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RememberSchiff

Goodbye Camporees, WFW's hello SAW's?

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Nothing wrong with school. 

 

But kids still need outdoor adventure.  They need challenges--unstructured and semi-structured--that push them.   Getting away from technology, hovering parents and teachers, and learning to stand on their own two feet.

 

I was in the military for 30 years.  I saw first hand the results of too much structure and too much spoon feeding.   Even in the military, structured as it is, there are many instances, particularly in the field, where orders are unclear, resources are limited, and individual courage and initiative are essential  Even for the one-striper.   Some young folks are just dumbfounded.   They've always been told what to do, how to do it, where to be, what time to be there, what to wear.  Etc.  

 

They are better than that.  

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...

But kids still need outdoor adventure.  They need challenges--unstructured and semi-structured--that push them.   Getting away from technology, hovering parents and teachers, and learning to stand on their own two feet.

...

 

They are better than that.  

Got flack from my oldest venturer coming on the next outing:  "Why can't we go on the shorter hike with the rest of the troop? And, why do you add an orienteering course to it?"

 

Not one of my better moments, said in surly, ill-tempered advisor voice ... "Because, you are in a Crew meeting. This is what we do."

 

I shouldn't get on his case too bad. The three youth who were really asking for this event can't attend. The other youth who was involved in the planning couldn't attend last night. So, I'm the "middle man" trying to pass along a certain vision. I could see where, in his case, one might balk between a choice of an hour orienteering course followed by six miles backpacking and 4 miles backpacking with the last part bushwhacking "up and over" a wooded ridge.

 

I'm sure we sound the same way as we cringe at MB universities, etc ... folks don't see their "process streamlining" as shooting for the lowest common denominator.

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A terrible idea and contrary to the main thrust of BSA advancement policy as set out in the Guide to Advancement.

 

"It all begins with a Scout’s initial interest and effort in a merit badge subject, followed by a discussion with the unit leader or designated assistant, continues through meetings with a counselor, and culminates in advancement and recognition. It is an uncomplicated process that gives a Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles. Social skills improve. Self-reliance develops. Examples are set and followed. And fields of study and interest are explored beyond the limits of the school classroom.

 

Earning merit badges should be Scout initiated, Scout researched, and Scout learned. It should be hands-on and interactive, and should not be modeled after a typical school classroom setting. Instead, it is meant to be an active program so enticing to young men that they will want to take responsibility for their own full participation. 

 

The sort of hands-on interactive experience described here, with personal coaching and guidance, is hardly ever achieved in any setting except when one counselor works directly with one Scout and his buddy, or with a very small group. Thus, this small-scale approach is the recommended best practice for merit badge instruction and requirement fulfillment. Units, districts, and councils should focus on providing the most direct merit badge experiences possible. Large group and Web-based instruction, while perhaps efficient, do not measure up in terms of the desired outcomes with regard to learning and positive association with adults."

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The sort of hands-on interactive experience described here, with personal coaching and guidance, is hardly ever achieved in any setting except when one counselor works directly with one Scout and his buddy, or with a very small group. Thus, this small-scale approach is the recommended best practice for merit badge instruction and requirement fulfillment. Units, districts, and councils should focus on providing the most direct merit badge experiences possible. Large group and Web-based instruction, while perhaps efficient, do not measure up in terms of the desired outcomes with regard to learning and positive association with adults."

 

"Class sizes range from 8 scouts up to 50 per session."

 

8 scouts is larger than any MB class that I have held.

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How does one mentor 50 scouts at the same time?  When I do MB's I normally try to keep the numbers well below 8 boys at a time.  It's difficult to keep track of any more than that if one wishes to include the "personal touch" in the mentoring process.

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A few years back, someone on the district level decided that the camporee should be an "advancoree." Only 2 troops liked the format, and both are heavily advancement oriented. What's interesting is that the troop that incorporates advancement in their program the most wanted a traditional competition camporee. (an aside, while they do not work on MBs at meetings, they are constantly having honest to goodness MB sessions almost every other weekend for those interested. The CO views Scouting as outreach ministry and have a cadre of adults whodonate a lot of their time and treasusure to the Scouts)  And 1 troop boycotted teh event.

