Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >
Topic Options
#164452 - 01/22/09 06:46 PM TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
I've been lurking for a while and finally came up with a topic to post. My background: Retired Marine, Infantry, 22 years, Scout-Sniper, Joint Forces Special Ops, graduate of Jungle Environment Survival Training, Mountain Survival Training, and Desert Survival Training. I practice my skills consistently and stay up-to-date on the latest tips and techniques, reading, etc. I also teach fundamental survival skills when I'm not stuck behind a desk and a computer. I'm also an Assistant Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout Troop.

Situation: preparing to teach 20-30 plus Scouts, ages 11-17,
fundamental survival skills, plus their parents. The socio-economic dynamic of the Troop is one of very few "outdoors-y" or middle to lower class Scouts or families. Predominately upper middle class to upper class (whatever those phrases really mean) families, college educated, not-used-to-getting-dirty-in-need-of-a-reality-check types.

I've already run into several low grade conflicts with certain parents/individuals about some of the things I've taught the Scouts in the past. Simple things: use of a sheath knife (BSA policy is that use of sheath knives is discouraged, not outright banned, just discouraged), snares and traps, etc.

I was asked by the Scoutmaster, who knows my background and experience, to develop and teach a Wilderness Survival package over the next several months. There will be several classroom lectures with visual aids covering survival fundamentals, first aid, orienteering, shelter building, fire making, survival kits, etc., all focused on the basics to keep one alive during the 72-96 hour SAR window, so there will be no eating grubs, etc. There will be several practical application settings so the Scouts can get dirty and get a little experience in a controlled environment. This will culminate in a survival exercise where we take the Scouts out for a "day hike" that, unknown to them, turns into a 48-hour survival exercise. Safety will be stressed, with qualified parents (a couple of EMTs, etc.) manning a base camp a couple of miles away, with redundant two-way comms.

Well, already I'm running into resistance by some of the more touchy-feely parents about the classes as well as the exercise. Comments like "the lectures are too graphic" or "it sounds too dangerous, we shouldn't be teaching this to our Scouts" or, my favorite, "my boy won't be carrying a knife, of any sort, because he might cut himself." Mind you, I've also gotten a lot of acceptance and encouragement from a lot of the parents, and they want to participate in all of the instruction and the exercise.

I want to assure everyone on the forum that my lectures aren't graphic, I know I'm not teaching Marines or SEALs, but Scouts, so I've toned down my more, shall I say, enthusiastic parts, but the message is still the same and the lessons will still be taught and, hopefully, learned.

I started this post with a question in mind, but have now forgotten it. I guess I'm experiencing a bit of frustration with the recalcitrance of some of the parents in letting their Scouts learn that the world is not a nice place and that they will be better prepared (Scout motto: Be Prepared!) to face many of life's obstacles, not just survival situations, with the skills they could learn.

Any suggestions?
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164455 - 01/22/09 06:56 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
First of all, welcome.

I'm also an ASM for a scout troop and I've learned that you have to tread a fine line to not overstep established scouting guidelines.

The sheath knife is definitely one of those areas you must tread lightly. They don't outright ban it, but they are HIGHLY discouraged. Even then, it is adult use only typically.

Those parents that do not want their kids to participate in this sort of activity have every right to keep their kids out of it. A loss for them however.

With your planned scenario, you must make sure that the adults are carrying adequate equipment to supplement anything a scout might forget. You obviously do not want to put any scout in a life threatening position. If they are simply uncomfortable because they forgot to pack a comfort item, well, that is there problem.

I actually am doing a survival lecture with our troop tomorrow at camp with another ASM. I'm very interested in hearing more about your plans.

Mike
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#164456 - 01/22/09 06:56 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1914
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Great to have you here.

I will be presenting this course next month to Girl Scouts:

For Girl Scout Teens
Teens in the Timber Workshop #1 - Outdoor Survival
Would you know what to do in an outdoor emergency? If you're not sure, now's the time to find out! Come learn the 10 essentials you should have in your outdoor survival kit, and what to do in different emergency situations. This is the first workshop in the Teens in the Timber series, all designed to prepare teen troops to participate in the first ever Teens in the Timber outdoor skills competition.

GS Survival Program

I would be happy to share any materials (PowerPoint) I develop and experiences I have with the girls.

Pete

Top
#164459 - 01/22/09 07:07 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1516
Loc: DFW, Texas
Welcome,

Once the really important basics are out of the way (first aid, etc.), please teach them REALLY good land-nav skills. Just like you and I were taught over and over again. Once they have that down, then let them see a GPS.

More than once I have been tromping thru the woods looking for scouts that had a map and compass, but not a clue about how to use it. I know the classroom part is as boring as watching paint dry, but it is really important.

I am sure in 22 years, you have plenty of memories of brand new butter bars lost. Just remember them when fighting to keep the scouts awake.

Good Luck.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

Top
#164462 - 01/22/09 07:12 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: paramedicpete]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
I'll clarify the knife use subject... in our Troop we only allow folders up to 3" blades and sheath knives up to 4" blades. For those not familiar with Scouting, before a Scout can carry a knife, he has to earn a Totin' Chip, which is instruction designed to teach a new Scout the proper and safe use/maintenance of knives and hatchets. Only when they can demonstrate mastery of the fundamentals are they awarded a Totin' Chip, which is card that basically says they've completed the training and are authorized to carry a knife when and where appropriate. Ironically, hatchet use isn't discouraged. Hmmm... In my Troop, any violations of safety, such as horseplay, "Stretch", throwing knives into trees, etc, are handled with an on the spot correction and one corner of their Totin' Chip card gets cut off. All four corners get cut, they lose their Chip and knife privilege, and have to go through the class all over again, at the Scoutmaster's convenience (so it could take a while). If they lose their card two times, they lose the privilege, period. That really ticks off parents who think their Scouts are special and deserve special treatment, not like those, and I quote: "others".
Our base camp is where all external supplies will be based: surplus water (just in case), advanced 1st aid supplies, extra 52g trashbags, and other survival items. We'll let the Scouts on the exercise suffer enough to get the point, but not enough to endanger anyone. Safety is stressed and is paramount. We will be balancing that with not wanting our Scouts to feel that they have an "out" and don't need to bring their basic PSKs.
My course is titled "Survival 101." I want my Scouts to know the time-tested fundamentals, and I'm not going to address wilderness living skills. Basics work, that's why they became the basics.


