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Wanted to get an opinion on how other troops handle the situation with electronic devises. Right now, our policy is electronic devises only allowed on the trip to/from only. I have to admit we are pretty laxy-dazy on this policy, as these boys can easily pull out ipods in their tent in the middle of the night. Last year at summer camp we had an incident where a boys ipod was stolen. Wether it was a boy in our troop or another troop was under much discussion. In the end we told the family that, although he shouldn't of had it, that is the risk one takes for bringing it. Nowadays - there are smart phones, ipods with wi-fi, devises that play movies, etc. We have boys who are allowed to watch rated r movies and some not, which to me is more appropriate as we are talking under 17 anyway. My feeling is not allowing the devises at all anymore. How does other handle this?

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Our troop and Pack have a NO TECHNOLOGY policy. That includes but is not limited to: iPod, PSP Nintendo DS, Gameboy, MP3 players, Video Players, game systems, video systems, or anything like that. IF they are brought the scout takes the chance of the SM taking it. If they are not caught the scout also understands that we accept no responsibilities.

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Electronics are here to stay. Get over it and make reasonable rules for what and when they may be used. They can cause problems and they can create solutions. The 2010 Jamboree is supposedly going to be set up to handle 40,000 cell phone calls at a time. The new uniform has a pocket for electronics. We are just going to have to adapt.

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"No GPS? Gore Tex? Kevlar? Nylon? . . ."


Am I missing what we use that is made out of Kevlar


Everybody knows what we mean by no technology. Why would a scout need a GPS at a council campground where activities do not include geocaching.


But if you want specifics on what we mean in the No Technology Policy here are some examples of things that should not be brought.


iPod (Or any variation of)


Nintendo DS

Personal game systems

Portable TV's

MP3 Players

Portable CD Players

Laptops (or any variation thereof)


Does that help.

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Hi and Welcome.

I'm firmly with Kahuna on this one.


The forum has visited this a lot over the past couple of years.

It seems that there is very little middle ground.

Some members are 100% against anything that isn't rope powered.

While others are trying to accommodate 21st century technology.

My son is soon to be 22, but for the past six or seven years he feels undressed without his cell phone.

Mine sits in the car and every-time I need to use it, I can't because it needs charged.



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Yah, I sorta liked da balance bit someone came up with here. Somethin' like the Totin' Chip card for electronics.


Teach 'em how to use such things responsibly and respectfully.


I reckon otherwise you'll be fightin' this war non-stop in your unit. The things are too small to catch unless yeh start strip-searchin' the lads.


And honestly, with the Handbook available on the iPhone/iPod and some some really amazin' tools for electronic guidebooks, plus GPS, plus ... seems like it's a reasonable tool for how much weight it is. Had a fellow show me his at Round Table a couple of months ago. My problem is da text is just too darn small for my old eyes, eh!







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I see an iPad in Beavah's future...


Seriously, I'm with Kahuna on this. DOD is moving away with speed from paper topographic maps. USGS products are already available online... just use a googlemap relief map.


I think Beavah's idea of an electronics chip (no pun intended) is a pretty good idea. Our job, after all, is to prepare the whole boy to be the whole man.

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This is our written policy on the issue for summer camp, and applies to our monthly camping trips as well...

DO NOT bring electronic game devices (Gameboys, etc.) and DVDs & DVD players. They are strictly prohibited and will be confiscated until we return!

Boy Scout camp is a time to return to a simpler world without the intrusive impact of our modern world. Thus, the following are STRONGLY discouraged, and the Scout is fully responsible for any loss or damage:

o CD players & CDs, iPods, MP3 players: If a Scout cannot possibly live without his music, use will be restricted to headphones inside his tent only. Use anywhere else will result in confiscation.

o Cell phones: Cell signals at camp can be poor and roaming charges high! We strongly discourage bringing a cell phone to summer camp. Phone conversations or texting will take the Scout away from Camp and Troop activities and make homesickness much worse. Use is restricted to tent only. Use anywhere else will result in confiscation.


This is enforced by the older Scouts who will call out any Scout who plays with a cell phone or other electronics at Troop meetings or on any activity.


