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Zaphod

Got the phone call from camp....

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For those of you who asked I am hoping "no news is good news." We'll be picking him up tomorrow and I'll report back after I talk to him. 

 

As far as tech use... yes, he loves electronics no doubt about it. But we have been camping at least once a year as a family since he could toddle. Electronics are always verboten on those trips so it's not his first experience with withdrawal. My real reason for bringing it up is my boy has a really heightened sense of fairness (perhaps all 11 year olds do?). Of course he is going to learn that life is not fair in the cruel, hard world, but having that lesson at camp compounded the homesickness. BUT (big but time).... I don't have all the details and only spoke to him on the second day. It's very possible his Troop-mates started sharing and that his leaders gave him a little screen time or that he forgot all about it by the next morning. I have no idea. At least he go to call us on his leader's phone. 

 

That Bryan on Scouting article was excellent, BTW and I agree 100% that we can definitely incorporate tech wisely into outdoor activities. Also his take on using this as an opportunity to teach Scout Law as it pertains to electronics and social media is brilliant. I loved that. Thanks @krikkitbot for sharing that.

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Yesterday I was out kayaking by myself and saw a blue heron. I thought to myself, "Is that really a blue heron? Or is it a crane? How can I tell?" So I said, "Okay Google, what is the difference between a heron and a crane." Then Google told me and now I know. I think that made my outdoor experience better in the moment. 

 

On the other hand, I was paddling up a creek and got a text from my dad. It was not time sensitive but I took the time to reply anyway and dropped my paddle... NO just kidding! [Get it.... Up a creek without a.... okay sorry, bad joke, never mind]. But I did look up just in time to see a furry brown head disappear under the water. It was probably a muskrat, but maybe it was an otter. And if it was, I missed out because otters have become very rare in my neck of the woods. I wish I would have looked up sooner. So that was a lesson to me to put down the phone and be in the moment. 

 

Technology has it's uses but can definitely distract. I say let's mentor the boys and teach them exactly this sort of thing. 

Edited by Zaphod
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Why do you need to carry a (separate) book on how to tie knots?  Do you (k)not already know them?  There's only five: taut-line, timber, sheet-bend, bowline, clove.  I don't count the square knot or (two)half-hitch, because they should have learned that by heart as a Cub.

 

You forgot:  Figure eight on a bight, Figure eight follow-through, Water knot, Double fisherman's knot (grapevine knot), Safety knot. All needed for the climbing merit badge. 

 

Arbor backing knot, nail knot, needle knot, nail knot, double surgeon’s loop or blood knot,improved clinch knot, Palomar, and turle. These are for the fishing and fly-fishing merit badges. 

 

You will also need to know the sheepshank (that one is for the scoutmaster to prove he is a scout and not an enemy spy ;) ), square lashing, diagonal lashing, shear lashing. These are for pioneering. 

 

Canoeing requires the trucker's hitch. 

 

You can learn how to tie all of these using the Grog Knots app or by going to animatedknots.com. They even have a scouting section.  :)

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one lesson to be learned that piggybacks on your furry critter story...(@Zaphod)

I read an article some time ago, or was it on some documentary I watched... anyway

it talked about how when a person is taking pictures they are not "in the moment" and will tend to remember much less about the experience.  An example of a parent taking photos or video of a child's school performance was used.

Upon reflection, and backed up by my observations since that time, I can say that this idea is spot on!

Many times it is much better to forget the pictures, and just "participate" in the moment.

A good lesson we could guide the scouts to discover....

Edited by blw2

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one lesson to be learned that piggybacks on your furry critter story...(@Zaphod)

I read an article some time ago, or was it on some documentary I watched... anyway

it talked about how when a person is taking pictures they are not "in the moment" and will tend to remember much less about the experience.  An example of a parent taking photos or video of a child's school performance was used.

Upon reflection, and backed up by my observations since that time, I can say that this idea is spot on!

Many times it is much better to forget the pictures, and just "participate" in the moment.

A good lesson we could guide the scouts to discover....

 

I agree with that! I am not really a picture/video person... other than taking close-ups of plants or wildlife I want to look up more about later. After I kayaked yesterday we took my 9 year old out on my dad's motorboat to teach him how to boogie board. He managed to get up on his knees the very first time and stayed on quite awhile! My dad wanted to film every second of it and since he was driving, I got stuck with the camera. For me, one picture is all it takes to remember the moment and then I can just watch and enjoy.... I can't imagine ever wanting to go back and watch that video! Unless he had fallen off spectacularly or something. But my parents do pore over those movies from my childhood and especially those of the grandkids, so I sigh and accommodate them. Maybe I will be thankful for them when I am old and the kids are spread out all over the country. 

 

But I have long regretted that my grandfathers passed away before passing on their knowledge of the outdoors to me (my father is not such a great teacher in that respect). I don't have any friends nearby into the outdoors so I am very thankful for the internet... and a phone that talks to me when I ask it questions (I don't even have to pick it up or look at it). But yes, it is tempting to lose focus and it can be a distraction, so everything in moderation, a time and a place, and all that. 