Edited by enolson484 (01/22/09 07:18 PM)
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164466 - 01/22/09 07:17 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Desperado]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Oh, I will, I will. GPS aren't allowed. My orienteering classes will cover two sessions: Map and Compass, then Orienteering, followed by a day and night land navigation course. Everything purple dinosaur style. I've already procurred surplus, out-of-date maps that were headed for the landfill from the local reserve unit, a few UTM protractors, and 90% of the Scouts have compasses already. I haven't forgotten about the boot looeys, there's still one wandering around Camp Swampy in North Carolina somewhere!
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164468 - 01/22/09 07:19 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Really sounds good.
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#164473 - 01/22/09 07:28 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1326
Loc: United Kingdom.
Originally Posted By: enolson484
I've been lurking for a while and finally came up with a topic to post. My background: Retired Marine, Infantry, 22 years, Scout-Sniper, Joint Forces Special Ops, graduate of Jungle Environment Survival Training, Mountain Survival Training, and Desert Survival Training. I practice my skills consistently and stay up-to-date on the latest tips and techniques, reading, etc. I also teach fundamental survival skills when I'm not stuck behind a desk and a computer. I'm also an Assistant Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout Troop.

Situation: preparing to teach 20-30 plus Scouts, ages 11-17,
fundamental survival skills, plus their parents. The socio-economic dynamic of the Troop is one of very few "outdoors-y" or middle to lower class Scouts or families. Predominately upper middle class to upper class (whatever those phrases really mean) families, college educated, not-used-to-getting-dirty-in-need-of-a-reality-check types.

I've already run into several low grade conflicts with certain parents/individuals about some of the things I've taught the Scouts in the past. Simple things: use of a sheath knife (BSA policy is that use of sheath knives is discouraged, not outright banned, just discouraged), snares and traps, etc.

I was asked by the Scoutmaster, who knows my background and experience, to develop and teach a Wilderness Survival package over the next several months. There will be several classroom lectures with visual aids covering survival fundamentals, first aid, orienteering, shelter building, fire making, survival kits, etc., all focused on the basics to keep one alive during the 72-96 hour SAR window, so there will be no eating grubs, etc. There will be several practical application settings so the Scouts can get dirty and get a little experience in a controlled environment. This will culminate in a survival exercise where we take the Scouts out for a "day hike" that, unknown to them, turns into a 48-hour survival exercise. Safety will be stressed, with qualified parents (a couple of EMTs, etc.) manning a base camp a couple of miles away, with redundant two-way comms.

Well, already I'm running into resistance by some of the more touchy-feely parents about the classes as well as the exercise. Comments like "the lectures are too graphic" or "it sounds too dangerous, we shouldn't be teaching this to our Scouts" or, my favorite, "my boy won't be carrying a knife, of any sort, because he might cut himself." Mind you, I've also gotten a lot of acceptance and encouragement from a lot of the parents, and they want to participate in all of the instruction and the exercise.

I want to assure everyone on the forum that my lectures aren't graphic, I know I'm not teaching Marines or SEALs, but Scouts, so I've toned down my more, shall I say, enthusiastic parts, but the message is still the same and the lessons will still be taught and, hopefully, learned.

I started this post with a question in mind, but have now forgotten it. I guess I'm experiencing a bit of frustration with the recalcitrance of some of the parents in letting their Scouts learn that the world is not a nice place and that they will be better prepared (Scout motto: Be Prepared!) to face many of life's obstacles, not just survival situations, with the skills they could learn.

Any suggestions?


It's called denial. Quick way to get killed. smile

Methinks that some of these parents don't want you as an example to their children. We don't want them to learn about honour, courage, self reliance, keeping one's word and the faith, do we?

One wonders if some of these parents are capable of compehending that there is no difference between a sheath knife and a kitchen knife? They can only be handled safely by people who are taught properly. The younger (within reason) the better.

Make passing the survival/first aid course a requirement for remaining/advancing in the troop. If you can.

If not: try making it a requirement for participation in any of the active activities. After all the scout might have to render aid to a fellow member.

Part of me, the nasty part is considering various (perfectly legitimate) ways to encourage the touchy feely parent to take themselves and their offspring someplace else. The rest of me is saying that wouldn't be fair on the kids.
_________________________
I don't do dumb & helpless.

Top
#164475 - 01/22/09 07:33 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: Leigh_Ratcliffe

Make passing the survival/first aid course a requirement for remaining/advancing in the troop. If you can.

If not: try making it a requirement for participation in any of the active activities. After all the scout might have to render aid to a fellow member.

Part of me, the nasty part is considering various (perfectly legitimate) ways to encourage the touchy feely parent to take themselves and their offspring someplace else. The rest of me is saying that wouldn't be fair on the kids.


You can't go against national with things like this.
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#164477 - 01/22/09 07:44 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Well, I retired on Jan 1, so I'm slowly learning a bit more about diplomacy, but the PC part is not taking, for some reason. The First Aid instruction will be continuous throughout the instruction, with a lot of what, in the Corps, used to be called "Cherry Pickers." A cherry picker is a 1st aid scenario thrown at students, at random, whenever and wherever, just like they'd happen in real life. The students then have to treat the victim, with little supervision, and are critiqued at the end of each drill.
I throw survival cherry pickers at my Scout's frequently, just to make them stop and at least think. I find it interesting how the younger ones are usually the ones to step up into a leadership roll and take on the challenge.
I think the reluctant parents react the way they do out of ignorance, denial, or thinking that some one or some agency will be there to bail them out. People just don't learn from history, it seems (Katrina, etc.). Additionally, this same group of parents are the ones that are least involved with their Scouts, just drop them off for meetings and outings and return to pick them up, but try to set policy for the Troop when they don't even know what's going on! I've converted a few, and now they're among the most enthusiastic parents we've got, to the point where I've had to pull one or two aside and pull the reins in a bit. But, I'd much rather have to do that instead of having to deal with the "I can't do this, I can't do that" crowd.
They just can't get the fact that survival skills translate into life skills that will help their boys be more responsible and productive citizens in the long run. Of course, that's kind of the point of Scouting in the first place...
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164485 - 01/22/09 08:06 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
I feel for you! Sadly, scouting was originally created to get boys out in the woods, was it not? Slowly, over years, they have taken that away due to the "danger" of it.
How about starting them off slowly? A sort of Q & A class, or classes? What if situations? EASE them into it. Present scenarios, go over options, explain what is good, what is bad.
Perhaps go over "safe" issues such as dehydration, exposure, etc. But, explain it in a kids way: "Who here has been so thirsty their lips have been chapped? How about SO cold your fingertips dont work?" Things of that nature.
Other than that, chalk em up to no-load, ah, well, I wont go any further with that one wink
_________________________
my adventures

