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OneHour

Need Ideas, Past Lessons, Current Process ... for Older Scouts Program

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Kudu,

I will be very straight forward on this. Your unit is a death trap waiting to spring. The fact that it has not killed or seriously injured someone is just a matter of time. If what you post is true then it's not a question of will someone be killed, it is simply a matter of when.

 

 

One Hour

The G2SS is there to protect both the Scout and the BSA from units such as that.

 

It takes about 6 inches of water for a person to drown.

 

Doing ANY outdoor activity without proper training and equipment is dangerous for the participants and irresponsible on the part of the adult leaders.

 

Initiations are FORBIDDEN in the BSA. Teaching scouts to jump over open flames is contrary to everything we teach in scouting about safety.

 

We teach scouts from the time the pick up a BB gun in cubscouts to the time they fire a shotgun in Boy Scouts that you NEVER point a weapon at another person with two exception, law enfoircement and military. Laser tag is no exception (while on a scout activity).

 

If you look at the list of recommended activities you will see that scouting offers plenty of adventure for scouts at appropriate times in their developement and once they have been properly trained.

 

Taking on an adventure such a water activity without training doesn't add more adventure it just increases the opportunity to injure a participant. It's bad scouting and must be avoided.

 

 

"I personally consult the most popular new Scouts before their first-year summer camp and ask them to sign up for these two Merit Badges so that they can participate in the next canoe trip."

 

Did anyone else find that to be a very unusually statement

 

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"I personally consult the most popular new Scouts before their first-year summer camp and ask them to sign up for these two Merit Badges so that they can participate in the next canoe trip."

 

Did anyone else find that to be a very unusually statement?

 

More so than unusual, I thought this particular statement intriging. Skills learned in swimming and canoeing MB's contribute to water safety. As the "popular" new scouts have influence over other new scouts (i.e., informal leadership skills), Kudu is using them to encourage the rest of the new scouts to take the same badges at summer camp. I hadn't considered before that these potential natural leaders can be taught to use their natural leadership ability in informal ways to lead the other scouts.

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But making events available to only certain scouts based on their percieved "popularity" rather than on their interests, skills or experience, or more importantly simply because they are members just the same as the "popular" scouts?

 

 

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Bob,

I didn't read into the post that the canoe trip was limited to the popular new scouts, but rather that the popular new scouts were being utilized to promote getting as many of the new scouts as possible signed up for the prerequisites for the trip, and then all that completed them would be eligible to go.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but that is how I took it.

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I will be very straight forward on this. Your unit is a death trap waiting to spring. The fact that it has not killed or seriously injured someone is just a matter of time sic. If what you post is true then it's not a question of will someone be killed, it is simply a matter of when.

 

Bob, I will be very straight forward with you. Your inability to read for comprehension is a death trap waiting to spring. The fact that it has not killed or seriously injured someone is just a matter of time. If what you post is truly what you think you read, then it's not a question of will someone be killed, it is simply a matter of when. Go to bed now, and for your own safety and the safety of others do not read any cookbooks.

 

Basically what I said was to follow what the liability lawyers wrote in G2SS and hire licensed professional guides.

 

It takes about 6 inches of water for a person to drown.

 

I heard it was a teasspoon. Our parents report that PFDs in six inches of water makes bathtime difficult.

 

Initiations are FORBIDDEN in the BSA.

 

So call it an Investiture ceremony open only to those who have attained Scout "rank."

 

Investiture ceremonies are a rite of passage sorely lacking in the BSA these days, see:

 

http://www.inquiry.net/advancement/ceremonies/admission.htm

 

As a matter of fact, the BSA Order of the Arrow initiation ceremonies (yes, initiation ceremonies) are based on Ernest Seton's Woodcraft Indians initiation ceremony, see:

 

http://www.inquiry.net/traditional/seton/birch/organization/initiations.htm

 

Teaching scouts to jump over open flames is contrary to everything we teach in scouting about safety.

 

Again, read what I actually wrote.

 

We teach scouts from the time the pick up a BB gun in cub scouts to the time they fire a shotgun in Boy Scouts that you NEVER point a weapon at another person...

 

Yeah, right! Your local Scout summer camp doesn't sell squirt guns? Ours does. And a person can drown in a teaspoon of water!

 

At any rate I recommended alternatives to laser tag, such as "Bomb-Laying" and other wholesome traditional Scout games:

 

http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/games/b-p/general.htm#BOMB-LAYING

 

Laser tag in our area is just a game of high-tech freeze tag. For tag games not yet forbidden by the G2SS see:

 

http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/summer/tag/

 

But making events available to only certain scouts based on their perceived "popularity" rather than on their interests, skills or experience, or more importantly simply because they are members just the same as the "popular" scouts?