 

Speaking of... it's another lovely day and I need to put down this computer now that I am done with my work for the morning. Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend everyone!

Edited by Zaphod

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Back when I was in confirmation, it was standard fare to MEMORIZE the entire Lutheran Small Catechism.  It was a horrendous job and painfully difficult, but we all needed to do it. 

 

My internship pastor had, over his lifetime, memorized all the Psalms including chapter and verse.

 

Boys struggling to get Scout Rank agonize over  the Oath and Laws (really? 12 words in a certain order?)

 

It is a practice that with the ever increasing use of modern electronic technology no longer is "needed"...... well until the battery dies then it may be a matter of life or death.  (I didn't coin the phrase "Death by GPS")

 

It's been 50 years and I can still recall major portions of the Lutheran Small Catechism.

 

I learned the importance of memorizing things from my internship pastor.

 

I know all the BSA knots and lashings, and I also know the Monkey Fist, the Turk's Head and the Truckers' Knot, use them all the time as a kayaker/canoeist.  I Diamond Hitch my kayaks when I use the trailer with no rack.

 

I know my different woods.  I can drive down the road and in late summer pick out 10 different plants along the way every mile.  I know my trees. 

 

I currently have 10 new plants identified so I can go find them out in the woods rather than finding them and then going to the books to figure out what they are.

 

Observation and Bird STUDY, Mammal STUDY, Nature STUDY, implies boning up this stuff BEFORE going out and enjoying.  Observing things, drawing them on paper, looking closely for small details all are a way of mentally memorizing something so that one can look it up and compare to reference books later.  That "ancient" BSA practice is a fantastic way of learning and memorizing items in nature without having to drag along a smartphone and charger.

 

I have a spot in my yard I leave to nature every year.  The first crop of wild flowers is dandelions.  Just a weed you say???  Ever have dandelion wine or dandelion jelly?  Nope, didn't think so.  Then the area turns to Ox-eye Daisies, followed by a blaze of Hawk Weed.  Now it is covered by Flea Bane and the Queen Anne's Lace and Yarrow and ready to bloom.  The Spider Wart is just finishing up near the edge of the forest and the May Apples and Jack-in-the-Pulpit are dying back.  Soon the mushrooms will be set along with the various ferns that line the nature trail I have in the back "40".

 

I don't carry a book and I don't carry a smartphone when I am in the yard or forest around the house.  I just do a lot of memorization.  It makes for a more enjoyable experience.

 

With the old storytelling oral histories of past civilizations and their vast knowledge of herbs, food sources and animals passed from one generation to the next would find hand-written books to be rather high-tech.

 

It's a shame we have lost that ability in today's culture.

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Stosh

That certainly is a way to do things....

a very good way I might add.

but the thing is....it's not the only way.

It's not even the only good way.

 

You and I might not like it, but things, they are a changing.  Things evolve.  Sometimes aspects might get worse.  Sometimes they might get better... and others might just simply be only different... if we can let go of emotions and personal paradigms, step back and observe.

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I doubt if anyone here would argue directly against your points....

but as others have pointed out, that printed book you write about was once a new fangled and probably considered an unnecessary technology.  Perhaps looked on as evil even....

and bseides, you can now get most books in a digital format.  That is now the way many people consume the written word.... and there really isn't anything wrong with that.

 

To me the bigger point is to step back and honestly evaluate the "why" behind our opposition to a thing.

 

In this case, me thinks it's really more about a desire to get the attention focused on the outdoor world, and the people we are with.

so, perhaps the focus needs to be placed there, rather than on the "thing"

and as the articl that was linked to earlier points out, they aint going away!

 

The printed book meets opposition from adults for its use? Maybe in 1356 but not in the 20th or 21st century.

 

If someone is addicted to something you can point to all the cool stuff in the outdoors all you want to but they won't put that device away. If you are outside, be outside. 

Edited by Back Pack

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The printed book meets opposition from adults for its use? Maybe in 1356 but not in the 20th or 21st century.

 

 

The date was Thirtieth of June, two thousand sixteen, in the year of Our Lord, by the Gregorian Calendar. It was a dark time for, alas, the youth were addicted to small magic boxes in their pockets while the adults debated on large magic boxes.  ;)

 

I'm referring to Mr. Bob's post from last night a few comments above. ^^^

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The date was Thirtieth of June, two thousand sixteen, in the year of Our Lord, by the Gregorian Calendar. It was a dark time for, alas, the youth were addicted to small magic boxes in their pockets while the adults debated on large magic boxes.  ;)

 

I'm referring to Mr. Bob's post from last night a few comments above. ^^^

 

Note he said "separate book". ;)

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Stosh

That certainly is a way to do things....

a very good way I might add.

but the thing is....it's not the only way.

It's not even the only good way.

 

You and I might not like it, but things, they are a changing.  Things evolve.  Sometimes aspects might get worse.  Sometimes they might get better... and others might just simply be only different... if we can let go of emotions and personal paradigms, step back and observe.