Top
#164489 - 01/22/09 08:17 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: oldsoldier]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
You're on the mark, Scouting has gone away from its origins. I've read a lot of Baden-Powell's writings, have Scout handbooks from the past, and you can literally see the shift from an outdoor "manly" focus to a more sensitive style of Scouting. While I do agree that a lot of the stuff in the current Scout handbook has validity, I wouldn't mind seeing a shift back to the old Scout traditions of woodsmanship. So much can be learned about life, just by being in the woods. I'm not talking tree-hugger stuff (although, that has its place, too). I'm talking about true bushcraft (survival) skills, that can form the foundation for the rest of a young man's life. I wasn't involved in Scouting when I was young, but I have a Dad that had me in the woods doing all of that "huntin', fishin', trappin', campin' stuff" that served me quite well in situations where my military training was lacking. Just the confidence builders alone are enough to transform a young Scout from being a timid follower to a self-reliant leader. One more thing I've learned, and I can't really pass this on to my Scouts: chicks dig it! Remember, we're talking about teenage boys here. If that's not incentive for a teenage boy to learn survival skills, then I don't know what is!
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164492 - 01/22/09 08:22 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
UncleGoo Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 302
Loc: CT
Let the kids know that, even if their parents prohibit them from participating in the activities at this time, you will be more than happy to help them with the skills when they're older--the usefulness of these skills does not end with childhood.
You're already making a big impression on the kids, and if you plant the seed, they'll come back.
_________________________
Your wife was eaten by horses? - Benson DuBois

Top
#164493 - 01/22/09 08:23 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1516
Loc: DFW, Texas
Well, maybe it will work out. Too bad you can't drop the parents from a blackhawk into the boonies in the middle of the night. Give them three days to learn their lesson, and then come back after them.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

Top
#164494 - 01/22/09 08:25 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Desperado]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 1770
any reason you can't have the over-night right next to the main camp?
No need to be miles away

Top
#164503 - 01/22/09 08:42 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: oldsoldier]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1888
Loc: NE Illinois
A few questions ...

What are the parents doing there? Boy Scouts is a boy thing - not a boy AND PARENT thing. The only parents who should be there are the adult leaders.

Will the Scouts have full access to water? Having to filter water for consumption is fine. Have you considered whether the water could have non-filterable chemical nasties? Drinking nasties for survival is one thing, but drinking them during practice is another.

Will the Scouts have access to food? Having an 11 or 12 year old boy go 48 hours without food is REAL survival. I don't think that would be appropriate for a BSA activity. If you provide light foood, that is OK. Its done at the OA ordeal.


Will the Scouts be dressed sufficiently to keep warm, given the skills they've been taught? You want to avoid exposure issues.

Will the Scouts be monitored? Will those who are having problems get some help/guidance in using their skills to survive? You simply can't allow those who are struggling to risk illness due to lack of the basic essentials (shelter, water, food, ...).

Will they maintain the 'buddy system'? That's important!

The whole fixed blade knife thing is silly. That should all be something agreed upon with the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee - assuming the Council doesn't have more restrictive rules (these would apply). Even then, the Troop Committee should really be involved unless pulled in due to complaints. In that case they should be involved.

I don't really see that you're doing anything wrong or unusual. The skills you list a great Boy Scout outdoor skills.

If your presentation style is overly aggressive, or overly colorful, or ... well ... anti-government/anti-society (thinking Ruby Ridge here) ... that could very well not be received well by parents and would not be appropriate for Scouts. Keep things positive.

Stay away from camo gear and don't get too military - not that military is bad, but Scouting works hard not look like a military organization, regardless of its roots.

Per some of previous posts, you can't add to or subtract from requirements for BSA membership, earning merit badges, or rank advancement. That's just BSA policy so every boy is treated equally and fairly in Scouting. That's a good thing.

Thanks for what you're doing. The best part of Scouting is the Scouts. All too often the worst part of Scouting is the parents. Stick to the BSA program and keep the Scouts safe.

Ken

Top
#164504 - 01/22/09 08:45 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: TeacherRO]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Therein lies the rub: the "good" parents that go to the meetings and go on the outings will be participating in the classes, hands on, and the exercise, as well as manning the safety camp. The "bad" parents will drop their Scouts off at the meeting point before we head out to the woods and will be there to pick them up. But, I have yet to see them out in the boonies or at meetings, except for those meetings where the Troop Committee is talking about new policies. Coincidentally, their Scouts are the ones that have the toughest time on the hikes, the outings, get home sick, etc. But, I guess that's just the nature of the beast. That's why we have people that will survive in a bad situation, and those that will roll over and die in an equally bad situation.
I know a couple of parents that think I'm a "survivalist" and can't see the difference between a "survivalist" and someone who's prepared and, most important, wants his family prepared. This will sound corny as hell, but I practice and preach survival out of love for my family. I will do anything and everything to protect them and keep them safe. That includes survival kits in our vehicles, PSKs, training in the fundamentals, firearms training, etc. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I don't think little green men are going to invade, and the chances of a meteor hitting my house are pretty remote. However, we've experienced our share of tornadoes, floods, and one really nasty ice storm. Not to mention the number of car wrecks we've come across where our 1st aid skills came in handy. I'm blessed with a wife that loves the outdoors, backpacking, and camping. Should could do without the firearms, but she knows how to shoot and, most important, hit what she aims at. She can start a fire faster with flint and steel than I can, and she catches more fish than I do. You'd think she was a backwoods country girl. Nope, she's got a Masters in communications and is a speech pathologist for autistic children. She also runs marathons for fun. My point being, in all of that rambling, is that we not only have high individual confidence in our preparedness, but we have high family confidence as well. And, in the end, that's what I think is so lacking in some of my Scouts. Parents that just don't care. That's just a small part of a much bigger issue, however.
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164506 - 01/22/09 08:51 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: KenK]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Originally Posted By: KenK
A few questions ...

