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Unsupervised Youth Rescued

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I may be wrong, but I thought the D of E award was specifically intended to promote activities for youth who are not involved in scouting.

 

Welcome to the forum.  I like to hear about other programs.

 

In my unit, it would be more likely for the adults to get lost.  The boys do the rescuing. 

Edited by David CO

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The DofE award is not limited to youth in the UK.

Consider it for your scouts!

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Most explorer scout units (14-18 year olds) use DoE as part of their program.

 

While the scheme is a non scouting award scheme it is recognised by the UK Scout Association. It can be worn on uniform and DoE Gold ticks of 6 of the 8 parts of the Queens Scout Award (broadly our equivalent of Eagle Scout)

 

In terms of adults being involved it's a case of yes, no, maybe!

 

Our program allows scouts and explorers to camp and hike unaccompanied. For camps it's called a "Nights Away Passport".  I am not completely familiar with the requirements for mountainous areas, given that I don't have the right bits of paper to take scouts there myself I've never had cause to look at the requirements for whether I can sign them off to go on their own myself.

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The American equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh is the Congressional Award.  I know a few troops that use it as part of their program.  The D of E has permutations in other Commonwealth countries.

 

Happily, most of the rest of the world is not as anal about having adults hovering over teens 24/7/365.   Adult-free travel is more normative, even adult-free international travel.  

 

Beavah

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The American equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh is the Congressional Award. I know a few troops that use it as part of their program. The D of E has permutations in other Commonwealth countries.

 

Happily, most of the rest of the world is not as anal about having adults hovering over teens 24/7/365. Adult-free travel is more normative, even adult-free international travel.

 

Beavah

Oh, my furry flat-tailed friend, a Yank can have his cake and eat it too! The DofE is obtainable beyond the commonwealth. American scouts may look at http://www.intaward.org/united-states-of-america. Edited by qwazse

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My daughter is currently doing her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze (the lowest level for the youngest, she's 14) through her school. I'll just talk about the expedition parts as that's the only relevant thing here:

 

She did two hikes, two days in duration, with camping overnight. The first was a practice, to basically make sure they had the right kit, make sure they could map read etc. They had an adult walking with them for the first couple of hours, checking their competence. Overnight they were at a campground where there were a whole bunch of teachers and helpers, and all the other teams, also camping.

 

The theory is that they hike and camp independently. I.e. under their own steam. But I suspect there's a steady stream of kids going to the teachers and whining about their team mates and what they said, and getting more gas if theirs runs out. So, maybe, supported by adults, but not hands on led by adults. Some kids can't cope with this, some can.

 

On the second hike, they have no adults with them except an assessor may pop up and walk with them for a bit to make sure they are playing by the rules.

 

It's difficult to know what has happened in this case, they were from a school covered by the same local news as me, so last night they talked to the head teacher who reckoned that none of the teams were actually lost at any point.

 

It sounds like they had four teams out, probably doing silver or gold award expeditions, which are 3 or 4 day hikes, again, supported by adults, but generally no actual adults walking with the groups. The weather came in horrible so I've been led to believe. Windy, wet, and more wet, and more wind. They had either walked up above the cloud line, or the clouds had come in while they were walking. There were two that were possibly suffering from hypothermia. The head teacher said the teams had sought shelter, not sure if they put up their tents, or they had emergency shelters, and reported in. Presumably the team of the ill ones contacted the authorities, and it spiralled up into a full scale rescue for all the teams from there.

 

The truth is probably somewhere between...the teams missed their checkpoint, were waiting out the storm, and a couple of them were a bit cold, nothing a hot drink wouldn't cure...and they were all about to DIIIIEEEEEE, SEND HELP NOOOOWWWWWW!

 

Anyway, as Cambridge Skip says, a fair few to use the D of E awards as part of their programme, we don't as it happens, as most of the schools do it, so most of our members are doing it through school, so we don't have the weight of numbers to do it ourselves. No, we would not have adults with them on a D of E expedition, otherwise we'd be breaking the rules. 

