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"10 kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks)"

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Over half the cat tails are gone due to an invasive grass that provides no habital for native species and is a tremendous fire hazard.

 

 

And I wish the requirements were  to identify BY observation or signs ten different animals/plants..  It isn't.  It's to identify OR show evidence of ten different kinds of animals and ten different kinds of native plants.  Disjunctive.   :(

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Invasive species are, by definition, wild. If they were tame, they wouldn't invade.

 

I think a scout being able to identify, say, Japanese knotweed, is ready to plan a service project to clear the marsh of it without destroying the cat tails as well.

 

Use advancement as a springboard, not a benchmark.

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I agree - Let's not overthink these requirements.  Most of the scouts doing them are 10 1/2-11-12 years old, NOT botany or zoology majors in college. 

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Not overthinking is just fine.

 

What are the requirements we are to not overthink?   

 

 

This is a kind of plant because it has leaves and plants have leaves.

 

This is a different kind of plant because the leaves are different from the other kind of plant.  That's two.

 

One thing is clear, the ten kinds of plaints must be "native," whatever meaning one assigns to "native."

This is a kind of plant because it has leaves and plants have leaves.

This is a different kind of plant because the leaves are different from the other kind of plant.  That's two.

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Aside from the apparent headaches caused by the ten, the change in the requirement from "found in your community" to "found in your local area or camping location" is a good one. Being able to fulfill the requirement from (almost) anywhere on Earth is a plus.

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And I wish the requirements were to identify BY observation or signs ten different animals/plants.. It isn't. It's to identify OR show evidence of ten different kinds of animals and ten different kinds of native plants. Disjunctive. :(

I think the requirement is intended to mean what you wish it would mean.

 

It is a poorly-worded requirement. It was obviously not written with the expectation that it would be analyzed (or, if you will, picked apart) by lawyers, or grammar experts for that matter. Or taxonomists. Personally, I think the listing of the broad categories (mammals, reptiles, etc.) is mostly superfluous. By "kind" I think they mean things like chipmunk, rabbit, squirrel, fox, deer, frog, lizard, etc. etc. Of course, within most of these "kinds" there are more than one species. If the 10-to-12-year-old in question sees both a white-tail deer and a mule deer, AND is able to correctly distinguish them, I think that's two. Otherwise, that's just another deer, and you still have nine to go.

Edited by NJCubScouter
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Surely poorly written, as is too often the case.

 

And I think they meant or intended the three fire requirement to require three fires started by expedient methods, but they clearly said otherwise just as they clearly said "identify or show evidence of."  

 

The distinction between the disjunctive and the conjunctive was covered in Third Grade in California when I toyed with pubic school teaching: "an apple or a peach" vs. "an apple and a peach.  Which means you have two pieces of fruit?"  Perhaps we live in a declining age and lawyers, or grammar experts are required to tell the difference rather than Third-Graders, but I think not.  Try it with any Third-Graders at your disposal.

 

A lawyer would point out that intent cannot overcome the plain meaning of the language used.  

 

"Aside from the apparent headaches caused by the ten, the change in the requirement from "found in your community" to "found in your local area or camping location" is a good one. Being able to fulfill the requirement from (almost) anywhere on Earth is a plus."

 

Definitely.  Especially for Scouts from deep in the city in view of "native" and "wild."

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I'm all for making up the requirements to mean "anything you wish it would mean".  Unfortunately, that's not a slippery slope I wish to be on.

 

The U. S. Government defines an invasive species as one "that is not native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health."

 

That sounds like it means more than "anything you wish it would mean" especially to a conservation, ecologically minded, nature person like a Boy Scout.

 

I sure hope that the rule-of-thumb "anything you wish it would mean" when it comes to poisonous plant identification....  just sayin'.

 

Just my 2-cents.

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We have made the big leagues - Giant Hog Weed here and there all around us.   :eek:    Only requirement beyond poisonous is "common."  Given how bad GHW is, I'd opt for common enough.  

 

Poison Ivy everywhere.  Poison Sumac in the wetlands.  Yew everywhere we planted it and nothing to mess with.

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Nettle caused us some grief this weekend. Until I looked I had no idea it was native to almost all continents. Anyone have a bread recipe? ☺

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Nettle caused us some grief this weekend. Until I looked I had no idea it was native to almost all continents. Anyone have a bread recipe? ☺

It makes a great tea, very nutritious.... by the way, Jewel Weed growing in the same vicinity is the cure for the nettle's itch.  :)

Edited by Stosh

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Overthink example:

...

One thing is clear, the ten kinds of plaints must be "native," whatever meaning one assigns to "native."

....

Where do you find "native" in he requirement?

"... found in your area ..."

 

My aunt, (the oldest living campfire girl) likely saw a very large cat in her garden. We think in her frail state, she identified a migrating cougar. At one time the word would come easily for her. Such beasts are no longer native to northern WV, yet. But it would count toward the list. Although a full set of prints and snagged fur sample would have helped settle the argument.

 

So a scout saw a distinctive kind of tree. Help him find its name, determine where it came from, speculate as to how it got there and how long it's kind will remain. This is what a first class scout does.

 

Or, has wondering at the wide world been written out of advancement?

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New requirements mandatory as of Jan. 1, 2017 Where can I find the new Boy Scout requirements?

The BSA has made it easy for you, providing this printable Handbook insert and this PDF

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/boyscouts/pdf/524-012_BS_Requirements.pdf

 

5a

Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants found in your local area or campsite location. You may show evidence by identifying fallen leaves or fallen fruit that you find in the field, or as part of a collection you have made, or by photographs you have taken

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I interpreted "find 10" as an exploration of diversity in the habitat and their place (consumers) in the food chains/webs. So I don't want 10 list of chickodee, two types of nuthatches, four woodpeckers, titmouse,... not much diversity.

 

My $0.02

Well, IMHO, if a boy can tell the difference between ten types of Chickadees, he's probably pretty aware of nature. I'd count it. There is no "diversity" rule listed--you are adding to requirements.  Also, being a birder, finding ten different species of a single type of bird is much harder than finding ten different species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and mollusks.   

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