What are the parents doing there? Boy Scouts is a boy thing - not a boy AND PARENT thing. The only parents who should be there are the adult leaders.We encourage our parents to attend, as that's a near guarantee their Scout will attend. Plus, it's that many more adult eyes for safety.

Will the Scouts have full access to water? Having to filter water for consumption is fine. Have you considered whether the water could have non-filterable chemical nasties? Drinking nasties for survival is one thing, but drinking them during practice is another.Water will be filtered, plus jerrycans at the base camp.

Will the Scouts have access to food? Having an 11 or 12 year old boy go 48 hours without food is REAL survival. I don't think that would be appropriate for a BSA activity. If you provide light foood, that is OK. Its done at the OA ordeal.They'll have some food. Not a lot, but enough to take the edge off.


Will the Scouts be dressed sufficiently to keep warm, given the skills they've been taught? You want to avoid exposure issues.yes

Will the Scouts be monitored? Will those who are having problems get some help/guidance in using their skills to survive? You simply can't allow those who are struggling to risk illness due to lack of the basic essentials (shelter, water, food, ...).Yes. Safety is paramount, hence additional adults.

Will they maintain the 'buddy system'? That's important!Buddy system is mandatory for Scouts

The whole fixed blade knife thing is silly. That should all be something agreed upon with the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee - assuming the Council doesn't have more restrictive rules (these would apply). Even then, the Troop Committee should really be involved unless pulled in due to complaints. In that case they should be involved.

I don't really see that you're doing anything wrong or unusual. The skills you list a great Boy Scout outdoor skills.

If your presentation style is overly aggressive, or overly colorful, or ... well ... anti-government/anti-society (thinking Ruby Ridge here) ... that could very well not be received well by parents and would not be appropriate for Scouts. Keep things positive.

Stay away from camo gear and don't get too military - not that military is bad, but Scouting works hard not look like a military organization, regardless of its roots.

Per some of previous posts, you can't add to or subtract from requirements for BSA membership, earning merit badges, or rank advancement. That's just BSA policy so every boy is treated equally and fairly in Scouting. That's a good thing.

Thanks for what you're doing. The best part of Scouting is the Scouts. All too often the worst part of Scouting is the parents. Stick to the BSA program and keep the Scouts safe.

Ken
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164513 - 01/22/09 09:15 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: ]
IzzyJG99 Offline
Geezer

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 5034
I give the B.S.A. another twenty to thirty years before it is a hollowed out shell of it's former self ruled over by "safety."

Sometimes hurting yourself IS how you learn. "FIRE HOT!" being screamed by a six year old teaches him to respect one of the primal elements and know not to play with it like it's a yo-yo.
_________________________
http://thefloridasteampunker.blogspot.com/
Contributing Writer, The New Artemis.

Top
#164523 - 01/22/09 10:20 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: IzzyJG99]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1888
Loc: NE Illinois
Not to take this off-topic, but as nice as it is to have parents there, if they aren't BSA trained they often simply don't understand the program and get in the way in more ways than one. They need to leave the Scouts to run the troop and be on their collective own when on outings.

In general, my advice to troop leaders to to ONLY allow parents to attend IF they have a troop role (ASM?) and are BSA trained.

If parents do attend, they certainly need to camp and stay AWAY from the Scouts with the other adult leaders. Let the PLC (patrol leaders) run the troop and the troop's activities (except, of course, for the applicable instructors like yourself).

Good luck to you! I'd love to be a Scout in our course & event. Sounds great!!!

Oh, and many MANY thanks for your service!

Top
#164525 - 01/22/09 10:40 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: IzzyJG99]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1888
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
I give the B.S.A. another twenty to thirty years before it is a hollowed out shell of it's former self ruled over by "safety."


Trying not to hijack this thread too much ...

Do keep in mind that the Boy Scout program - as defined by the Boy Scouts of America - is VERY much an boy run, outdoor-based program. Its an adult-guided club for boys that is run BY the boys. They should be outdoors every month - exploring and learning the very skills that we talk about on this forum plus important life skills such as planning, leadership, getting along with other people, helping other people, creating menus, buying food, packing food, selecting/buying gear, making sure the right gear comes along, cooking, cleaning, .... all important stuff.

Do keep in mind that the outdoorsmanship is not the GOAL of Scouting - it is one of the the METHODS. The real goal of Scouting is to help boys (and girls 14-18) develop character, citizenship, and personal fitness. The hidden secret of Scouting is that those lofty goals are achieved through the outdoor activities - a real slick trick that works great.

In my view the safety rules demanded by the BSA make sense. Here's and example: Rule: (paraphrased) no non-swimmers in a canoe without a trained lifeguard. At first glance that seems excessive, but if a boy does end up in the water - fairly likely for a canoe with boys - the BSA wants to make sure the other person in the canoe KNOWS how to deal with that non-swimmer. We want the boys to come back in one piece.

I simply can't think of a "Guide to Safe Scouting" rule that is obsurdly over-protective.

The boys in my son's troop come back from camp dirty, stinky, tired, and happy. What more could we ask for?

Ken K.

Top
#164541 - 01/22/09 11:46 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: KenK]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 527
Loc: Massachusetts
Welcome!

I feel your pain regarding the overprotective parents. They just don't get the Scouting program. Many of them have never had the opportunity that their boys are going to have. I congratulate them for giving them that chance to grow, remind them about the training that all my adult leaders go through, the basic aims and methods of Scouting, and ask them to give their boys a chance to succeed, and fail, to some extent. That's part of the learning.

It's hard since most of the ones that give us trouble go out of their way to keep their kids in a sheltered bubble, and can't bear the thought of their kids getting a burn from grabbing a hot pan, or cutting their finger, getting a little disoriented on a hike, or having to eat burned pancakes without syrup because they forgot to bring any...

I've been Scoutmaster for a while in our troop. For most of the troubled parents, I go through a discussion that gets to the idea that someday, their boys probably won't be under their roof anymore. They will want to go out for a weekend camping, hiking, rafting, snowboarding, whatever, with their youthful friends. Today, as parents, they have a choice. They can allow their boys to participate in Scouting, and have their first experiences in the wilderness be with a safety net of people that have training and experience to allow them to make mistakes, and learn, but with some guard rails. Hopefully this makes them better prepared to deal with it later in life safely. Or, option 2 is to refuse to let them participate now, and then when they are on their own, and the parents can't tell them "No" anymore, they do it anyway, except now they are going into the woods with a very young adult's mind and judgement, with their drunk buddies, with no personal experience or training, and no trained leaders to provide coaching and guidance. That talk works surprisingly well actually. It amazes me sometimes, even with some of the moms that think the boy is still in the womb.

