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I don't want to hijack the thread, and maybe this discussion about the Outdoor Code belongs in a separate thread. Our troop recites the Outdoor Code only rarely, but when they do they keep their

Yep.  Even when the logging companies only take 1 tree out of 4, (which is generally a low percentage) they never mention the collateral damage that the remaining woodlands will take from the machiner

The larger property management issues you raise like logging and just general poor stewardship of scout lands is another crazy disconnect.  As far as Jamborees, I mispoke. I meant all the local scout

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On 11/15/2021 at 11:08 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

In my  36 years being involved with Boy Scouts/Scouts BSA, only 1, again ONLY 1, has ever said the Outdoor Code as a part of their opening and/or closing ceremony. They do keep the Scout Sign up for it.

Our troop, meaning the PLC, adopted it as part of our opening when learning it became a formal T21 requirement.  We do it with scout raised because it is a promise.

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I don't want to hijack the thread, and maybe this discussion about the Outdoor Code belongs in a separate thread.

Our troop recites the Outdoor Code only rarely, but when they do they keep their signs up and recite it right after they say the Oath and Law.  I don't know why you would lower your scout signs to say it, it's been part of Scout lore for 50+ years and was introduced into scouting by no less than Green Bar Bill himself.

That said, though, they don't usually recite it unless I remind them about it, and then they have to bone up on it again because they have trouble remembering it because (and here comes the dirty little secret that nobody likes to talk about)...... the Outdoor Code kinda sucks.

To be frank, the Outdoor Code does not flow smoothly over the tongue in the way that the Scout Oath and Law both do.  Somebody (the authorship is not clear to me, see the link below for some of the official history) may have thought they were providing a clever aid to memorization with the repeated "Be C" construction, but the resulting lines are awkward and confusing:

"Be Clean in my outdoor manners."  -- poorly worded.  Being "clean" and having "manners" are two separate concepts being smashed together here.  "Be Clean in the outdoors" might be better.

"Be Careful with fire." -- this is the only one where the "Be C" construction works.

"Be Considerate in the outdoors." - Ugh.  What does that even mean?  I should say please and thank you?  Point one has already addressed my "manners".  Instead of repeating "outdoors" how about "Be Considerate of Other Visitors" (last point of LNT)?  Otherwise, could be combined into "Be Clean and Considerate in the outdoors."

"Be Conservation-minded." -- falls flat for an ending.

The other problem with the "Be C" repetition is that Scouting is about DOING.  Don't tell me how to BE.  Tell me what to DO.  That's what I like about Leave No Trace -- seven verbs, seven things I can DO to put "conservation minded" into ACTION.

By the way the opening line of "As an American" is also awkward and raises constant questions with my Scouts.  What does being an American have to do with it?  Don't all nationalities have a responsibility to take care of the environment?  If a scout is here on a green card should they say "As an American" or should they say their actual nationality?  This wording is a historical artifact of a time when Scouting wanted to promote the new "Outdoor Code" to all Americans, and effort that obviously failed (perhaps because of the poor wording), and was presumably supplanted by the early efforts to promote Leave No Trace, which Scouting likewise eventually gave up trying to be a part of spreading the word to the rest of the nation.  It's time for an update.  Personally I'd like to see "As an American" replaced with something like "As a steward of the Earth".  [I hope this suggestion doesn't lead to accusations of being anti-American.  My scouts recite the Pledge of Allegiance at every meeting and take flag etiquette very seriously.  But conservation is WORLD issue and today's youth are acutely aware of that.]

I actually prefer the "Conservation Pledge" that preceeded the Outdoor Code since it actually mentions the soils, forests, waters and wildlife that we are seeking to preserve and all of which are absent here.  Actually, to tell you the truth, my preference would be that they memorize the 7 points of Leave No Trace, which are a far, far better expression of key principals and aren't that much harder to remember.

Anyone else agree with me or am I a lone lunatic raving in the wilderness?

Here's the link with some of the history of the creation of the Outdoor Code:

https://outdoorethics-bsa.org/OutdoorCode.php

 

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4 hours ago, MGinLA said:

I don't want to hijack the thread, and maybe this discussion about the Outdoor Code belongs in a separate thread.

