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Cell Phones At The Jamboree

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Well, my ex-boss showed me his new Moto Droid phone. One of the apps is a flame.


So, with many 'smartphones' your phone can be:


* your watch (is mine)

* your alarm clock (i've used it for that)

* your flashlight

* your GPS

* your camera (used it for that in a pinch now and then)

* your web browser (used it for that at times, useful once to check my yahoo email for a meeting to ensure I was at the right time/place/date). Also used to update my FB status.


With people scattered around, they will be a great way to communicate. At NOAC they used them to alert everyone to severe weather and to get to shelter. When you are in a staff group and not everyone is in the same location, great way to connect with them.


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"With people scattered around, they will be a great way to communicate. At NOAC they used them to alert everyone to severe weather and to get to shelter. When you are in a staff group and not everyone is in the same location, great way to connect with them"


Sure seems that way to me. I think the advantages of having them on their person are just too good to pass up. They also will have to carry them to get them recharged. Apparently, there are going to be little lockers with keys in the door so the kids can stick the phone into the plug, lock it and take the key. That way they don't have to hang around waiting for it to charge or worry about someone stealing their phones. If they coordinate on the buddy system, one can always have his phone on.



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All their friends on Facebook will distract them enough to keep them cool. And texting to their friend in the next tent will be a good way to keep them from having to get to know their own tentmate. Another good thing they can do is sit in the shade somewhere and plug into a ballgame. That way they can have a good time while their parents back home are thinking it was a well-spent $2000. A once in a lifetime experience. Oh wait! There'll be another game tomorrow. Never mind.


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"And 40,000 cell phone users will plug in their chargers where?"


As mentioned above, they (supposedly) will have charging stations all around the site where cellphones can be locked in, recharged and picked up later. I doubt that there will be enough for 40,000 at a time, though. :)

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From the Scouting Magazine blog:Stay connected at the Jamboree

You already know that the 2010 National Scout Jamboree will be the best, most exciting, fun-filled, and safest jamboree ever. But now there's another superlative to add to the mix: "most connected."


Thanks to a unique partnership with AT&T, the site at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., which in the past has had spotty wireless coverage, will become a hub of communication for the 45,000 participants and staff and more than 250,000 visitors expected to attend.


John Alline, the jamboree's director, recently announced the plan to create a three-level wireless canopy that will cover the entire site. The first two levels will be for the medical and administration teams, but the rest of the coverage is for the participants and staff.


"If 45,000 Scouts and Scouters all press send on their phones at the same time," Alline says, "their messages will go through."


Instead of the long banks of payphones you might remember from past jamborees, the 2010 jamboree will feature AT&T kiosks at which you can recharge cell phones of any brand. Don't have a cell phone? No problem. AT&T will also have tethered phones boys and adults can use to call home for free.


Can't go 10 days without checking your e-mail? Wi-Fi hotspots will support your smartphone or laptop computer, and a computer bank will be available for adult leaders to use in 10-minute blocks of time.


Because the wireless carrier T-Mobile uses the same technology as AT&T, those phones will work on the site as well. Verizon has also announced that it will provide coverage. There's no word on Sprint just yet.

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Back in 2001 we were advised not to take cell phones.

So being a good little SM I left mine at home.

While the Jamboree was going on someone made an offer on some property I was selling.

I stood in line waiting for a phone.

The little Lad in front of me was phoning home. He gave the person on the other end a full account of everything he's done, every meal he'd eaten, what he hoped to do and a list of things that he wasn't going to do.

I was hopping from one foot to the other hoping that he'd run out of things to say.

I really had to smile. It was after all his turn to use the phone and like it or not it was great to hear (Eavesdrop?)That this Lad was having such a great time.

One of the ASM's had brought a pair of cheap hand held radios that his son and him hoped to use to keep in contact. He thought this was a wonderful idea. So must about 30,000 others! These radios turned out to be a real waste of time.

In 2005 I asked our Scouts not to take their cell phones, explaining that there was no place to recharge them.

I took mine, knowing that the guys who were staffing the maintenance area were guys that I'd staffed WB courses with in the past and they would allow me to recharge my phone and camera in the maintenance area.

We had an extra dining fly with a patrol box in it that we used for our daily PLC meetings. I left the phone in the box, with the understanding that anyone who wanted to use it could. We called it the Bat-Phone.

This worked really well.

Phones have got a lot smarter since 2005.

As others have posted they aren't just for making calls any more.

Trying to forbid them would cause more problems than it's worth.

