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UncleP

Twenty Skills that are Dying Out

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POLL FROM LONDON BOAT SHOW:

 

I heard of another poll done in London, regarding the loss of practical skills by people.  Shown below is a copy of an article on the poll.

 

 

A survey shows millennials are missing out on practical skills such as map reading or fishing, compared to their grandparents’ generation.

More than half of young adults were unable to tie a single knot and 40 per cent had never swum in open water, despite Britain being an island nation.

The poll, conducted ahead of the London Boat Show, found simple life skills have been left behind with advances in technology.

Researchers also found that most people under the age of 44 prefer to use Google Maps and Sat Navs to get around, but half of over-55s stick to a paper street map.

Just a third of the 2,000 surveyed know how to spark a flame by natural means, with less than a third having caught their own fish or seafood.

Those born before 1950 were also three times more likely to be able to tie a sheepshank knot compared with those born in the 1990s. And the survey also revealed that 44 per cent have never actually been camping.

A London Boat Show spokeswoman said: “Despite the rise of TV shows such as I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and Bear Grylls: Born Survivor, young people lack basic survival skills such as building a fire or catching food.â€

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Yes, the London poll hints at why scouting is changing, even in the U.S.

 

It wasn't all that long ago that our council calculated that over 70 percent of new adult leaders never had a scouting or weekend tent camping experience as a youth. Honestly I think the number is closer to 80 percent. So as we have these training, patrol method and boy run discussions, we need to keep in mind that new adults reading our post have almost no skills for outdoor camping with a group of boys. While patrol method appears simple in its description, it is extremely complicated to apply for adults with no scouting experience.

 

Barry

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Even for some with Scouting experience, Barry. Finger pointed squarely at myself!

Yes, maybe, but we found that adults with a youth scouting experience had two to three year advantage in leading a troop. Skills are big part of that, but the confidence of just camping in the woods with scouts is a big advantage as well.

 

Barry

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Darn socks?  When I started wearing 100% wool socks as an adult, I learned it was easy to repair those expensive socks rather than toss'em to the rag bin.

 

agreed, ive found that darning wool socks is a cheaper way to keep them running than buying new.  I have some really nice pairs and with the exception of some fixable holes.  Now I keep the new ones I get for Christmas in the closet till the old ones have been fixed a couple of times. 

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@@Eagledad Absolutely. Even with all my experience as a youth, I was a few months into my role as ASM before i felt like i was getting it right. The difference between Cubs and Boys is like day and night. My son's journey through Cubs deprogrammed me. Getting back into the Patrol Method mindset took time.

Edited by Chadamus

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Yes, the London poll hints at why scouting is changing, even in the U.S.

 

It wasn't all that long ago that our council calculated that over 70 percent of new adult leaders never had a scouting or weekend tent camping experience as a youth. Honestly I think the number is closer to 80 percent. So as we have these training, patrol method and boy run discussions, we need to keep in mind that new adults reading our post have almost no skills for outdoor camping with a group of boys. While patrol method appears simple in its description, it is extremely complicated to apply for adults with no scouting experience.

 

Barry

 

you know, I think the thing that really cemented the understanding of patrol method for me was actually very basic and easy.  A quick and easy read.... BP's Aides to Scoutmastership.  that one book told me more about it than days and days of official required BSA training has.

 

I had scouting experience as a youth, but admittedly only a couple years and it wasn't necessarily in a strong troop either.....  THAT I am assuming is the problem in relying on youth experience for a scouter.  There is a whole spectrum between really bad and really great, and likely very few troop are really great so most folks pick up some bad assumptions and habits along the way.

Edited by blw2

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#14 Recall a friend or relative’s phone number from memory.  How about home numbers?

 

I am shocked by the number of the scouts in my troop who do not know their home phone number.  They rely on their smart phones.

My sons don't remember having a home phone number.   That said, they both knew both my cell phone number and my wife's (so they met that requirement at least for two numbers)

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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.

 

Depends on the region and rain status.  Around here, we occasionally have burn bans in the fall (due to not enough rain), but we have enough that we have building fire without matches races at camporees.  When my troop did this (were in charge of  the competition), they had a wrinkle that the fire wasn't considered complete until a cup of water was brought to a rolling boil. 

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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.

IIRC, it was Annapolis and they were reinstating the teaching of celestial navigation. 

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My sons don't remember having a home phone number.   That said, they both knew both my cell phone number and my wife's (so they met that requirement at least for two numbers)

 

The Mrs. and I just had this conversation this past weekend.  I have her in my contacts but I didn't know her cell phone number.  When she started to tease me about it and I said I didn't need to know her number, all I had to do is snap my fingers and she'd answer.  That's when the fun ended.   :)

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Other skills that people have or are forgetting: Hooking up horses to and driving the family buggy; blacking a stove; converting cubits to inches; predicting the local weather for the day; land navigation without map & compass; properly sharpening and using a scythe; converting talents to sheckels (60 shekels = 1 mina and 60 minas = 1 talent - in case anyone was curious); sending a telegram; tightening bed ropes; crank starting a car (and for that matter, cranking a car window up or down); ditching a tent (that's D for ditching, not P for pitching); backing up a computer to floppy disks; using a cigarette machine; making cedar shingles; and baking in a wood stove.

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Or finding edible food that doesn't come from a store.

 

Making clothing to protect oneself from the elements.

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Or finding edible food that doesn't come from a store.

 

Making clothing to protect oneself from the elements.

The second one is open to a lot of interpretation since you would have to define where in the process you start making something.  Does sewing already spun cloth count, or do you need to do your own weaving.

 

As to the former, how long do you think that's been a declining skill.  To my knowledge no one in my family has farmed anything more than backyard tomatoes since the potatoe crop failed in the 1840s, those and the occasional landed fish are probably the only non store bought food we and millions of others have ever eaten in North America.

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Depending on which source you use to back-up your side of the discussion, as low as 2% of Americans farm their own food. Most are vegetables i presume. Meat? Less likely. Grains? Somewhere in between. Dairy? I don't know anyone with a cow.

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