About the survival training you're discussing, awesome! I think you could build the whole thing around the "Wilderness Survival" merit badge. The topics you mentioned fit right in with the goals of that badge. That's always a fun one to teach. I've been a counselor for that a few times at camp, and on weekends with my Troop. I think there's a thread out there from a year or more ago, I'll find it and post it in a follow up.

Congratulations, thanks, and good luck, we're lucky to have you working with the young men. I always welcome folks who are willing to share their experience and enthusiasm with the boys in my troop, I'm glad your Scoutmaster is getting you involved.
_________________________

- Ron

Top
#164549 - 01/23/09 12:27 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Be_Prepared]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 527
Loc: Massachusetts
_________________________

- Ron

Top
#164551 - 01/23/09 12:39 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Be_Prepared]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2177
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
I was going to say what Be Prepared said. Make it a "wilderness survival" Merit Badge weekend. Part of that MB is making a shelter and spending the night with just the clothes on your back.

If you're doing First Aid, make it part of the FA or Safety merit badges. All 3 of these, BTW, are on the Trail To Eagle, which should make most of the parents and scouts happy.

As for the parents holding you back... man, don't you sometimes just want to deck them? Ok, back to useful advice. Ask how they'd teach something. And if they actually reply, and not just with glazed eyes, ask them why they'd teach whatever they said. if it's a good idea, invite them to ASM with you. If it's not, politely remind them that they put their boys into Scouting to learn things that they don't learn at home, and how to learn skills for life, and given all the recent strife (name off Katrina, the tornado in KS 2 years ago, etc), you're preparing them for a situation that may occur while camping, but that dovetails nicely with real life.

If that doesn't work, there's still Option #1.

As for butter bars being lost... It's cuz the 1st Sgt takes the good compass and replaces it with the "slightly broken" one. I'm on to all of them!

Top
#164553 - 01/23/09 12:54 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: MDinana]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3499
Loc: Spring, Texas
Welcome to the fire, newguy! It's pretty sad that parents act in this manner. There were parents like that thirty years ago when I was in scouts. Once my dad had our scout toop over and he help us all make knives from old saw blades. One of the other scout's mom FREAKED over this and thought her son was going to embark on a life of crime.

Be_Pepared, I love your reasonings with over-protective parents. With your permission I'd like to write it up as a post on my blog.

-Blast


Edited by Blast (01/23/09 12:54 AM)
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

Top
#164558 - 01/23/09 01:00 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Blast]
IzzyJG99 Offline
Geezer

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 5034
Originally Posted By: Blast
Welcome to the fire, newguy! It's pretty sad that parents act in this manner. There were parents like that thirty years ago when I was in scouts. Once my dad had our scout toop over and he help us all make knives from old saw blades. One of the other scout's mom FREAKED over this and thought her son was going to embark on a life of crime.

Be_Pepared, I love your reasonings with over-protective parents. With your permission I'd like to write it up as a post on my blog.

-Blast


Oh, you beat me to it. You win this round, Blast. But the war continues!
</Evil Laughter/>

I kid. A few months back I published an article with a video about a science teacher who runs a day summer camp that teaches kids to play with knives, fire and build dangerous machines.

http://timbuk2andtippycanoe.blogspot.com/2008/04/this-is-for-all-you-overprotective.html
_________________________
http://thefloridasteampunker.blogspot.com/
Contributing Writer, The New Artemis.

Top
#164559 - 01/23/09 01:02 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: IzzyJG99]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3499
Loc: Spring, Texas
Quote:
Oh, you beat me to it. You win this round, Blast. But the war continues!
</Evil Laughter/>


Izzy, you should know by know that all your blogs are belong to me. grin

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

Top
#164562 - 01/23/09 01:13 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: IzzyJG99]
Stoney Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/21/08
Posts: 55
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
I give the B.S.A. another twenty to thirty years before it is a hollowed out shell of it's former self ruled over by "safety."


I like your optimistic appraisal of scouting's situation, but I fear that they may already be half way there. But even worse, that they might be somewhat justified in this, because its just not same world today that it was then. A lot has changed in the 100 years the Scouts have been around. Of course a lot has changed in the last 10 years too, but all in all I'd say the Scouts are doing their best. The biggest challenge the Boy Scouts face is parents who either don't understand the need to prepare their sons and daughters for the future (let alone a survival situation) or are so wrapped up in the illusion of "keeping my boy/girl safe" that they actually believe they can. But what can the Scouts do? Maybe we need a new branch of the Scouts, the Parent Scouts, where parents can get together and learn from each other how to be effective parents, cause lets face it there are a lot of unqualified parents out there. Today I read online about a Woman in London who let her 3 year old child smoke, the kid even had and knew how to use a lighter.

I guess all todays Scout masters and assistant Scout master's can do is work with the boys and girls as best they can while trying to keep peace with the parents. One thought that comes to mind is, are any of the "good" parents willing to run interference with the "bad" parents? Perhaps things could be smoothed over easier on a parent to parent level, rather than on a scout master to parent level.

Top
#164565 - 01/23/09 01:30 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: MDinana]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1516
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: MDinana
If it's not, politely remind them that they put their boys into Scouting to learn things that they don't learn at home, and how to learn skills for life, and given all the recent strife (name off Katrina, the tornado in KS 2 years ago, etc), you're preparing them for a situation that may occur while camping, but that dovetails nicely with real life.

If that doesn't work, there's still Option #1.

As for butter bars being lost... It's cuz the 1st Sgt takes the good compass and replaces it with the "slightly broken" one. I'm on to all of them!


Don't worry about the tornado in KS what about the one in Iowa that hit the scout camp. (or was it KS?) Those kids knew what to do once TSHTF and the splatter was over.

Top didn't hide the good compass, you were holding it backwards.