My big concern would be Scouts losing them.

If I were an SM I think I would see if the PLC would agree to something that requested Scouts leave their phones in their tents when they are out and about.

While it seems that a couple of forum members see this being the end of Scouting as we know it. I'm happy that National is aware that this is the 21st century and for nearly all of our Scouts cell phones are just something that they have grown up with and have always been around.

I'm not so sure that they are such a good idea for staff who are working in emergency situations? At work we don't use phones and rely on both high and low band radios, depending on who is using them where. - But I'm sure National knows what they are doing.

It's really wonderful to see that we are at long last trying to understand that the kids we serve have not escaped from Father Knows Best or the Ozzie and Harriet TV shows.

Score one for National!


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"And texting to their friend in the next tent will be a good way to keep them from having to get to know their own tentmate. Another good thing they can do is sit in the shade somewhere and plug into a ballgame." - BDPT00


Perhaps. But they may also be texting their buddies back home about what a great time they are having at the Jamboree, and about how much fun they get from being in Scouting. Once upon a time we didn't have flashlights, propane stoves, nylon tents or GPS. Introducing any of these things didn't ruin Scouting. We will have to figure out how to integrate cell phones into our program in a way that will not cause harm but also recognizes that this is a technology that is here to stay and won't go away because we may be stuck in the past.


I am going to the Jamboree with an open mind. If a Scout in my Troop is sitting in his tent all day, not interacting with his peers, not getting the benefits of the Jamboree, I think it is my job as Scoutmaster to work with the SPL and other Troop leadership to counsel the Scout and help him get involved. Sitting in my chair complaining about how spoiled the kids of today are with their cell phones will not solve the problem. Assuming that there is no middle ground in the great cell phone debate does nothing to further our movement.


Come August we will all know a lot more about how this has worked out. I am optimistic that it will be fine.

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I appreciate your optimism. My concern rests entirely with certain Scouts I see who can never seem to raise their eyes from an electronic gadget. Are laptops allowed? Game Boys? All I'm suggesting is that troop or contingent leadership knows that there needs to be a line drawn somewhere. I don't think that leaving it up to a child is a wise idea. It needs some thought and some rules.

You're right. All or nothing isn't the answer. It's a matter of who draws the line, and where it is.



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Having the PLC decide things is fine, but the leaders jobs is to make sure the program is followed and the laws of Scouting are obeyed (correct me if I'm wrong), so I think the use of a controversial tool, such as a cell phone, is well within the boundaries of adult discretion. I'd leave the more routine and easily-tossed-up matters to the PLC.



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Ill bet your going to see a vast majority of Scouts and Scouters sporting Cell Phones and Blackberrys on their belt. They are going to be taking pictures, posting to their Facebook pages and keeping in contact with their peeps. Patrol Leaders are going to keep in contact with his guys and agree to rendezvous so they can attend an event as a group. Someone lost?not any more. A quick call and they are back with the troop. Jambo land is huge, vast and a modern cell phone a great way to keep the guys together. Wish I had it back in 77. It seemed we were spending a huge amount of time keeping track of everyone.

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I must admit I have never been to a Jamboree. . . but. The tools of the day must be relied upon to provide the the best management of the troop on the ground while at the jamboree and when touring areas around it like D. C. and other tourist areas (I personally don't think a cell phone is necessary at a normal summer camp, though.) I think that the Scouts that are going to Jamboree should be trusted to be able to make the own informed decisions and be relied upon to follow them with the proper guidance and mentoring from the adults around them. I was not implying simply throwing caution to the wind and allowing all sorts of electronic interference. I was suggesting that the PLC decide the course of action, after being given the options and the facts available at the time of decision making, rather than simply deciding for them.


Are they not going to be allowed to take other electronic items along? What about a digital camera, a video camera (like a Flip camera or something)? These can also be lost while on the ground at Jamboree or used inappropriately. The trip will be a long one for most contingents have you considered allowing the PLCs to condone hand-held game systems or MP3 players for the vehicles only?


Let the boys in on the decision making and hold them responsible. You might be surprised.

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Cell phone, MP3, videocam, Blackberry, Game Boy, PSP ... anything else go on the list? How about letting the PLC decide on laptops? And you know what? ... I don't think we ever asked the PLC what the uniform should be. I guess somebody else has already made that decision. Sometimes, as adult leaders, we should lead. These aren't white/wheat or jam/jelly decisions, and this isn't a local campout where we can allow a kid to show up without a sleeping bag because mom forgot to pack it for him.





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