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Pride of Craft

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Posted (edited)

I'd like to start a discussion about "Pride" and "skills"   Do we teach, encourage either? .  Where do boys and girls develop pride in What They Can Do?    How has it come (seemingly) that "we will pay somebody to do that " is the more common response ?   Sew a rip in the jeans?  Sew on a patch?   Trim a piece of board to fit ?  Tighten a plumbing fixture?   Paint our house ?  Who, after all, WILL  we pay?

Something as midlin as figuring a calculation...   "Where's that cell phone computer?"   Hand saw?  Naw.... CHAINsaw.

Change the tire on the car?   Change a wiper blade?  Accepting that autos need much less hands-on maintenance than they did 50, even 20 years ago, but still,   how much "control", "ownership"  are we willing to relinquish?  

How much SKILL is needed in a modern life?  Better, How much PRIDE does one need in the tasks one can accomplish and DOES accomplish?

I'd like to recommend a book to you and your Middle schooler.   "SUPERPOWER:  The Making of a Steam Locomotive"  by  David Weitzman   .The illustrations alone are worth the price.   Ask your book store for it.  It details the reasoning, design, fabrication and construction (it was called  "erecting") of a new species of steam locomotive back in the 1930's.  No computers. Not much machinery.  Becoming a skilled machinist was the lure for the fictional teen protagonist, rather than graduating from High School. He has a hard time seeing WHY High School, he sees easily the WHY of the Loco Works.    Our great grandfathers and uncles (and aunts !) took great pride in their work, what they could and did do.  How do our youngsters measure up?  What do they (can they?) take pride in accomplishing?  

Writing. Communicating effectively.  Do our kids take any PRIDE in using language well?   IMHO,  (!)  I find many often struggle to string words of more than two syllables together.  How come verbal communication seems to be less desirable than tweets?  

Ready , set ,  go.

 

Edited by SSScout
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We teach "Do your best"

The necessity and value of the task are key factors as well as interest. After hand washing dishing for several months, we needed a dishwasher. We found the model, free delivery but $200 installation. In front of the sales manager, I asked my younger son then 13 "Can you install it for $100?". His eyes bugged out "Sure, I'll just look at the Youtube videos." Now I kept a watchful eye. He safely did both the plumbing and electrical connections. He succeeded and was proud of his accomplishment.

Interesting topic.

 

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IOLS this past weekend.   After that, a Camporee.  Set up a saw buck , a 8"  log and my two person crosscut saw.   Let the IOLSers try their hand at team work.  I watched some adults give up half way thru, and let another team go at it for awhile.  One young Scout , who was obviously "challenged "  approached and at my urging took one end of the saw while I took ahold of the other. The kerf was halfway thru, the sharp saw did it's work, and that Scout took to my direction to "only pull, don't push" with a will.  He caught on to the "under" one arm technique early on (instead of two arm into you belly pull). The  Scout finished the cut, the "cookie" fell off, and you never saw a prouder boy in your life. He carried that cookie around with him the rest of the day.   Pride of skill. 

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We have to try and challenge / engage the scouts to think and do things, be creative.

  • Recent outing we gave the patrols (there were 3 on this outing) 3 cartons, a roll of duct tape, and some plastic sheeting with the instructions to build a boat for one person to paddle out around a buoy.  They had an hour and half.  One literally built a kayak like boat that worked well.  The others had a boat, but not as successful
  • On another outing the patrols had to build a bridge, that could be moved, and span a space.  They built the bridges then they had to move them to the ditch (about 14' across as I recall) and walk the space.  Some were sadly not up to the task
  • On another we gave them 50 popsicle sticks, some dental floss, some bandaids, and they had to construct a tower that could support a small cup full of water.  One group melted some of the bandaids to make a glue

Through some effective programming a unit can incorporate pride of craft into activities with nominal rewards

I am still trying to get the troop interested in Roofing Merit badge at my house

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1 minute ago, Oldscout448 said:

Roofing done by scouts ?!    I can only assume that your roof is less than five feet high

We would put out airbags...oh and ropes, lots of ropes

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

I am still trying to get the troop interested in Roofing Merit badge at my house

The explorers once decided as one of the leaders said how badly decorated her flat was, we should have a painting night round hers. The result was....awful.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

We would put out airbags...oh and ropes, lots of ropes

You know why this is a bad idea. The boys will be spending the whole day swinging on ropes, like Tarzan, and bouncing on the air bags. :eek: Not a lick of roofing work will get done.

 

Edited by David CO

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Posted (edited)

:D ...On second thought, good activity. 

 

Edited by David CO

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2018 at 10:30 PM, RememberSchiff said:

We teach "Do your best"

The necessity and value of the task are key factors as well as interest. After hand washing dishing for several months, we needed a dishwasher. We found the model, free delivery but $200 installation. In front of the sales manager, I asked my younger son then 13 "Can you install it for $100?". His eyes bugged out "Sure, I'll just look at the Youtube videos." Now I kept a watchful eye. He safely did both the plumbing and electrical connections. He succeeded and was proud of his accomplishment.

Interesting topic.

 

Here's a twist on the question.  What would his answer have been 10-20 years ago --- before the internet and You Tube?

Assuming you would take the same "watchful eye" only approach.  He would have had to first go the library and probably find at least two books, one on plumbing one on electricity.  If the right books weren't immediately available he/you might have had to wait weeks just to take the next step.  Having gotten a hold of the right books he would then have to wade through the material and extrapolate from probably very generic instructions how to apply the material to the specific job he wanted to accomplish.  There would probably not be a chapter in each book with step by step instructions on how to install a dishwasher.  This would have added hours to the learning process at the same time decreasing the chances of success, especially success on the first couple tries, and not only decreased the success rate but increased the chance of catastrophic failure, that is ruining a brand new machine because he got it wrong.

