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From June 1, 2006 Washington Post...


Students Crave a Break on Cellphone Ban

Md. Teen's Idea to Allow On-Campus Use at Lunch Faces Strong Opposition


By Daniel de Vise

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, June 1, 2009


Juan Hendrix, an earth science teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, knows that when it comes to cellphone use in schools, looks can deceive.


"A classroom can appear quiet and orderly, but it may be abuzz with chatter," Hendrix said.


Text messaging has spawned an era of uninterrupted contact among friends, especially young people. Students often tap out silent conversations beneath their desks, even though most Washington area public schools forbid them to use cellphones on campus during school hours.


To defuse the conflict, a Montgomery County student leader has proposed a compromise: Let students text while they eat.


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[This post might seem misplaced...there was another post just before it which was deleted by one of the moderators...hence, the seeming disconnect. Otherwise there are no alterations.]

Welcome to the forums, Margaret. Thanks for bringing this old thread back to life. Our unit can still easily find places where there is no signal. Lost phone somewhere way back on the trail? It got wet in the rain? Dropped overboard? The buttons stopped working? Battery's dead? No signal? Too bad. We'll call in a couple of days when we re-enter an area with a signal. (in the meantime, we can enjoy the outdoors instead)


This unit will actually take signal strength into account when planning some outings - avoiding the signal, I mean. We caution boys and parents: if they take these devices and they are lost or ruined...it's not our responsibility. But we can virtually guarantee that they will be useless on the outing. They usually make the better choice. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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If a parent demands that their child bring a cell phone, might I offer a few suggestions.



1) It is understood in advance by the parents, scouts, and leaders that it is to be used in emergency situations only. Tommy Tenderfoot getting homesick is not an emergency.


2)It is understood in advance that reception and use are totally dependent on coverage, and that they maty be going into an area with no coverage.


3)It is understood that the Scout is 100% responsible for the cell phone. If it is lost, broken, etc., it is the Scout's responsibility, not the unit's.


4)It is understood that the cell phone is to be placed in a waterproof container, and SEALED in such a manner that if the seal is broken, it is easily detected, and the campout does nto count as a Scouting event for advancement or other Scouting purposes. (Got this last one from the DofE int he UK.)

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I have to wonder if the "J Phone" that Scouts are going to be given at the Jambo is a real phone or not?


If indeed it is a real phone, does the fact that National is saying that phones are OK, change anything?


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Margeret is a spammer/marketer........ Admins delete the links......



It is real hard to conduct a program, patrol, camp out, hike or anything meaningful, when the scouts are all texting non scouting friends.


At the summer camp meeting......the Camp director forbid any youth from having a cell phone.....if a youth is caught with one he will be sent home. Last year there were several shower and KYBO pictures that were taken then sent with cell phones and circulated camp.




(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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If indeed it is a real phone, does the fact that National is saying that phones are OK, change anything?


I honestly don't know: has National ever come out and said that cell phones are to be discouraged or prohibited on Scouting events?

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I see a lot of posts in this thread that suggest that a troop should have an explicit policy that is not responsible for loss of or damage to cell phones or other electronic devices. I wonder if that would imply or suggest that the troop is somehow responsible for loss or damage to other personally owned equipment, e.g. tents, packs, sleeping bags, stoves...


Such a policy could open up a whole new can of worms.






Edited to correct imply/infer mental malfunction.(This message has been edited by DancesWithSpreadsheets)

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Unfortunately, a lot of times kids start to text and play with their phones when the meetings are boring. So, if you have a constant problem with this, maybe the adults should start to look at the program and ask themselves if they can do something to better keep the interest of the scouts.


At the last OA camp-out I went to the lodge had a Twitter account setup for sending out informational messages during the event and told people how to have the messages sent to their cell phones. My son and I both subscribed and they are still sending us messages in this way.


So, you can try to communicate with the boys on their level in the 21st century manner or you can lay down the law and see how many are turned off by all the rules and eventually quit.

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Fascinating discussion.


Cell phones can be distracting. Electronics in general can be distracting. Kids can distract each other.


Who made the "zero tolerance" rule? Adults? Not a safety issue. Not a morals or values issue. (Well, there as the vegetarian SM who barred meat on the menu as contrary to the Oath and Law.)