 

We do, at explorer level, (so, aged 14-18) commonly let them loose on their own. Night hikes, day hikes, navigation exercises, self led weekend camps. It can be a bit nerve wracking, but as someone else says...train 'em, trust 'em, let them lead....for example...

 

A night hike, I get a phone call...

Them: "We're lost"

Me: "describe your surroundings"

Them: "we're in the woods, there's trees"

Me: "um...."

So we had a conversation about where they had been, and where they were when they last knew where they were, and I think they wandered in a given direction until they found a road, and then wandered along the road until they found some landmarks.

 

Another night hike, another phone call, I think, with some of the same explorers as the previous example:

Them: "we're lost"

Me: "so what you gonna do about it?"

Them: "we're on the common somewhere, and there's a road on the east edge that goes south west, so we're going to head south until we hit the road or the lakes"

Me: "Okay, so you're telling me because?"

Them: "we might be a bit late back"

Me: "Okay, see you later! Bye!"

 

Self reliance...one of the greatest gifts we can bestow upon the next generation.

 

Ian

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Ah the memories! I did once have a group of scouts doing their expedition challenge in Epping Forest phone me to tell me "we think the map is wrong".

 

*facepalm*

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Our program allows scouts and explorers to camp and hike unaccompanied. For camps it's called a "Nights Away Passport".  I am not completely familiar with the requirements for mountainous areas, given that I don't have the right bits of paper to take scouts there myself I've never had cause to look at the requirements for whether I can sign them off to go on their own myself.

While the UK DoE award requires the Adventurous Journey to be completed without adult supervision, the versions here in the USA are dumbed down so that adult supervision is required for the journey (unless the participants are over 18). Which largely defeats the purpose of course.

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While the UK DoE award requires the Adventurous Journey to be completed without adult supervision, the versions here in the USA are dumbed down so that adult supervision is required for the journey (unless the participants are over 18). Which largely defeats the purpose of course.

 

In fairness to those who make the rules on your side of the Atlantic I guess it may be worth bearing in mind that we are talking about entirely different territories here.

 

If we put the Scottish Highlands aside for a moment (which is serious wilderness!) the UK doesn't have anything in the way of back country like you have. I think our population density is something like 10 times yours. Here in the south east of England in particular you would struggle to go more than a couple of miles in any directions without coming into a town or village or hitting a significant road and that's without even counting farms and little hamlets. It's not quite as densely populated elsewhere but still nothing like the huge tracts of nothing that you have.

 

Similarly we have no serious wildlife. There are no bears or wolves or properly poisonous snakes (we have adders but no one has died since the 1970s and that was an allergic reaction!) to worry about. The only wildlife advice we have to give is don't provoke wasps or hornets!

 

That's not to say that we don't have difficult terrain. The Brecon beacons where the original incident above happened is notorious for changeable weather. The tallest hill there Pen-Y-Fan is used as a test to get into UK Special Forces. Run up and over it in full kit in a stupidly short time. They call it The Fan Dance! There's also The Peak District, Lake District, Snowdonia and others. Even on these though you would normally only be a few miles from a road or farm or village at any one time. But wild country makes up the minority of the country. Most of it is terrain where you would actually find it quite difficult to get lost! So I guess it's just easier for us to do it.

 

The Scottish Highlands, particularly in winter but also potentially at any time of year, is a whole different level and it is pretty rare for groups of under18s to be let loose there without adults.

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Similarly we have no serious wildlife. There are no bears or wolves or properly poisonous snakes (we have adders but no one has died since the 1970s and that was an allergic reaction!) to worry about. The only wildlife advice we have to give is don't provoke wasps or hornets!

 

No one has poisonous snakes. They're venomous. :)

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In fairness to those who make the rules on your side of the Atlantic I guess it may be worth bearing in mind that we are talking about entirely different territories here.

 

 

Maybe so, but here in the 'States, we can't even let our boys camp overnight unattended at a 10 acre county park.

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I doubt if the patrol can camp unsupervised at someone's lake-side cabin's lawn...... 

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