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Cell Phones use for Camporee event

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Normally we say leave your phones at home...why?...is what our camporee staff is now asking ourselves...(we really know)we want to use cell phones as part of the next camporee, to send text, code, you name it for one event, two, maybe they will have to do something at every event...who knows. I am coming to you...yes you on the forum in all of your wisdom and ideas....lets face it the scouts all have them (at least most) we want to make it fun....you know....KISMIF...we're even opening a face book account with clues for the next camporee...get-em looking and thinking...

What's your thoughts? I'm looking for event ideas.


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I never thought to completely ban them, as they can come in handy. Matter of fact, I know plenty of people who do not own watches or alarm clocks because they use their phones instead.


I do hate to see scouts who cannot walk 5 feet inany direction without having to text or call somebody or check an update first.


Making use of the phones could be along the lines of a spy themed campout.


Get the numbers of X number of scouts phones -maybe pl's and spl's - and send them their secret messages to start their objectives. Similar to geocatching, but using text and such instead of lat and long.


Maybe purposely send them to "dead zones" to see if they can come up with alterior means of communication . Send partial texts that must be combined with other texts to understand what the "mission" will be


Of course, now all I can think of is Ralphie decoding the "Drink your ovaltine" message! :)


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Codes and messages can be a really neat and fun part of Scouting. But consider trying semaphore, Morse or a simple substitution cipher if you want them to be a part of the camporee program. Those will be brand-new skills to most of your Scouts. They'll be fascinated by the low-tech means and methods, trust me. And they'll be better prepared for when the power goes out ...

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Just a few questions:


Are you sure that everyone that needs a cell phone to participate has a cell phone? Seems we're assuming an awful lot here.


Are you sure that everyone who will be getting these text messages will have unlimited plans on their phones? Are you prepared to hear the bellowing of a Scoutmaster at the next roundtable when he tells you loudly that he got calls from parents wanting to know why the activities at a camporee caused their cell phone bills to go up?


Do you really want to override what may be Troop policies regarding cell phone usage simply to make things more fun?


Aren't cell phones already more of a toy to a lot of Scouts rather than a tool? Is it really in our best interests to reinforce that idea?


Are you sure you want to be asking Troops to provide the cell phone numbers of YOUTH members to a bunch of adults who may be strangers to them? Sure, sure, I know - they'll be under the control of just a couple of people and protected by super secret passwords. Uh-huh - and rainbows spit flying unicorns out their ends.


Are you going to be providing charging stations for all those Scouts who need to recharge their phones?







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I'm with Calico. My 11 yr. old and 6 of his friends (all 11 y.o.) in the troop don't have their own cell phones. No way is he taking mine with him for a weekend at camp. Its my work phone. 2 of the parents don't have texting on their phones at all, they're strictly for emergency use, pay as you go phones. We have pay as you go texting. Don't need a huge bill for some game that can work with a paper and pencil.


If a cell phone for an 11 year old was required to take part in a camporee event then my son WOULDN'T GO (yes I was yelling). I/we (my husband and I) won't buy cell phones for our kids until they drive independantly. It wouldn't be fair to my son to go to an event and not be able to take part in every activity.


Have fun with your Facebook page, but keep it secure and invite only. Have a general public area with event info, date etc. But have a secure area that a scout or scouter muct apply to be part of with your games. Keep the kids safe. Again my kids don't get to play on Facebook and neither do most of their friends. If they want to talk about something they call each other or walk down the block to a friends house. Unlike their 20 something cousins, they can talk to each other not sit side by side texting a conversation.


IMHO, You're on a VERY slippery slope here. Be careful is all I can say. There is a HUGE potential for a blacklash from parents, especially those of us with younger kids in units.

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IMHO, You're on a VERY slippery slope here. Be careful is all I can say. There is a HUGE potential for a blacklash from parents, especially those of us with younger kids in units.


Eagle Foot,


I'm with CalicoPenn and TrainerLady.


Stay inside. It's too slippery outdoors.