Thanks, I edited the Topic title to be more inclusive of posts herein.  :)

Bird Study MB and Climate Change and Outdoor Code

Edited by RememberSchiff
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  • RememberSchiff changed the title to Bird Study MB and Climate Change and Outdoor Code

Interesting article about John Zane 84 who is celebrating 75 years as a Boy Scout and he’s writing a book about it - titled “Ever a Scout,”

Jonathan Glassman, Boy Scouts of America District Director for Connecticut Yankee Council,  said there’s no official label that says Zane has been in scouting longer than anyone else in the Connecticut Yankee Council, but he said Zane is “always the last man standing,” when they have longtime scouts stand up at the annual dinner, asking them to be seated in five-year increments.

Some topic-related quotes:

“I hate to think it’s just a history book without inspiration to the younger scouts,” he said. “It (Scouting) kept a lot of kids off the street, kept them physically active, intellectually. Boys say their teachers would ask, ‘Where do you learn this stuff?’ The Boy Scouts, of course.” 👍

 

He recalls the value of mentors on many occasions, including in earning the bird study badge :). Zane needed to identify 35 birds and couldn’t find the last one - the yellow-bellied sap sucker.

One of mentors at camp said, “The woods are full of them.” It would turn out he was seeing them, but thought it was a cardinal, as they looked similar.

 

https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Ever-a-Scout-North-Branford-man-celebrates-16630350.php

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5 hours ago, MGinLA said:

Anyone else agree with me or am I a lone lunatic raving in the wilderness?

False choice...both are true 😜

I agree with you, and you are a lone lunatic raving in the wilderness 🤪😝😲

1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

edited the Topic title

Brilliant

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

Interesting article about John Zane 84 who is celebrating 75 years as a Boy Scout and he’s writing a book about it - titled “Ever a Scout,”

Jonathan Glassman, Boy Scouts of America District Director for Connecticut Yankee Council,  said there’s no official label that says Zane has been in scouting longer than anyone else in the Connecticut Yankee Council, but he said Zane is “always the last man standing,” when they have longtime scouts stand up at the annual dinner, asking them to be seated in five-year increments.

Some topic-related quotes:

“I hate to think it’s just a history book without inspiration to the younger scouts,” he said. “It (Scouting) kept a lot of kids off the street, kept them physically active, intellectually. Boys say their teachers would ask, ‘Where do you learn this stuff?’ The Boy Scouts, of course.” 👍

 

He recalls the value of mentors on many occasions, including in earning the bird study badge :). Zane needed to identify 35 birds and couldn’t find the last one - the yellow-bellied sap sucker.

One of mentors at camp said, “The woods are full of them.” It would turn out he was seeing them, but thought it was a cardinal, as they looked similar.

 

https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Ever-a-Scout-North-Branford-man-celebrates-16630350.php

Love the story...it is behind a subscriber wall for me...here is the cached page:

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:yiUQAFZVfN0J:https://www.nhregister.com/news/article/Ever-a-Scout-North-Branford-man-celebrates-16630350.php+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

However, the cardinal and the YBSS look nothing alike (male or female) 😜  I think he was mixing up YBSS with downy and hairy woodpeckers.

image.jpeg.f0edb9fc076db3070debec5217ab191e.jpegimage.jpeg.5e5d34fe8a1e951beaf57477db22c524.jpegYellow-bellied Sapsucker MaleYellow-bellied Sapsucker Female

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InquisitiveScouter just showed a picture of my back yard. We very much enjoy watching the families of Cardinals and Woodpeckers repeatedly swarm our feeders each morning as we eat breakfast. However, we haven't seen as many of these families this year, as well as the songs from the Mockingbirds. Rumor is the lack of these birds in our area is the result of the hard freeze that dominated the US last February. Mother nature is usually pretty good at bringing balance. I have high hopes the families will overwhelm our feeders again soon.

Barry

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

InquisitiveScouter just showed a picture of my back yard. We very much enjoy watching the families of Cardinals and Woodpeckers repeatedly swarm our feeders each morning as we eat breakfast. However, we haven't seen as many of these families this year, as well as the songs from the Mockingbirds. Rumor is the lack of these birds in our area is the result of the hard freeze that dominated the US last February. Mother nature is usually pretty good at bringing balance. I have high hopes the families will overwhelm our feeders again soon.