 

Yeah, what Venividi wrote :-) Using natural leadership skills, we get all of the new Scouts who are able to swim to earn Canoe and Swimming Merit Badges and thus qualify for canoe trips.

 

Our American preoccupation with the science of corporate leadership skills education (One Minute Manager, Eleven Leadership Skills) causes us to overlook the fact that the Patrol System was based on Baden-Powell's observation that in all of the human cultures that he observed around the world, boys tend to group together in small gangs and that natural leaders always emerge. In Baden-Powell Scouting adult leaders look for these natural leaders.

 

Kudu

 

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Hi kudu,

I think I read what you wrote pretty clearly. You said that your troop routinely goes canoeing without training. Canoeing on moving water without prior training or planning is one of our Troop's most popular events"

 

You determine if water is dangerous based on what other groups do and how deep the water is rather than on routine safety standards held by the BSA others who are involved in water safety.

 

That's dangerous. That's very dangerous.

 

 

Investure or welcoming ceremomnies are not the same as iniations. And there are and have beem lots of ceremomies available for such ceremonies in various BSA resources, so if they are "sadly lacking" it is because units didn't do them not because they couldn't or didn't have the scripts.

 

The OA does not have you LEAP OVER FIRES. so that is not a very good comparison.

 

I have een to several different summer camps over the years and none sold squirt guns.

 

I doubt that lazer tag is any different in your area than in any other. How different it might be is irrelevant As a BSA activity it is prohibited period.

 

I enjoy laser tag. My son and I have gone a few times. He has gone with his friends, we just don't go as a scout activity. It's the BSA's program they can make what rules they want. None of them are difficult to adhere to.

 

"Yeah, what Venividi wrote :-) Using natural leadership skills, we get all of the new Scouts who are able to swim to earn Canoe and Swimming Merit Badges and thus qualify for canoe trips."

 

But thats not what YOU said. You said "I personally consult the most popular new Scouts before their first-year summer camp and ask them to sign up for these two Merit Badges so that they can participate in the next canoe trip."

 

You didn't mention anything about them motivating others to go, all you said was that you invited the most popular ones to go. There was nothing there to suggest that you meant anything beyond that.

 

Now I would hope that you were not excluding the "less popular" scouts from going, but it sure read that way. Still preparing scouts for an activity based on their popularity does not sound like a very fair or effective way to treat the other scouts, does it?

 

Thanks for listening

BW

 

 

 

 

 

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NOTICE: Training and Planning are not dirty words!

 

And we should not let the Scouts think that they are. Quite the opposite. Planning can be a very big part of the fun and excitement of a trek. But proper planning skills have to be taught effectively...

 

Training is not a burden; training for an adventure heightens the appreciation for the activity and gives you something to do at troop meeting rather than just work on merit badges and rank requirement or offering up disjointed skills classes just because thats what lil' johnie needs...for first class.

 

KUDU- I am hoping some of you comments are either mild frustation, resignation or even slightly tongue in cheek but I have to say I am rather distressed that a canoe trip is "better" by engaging an outfitter because " who wants to plan or train".

 

Good gosh! Thats a large part of what we do with these young men. Planning a canoe trip, tracking down maps, reading elevations, locating campsites and rapids or fall, figuring out packing, food, water, transport shuttles, boat aquisition and hygiene requirements can be as engrossing as the N.Y. Times crossword puzzle (or perhaps trying to determine what your wife really meant the last time she said "fine, everything is just fine").

 

Training can fill your meetings with instruction that has a point...a purpose...water safety, first aid in the wilderness, fire building for cooking or LNT with backpacking stoves, river rescue techniques, Knots used in boating and rescue, pully and winch systems, let alone real tandem paddling skills that most summer camps never come close to teaching effectively...

 

We start our first and second year boys at summer camp with swimming M.B., canoeing M.B., and lifesaving (if possible), then the first few meetings in September we work on skills and "waterless" techniques. We will start training on flat water in two weeks with a lakeside weekend camp and continue to build throughout the year. We will have two short weekend river trips, a white water rafting trip, and a monster 100+ miler (for only older scouts) and by the time we get "there" these guys are pumped and trained...