And when you are inside, be sure to lock up your Scouting FaceBook and Webpages to keep everybody SAFE! Publicity is for organizations that boys actually want to be associated with, like sports. No problem publishing for all the world to see a young athlete's photograph and full name in the newspaper (and it's online edition). Because sports are not SAFE! Boys do not like things that are dangerous. That's why Den Mothers and Paper Eagles wrote the Guide to Safe Scouting.


And what is this about using cell phones as an outdoor tool?


It's just not right to expect that one Scout in a Patrol might have a cellphone.


In fact, it's wrong to think bad thoughts like that.


When I use my awesome Wood Badge "leadership skills" to jam my Troop into a crowded campground with electricity, hot showers, and WiFi, I like to pretend that I'm camping in the wilderness.


Knowing that the Scouts might have cell phones spoils the beauty of that illusion.


But if you simply will not listen to our advice: You might consider using cell phones (and other electronics) in one of the following 100 Traditional Wide Games:




And/Or Additional 61 Night Games:




But don't say we didn't WARN you!


Yours at 300 feet,






Traditional Signal Games:





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E.F., my 14 y.o. is a PL and does not have a cell phone. Life for him is so much easier that way. He had one, but kept leaving it at home when we expected him to have it. I might think of reactivating it in a month or so, but HE PAYS FOR EVERY PHONE CALL AND TEXT. (I'll probably throw $20 every few months for emergencies and the hundreds of commands his poor mum will throw his way.)


You have to understand that camporees hopefully attract the total diversity of troops in your district -- and the probability of one with a "no cell" policy is high. And remarks like "Where in the world are you coming from?" will come off as a little arrogant to a troop whose kids who come with mostly "have not" experiences.


That said, your ideas sure sound like fun. They would be more suited to a venturer's event (where the age-range is more conducive to full-featured cell ownership). But, if every troop at your roundtable says they'll make sure each patrol has one active cell you should plan a little something.

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Two additional thoughts:


>> Since you're only talking about texting being involved for one or two events, the staff can provide the cell phones, and the Scouts can show off their texting skills.


>> As for the Facebook page, FB requires members to be 13+. Make sure you're not excluding some younger Scouts (or non-FB-using Scouters).(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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Thanks for all of your imput...for some reason I thought I was looking for event ideas...(can't see the forest for the trees?) I am very aware of all that is posted, the leaders guide will cover that. We will provide the phone (individuals) have provided this...in fact the deal is that they are providing several types...smart, blackberry, and flip. All of that is covered just looking for some ways to do all this. For Face book...well this has become a major way of communicating not only with the districts but with the troops...there are a lot of units using face book and districts.

Check this out:

Boy Scouts of America | Facebookwww.facebook.com/pages/Boy-Scouts-of-America/113441755297Cached - Similar

You +1'd this publicly. Undo

Boy Scouts of America - The OFFICIAL Facebook page for the Boy Scouts of ... Sign UpFacebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

***********just the tip of the iceburg*************

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Eagle Foot, I don't have any problem with the use of cell phones at a camporee for events, as long as the phones are provided and scouts aren't expected to use personal phones. In my mind, cell phones are being used as one might have used walkie talkies 10 years ago. I assume you've tested the camporee site for coverage? However, I do have a problem with the proposal of using Facebook. The FB Terms of Agreement very clearly state that users must be 13 yo to hold an account. Your youngest scouts are 10.5 years old. I'd appreciate it if you would find another, age-appropriate way to use the internet in your games if you feel you must.


I know that scouting units and organizations are using FB to share information. When the intended audience is adults and older scouts, that is fine IMO. I know many parents let their kids sign up and lie about their birthdate. I don't think scout groups should encourage the use of FB by scouts who are under the age limit, whether the scouts actually have accounts or not.

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Eagle Foot,


One piece of advice regarding these forums, sometimes it is best to lay out as much detail as possible to keep people from jumping to conclusions. No condescending message here, just something I learned.


In terms of the event, I think it sounds like a great plan and a good way to incorporate Patrol movement. If you haven't given thought to it, perhaps the electronic device for the Patrol Leader, and different stations requiring different skills (like morse code). Then if you get the plan out to the troops soon enough, the PL can work with their patrols to appoint one of the members to specialize in each. That way the PL is taking the lead and each scout spends their time learning one skill in detail instead of a high level, everybody learns a little nobody learns a lot approach. I'm not saying each Scout can't learn all well, but the time between Leader's Guide dispersal and the event may not allow it. And I think you would see a difference if one boy knows he alone is responsible for learning a skill to help his patrol succeed.


