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Blindfold Your Scouts and Drop Them off In the Middle of Nowhere

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3 hours ago, David CO said:

You don't really need to give them a compass and map. Just make the destination a video game arcade and let their instincts take over. 

What century are you from? LOL   They have all the games on their phone and handheld devices. Also at home on systems that can't be carried around. 

These days they might order an uber to their GPS location, watch a movie while they wait, and end the day with a meal delivery service. Battery charge providing of course. 

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12 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

Just because an adult is present, doesn't take away from the experience.  They will try to get answers and directions out of you, but after enough shrugs and blank stares, they will realize they are on their own.

Its isn't quite the same. But yes, done correctly, it can still accomplish a lot of growth.

However, we averaged 4 High Adventure Crews a year and my experience is the adults find letting the scouts have that level of independence "EXTREMELY challenging", they fail more often than not. In fact, our scouts come back frustrated because they weren't even allowed the independence they are accustomed with at troop monthly campouts (where the SM can guard the scouts from the adults). 

Barry

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Posted (edited)

In the OP, the Dutch drop a group of blindfolded scouts called a dropping team, on a paved road with GPS and cellphone.  

The dropping team does carry a cellphone in case of emergency, and the scouting association requires participants to wear high-visibility vests and distributes a long list of guidelines, mainly geared toward traffic safety. “Pushing boundaries is fun,” reads one recommendation, “but that, too, has boundaries.”

Yawn...lame. :(

I believe Scouting should have a solo outdoor experience akin to what Outward Bound does. Back in the day, I solo'd on a OB expedition. (January in NH)  No cellphones, no maps, had a whistle.  

https://www.outwardbound.org/blog/what-is-solo/

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
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20 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

If they get you lost, go with it.

Just because an adult is present, doesn't take away from the experience.  They will try to get answers and directions out of you, but after enough shrugs and blank stares, they will realize they are on their own.

My thoughts also, as far as compliance with 2 deep goes. Just be there to make sure they aren't going to walk off a cliff because they are staring at their GPS screens or too deep into a swamp. Let them go in a little ways and they say you're not going to go in there and get your boots all messy.

Radio is a great idea, but I'm always worried about battery life and problems with reception or moving out of range. Things like this require two adults behind the scouts. Have them be kids for the fun of it. Bicker with each other. Whine now and then about being hungry, bored, wanting to be carried because walking is too hard etc. Have one pull out something to eat so the other can fight over it. You know, give them the adult treatment. LOL I know, not very Scout-y. 

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Posted (edited)

From 1910 to 1948, scouts were expected to do a solo outdoor experience in order to complete their First Class Rank.  Here is a sample of the requirement from the 1936 Scout Handbook...

"5. Make a round trip alone or with another Scout by foot or rowboat to a point at least 7 miles away, and write a satisfactory account of the trip & things observed."

Earlier versions of that requirement suggested the trip be done over 2 days.

Source:  "BSA Rank Advancement Requirements, 1910–2018",  http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf

Edited by mrkstvns
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Isn't it funny how we adults think we are the safety net on challenging activities like back county treks. If scouts are trained to at least First Class level skills, is the average adult better? I reflect on two different instances our crews got lost. One, I knew where we were and what correction we needed. The other, we were all lost. What is the role of the adult in each situation? Is there a point when the adult needs to  pull out the "Adult Card"? 

On a side note: that solo stuff looks pretty cool.

Barry

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5 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

From 1910 to 1948, scouts were expected to do a solo outdoor experience in order to complete their First Class Rank.  Here is a sample of the requirement from the 1936 Scout Handbook...

"5. Make a round trip alone or with another Scout by foot or rowboat to a point at least 7 miles away, and write a satisfactory account of the trip & things observed."

Earlier versions of that requirement suggested the trip be done over 2 days.

Source:  "BSA Rank Advancement Requirements, 1910–2018",  http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf

I think the trip without adults went up until 1972. Give me a few to verify.