Several years ago the parents of a nervous new Scout gave him a cell phone at the direction of his therapist to take to summer camp so he could occasionally text them and calm his homesickness. Well, the kid stayed up till 2 or 3 every night in his tent texting back & forth with mom on how miserable he was and how horrible camp was and how much he missed them. Of course the next day he was exhausted and even more miserable and more homesick. The constant contact with mom never let him get over that Tuesday or Wednesday hump when a Scout discovers he can have great fun w/o mom & dad and really start to enjoy an activity on his own. When mom told us about the nightly texting, we understood why this kid was so miserable the entire time at camp... not surprisingly he dropped out a few weeks later.


Since that incident, we realized we could not totally prohibit electronics, but the best we could do was restrict their use while Scouts are out and about on an activity, and work to teach responsible use when the kids are out of view in their tent. Before summer camp I sit down and talk with new parents and tell them the above story, and highly recommend they not send a cell phone with their son. But if they do, after a text assurance that all is well at home, do not engage in any further texting!


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Yep electronics are here to stay. And they should stay home. If a kid can't spend a couple of days or a week in the woods with out his iPod or smart phone or gaming device then there is a bigger problem afoot.


Just because electronics are here to stay doesn't mean they are needed 365/24/7. I love electronics but when I'm out in the woods, I enjoy being away from all that stuff.

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"Rather than banning electronic devices, by teaching courteous use scouts and adults can take advantage of technology to create a safer outdoors experience without reducing the value of the experience for others."

That is the stand our troop takes on the subject after discussions with adults and scouts.


I expect you'd need to look far and wide to find a troop where the PLC has discussed the issue and voted for a "No Electronics" policy. I expect you'd have to search even farther to find one where all scouts in the troop are following the policy. A "zero tolerance" approach is a demonstration of adult-driven troops, rather than scout-led. Electronics use is a great opportunity for the scouts to set their guidelines, own them, and follow them.


As scoutmasters or other adult volunteers, our preferences shouldn't count for much. I'd much rather never hear a beep, ringtone, or alarm once I set foot outside my door. But, if I'm forcing rules to suit my comfort and enforcing that by taking away personal gear, then I missed something along the way about why I'm here. I'm here to help prepare scouts to make ethical and moral choices. This is yet another way scouts can learn to make those choices. If the scouts include the proper use of these devices in their guidelines and training, then they should get to use them, as any other equipment.


The scouts in our troop present this electronics training to new scouts just like they do the Totin' Chip and Firem'n Chit training. We call it the "Tech Chip" - you're free to use the short training plan we use at http://troop479.org/techchiptraining.pdf (the cards are a fundraiser of our troop, just to be transparent)

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I agree with mn_scout 100%. I don't own an ipod and can barely work my cell phone. But I am 52 years old and Scouts is no longer "my" game. Encourage the boys to come up with workable policies of their own design. As I have said before, if we provide an interesting, exciting program, the ipods will stay in the tents all on their own.



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My ship had a what I consider a sane policy, no texting at the meeting. The only reason we should see your phone is if you are talking to you ride, or your parents. We shouldn't see you headphone at all.


On cruises it was much the same. Everyone was told not to bring Ipods. If seen they would be help by the skipper for the duration of the cruise. If brought cell phones, cameras, and any other electronic device was your responsibility, and your problem if it drops in the water or disappears. Cell phones were allowed out during the evening as long as nothing else was happening. When you are on night watch the only electronic device that you are allowed to use is the flashlight, and your watch. You can't say that you were using your phone or Ipod for a clock because there are three other clocks spread around the boat. That is just for safety, we don't want someone listening to their music, or playing a game or something and not noticing that the anchor has come loose, or a dock line broke (both of which have happened to us).


We just want people to remember that there is a right time and place for your Ipod, or cell phone, and when you are driving the boat is neither the right time, or right place.


It was kind of funny. We had this one girl who was always texting, and she was also always losing her phone. On the trip home she set her phone down in the galley and left it there. Well, one of the officers and I decided that she should learn to keep better track of her stuff, so we picked it up and held on to it. It took her half an hour to figure out that it was lost again, then she spent almost an hour looking for it before we gave it back. I was with that ship for another month before I moved, and in that time she never lost her phone on the boat again.

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