 

Naw, it's not the only way, but given the alternatives, it's still a bit better than the others.  After all is said and done, the boys still come to me when they have a question about a certain plant or animal they encounter in the woods.  Even then when we are walking the urban neighborhoods, I can still point out the difference to the boys between red and white cedars.  Not all evergreens are pine trees and not all evergreens keep their needles year around.  Sedges are not grass.  Dame's Rocket is an invasive plant, Phlox is not but they look the same.  Wild Parsley is poisonous only in the daylight.  All the parts of day lilies are edible, but tiger lilies are not.

 

Identifying 10 plants and animals is a nice little game to play while hiking.  Knowing why one is doing that is often neglected because it is not spelled out in the requirements.

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Not all evergreens are pine trees and not all evergreens keep their needles year around.  Sedges are not grass.  Dame's Rocket is an invasive plant, Phlox is not but they look the same.  Wild Parsley is poisonous only in the daylight.  All the parts of day lilies are edible, but tiger lilies are not.

 

 

 

Maybe we should allow some electronics in the field - I have a pad set-up to access the internet over a mobile network - in essence, the pad is it's own wi-fi device - and as long as it can reach a cell tower, it can access the internet - then statements like the above can be checked in the field (apologies to Stosh in advance - I admit to being a precisionist when it comes to facts which means I can come across as pedantic).

 

"Not all evergreens are pine trees and not all evergreens keep their needles year around" - As written, partially true - spruce and fir are not pine trees and are evergreens, hollies are not pine trees and are evergreens.  To say that not all evergreens keep their needles year around suggests that all evergreens have needles (hollies have leaves) and semantically, if a tree loses its needles all at once every year, it's not an evergreen.   I'd say 'Not all evergreens are conifers and not all conifers are evergreens that keep their needles year around'.  Hollies aren't conifers but they are evergreens and larches are conifers but aren't evergreens.

 

"Sedges are not grass" - yep!

 

"Dame's Rocket is an invasive plant, Phlox is not but they look the same" - They do look similar from a distance but close-up, Dame's Rocket flowers have 4 petals, Phlox flowers have 5 petals - a field guide filled or web enabled pad can help make that distinction.

 

"Wild Parsley is poisonous only in the daylight" - it's Wild Parsnip that has a juice that is photo-sensitive that can cause a rash when exposed to sunlight.  In sensitive individuals, the rash usually develops a day or two after exposure so it's often unkown why the rash develops.  While the juice of the plant does need sunlight to activate, there hasn't been enough research done to determine if the juice needs to be fresh in order for it to cause a rash (thus being poisonous only in the daylight) or whether dried juices on someones arms or legs can still be activated by the sun - we don't really know if someone who is exposed to the juices at night and hasn't had a chance to wash up, wll develop a rash tooo.

 

"All the parts of day lilies are edible, but tiger lilies are not."  The plant most people think of when they hear Tiger Lily is Lilium lancifolium, aka Lilium tigrinum, a non-native orange flowered lily with spots from Asia, is in fact edible.  All parts of this plant is edible by humans but it is toxic to cats.  The original day lily, another import from Asia, an orange flowered lily without spots, Hemerocallis fulva, is also edible.  The other Day Lilies that we commonfly find growing in gardens and flower beds are either not edible or have questionable edibility.  They are generally hybrids created from Hemerocallis fulva but bred for certain characterstics like color, or size, or hardiness.  I wouldn't go out in to the garden and start harvesting your day lily floweres for your salads. 

Edited by CalicoPenn

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"Dame's Rocket is an invasive plant, Phlox is not but they look the same" - They do look similar from a distance but close-up, Dame's Rocket flowers have 4 petals, Phlox flowers have 5 petals - a field guide filled or web enabled pad can help make that distinction.

 

 

And the point I was making,.. One does not need a field guide or web enabled pad to remember 4 petals and 5 petals.  Oh, look at that pretty Phlox over there.  Nope, 4 petals means it's Dame's Rocket. 

 

Hmmmm, we're out in the woods, we see a pretty flower, we note it's color shape, and distinguishing characteristics, we draw a picture of it.  We study it's leaves, we notice the stem, we observe it's environment.  Then after we make a thorough study of it, we go home and research it.  That process takes time and that will cause a memory imprint whereas a quick look up on the ipad will produce a result in 15 seconds that will take another 15 seconds and it will be long gone from one's memory.

 

One mistake with edible Wild Cow Parsley and there's nothing more to worry about.

 

Stinging Nettle is a skin irritant that is highly nutritious.  Dead Nettle just looks pretty in the garden and forests.  Jewel Weed grows alongside of Stinging Nettle in many places and this is useful to know.

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The printed book meets opposition from adults for its use? Maybe in 1356 but not in the 20th or 21st century.

 

 

exactly!

at some point in time, we came around........

and we at this stage of the game (2016) still need to remind ourselves that change isn't necessarily bad..... and even if it is, it is what it is....

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