I am really surprised BSA is working with the Duke of Edinburgh program since it requires a trip without adults.

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23 hours ago, scotteg83 said:

If you could control yourself and another leader (have them there for the YPT requirements) but just follow the scouts (from the rear and far enough back) and just let them make all the steps.  If they get you lost, go with it.

This is a good idea.

If you drop kids in the middle of the woods like this and ANYTHING goes wrong, you know a Slip and Fall, Give Us a Call lawyer will be all over it.

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Regrettably I can understand the reasons to be wary of this. In my neck of the woods, non custodial parents claiming custody by kidnapping is on the rise. If you read the reports, human trafficking of children, first world children, is on the rise. 

This isnt 1920 or even 1950. 😞

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2 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

Regrettably I can understand the reasons to be wary of this. In my neck of the woods, non custodial parents claiming custody by kidnapping is on the rise. If you read the reports, human trafficking of children, first world children, is on the rise. 

This isnt 1920 or even 1950. 😞

Maybe family scouting is the only way for the program to survive. Strangely, parents may grow more from scouting than their kids when looking at the "Free Range Kids" approach. Of course some will have to get past their uniform hangup first. 

Barry 

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4 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Maybe family scouting is the only way for the program to survive. Strangely, parents may grow more from scouting than their kids when looking at the "Free Range Kids" approach. 

NO!

I have seen "family Scouting" first hand, and it nearly destroyed the troop. As it was. I left it because it was not only negatively impacting my Scouts, it was also destroying my sons interests in Scouting. Thankfully my family's decision to transfer was the wakeup call the SM and COR needed to fix the troop. I just wish it would have happened a lot sooner.

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

NO!

I have seen "family Scouting" first hand, and it nearly destroyed the troop. As it was. I left it because it was not only negatively impacting my Scouts, it was also destroying my sons interests in Scouting. Thankfully my family's decision to transfer was the wakeup call the SM and COR needed to fix the troop. I just wish it would have happened a lot sooner.

How is that troop doing now? "Gunship" still around? Sorry for the thread-drift.

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Better but they have some challenges. Limiting the number of adults has helped the Scouts overall. The Scouts are gaining more experience and doing things on their own. While it is "organized chaos",  they are growing.

Gunship is now SM, but he has mellowed some. Some of that is growing into his role. Before I left we had a good chat, and saw he is getting it. Some of it is his job. He is being called out more, and needing to rely on the Scouts and ASMs.

 

BUT the have had to cancel camp outs due to lack of adults. One of the problem parents, who is a trained ASM and approved by the COR to camp has not done so. Some think it is his way of protesting the fact his wife and younger son can no longer camp with the troop except at the designated family camp out. 

Another ASM is slowly backing away because he is taking care of family. He was one who until recently went in every camp out. But now being the primary caregiver, family first.

As for the previous SM. While he almost handed his SM patch because of the 2 problem families at the camporee, he stayed until Feb 1 2019, when he stepped down to become SM of his daughter's troop.

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On 7/22/2019 at 8:05 AM, scotteg83 said:

Just because an adult is present, doesn't take away from the experience.  They will try to get answers and directions out of you, but after enough shrugs and blank stares, they will realize they are on their own.

Actually it does. Adults change the dynamics, no mater how quiet they are. Which is why the old BSA requirements and the modern Duke of Edinburgh Award require the trek be without adults.

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7 hours ago, Rick_in_CA said:

Actually it does. Adults change the dynamics, no mater how quiet they are. Which is why the old BSA requirements and the modern Duke of Edinburgh Award require the trek be without adults.

Yep - so the question is  really one of how do we balance the risk here?  You drop enough groups of 12 year olds off alone in the woods and something will happen.  It might be 1 in 100,000, but it will eventually happen.   Our society just isn't prepared for that.

While I love the idea of this and really would like for the BSA to encourage something like this, I just don't see how it works in our risk-adverse country.

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