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Just had my camporee. With the exception of one event, Canoe Orienteering, it was an overall hit.  Scouts liked the competition format. Although it was suggested, don't remember if it was a Scout or adult who commented, but whenthe topic of doing geocaching as an event came up, there was  talk about getting instruction sessions instead of a competition so that everyone could actually do it.

 

Another comment, more for next years, is possibly have a static display covering the theme (emergency preparedness/wilderness survival)

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Just had my camporee. With the exception of one event, Canoe Orienteering, it was an overall hit.  Scouts liked the competition format. Although it was suggested, don't remember if it was a Scout or adult who commented, but whenthe topic of doing geocaching as an event came up, there was  talk about getting instruction sessions instead of a competition so that everyone could actually do it.

 

Another comment, more for next years, is possibly have a static display covering the theme (emergency preparedness/wilderness survival)

 

Hurray, congratulations!

 

I like the addition of  "learning" stations and also like tiered (by skill) competition as is done with an orienteering event. I have proposed a camporee competition scored as followed, but the majority wanted MB's and a Webelos program. 

 

All patrols visit all stations.

Yellow patrols are scored only at T-SC skilled and game stations

Orange patrols are scored only at T-SC-FC skilled and game stations

Green patrols are scored at ALL stations and are also timed.

Award top Yellow, Orange, Green patrols. Overall winner has highest average of scored stations.

 

My $0.02,

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I tried to focus on T-2-1 skills. Had some traditional games, tomahawk throwing and Kim's Game for fun. And also did a bear bag event.

 

Canoe Orienteering was a disaster. I admit I had it set up as a challenge with false control points, i.e.  2 points within 20' - 30'of each other; one point on the bearing BUT 200'+ from the correct control point etc.  No one actually completed it as some patrols got lost after going to the wrong control point taking bearings. It appeared that they could not understand that they could go back to the last verifiable control point and reshoot the azimuth. That concerns me a little. Especially since BSA appears to be pushing GPS usage not only at the Boy Scout level, but the Cub Scout level.

 

But what scared the heck out of me was one patrol and first aid. This was a venture patrol with Star and Life Scouts. One scenario used was based upon the 2010 jamboree electrocution incident. After killing off two of their guys, the finally figured out to kill the power. But then the patrol could not figure out what to do. While they attempted to treat the original victim, victims 2 and 3 were completely ignored. During the debriefing after they finished the scenario (they essentially gave up), the comment made by one Life Scout was, "I don't remember how to do this [CPR], I took First Aid my first year at camp." Apparently the rest of the folks in the patrol were in the same boat, except Victim 2. He had recently certified as a BSA / ARC Lifeguard, and had the certifications. Apparently he was the one assigned to do direct First Aid, but when he got electrocuted, it hit the fan. 

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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In Mr. Q's warped world, incompletion = success.

Nobody needs to know that they know what they already know.

Everybody needs to know what it is that they don't already know.

 

I've named my open field compass course "tortured soul". Each control has a deck of cards with headings to each of the other controls (including the entry/exit control). Read the top card, set your compass, put the card on the bottom of the deck, proceed to the drawn control. Repeat until you have visited all controls, then continue the course until you draw a card to the exit control.

 

I'm not well loved for that one, but toward the end, each scout can quickly gauge a heading precisely before even setting the compass.

 

If you have the staff, repeat the canoe course next year. I'm sure there will be one or two patrols who will want to take vengeance on that one. Besides, regarding your theme, zombies, I'm told, don't swim.

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At the PLC I had Saturday night, the compass course was a unanimous 'NO" for next year. Heck it was the butt of some jokes at campfire.

 

True story about the "wet" portion of the compass course. We only did 2 bearings on the lake: one on the opposite side, and one on the deck where they started. Several patrols did not realize that their bearing to land was 180o from the bearing they shot to get to the control point. So the control point they started at was the control point they should have wrote down on the score card.

 

Actually one idea we got for next year's compass course is using no compass. Yep have to use either the watch, shadow stick, or other method, and bearings will be limited to the 8 main points.  BUT you got a point about zombies and water ;)

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I wouldn't call it a course per se, more of a compass scavenger hunt. Targets of varying values, team continuity, time limit...more than a compass course. If it was just a compass course, I don't think there would be the international interest there seems to be generated. My Australian nephew has his whole family involved and they are out 2 to 3 times a month in their summer season. Their kids were well versed in map and compass before they started school.

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