Barry

Barry,

Make sure you put out some water for them, too.  Recommend a heated bird bath to keep the water from freezing.  Here is an example of one like ours.

https://www.amazon.com/BIRD-WISH-Year-Round-Thermostat-Installation/dp/B09B8TZV7J/ref=asc_df_B09B8TZV7J/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=532627731005&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8025039049157922163&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1023640&hvtargid=pla-1435659849501&th=1

You will have to fill it every morning, because of all the other visitors you will get during the night.  We have captured video of opossums, deer, foxes, raccoons, mice, and voles in winter getting water here.  Trying to get images of two elusive creatures drinking...a skunk (somewhere in the neighborhood and quite uncommon here) and a great horned owl (or any owl for that matter).   Although, reading suggests the owls love the sound of running water...can't afford to rig that up yet 😜 (for freezing temps) 

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On 11/14/2021 at 8:52 PM, RememberSchiff said:

In the 80's the BSA did just that when we worked with the Bureau of Land Management to formulate Leave No Trace (LNT). The BSA had the opportunity to lead LNT but did not.  In the 90's, NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) took over LNT with the US Forest Service.  Other government partners joined. Government funding of these education programs was always a problem. which lead to the creation in 1994 of  LNT, a non-profit educational program which marketed courses to many groups including the BSA.

More details at this link

https://lnt.org/sites/default/files/Leave_No_Trace_History_Paper.pdf

That's interesting, although I have to say it is hard to make the out of doors seem boring, but LNT gives a really good try.  It's important stuff, but instead of teaching it in context with anything else, it's just presented as a dry list.

I'm thinking more of BSA modifying program components in ways that would lead to partnerships or at least synergies. There are 5 animal rank names and yet nothing specifically linked to study or conservation in the ranks for any of those animals. Bears and Eagles are two head scratching omissions. The National Park Service offers a free annual pass to all fourth graders. It wouldn't cost any money to put something in the Webelos rank about learning about or visiting a National Park. LL Bean just launched an outdoors initiative with Boys and Girls Clubs. What's also head scratching are instances where Merit Badges and rank requirements are in conflict with LNT. Another thing that needs to be updated. 

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On 11/18/2021 at 7:39 AM, Eagledad said:

InquisitiveScouter just showed a picture of my back yard. We very much enjoy watching the families of Cardinals and Woodpeckers repeatedly swarm our feeders each morning as we eat breakfast. However, we haven't seen as many of these families this year, as well as the songs from the Mockingbirds. Rumor is the lack of these birds in our area is the result of the hard freeze that dominated the US last February. Mother nature is usually pretty good at bringing balance. I have high hopes the families will overwhelm our feeders again soon.

Barry

For us it wasn't the freeze, it was the hawk. There's also an owl.

Nice pictures, @InquisitiveScouter , did you take those? I'm thinking that was a long lens.

I have a fish pond in my yard i keep open with an air stone. It keeps the fish alive and the birds happy. Which in turn keeps me happy.

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30 minutes ago, MattR said:

For us it wasn't the freeze, it was the hawk. There's also an owl.

Nice pictures, @InquisitiveScouter , did you take those? I'm thinking that was a long lens.

I have a fish pond in my yard i keep open with an air stone. It keeps the fish alive and the birds happy. Which in turn keeps me happy.

We have noticed an increase of hawks around here as well. A lot of them.

Barry

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1 hour ago, MattR said:

For us it wasn't the freeze, it was the hawk. There's also an owl.

Nice pictures, @InquisitiveScouter , did you take those? I'm thinking that was a long lens.

I have a fish pond in my yard i keep open with an air stone. It keeps the fish alive and the birds happy. Which in turn keeps me happy.

Nope...interweb-thingy images

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44 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

We have noticed an increase of hawks around here as well. A lot of them.

Barry

Hawks and owls are a sign of a healthy ecosystem...lots of food for them, or they wouldn't hang around.  Mice, voles, snakes (in warm weather)...and, if you have skunks, then Great Horned Owls!  Skunks are one of their favorite foods.

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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