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UncleP

Twenty Skills that are Dying Out

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Their are alot of safety concerns anymore with fires. I remember watching old scout movies where scouts raced to see who could start a fire with basic methods like friction or flint/steel but as I understand that isnt allowed anymore.

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We still have district wide timed contests and if you light your fire without matches or lighter we take one minute off the patrols time.

 

Of course the true pyros complain because we banned the use of liquid oxygen ! ;)

Edited by Oldscout448

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A ban on flint/steel or drill is unheard of in my area of the country.  We have boys start fires with magnesium all the time.  As a matter of fact, magnesium sticks were prizes for popcorn sales a couple of years back, still might be.

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Their are alot of safety concerns anymore with fires. I remember watching old scout movies where scouts raced to see who could start a fire with basic methods like friction or flint/steel but as I understand that isnt allowed anymore.

it's allowed. But in some places, folks have to recognize burn bans.

 

But this is nothing new. While those scouts in those old movies were being filmed in their flint and steel contest, somewhere in this country scouts were being asked to limit the starting of fires.

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it's allowed. But in some places, folks have to recognize burn bans.

 

But this is nothing new. While those scouts in those old movies were being filmed in their flint and steel contest, somewhere in this country scouts were being asked to limit the starting of fires.

 

I guess, like Europe, some parts of the USA are more flammable than others. In the UK it's only really in high summer (and sometimes not even then) we need to be a bit careful with fire circles, fire buckets on standby, and not building a huge pyre. When we went to Portugal, their "campfire" was a 9" square hole in the sand, and when the flames came too far out the top, that was too big. But for them a stray spark could cause real and widespread havoc. Their wood chopping skills were limited to not much more than kindling. When they came to us the following year, we were in 400 acres of forest (nearby to Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood as it happened), and the campsite were happy for any and all deadwood to be burnt, they threw themselves into saw and axe-work with much gusto, too much gusto at times if I'm honest. Our main fire each night was probably in a pit 4ft square. They absolutely loved it. We didn't mind either. And the night they cooked their dinner on open fires themselves...yes, bread and butter to some, but a completely new experience for them. Oh happy days.

 

Then for a while we had a lad from Australia, a very dry part of Australia. We were at the local campsite, and had a fire, of course. He was alarmed at the lack of two full big water drums to tip over the fire. When it had burnt down to embers, and we said our goodnights, he was horrified that we were going to just leave it. But it was embers, the grass was wet with dew, everything bar the fire was stereotypically British levels of damp. It would be odd for us to put it out. We might have chucked a bucket of water on it just to calm him down, but he was still a bit on edge about it. But reading up on the scale of forest fires in Aus, he was rightly trained for his normal environment. :)

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One of my negative memories from my days as a scout was getting tortured by the "camp police" about not having a cold fire pit.  You had to dig down .... but you could still feel some warmth in the damp sand.... so we were rejected repeatedly.... and I think we lost points for something or another

My buddy and I had to worked for what seemed like an eternity to get it "correct".... for what as a boy, and even now as an adult, seems just plain silly to me.  We were breaking camp and just wanted to go home.....

It was a case of following the "book" and not common sense.

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At summer camp I always have a "project" to do while I'm hanging around camp and one year I made a small rocket stove that I used to do all my cooking (camp had no mess hall).  It worked great and I used FAR less wood than the boys using the Shepherd's stove.  Both were stoves using wood as a fuel source and even with a burn ban, they were allowed.

 

Unfortunately stoves don't make very good campfires, but they will help reduce the use of expensive fuel.  I have been told in the literature, that rocket stoves use about 8 times less wood fuel for the same amount of heat energy.  Getting a fire of tinder and kindling going gets one a cup of coffee quicker than building a cook fire and waiting for the logs to die down to coals.  It takes a lot of wood to get a Shepherd's stove up to cooking temperature as well.

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I read that either West Point or Annapolis is going to reinstate curriculum w/r to orienteering because of concerns that some day the GPS will be knocked out and that the military will once again have to navigate by map and compass.

 

That list makes it apparent why the academies like to admit Boy Scouts and especially Eagle scouts.

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While at an indoor campout this last weekend, I wrote out some instructions for patrol leaders.  Two of them (both high school juniors) could not read the notes because it was in cursive and not printed!  Unbelievable.  They aid they were never taught how to write, just print.

 

Dale

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my 3rd grade daughter is learning it.

but

I can barely read or write it myself.  I started using nothing but printing in high school when I was taking drafting classes.  This was the days of pencil or ink on paper using T-Squares and triangles.  For mechanical drawings, we were taught to print in all caps, and had to re-learn to print in all caps "block letters".  

TOM Q. VAXY

I haven't printed that neatly in a long time, but I still print in all caps.  Never have seen a point in cursive.

 

I always think of my mom when it comes to cursive.... she would write so slowly and so consistently.  Still very hard to read though.... what's the point?

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I always think of my mom when it comes to cursive.... she would write so slowly and so consistently.  Still very hard to read though.... what's the point?

In theory? It's faster.

My mom is the same. Palmer method: painfully slow and methodical, yet beautiful at the same time.

I print in all caps like you.

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When I was in 3rd grade I had terrible penmanship.  My mother made me practice, EVERY DAY!  I got to the point where I really started to like doing it and eventually now I do calligraphy just for fun.  I can also take dictation using speed writing and can go back and read what I wrote.  :)  I have a fountain pen (made of deer antler) in my pocket as I speak.  I had it custom made.  The fella said, what wood should I use, I said what about deer antler.  He said, "No problem".   I love the wide tip of a fountain pen!  The only downside to this whole thing is every one says I write "like a girl".  Maybe so, but no one has ever come to me and said they can't read what I have written.  By the way, with the speed writing (which most people can't read, something like shorthand, but easier to learn), I can write normal cursive as fast if not faster than I can type and still be able to read it.

Edited by Stosh
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I think the Constitution is beautifully written. It's all cursive.

 

I write in cursive because it's easier on my hands. Printing is carpal tunnel just waiting to happen with my hand going up and down so much. It is slower and requires more concentration, but it helps me think before I write.

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'Speed Writing' is not something I'm familiar with.... although i do write pretty fast  :D

but IMO it sounds like something that should be taught ahead of cursive

  seems that it would be useful for taking notes in class or in a business mtg, an all sorts of other times in life that such a thing would be useful.

 

I'm a private pilot, although i'm sad to admit I haven't flown in many years.  Now days we get plain language weather printouts, but back in those days we learned to read and write the codes and abbreviations that the weather service (and FAA) use.....as well as a abbreviation or code system for writing routes, wayponts, etc...

It was very handy to know this sort of "shorthand" when jotting down a note on our knee board about something the controller just told us while bouncing around in the clouds doing about 4 things at once and all while thinking ahead two or three steps along the route

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Speed writing is a system developed with certain rules that leave out letters and focus on sounds.  All the vowels are omitted   There are no capital letters.  I's are not dotted and T's are not crossed.  The letter b is without a loop, but a b with a loop is really BL

 

S n rdr to s, 2 b r nt 2 b tht s th kwstn t s rtn s sch.

 

Usually if one takes notes in class, within a day, it is rather easy to transcribe.  As time passes, some of the context may get lost and one would need to struggle more.

 

Modern computer shorthand LOL, SUL, IMHO, CU L8R are all textual keyboard similar ideals to cursive speed handwriting.

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