I will never forget Fort Carson Colorado and finding a lost Arkansas National Guard 2LT. I was out closing the barriers to the impact area for a TOW missile live fire. Here is this butter bar having a lunch break under a tree off to one side of the trail EOD had cleared for driving on. (Yes it was the trail I found an 8 inch UXO on by watering it.) I told him where he was, and the danger he was in. His response... Boy I am glad your here sarge, I am LLAMF again.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

Top
#164574 - 01/23/09 02:27 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Blast]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 527
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Blast
Be_Prepared, I love your reasonings with over-protective parents. With your permission I'd like to write it up as a post on my blog.
-Blast


No problem, anything I write here that might possibly help someone is public as far as I'm concerned.

I am amazed that even some of the most paranoid and over-protective parents can be reasonable when you paint the right "future" picture for them, to help them cut the cord, so to speak wink
[yeah, I'm talking about a cord of wood of course...]
_________________________

- Ron

Top
#164577 - 01/23/09 02:53 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Desperado]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
It is a bit hard for me to comment. I am not good at instructing groups and you have had some really good comments already.

I just wonder if trying to put them through a survival scenario is the only way to go?
It should be an "enjoyable learning experience" for them.

Maybe the younger ones can learn how to pitch their own tents and lay out their sleeping bags with insulation underneath their ground sheets and the older kids who are allowed knives can build demonstration shelters.
The younger ones can likely help them quite well, even if they can't cut string or brush they can certainly tie it on.
Everybody gets to learn, everybody gets to participate. Some get to teach a bit and they all learn to work together on something.

By the way, if they can't have knives you might be surprised what they can cut with small pruning saws and shears or even good scissors.

Also, I don't know what it is like for your troop, but I have seen a lot of things in schools get cut from programs because of the problems with insurance and liability.
If any of the little darlings get hurt the insurance is likely liable, and the insurance companies will put the liability on you if they can, rather than pay damages themselves.
So it is not always just overprotective parents, it is lawyers too.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

Top
#164578 - 01/23/09 02:58 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Be_Prepared]
JohnE Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Southern Cal
I remember reading years ago that Boy Scouts were doomed once they advocated a Scout keeping change for use in a pay toilet rather than for a pay phone...

The simple reality is that times HAVE changed, while it's all well and good to learn woodcraft and bushcraft and all sorts of other crafts, the odds are more likely that a Scout today could use more help learning how to use things like a GPS as well as a map and compass. They had a computer merit badge when I was a Scout, punch cards, flow charts and all...If the current crop of Scoutmasters/merit badge counselors don't teach topical subjects, the Scouts will leave.

As for getting the parents involved or less involved in some cases, it sounds like you and the other ASM's need to have a parents meeting and gently explain what it is you want to do. Keep the "survival" talk to a minimum and stress "preparedness". Southern Missouri is at risk for a major earthquake, use that as an example of what you're training the Scouts to deal with.

I remember doing a survival week outing when I was in an Explorer Post, eating crawdads, berries and a little rice we brought with us, don't even know if they're still around but it was sorta like Scouts for older kids. My particular post did all kinds of more intense outdoors stuff, rock climbing, rappelling, shooting, etc., then the local Scout troop did, mainly cause we were older. It was great while it lasted, then the post leader ended up getting arrested, ironic, given that he was a local cop, I was long gone by then.

JohnE
_________________________
JohnE

"and all the lousy little poets
comin round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson"

The Future/Leonard Cohen


Top
#164625 - 01/23/09 01:02 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Blast]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Originally Posted By: Blast
Be_Pepared, I love your reasonings with over-protective parents. With your permission I'd like to write it up as a post on my blog.


By all means, do so. I thank everyone for their comments and suggestions. To clarify, I do follow BSA National policy, the Guide to Safe Scouting, etc. to the letter. I learned a long time ago in the Corps, that if you just do what's in black and white, you won't get into trouble, even if it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. The survival exercise isn't intended to be a "nuts and berries" weekend. It will be the final exercise which will bring together all of the classroom time and one-day hands-on training into one package, where the Scouts can actually use what they've learned and figure out what does and doesn't work for them. You know how it goes: I suck at starting a fire with true flint and steel. I can get a fire going in a heartbeat with a metal match (firesteel). As far as knives, I'm going to use a previous suggestion of comparing a sheath knife (one of my Moras) to a steak knife. This weekend I'm going to fab a duct tape sheath for a steak knife. During my "The Cutting Edge" presentation, I'm going to present it to the Scouts and parents. It'll be interesting to see the naysayers reaction when I tell them it's a common steak knife that they let their sons use 2-3 times a week, with no complaints.
Most of the parents that go on the outings are trained, and hold various adult leader positions in the troop. There is, however, a lack of outdoor experience amongst them. One Dad told me, and I completely understand and respect him for this, that because he grew up in a big city, attending Scouts with his son was his opportunity to learn things he never had a chance to learn. Now he and his son have something in common and their relationship, where once strained, has grown substantially closer. I can't complain about that.
Everything taught during Survival 101 will be tied in to the various applicable merit badges, so that will be additional incentive for the Scouts. I've also taken it upon myself to purchase a few rewards for the Scouts that do the best at, say, shelter building, or are the fastest at getting a fire going, etc. as even more incentive. A couple of Moras and a Camelbak daypack. We'll see how the Moras go over. If not I'll think of something else.
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164629 - 01/23/09 01:23 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: enolson484
Most of the parents that go on the outings are trained, and hold various adult leader positions in the troop. There is, however, a lack of outdoor experience amongst them.


Interesting to hear that the many of the parents that are ASM are trained, but lack outdoor skills. Outdoor skill training is one of the most important training sessions for the leaders. Sounds like something is lacking there! Unless, of course, you are referring to the fact that they weren't raised respecting the outdoors.

I definitely like your ideas for this program. I wish the scouts would officially include more of a survival type merit bad, but the Wilderness badge does tie in nicely.

I wish you luck with this. Keep everyone safe and they will learn an valuable lesson.
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#164630 - 01/23/09 01:24 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: KenK]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: KenK

Trying not to hijack this thread too much ...

Do keep in mind that the Boy Scout program - as defined by the Boy Scouts of America - is VERY much an boy run, outdoor-based program. Its an adult-guided club for boys that is run BY the boys. They should be outdoors every month - exploring and learning the very skills that we talk about on this forum plus important life skills such as planning, leadership, getting along with other people, helping other people, creating menus, buying food, packing food, selecting/buying gear, making sure the right gear comes along, cooking, cleaning, .... all important stuff.