 

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT the PLC (and many of the participants) be brought into the planning process. Sure its harder on the adults to "put up with the learning curve, the constant digressions and the normal, sensless stupidity of teenage boys learning to plan for real...but hey, that's why we get paid the big bucks. Handing over the sixty dollars per scout for something we can do ourselves is pure abdication of our duty to these youngmen.

 

That is not to say every canoe trip can be done without a guide...just that if you have done a trip ("Its our favorite activity") and you know it to be safe, the boys should take over the planning and arrange the training schedule for future trips. Even on rivers you have not run before, a 5 or 10 mile hike alongside the river may be possible to scope out possible problems and potential camp sites... as well as filling another weekend with a fun adventure (fishing?)with a purpose.

 

my $3.56 per gallon worth

anarchist

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Hi Kudu,

As you might have picked up - I was a Scout and a Scout Leader in England for a fair amount of time. Almost 12 years as a Leader and all the way through Cubbing, Scouting and Venture Scouting.

I agree that many of the games that Troops use are a little on the rough side.

As a young Scout Leader I attended Wood Badge and the leadership skills taught then (Early 70's) were much the same as the ones that were taught when I started Staffing Boy Scout courses on this side of the pond. In fact if you take a close look at the 21st Century Wood Badge many if not most of the same skills are still there with new names.

I am a little concerned when you post:

"Make sure that the Guide to Safe Scouting is not just an excuse for the adults to reject activities with which they are not familiar or qualified to run themselves."

I have never seen the G2SS as an excuse not to do things that are BSA approved activities. In fact I see it as a way of covering my tail and doing everything to ensure that our youth members do have fun. An injured Scout isn't having any fun.

Baden Powell was a great man and years ahead of his time. However just because BP did was was acceptable at that time in no way makes it OK to do today. Of course if you are talking about the BP Scouts and not the BSA, I do hope that you make this very clear to the parents.

Way too much time and space has been used on the web discussing Laser tag or whatever you want to call it. My feelings are that is isn't a BSA approved activity and going ahead with it shows total disregard for the Scout Oath Law. I know if I knowingly went ahead and broke a rule that expecting others to follow rules would be difficult.

While I don't see much fun in the ideas that you have posted, maybe some Lads might? However the vision statement of the BSA states:

Offer young people responsible fun and adventure;

I really see much of what you posted as being anything but responsible. I count myself as being very fortunate that my son is not a member of the unit you serve.

Eamonn.

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Anarchist writes:

 

KUDU- I am hoping some of you comments are either mild frustration, resignation or even slightly tongue in cheek but I have to say I am rather distressed that a canoe trip is "better" by engaging an outfitter because "who wants to plan or train".

 

Only "slightly" tongue in cheek? :-)

 

Seriously, an outfitter canoe trip is better than postponing a canoe trip until an inexperienced PLC somehow figures out how to plan one.

 

In our case, the outfitter company is owned by the Scouters who run our Council's yearly adult canoe training course. They offer a number of standard trips based on the experience of the people participating. This means that they are familiar with the current conditions of these different stretches of moving water.

 

The beginner's package always begins with "hands on" instruction in maneuvering a canoe in moving water, which our Scouts do not learn in their prerequisite summer camp Canoeing Merit Badge courses. As the tour proceeds downstream, the instruction becomes more advanced as the conditions become more challenging.

 

Most local commercial outfitters offer similar skill-level based packages.

 

I agree that using weekly Troop meetings to prepare for the next trip is half the fun. I'm just saying that package tours run by professional licensed guides are perfect for Troops like OneHour's where the PLC does not have enough high adventure experience to plan a high adventure trip.

 

Kudu

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Bob White writes:

 

You determine if water is dangerous based on what other groups do and how deep the water is rather than on routine safety standards held by the BSA others who are involved in water safety.

 

The bottom line is that I conform to the Guide to Safe Scouting.

 

That being said, yeah I look at what other groups do when forming my own objective opinion. The image of you wearing a PFD in water no more than six inches deep is a perfect example of the triumph of blind obedience over common sense. Yes, if I was going tubing in water no more than two feet deep as a BSA event, then I would wear the stupid PFD, but I certainly would not be proud of it as you appear to be.

 

It is not true that the G2SS is a collection of "routine safety standards." Other examples include the prohibition against monkey bridges more than five feet off the ground, and the rule against laser tag. These are not "routine safety standards." My guess is that they are not based on an insurance carrier's risk analysis, but rather a liability lawyer's opinion of what measures are necessary to protect the BSA's assets. These are two different standards, but I leave it to others to spin this issue into a new topic and debate it in depth.