And in terms of some troops not attending because of troop policy, I would not concern myself greatly with that. That is not to say anything against troops that have such a policy. It's just that if you water things down enough to make everyone happy you end up with a boring event. And also, I don't see any difference between a troop not attending because of a no cell phone policy and a troop not attending a district event that offers merit badges because the method goes against their policy for that as well.


Besides, it's the boys that decide is they go or not, right?

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Most (Not all.) Of the kids I know, over 12 rarely leave the house without their phone.

As someone who tries really hard to avoid ever answering a phone and who forgets to turn on his phone and also forgets to recharge it, I don't really understand the need to be available and in touch 24/7.

But I'm OK with not understanding it. -There's a lot of things that I don't understand.

I think this cell phone debate will go on for a long time, but at the end of the day the cell phone and young people having and using them is going to win.

Up until a few months back I seen my cell phone as a phone!

A device I used mostly just in case of emergencies along with the odd call home to say that I'd be running late or was in the supermarket and ask if there was anything that needed picked up.

I didn't use it as a camera or an alarm clock, flashlight, GPS, calculator. I didn't send videos or surf the web. I also never sent texts, mainly because I wasn't good at texting and it just seemed like a waste of time.

That changed a few months back when my department took away our pagers and informed us that we were going over to receiving text messages. (Which I think was a bad idea!)

I'm getting better at writing texts and I'm starting to use my phone not just as a phone, but more like a mini computer.

Before I got my i-pad, I visited the Apple web site. The tutorial was given by very young kids aged about ten or twelve. It made the point that these kids didn't know the world without the Internet and had never known a world without the things that old fogies like me think of as being high tech. For them this is just what it is and has always been so.

So even if I don't really understand it all? I have to admit that I do find it kinda of exciting.


I'm sorry I don't buy into the extra cost or expense argument. A lot of the activities we do require things that cost money. I look at what I've spent on boots, rain suits, stoves, tents and other hiking gear and I see a lot of money spent.


As for activities at a Camporee?

I look at things that have really happened when I've been out in the woods.

I've came across deer with broken legs and needed to look up the numbers of the Game Commission, I've found stray dogs and needed to look up and call the local dog catcher, I've found dogs that have been hit by cars and needed to find out where the local emergency animal hospital is. I've been in areas where gas wells are leaking

While of course 911 covers most emergency situations, Scouts could come across situations that require them to think about who they need to call and find the number.

I feel sure that a group of Scouts and Scout Leaders could get together and use their imagination to come up with an entire list of ways of using cell phones and the like at a Camporee.

I'm guessing that the Scouts who participate would find it a heck of a lot more interesting than the same old same old, some might even think that it's kinda cool.


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"I am very aware of all that is posted, the leaders guide will cover that. We will provide the phone (individuals) have provided this...in fact the deal is that they are providing several types...smart, blackberry, and flip."


See, now that wasn't too hard, was it? I merely asked some questions as things to consider. It appears you have given thought to them. You'd be surprised at how many people don't stop to think about these kinds of things.


If you are going to use the phones to send text messages as part of an event, do it during waking hours. The worst camporee I've ever been to had a UFO landing theme, and each Troop would get some kind of message via walkie-talkie sometime during the night, which required units to post watches throughout the night in order to receive the message, which would go towards overall points. Half the units decided to forgo the points because they felt it was more important for the Scouts to get a good night sleep and for those that did post watch, only a couple of them received the messages because the walkie talkies didn't work well. There were an awful lot of unhappy, and bellowing, Scoutmasters at the next roundtable.


Will the phones be enabled to search the web? Have the Scouts do a google search to identify a plant or to find a description on how to tie an uncommon knot and follow the instructions to tie the knot.


You could put together a compass course "treasure hunt" with a question to be answered or an object to be described by text at each point.


Obviously, Kudu's sarcastic point is well taken - why bother tilting at this particular windmill anymore.

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