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KC9DDI writes:


I honestly don't know: has National ever come out and said that cell phones are to be discouraged or prohibited on Scouting events?


On the contrary, the whole point of our Chief Scout Executive's media blitz last year was to promote Wood Badge as the kind of "leadership" training that CEOs want for their indoor employees. The only thing that outdoor skills are good for is to get boys to sit "side by side with adults of character," and you can do that just as well if you lure them indoors in front of a computer:


"Our goal is not to teach someone to rub two sticks together and make a fire. But when you rub two sticks together and make a fire side by side with an adult of good character, you're going to learn about who you are and go on to lead men...You can teach a kid about character and leadership using aerospace and computers. The secret is to get them side by side with adults of character...We've had CEOs on our board say they want to send their people to Wood Badge, our adult leader training program, because we use state-of-the-art techniques."




So if the Chief Scout Executive has anything to say about it, the whole point of "21st century Scouting" is to get our Scouts to ditch their Patrol Leaders and text "side by side with an adult of good character!" :)


That being said, something that I've noticed in "real life" is that it is the adults who love Cub Scout camping who object the most to cell phones and electronics. I think you can get hints of that in this thread. All the complaints about cell phone "abuse" seem to revolve around Webelos III venues. Summer camp? What does Boy Scout summer camp have to do with a "Real" Patrol? Sure, if we turn Scouting into school, then school rules about electronics make sense: Scouts should not text in the million-dollar dining hall while the staff works so hard to cook for them. Instead they should admire the salad bar and compare notes on the EDGE method.


But out on the trail, who cares?


I encourage electronics in the backwoods but it never seems intrusive. I only saw one cell phone on the last backpacking trip, even though the Scouts texted enough to know where all the other pairs of buddies were at any given time.


Likewise, I only saw two iPods on the trail:




Yours at 300 feet,





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The phone chirps....the boys dig them out by force of habit. Reflex. then the just respond out of reflex. It has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on. Besides, who is in charge of the program?????



Same thing goes for parents....a text or emails comes in the phone goes beep......they pull it out to check it......doesn't matter where or when.....I see it every sunday at church.


Had a Patrol leader whose girl friend broke up with him on facebook while at a camp out.....he was worthless for the rest of the trip. Had girlfriends txt scouts pictures from dances and partys on outing........ do you remember that age......I would have found it very distracting to see my GF at the time at a dance while I was at camp.

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"The phone chirps....the boys dig them out by force of habit. Reflex. then the just respond out of reflex. It has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on. Besides, who is in charge of the program?????"


The training material says one of the SM's responsibilities is to "Build a strong program by using proven methods presented in Scouting literature."


In most cases rules are of course coming from the adults even if the SM gets the PLC to rubber stamp them.


Once at church my son was messing with his phone and I said something to him and he showed me he was looking up the Bible passage. Another time at a troop meeting he made an OA announcement and used his phone because the information was in a tweet from the lodge.


I've used mine to look up merit badge requirements, to check dates for activities, to check the weather report while on a camp out, etc. I also use it to take pictures. At summer camp last year I put pictures on facebook in realtime so parents who stayed back home could see them. It can also be used as a light source when you cannot find your flashlight.


The anti cell phone rule is kinda like gun control. Bad people use the guns to shoot people so the solution is to take guns away from everybody.


The cell phone isn't what's bad, it's the behavior of how it's being used. There are down-sides to the technology, but there are also some ways it can be used positively as well.


Yeah, the GF breaking up with the boy while he's at a camp out is a bummer. Kids have to deal with modern problems we didn't have to deal with. However, he could have discovered this at home and maybe it was better for him to learn it while he was surrounded by friends.

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Lord only knows how I managed to participate in mutiple 50 milers and a trip to Philmont without mommy being able to contact me at a moment's notice, 24/7. And we wonder what's wrong with Scouting...


Yes, a cell phone can be useful (as neil just stated), but so can fixed blade knives, liquid fuel stoves, or any of the other things Troops restrict the use of, because they aren't necessary, and their usefullness is outweighed by the issues they cause.


If it bothers you that much, find another troop. The BSA doesn't exactly make it difficult to transfer.(This message has been edited by jrush)

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