 

The OA does not have you LEAP OVER FIRES. so that is not a very good comparison.

 

Again, I proposed the Eengonyama war dance as an alternative to leaping over fires. The Eengonyama chant and dance plugs directly into the human fascination with campfire rituals. It goes back to the very first Boy Scout campout and is the only song that the participants at Brownsea remembered singing.

 

Investure or welcoming ceremomnies are not the same as iniations.

 

The difference is in name only. The OA does indeed have initiations, and they are based on Ernest Seton's Birch Bark Indians initiation which predates the BSA. From the link I gave above, you can also find Dan Beard's "Sons of Daniel Boone" initiation.

 

so if they are "sadly lacking" it is because units didn't do them not because they couldn't or didn't have the scripts.

 

I think that they fell out of use as BSA Tenderfoot became more than a few simple joining requirements. Now that the Scout "rank" has apparently taken over this function, I suggest that investiture ceremonies be based on that achievement.

 

I enjoy laser tag. My son and I have gone a few times. He has gone with his friends, we just don't go as a scout activity.

 

This seems to contradict your justification for the BSA's prohibition on laser tag, "We teach scouts from the time the pick up a BB gun in cubscouts to the time they fire a shotgun in Boy Scouts that you NEVER point a weapon at another person...." Which is my point exactly, it is just an arbitrary, politically correct nanny rule. The problem is not the BSA's rules, the problem is that the BSA has a odd monopoly on Scouting which then encourages this kind of blind obedience with the inevitable resulting hypocrisy.

 

The prohibition on laser tag simply fails the squirt gun test of absurdity.

 

But thats not what YOU said....You didn't mention anything about them motivating others to go, all you said was that you invited the most popular ones to go. There was nothing there to suggest that you meant anything beyond that.

 

I'm trying not to read too much into this, but what I wrote was:

 

"We do require Swimming and Canoe Merit Badges to participate. I personally consult the most popular new Scouts before their first-year summer camp and ask them to sign up for these two Merit Badges so that they can participate in the next canoe trip. Peer-pressure then makes it easier to get the rest of the new Scouts (those who can swim) to sign up too."

 

Kudu

 

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Eamonn writes:

 

I am a little concerned when you post: "Make sure that the Guide to Safe Scouting is not just an excuse for the adults to reject activities with which they are not familiar or qualified to run themselves."

 

OneHour had written, "Here is the situation. Currently, we have about 12 'older scouts' who came from the time when our troop was 95% adult-run, which allows them to do things that would go against G2SS guidelines. These boys complained that the new scoutmasters do not allow them to have fun any more. On the contrary, the PLC decides the events we ask various G2SS guideline questions. They elected not to do some of the events."

 

I was just reading between the lines. My impression is that the PLC and the Scouters have reached a stalemate over G2SS issues. To me the solution is obvious, simply sidestep the impasse by hiring professional white water and canoe outfitters recommended by his local Council. This allows outside adults to introduce G2SS rules free from any ongoing personality conflicts.

 

Baden Powell was a great man and years ahead of his time. However just because BP did was was acceptable at that time in no way makes it OK to do today. Of course if you are talking about the BP Scouts and not the BSA, I do hope that you make this very clear to the parents.

 

Being from England, you should be aware that Baden-Powell Scouting preserves the game of Scouting as it was practiced by Baden-Powell while he was still alive. It makes changes to B-P's advancement requirements only to reflect advances in 1) Health & Safety, 2) Lightweight Equipment, and 3) Environmental Concerns ("Leave No Trace").

 

My feelings are that is isn't a BSA approved activity and going ahead with it shows total disregard for the Scout Oath Law. I know if I knowingly went ahead and broke a rule that expecting others to follow rules would be difficult.

 

Apparently Bob White is not alone in his inability to entertain three ideas at the same time: 1) The ban on laser tag is a politically correct nanny rule, 2) We do not break this nanny rule, 3) Here are some alternative activities which are not against the BSA's nanny rules.

 

While I don't see much fun in the ideas that you have posted, maybe some Lads might?

 

My experience is that Scouts do not learn new games by reading, but when introduced with the spoken word and explained with enthusiasm, wide games have a universal appeal for older boys, see:

 

http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/games/wide/

 

I really see much of what you posted as being anything but responsible.

 

Could you be more specific?

 

I count myself as being very fortunate that my son is not a member of the unit you serve.

 

I suspect that, in common with Bob White, your negative feelings have more to do with your own personal political agenda than with any deep understanding of the Spirit of Scouting.