Do keep in mind that the outdoorsmanship is not the GOAL of Scouting - it is one of the the METHODS. The real goal of Scouting is to help boys (and girls 14-18) develop character, citizenship, and personal fitness. The hidden secret of Scouting is that those lofty goals are achieved through the outdoor activities - a real slick trick that works great.

In my view the safety rules demanded by the BSA make sense. Here's and example: Rule: (paraphrased) no non-swimmers in a canoe without a trained lifeguard. At first glance that seems excessive, but if a boy does end up in the water - fairly likely for a canoe with boys - the BSA wants to make sure the other person in the canoe KNOWS how to deal with that non-swimmer. We want the boys to come back in one piece.

I simply can't think of a "Guide to Safe Scouting" rule that is obsurdly over-protective.

The boys in my son's troop come back from camp dirty, stinky, tired, and happy. What more could we ask for?

Ken K.


+10 on all of this!
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#164633 - 01/23/09 01:35 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
Hey, here is an idea; why dont you offer a course for the parents, separately? Kind of give them an idea of what you want to go over, sort of as a training class. This way, you can work out the kinks, AND present it in a non-threatening manner, to the ones who have issues with their kids being in harms way (or their perception of harm). Introduce them to the basic tenets of survival, and that it is NOT anti-governement, or anything like that; it is, simply put, being prepared for the unprepared night out (in this case). After all, one would hope that, when little johnny fails to come home from a walk in the woods one night, that he is found the next morning safe in a warm shelter, none the worse for wear. Beats the alternative...
One thing I REALLY liked about my military survival instruction was using the word SURVIVAL as an acronym. You may have to alter some of them a little, as it is military oriented, but, in the end, it can be worked (not sure if you guys used FM 21-76 or not in the corps):
Size up your situation
Undue haste makes waste
Remember where you are
Vanquish fear & panic
Improvise
Value life!
Act like the natives
Learn basic skills

With the exception of acting like the natives, I think that you could touch each subject in a positive manner, and really help people to understand the lessons you are trying to teach.
One last thing; someone else here mentioned setting up a camp, and doing this off to the side, close to camp, within shouting distance. I think that this may be a better idea, as it may be more friendly to those who are opposed to the idea. Your idea of doing the "unplanned" night out is excellent; maybe left to those students who want to learn more, like a sort of advanced course? Just a thought.
Of course, you can always put the parents through the capture/interrogation phase of the survival course wink
_________________________
my adventures

Top
#164639 - 01/23/09 02:21 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: ]
airballrad Offline
Gear Junkie
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 231
Loc: Harford County, MD
Originally Posted By: BigDaddyTX
I think the closest we got to the woods when I was in the scouts was there were some trees behind the building where we had the pine car derby. I never really got it. Of course, it was probably that our particular group was crap, I don't know, but we never did anything outdoors. Sorry to take it OT, but that was probably 15 years ago, so it's been that way for a while.

If you were doing a Pinewood Derby, it was Cub Scouts. They don't generally do much outdoor stuff until the boys hit Weblos, or bridge over to Boy Scouts. I, too, endured a few years of arts and crafts before I got out of the blue uniform and started doing the fun stuff. grin
_________________________
EDC Bag | PSK

Top
#164640 - 01/23/09 02:27 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Mike_H]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Originally Posted By: Mike_H
Originally Posted By: enolson484
Most of the parents that go on the outings are trained, and hold various adult leader positions in the troop. There is, however, a lack of outdoor experience amongst them.


Interesting to hear that the many of the parents that are ASM are trained, but lack outdoor skills. Outdoor skill training is one of the most important training sessions for the leaders. Sounds like something is lacking there! Unless, of course, you are referring to the fact that they weren't raised respecting the outdoors.


I should've phrased that better. You are correct: they've been trained, but don't have an outdoor background. So, all they know is what they've learned in OLST and ASW. Which is fine, but it does grate on my nerves a little when they begin to question some of the things I do, based off of my experience.
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164641 - 01/23/09 02:31 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: oldsoldier]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Originally Posted By: oldsoldier
Of course, you can always put the parents through the capture/interrogation phase of the survival course wink


I like this idea. SERE school was one of the crappiest courses I ever went through and have no desire to repeat, much less go through for real. But, it was and is one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164642 - 01/23/09 02:35 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
airballrad Offline
Gear Junkie
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 231
Loc: Harford County, MD
Thanks for your Service, thanks for putting this program together for the boys, and thanks for putting up with the... obstinate... parents. You've been through the adult leader training, so you know the rules they establish. It waters things down a bit, but you should still be able to do most of what you're planning.
We also had parents behaving this way when I was a Scout (think 15-20 years ago). Then as now, they were typically the ones that never participated, and were only seen when they dropped their kids off or picked them up. Unless they heard about something they didn't like; then they showed up to committee meetings with clipboard in hand, taking notes and raising Cain. Well and good; their right as parents. As has been mentioned, the trick is winning them over. It can be done with most, although the stress of it drove my dad out as SM after 3 years.
For many of these boys, this truly is an opportunity to learn and do things they will never otherwise be exposed to. Even my dad, who had hunted and fished before he had kids, never took us outdoors until I had been in the Scouts for a few years and he was guilted into being a Leader. grin
I will also weigh in on throwing the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge into the program, if you've not already. (It was my favorite; can't you tell?)
If general survival (as opposed to outdoors) is of interest, don't forget Emergency Preparedness MB too.
Finally, I feel the pain of all that have posted about overprotective parents. We had a kid in our troop whose mom became a leader just to baby him. She cleaned up his tent at summer camp and did his laundry for him. There are just too many parents who for whatever reason don't want their children to be exposed to any real danger. That is understandable, but not practical. The real world is dangerous. As they will all learn eventually.
Best of luck and best wishes...
_________________________
EDC Bag | PSK

Top
#164648 - 01/23/09 03:16 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: MDinana]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1888
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: MDinana
Make it a "wilderness survival" Merit Badge weekend ...

If you're doing First Aid, make it part of the FA or Safety merit badges. All 3 of these, BTW, are on the Trail To Eagle, which should make most of the parents and scouts happy.


Great ideas!!

Do keep in mind that merit badges need to be earned through registered merit badge counselors. If you want to become a merit badge counselor for any of those badges - and have sufficient subject knowledge/experience - you'll need to first register through your local Boy Scout Council office. Its an easy straight-forward thing - just filling out two forms (one to register you as a BSA leader, and another to sign up as a merit badge counselor).

