's about completing them. There's a difference. Millennials faith in tech is such that they believe they're doing the latter, when they've barely accomplished the former.

 

Life was sure a lot easier when we just hung the signal flags from the clubhouse mast. At least we all knew what could go wrong with that scheme.

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And there are kids, especially they younger ones, who don't have cell phones. A few don't have email but more than a few have multiple accounts and rarely check them. One thing I've seen over the past year or so is the use of text groups. Now, instead of making eight calls, the post one (frequently unintelligible) text and think their done. But two kids don't have phones, another wasn't at the meeting when they traded phone numbers, another forgot to turn his back on after class. Ultimately, maybe half get the message.

 

Kids are amazingly myopic. The world stops at the end of their fingertips. I bet if you asked most of the kids in the above sample if everyone got the message, their response would be, "well, I sent it."

 

Once I got a text from one of my older scouts, "can i use u 4 a refrensce?" Aside from all the obvious problems we all see was I didn't know who sent it. The kid just assumed the entire world had him programmed into our phones and his ID would automatically pop up.

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Our patrol leaders do make phone calls. Each scout is requested to provide one 'good' phone number for contact. New patrol leaders collect updated information. PLs are instructed to continue attempts until they speak to the scout. That, of course, does not always happen. PLs can also use texts or messaging as appropriate, but the phone number is a troop requirement. With two scouts in different patrols in my household, we are quite used to receiving awkward calls from PLs especially the night before the troop meeting. And just as I promise my own sons, the adult who answer are very helpful, kind and courteous.

 

My eldest son, in particular, had a good bit of anxiety about using the phone to contact fellow scouts. The practice of calling his patrol mates with a purpose has helped him gain the confidence to call merit badge counselors, make camp reservations, and order pizza for lock-in night. Now he is applying those skills to job interviews and college application questions.

 

There is such an age span in Boy Scouts. In my area, most 10.5 year olds do not have cell phones, email addresses or social media accounts. The troop can't expect them, either, if because of cost, parental controls or age limits on apps. We've settled on phones as the best option.

 

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Each scout is requested to provide one 'good' phone number for contact. New patrol leaders collect updated information.

 

I trust all your families can afford a phone and a plan then.

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Contrary to modern mythology one can still have a land-line and can reliably call it a "good" number for contact.  Hook that baby up to an answering machine and voila! you have the world at your fingertips.  Just put your finger in the hole where the number is that you want to call and spin clockwise until it stops, let go and do it for all the numbers and the next thing you know, you're talking to your buddy.

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When walking back from Troop Meeting last night, Son asked me how old I was when I got my first cell phone.  I told him 28.

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For me?  54 years old.

 

Lets just say that when I was a kid I reached down next to the desk and ranked a little handle on a box down by the baseboard after lifting the receiver.  When the lady answered, I said I wanted to talk to my mom.  She said one minute please and the next thing my mom's on the phone.  Nothing today can beat that kind of service!  :)

Edited by Stosh

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For me?  54 years old.

 

Lets just say that when I was a kid I reached down next to the desk and ranked a little handle on a box down by the baseboard after lifting the receiver.  When the lady answered, I said I wanted to talk to my mom.  She said one minute please and the next thing my mom's on the phone.  Nothing today can beat that kind of service!   :)

 

Good grief !  Only 54 !   I can barely recall party lines.  Cord boards were the stuff of legend by 1954 where I grew up.

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Good grief !  Only 54 !   I can barely recall party lines.  Cord boards were the stuff of legend by 1954 where I grew up.

 

Progression of Phone

 

1) Crank the handle to get the operator and then say the name of the person you want to talk to.

2) Pick up the phone and when operator answers give the 3 digit phone number.

3) Rotary phones, now you needed to give the 5 digits for local calls and the first two digits for the phone exchange, then the 5 digits.

4) Push button phones that used both clicks and tones.

5) Cell phones. (just like on Star Trek

6) Cell phones with texting so I don't have to actually talk to the person on the phone.

7) Voice and video communications, just like on Star Trek!  Oooooo Ahhhhh!

 

It was still in the mid 1980's that I still had to request a private line because of my business situation.

 

Somewhere in the whole progression of things I seemed to have missed Max's shoe phone and haven't been able to get in touch with Control since.

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Good grief, Stosh.  Where was this?   The last Bell manual cord switchboard exchange in Ohio was gone in the 1960's, replaced by automated switching equipment.   The mechanical automated equipment was then replaced by more modern "cross-bar" analog switching (The last fully mechanical central office was gone by the 1980's.) and then by digital equipment in the early 90's.

 

Of course, there were several dozen tiny local telephone companies (36 still today), and Lord knows what service they offered.  They often bought obsolete equipment from Bell at scrap prices as Bell removed it from its central offices.

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Progression of Phone

 

1) Crank the handle to get the operator and then say the name of the person you want to talk to.

2) Pick up the phone and when operator answers give the 3 digit phone number.

3) Rotary phones, now you needed to give the 5 digits for local calls and the first two digits for the phone exchange, then the 5 digits.

4) Push button phones that used both clicks and tones.

5) Cell phones. (just like on Star Trek

6) Cell phones with texting so I don't have to actually talk to the person on the phone.

7) Voice and video communications, just like on Star Trek!  Oooooo Ahhhhh!

 

It was still in the mid 1980's that I still had to request a private line because of my business situation.

 

Somewhere in the whole progression of things I seemed to have missed Max's shoe phone and haven't been able to get in touch with Control since.

You missed Cone of Silince. ;)

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