 

Kudu

 

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Actually the only agenda Eamonn has is to keep "She Who Must be Obeyed" off the warpath...

 

Anyway, Kudu, are you in a BSA unit or some other organization. At one time I thought you were a member of a non-BSA unit, but you say you follow the G2SS so I am not sure.

 

I can kinda sorta in a way see the looking for the "natural leader", but what do you do with the "shrinking violets" or the "wallflowers" you will inevitably come across, what do you do to help those kids grow?

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Anyway, Kudu, are you in a BSA unit or some other organization.

 

I am a Scoutmaster of a BSA Troop, and a local Council basic cold weather training & advanced winter camping ("Okpik") instructor.

 

At one time I thought you were a member of a non-BSA unit, but you say you follow the G2SS so I am not sure.

 

Yes, I also involved with the American branch of the Baden-Powell Scout Association (BPSA-USA) in the development of their Traditional Uniforms and Traditional Scout & Senior Scout Section advancement programs.

 

I can kinda sorta in a way see the looking for the "natural leader", but what do you do with the "shrinking violets" or the "wallflowers" you will inevitably come across, what do you do to help those kids grow?

 

We were talking about first year Scouts signing up in advance for Merit Badges at their first summer camp. The shrinking violets and wallflowers sign up for Swimming and Canoe Merit Badges largely because they don't want to be left out. But really, OGE, once they are in the water it is just their skin against the natural elements isn't it?

 

Every Scouter has experienced the transformation that occurs when you somehow, someway just barely manage to persuade a shrinking violet to do something outside of his comfort zone. They usually relapse the next day and insist that they can't do it, but 90% of success in life is just showing up and if they just hang on long enough they will succeed.

 

And when they do surprisingly pull it off and earn that impossible badge, what a difference there is in how they walk, no? Really, they move differently and their eyes meet others at a different angle.

 

I also use this peer pressure strategy when I recruit six graders in the public schools, see:

 

http://www.inquiry.net/adult/recruiting.htm

 

It's the hecklers and the class clowns that I want to persuade. Capture their imagination and the others will follow. The secret is that everyone is a shrinking violet in some well-hidden aspect of his life. In the comfort of a school auditorium bears and rattle snakes sound like great fun, but when the sun begins to set on the first night of their first campout then bears no longer sound like such a good idea.

 

But what boy wants to admit that he is afraid?

 

Personal growth is all about meeting your personal demons. Maybe the perfect first year program is one in which every boy is afraid at least once, but no two boys ever at the same time: fear of the dark, fear of the water, fear of being away from mommy, fear of heights, fear of public speaking, fear of thunder, fear of strange foods, fear of wetting the bed, fear of wild animals, fear of getting lost, fear of someone making fun of you. Fear is probably genetic, its what kept our fangless, clawless, naked ancestors alive. Conquering fear is what made them human.

 

So if your older Scouts have no redeeming virtues what-so-ever, then forget that PLC stalemate, forget "leadership development," forget planning, forget the Guide to Safe Scouting, and find a local Council-approved outfitter who incorporates all of that important stuff in a neat little commercial package. The registered guides are in charge on the water or on rope, not you.

 

Just like the first year Scouts, smug, cynical, anti-social teenagers all have their personal demons too, they just hide them better. There is nothing like a high adventure encounter with the forces of nature to change things.

 

Adrenaline leads to the discovery of hidden aptitudes. Natural aptitudes facilitate the learning of skills in unfamiliar environments. Skills produce self-confidence. Self-confidence takes the form of leadership when a wallflower explains in simple terms what needs to be done.

 

Kudu(This message has been edited by Kudu)

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Has no one heard of the "Safety Afloat" training? It's required for canoe trips on lakes and slow-moving watercourses. There is a "Swift Water Training" for canoeing on swift-flowing watercourses as well. And Basic First Aid Training is needed for all outdoor activities. See if your council offeres it on-line.

 

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Has no one heard of the "Safety Afloat" training? It's required for canoe trips on lakes and slow-moving watercourses. There is a "Swift Water Training" for canoeing on swift-flowing watercourses as well.

 

I haven't heard of "Swift Water Training". Safety Afloat covers all float trips, whether there is a current or not.

 

Actually, the user of a guide/outfitter is a great way of not only ensuring a safe trip, but also teaching/reinforcing the safety afloat guidelines. We use the safety afloat guidelines to make sure the outfitter meets the minimum criteria. Scouts gain an understanding and appreciation of why we do the things we do. And, it's easier than getting your own equipment, lifeguards, trained personnel, etc.

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