Instead, he was probably able to find in just a matter of minutes a video that showed exactly how to do the thing he wanted to do, maybe even specific to the model of dishwasher.  He could watch this video through a couple times in preparation for the project, and ten stop, start, and replay it as needed to work through the project step by step.  So today it's possible to spend much less time learning this task and have a much better chance of completing it successfully.

Before we get too nostalgic about how much better the old days were we should maybe stop and consider that the old days were just different --- not necessarily better.

As to the question "how do our youngsters measure up" they're mastering the skills they need for today's world in the same way folks before us mastered the skills they needed for their world.  So maybe today's youngsters are a lot better than we sometimes give them credit for. 

Edited by T2Eagle

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

Here's a twist on the question.  What would his answer have been 10-20 years ago --- before the internet and You Tube?

Assuming you would take the same "watchful eye" only approach.  He would have had to first go the library and probably find at least two books, one on plumbing one on electricity.  If the right books weren't immediately available he/you might have had to wait weeks just to take the next step.  Having gotten a hold of the right books he would then have to wade through the material and extrapolate from probably very generic instructions how to apply the material to the specific job he wanted to accomplish.  There would probably not be a chapter in each book with step by step instructions on how to install a dishwasher.  This would have added hours to the learning process at the same time decreasing the chances of success, especially success on the first couple tries, and not only decreased the success rate but increased the chance of catastrophic failure, that is ruining a brand new machine because he got it wrong.

Instead, he was probably able to find in just a matter of minutes a video that showed exactly how to do the thing he wanted to do, maybe even specific to the model of dishwasher.  He could watch this video through a couple times in preparation for the project, and ten stop, start, and replay it as needed to work through the project step by step.  So today it's possible to spend much less time learning this task and have a much better chance of completing it successfully.

Before we get too nostalgic about how much better the old days were we should maybe stop and consider that the old days were just different --- not necessarily better.

As to the question "how do our youngsters measure up" they're mastering the skills they need for today's world in the same way folks before us mastered the skills they needed for their world.  So maybe today's youngsters are a lot better than we sometimes give them credit for. 

He read the instructions (diagrams) that came with the new dishwasher, so no difference other than today's plumbing and electrical connectors are more DIYer friendly. Now for the old clothes dryer repair,  yes he looked at videos on RepairClinic.

P.S. About "watchful eye"... Something to consider is the source of information, years ago the publisher and editors would make sure the authors were experts. Today, any knucklehead can upload video on any subject.  :(

Edited by RememberSchiff

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36 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

Here's a twist on the question.  What would his answer have been 10-20 years ago --- before the internet and You Tube?

Assuming you would take the same "watchful eye" only approach.  He would have had to first go the library and probably find at least two books, one on plumbing one on electricity.  If the right books weren't immediately available he/you might have had to wait weeks just to take the next step.  Having gotten a hold of the right books he would then have to wade through the material and extrapolate from probably very generic instructions how to apply the material to the specific job he wanted to accomplish.  There would probably not be a chapter in each book with step by step instructions on how to install a dishwasher.  This would have added hours to the learning process at the same time decreasing the chances of success, especially success on the first couple tries, and not only decreased the success rate but increased the chance of catastrophic failure, that is ruining a brand new machine because he got it wrong.

Instead, he was probably able to find in just a matter of minutes a video that showed exactly how to do the thing he wanted to do, maybe even specific to the model of dishwasher.  He could watch this video through a couple times in preparation for the project, and ten stop, start, and replay it as needed to work through the project step by step.  So today it's possible to spend much less time learning this task and have a much better chance of completing it successfully.

Before we get too nostalgic about how much better the old days were we should maybe stop and consider that the old days were just different --- not necessarily better.

As to the question "how do our youngsters measure up" they're mastering the skills they need for today's world in the same way folks before us mastered the skills they needed for their world.  So maybe today's youngsters are a lot better than we sometimes give them credit for. 

Excellent discussion!  My farmer father was the best troubleshooter I've ever known.  He kept things running longer than most people would have been able to do.  I got to learn from him.

Problem was, he could have saved a lot of time and money had he just cracked open a manual or a how-to book first, or asked what others did.  I have had to reprogram myself to take time to see if there are other ways of doing something rather than just diving in.

As for Pride of Craft, I'm trying to get my Cubs to start with their uniforms:  buttoning the shirt, tucking in the shirt, even just wearing the shirt.  We have a ways to go, but Pride of Craft is definitely the end goal.  They have to learn to take their time, though, and taking time doesn't seem to be valued, even when there is time to take.

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One thing that seems to be almost totally gone is  the practice of signing your name to your work.   A man or woman who puts his name to his work is saying   I am proud to have made this,  it's good work  and if it breaks you know who to blame.  I often find a name and date in hard to find places on old pieces of furniture that are brought in for repair.   It's almost like reaching back in time to shake the craftsman's hand.     

I sometimes leave little notes next to the name.  Explaining what was broken and how I fixed it, so that in another 150 years somebody else can do a little less head scratching.

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3 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

One thing that seems to be almost totally gone is  the practice of signing your name to your work.   A man or woman who puts his name to his work is saying   I am proud to have made this,  it's good work

Which might also explain why I don't put my name on any of my posts.  :unsure:

 

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