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JerseyScout

Cell Phone Ban - beating a dead horse, but help me out

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Don't cha just love it when in cold weather the batteries go out on the GPS?

 

Yah, I'm not sure I buy it, eh?

 

I carry a candle occasionally on a winter campout. I just sorta like the light at night reflectin' off the snow or in the igloo. Nice classical ambiance. But it doesn't work for beans in the wind or rain or even a good snowfall. So what I really do is carry a headlamp and extra batteries, with a spare bulb to boot (on top of the 3 or 4 LED's).

 

Yep, I'm an old-timer map and compass guy, too. Don't carry a GPS, because I've been doin' map and compass so long that I can reliably navigate in near zero visibility. Yah, I can do celestial nav in a sailboat, too. Nice, old-timer fun. Still, that doesn't mean GPS isn't a better tool, so what I really do is bring a GPS and check my celestial nav against that. ;) The lads and in fact most of the other adults can't do celestial nav or low-viz map and compass. So for them GPS is a more worthy tool. As a result, they can keep up with me ;). Even learn more and do more. The electronics are easier, more accurate, with a shorter learning curve, and they leave your mind and your time free for other things. With the high-quality moving map ones, I find the boys learn map readin' faster to boot.

 

If you are worried about battery life, just bring extra batteries. It ain't hard.

 

Beavah

 

 

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This kind of thing has to come from the Scouts. They need to buy into it and be part of the decision making.

 

Several years ago, we had a problem with Scouts using phones at Troop meetings. So, we discussed it at the Patrol Leaders Council meeting. The Scout Leaders considered various courses of action, and finally decided that no one needed to use a cell phone during a Troop meeting, camping trip, or at summer camp. They passed this information on to the Scouts the next Troop meeting and proceeded to enforce it with vigor.

 

It worked, and within a month cell phones were complete absent. It has now become part of our Troop culture, and while the Scouts may have the phone tucked away, they do not use then during a Troop activity.

 

I am confident that this worked as well as it did because the Scout Leaders, the SPL, ASPL, and Patrol Leaders, noticed the problem themselves, and then worked together to come up with a solution, and then implemented it. It works much better for the SPL and other Scout Leaders to have it be their rule and then tell the other Scouts that this is the rule and that's that - put it away or loose it.

 

As Scoutmaster, I interface with the parents and let them know that this is the Troop rule, but it's the Scouts that own it.

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I'm sorry to tell you that we all will have to learn to deal with cell phones on the person of almost every Scout. Contrary to all predictions of disaster, cell phones at the 2010 Jamboree seemed to work out very well.

 

No matter what rules you have, Scouts will have them. Best course of action is to train them how to use them.

 

Having said that, cell phones are like religion: Nothing said will change anybody's mind. :)

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Right, wrong or indifferent....the BSA pushed cell phones and other technologies hard and heavy at the 2010 Jamboree. They left it up to the individual council's to be the bad guy. The SM of our contingent troop is fairly old school and based on his time in scouting thought it would be a good thing for the scouts to be out of contact with the family back home and friends for two weeks. They might find it a growing and learning experience. He banned cell phones. The council got so much flack from upset parents who couldn't bear not hearing from little Bob or Tom that he was basically forced to rescind his ban. Instead, we had to come up with a list of rules and told them that they were on their own for recharging. I remembered the lines for pay phones and portapotties back in 2005 and knew that the charging stations wasn't going to be as viable of an option as the kids thought. I was right. Cell phones are a common part of our culture now. We can't fight that. What we can do is teach appropriate use and making right choices like Scouting has done for 100 years.

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Keep them off during meetings. Just an hour and half for us.

 

Remind parents that the Troop won't be responsible for loss or damage. Bring at your own risk, and feel free to use it during down time while at camp.

 

That friend they call may just be your next Scout!

 

As a Scout, we couldn't bring transistor radios to camp...before headphones were available. :)

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Personally, I don't like the banning of cell phones. We do try to discourage the use of them as much as possible, and it should be done only during down time and out of sight of others.

 

Rules against cell phones coming from the committee, I think, are just a bad idea. Kids are allowed to use cell phones everywhere else( even in school hallways now), so why would they not be allowed to in scouts. With anything else, they should be used responsibly and without disturbing the current activity, hub a scout is friendly. He should be able to text his friends:).

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Almost lost in the discussion of allowing or prohibiting cell phones (which continues to be left up to each unit) is a fact that I find kind of disturbing, which is that National has apparently added at least one item to the Youth Protection Guidelines: A restriction on the places (and implicitly, situations) in which it is appropriate to "use any device capable of recording or transmitting visual images." I am not disturbed by the addition itself, which seems fine. What bothers me is that National does not seem to have done much (if anything) to alert us local leaders out here of this change. I did not know anything about this until I read about it in this thread. While I do not expect a personalized notice of every change made by the BSA, I often DO receive notices regarding changes in Youth Protection-related policies and materials, because I have facilitated YP training at the council and district level. When the new mandatory YP policy went into effect last summer, I think I got both email and snail-mail about it. If they have changed the guidelines, I wonder what they have done to make sure people know about it. As someone else pointed out, the G2SS does not seem to contain this information at this time.

 

Now, I know someone(s) out there are thinking, what's the big deal? Isn't it just common sense that you don't use a camera (or cell phone or Ipod or whatever with a camera) in a place where people are not clothed? Well, one would hope so. Unfortunately there have been many instances since the introduction of camera-phones and similar devices where this common sense has not prevailed. Recently there have been some well-publicized incidents including the one at Rutgers where a young man was clandestinely filmed by his roommate and was so distressed that he took his own life. I think the BSA is correct to spell this out. But let's try to make sure us out here in the trenches are aware of it, okay?

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I used my cell as my personal clock for the longest time, and thought I couldn't function without it. Then I started going into the county courthouse daily for work, where there is a cell phone ban. I bought a $5 analog wristwatch and got back into the habit. And I can use it as a compass. Simple, easy and cheap.

 

A cell phone is a tool, just like a pocketknife or a piece of rope. It can be used for good or for ill. It's not inherently negative. It's up to the user to decide how to use it.

 

We ought to be teaching our Scouts proper usage of gear, not banning items outright - as well as demonstrating through our own examples that there are much better alternatives.

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I think you should just look at regulating cell phone use. As council jamboree chair I was the good guy who saw more of a benefit than a hassel. The only downside was when one of the buses broke down the boys were on the phone with there parents and then the parents were calling the tour operator. Other than that there were no issues, no stolen phones in any of our troops.

 

Personally I look at it this way. Most like an emergency will happen where the adult can't call for help. I know if I ever have a cardiac event I want to have someone able to call 911.

 

We tried to use the GPS feature on a phone and it wasn't much use, drains the battery very fast.

 

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