Oh, and if you haven't already taken it, do take the Youth Protection training that is available on-line here: http://olc.scouting.org/info/ypt.html

Top
#164660 - 01/23/09 03:57 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: KenK]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: KenK
Great ideas!!

Do keep in mind that merit badges need to be earned through registered merit badge counselors. If you want to become a merit badge counselor for any of those badges - and have sufficient subject knowledge/experience - you'll need to first register through your local Boy Scout Council office. Its an easy straight-forward thing - just filling out two forms (one to register you as a BSA leader, and another to sign up as a merit badge counselor).

Oh, and if you haven't already taken it, do take the Youth Protection training that is available on-line here: http://olc.scouting.org/info/ypt.html


Talk about super easy becoming a merit bade counselor. Given his background, I'm sure he should have no problem with the Wilderness one.

Damn, now I want to go on that weekend with the kids!

+infinity on the Youth Protection. Probably the most important aspect of it all. It is all for the kids and keeping them safe, including giving them the tools for staying safe.
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#164671 - 01/23/09 04:30 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Mike_H]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Did a little research, about five minutes. Here are the merit badges the Scouts could earn:

BACKPACKING
CAMPING
COOKING
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
FIRST AID
HIKING
INDIAN LORE
ORIENTEERING
WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Every badge starts off with meeting X number of 1st Aid requirements, before going into the meat of the badge itself. All of these tie into the survival training, in one way or another. I've read through the Wilderness Survival Scout merit badge pamphlet as well as the checklist several times. Each time I've been pretty disappointed. Lacking in basic skill sets. However, when tied in with the above list, a Scout can get a fairly decent set of survival skill sets. Unfortunately, not every Scout takes out those badges. My Survival 101 package is geared towards opening the door to those badges, as well as training the Scouts in survival fundamentals. The badges are just a bennie. The real value, I feel, is the level of self-confidence some of the boys will, hopefully, have developed at the conclusion of the course.
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#164680 - 01/23/09 05:30 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
BraveheartsProgeny Offline
Stranger

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 4
I've also been lurking for a while now, and it was this specific post that compelled me to join up.

I wish I could say I'm surprised by the parents' attitude toward their tender little hothouse flowers, but I'm not. I see it every day here in our university where parents call department heads to complain that little Johnny didn't get a good grade, even though Johnny blew off nearly every class.

I had the advantage of joining Civil Air Patrol when I was 14, and in addition to learning to fly, we did a LOT of SARCAP(Simulated Air Rescue) and bivouacing in completely primitive areas. What I learned out in the field was invaluable, not to mention the huge gains in confidence.

As a Webelos leader in West Virginia, we did a full day, full scale "survival day" where the boys learned just about every basic skill plus some unexpected (by them) complications when it came to triaging and evac-ing a "wounded" member out of the woods. Almost all of our boys came from families that hunted or fished, but we threw a few new things at them.

We relocated a few years later, and our new church-sponsored Boy Scout troop was planning a 50 mile hike at the same time as the girls were attending camp. The older girls hiked about 25 miles of rugged-in-spots Appalachian Trail, carrying all their gear including water, in the space of 4 days. I know my own twins started out well in excess of 40# of gear, and that was almost half their bodyweight at the time. (They wised up by the next year's hike)

Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts, who were the exact same age as the girls, completed their hike along a reclaimed railroad bed which was mostly flat and either graveled or paved as it's used by cyclers as well. They did NO COOKING on the trail, eating a cold breakfast and arranging for both LUNCH and DINNER to be DELIVERED to prearranged points along the trail. OMG!!!!!

Never guess which bunch I'd rather be stuck in the woods with... and btw, I'm a girl, too.

jane b


Top
#164686 - 01/23/09 06:09 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: BraveheartsProgeny]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Well to the party jane!

It is amazing how parents respond to things like this.

I'm actually fighting a battle with my DW about my son joining scouts when he is of age and learning how to shoot, use a knife, etc...

I was raised with all of the about, but I was never a scout. My dad felt it was important that I knew about these things. My wife fears that DS will get hurt. I go over to the silverware drawer, pull out a large chef knife and say that this is more dangerous on a day to day basis than any of the above activities that I want to engage him in.

*sigh* It really is all about preconceived notions.
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#164747 - 01/23/09 10:45 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Mike_H]
JohnnyRocket Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 13
One big thing to keep in mind is that your audience is made up of children. Children have much different learning styles than adults. As a Marine, you were taught by instructors that were not only experts in thier subject area, but also trained to teach other adults. As a Marine, you were being trained by your employer, also a much different learning scenario than teaching children that are participating in an organization for fun. When an employer trains, it is for very specific outcomes, to an audience that is motivated to learn. Children are taught mainly by exploration and may not have enough exposure or understanding of the topic to even know if they are interested to learn the material.

My advice, as educator of both adults and children, and former USN, is to keep your lessons short. Fifteen minutes max for any type of lecture. I hate to even use the word lecture! Talk to them long enough to give them an understanding of what they are going to do, why it is important and safety considerations - then get them doing something! Get them up off their butts and have them do something together with a friend or two. (battle budy) Don't use groups bigger than three or it becomes a cool contest or one person does the work and everyone else goofs off. When you are lecturing, make sure you use handouts and visuals to help get your message across. This helps the visual learners and gives everyone something to learn from when you aren't around. Keep the overall activity about 45-50 minutes and then do something else. Kids have short attention spans. Don't expect them to be survival masters, but do give them several opportunities to practice at their own pace and with their friends and they will get it - I promise!

Start slowly, maybe one lesson per meeting, then a half day semminar and see how they are doing. Once you see a majority of the kids mastering the skills, then do your 48 hour exercise. I think you will see the team work and mastery of skills that are at par with adults.

Stay positive, keep the atmosphere fun, keep the kids involved and engaged and they will be your best "marketing" tool for thier own parents and the sissy parents too. Word of mouth from excited kids will over come quite a bit.

JR

Top
#164759 - 01/23/09 11:46 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: JohnnyRocket]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2276
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Sounds like good advice from JR, above.

I think this is a worthy and thoughtful discussion. I would just add that presenting knife skills as part of "tool safety" might be more palatable to the uninitiated. That's really the focus anyway.

The trick AFAIK is to divorce 'tools' from any hint of the sexy/macho/weapon thing.

Tools include saws, hammers, axes, shovels, drills, and cutting edges like chisels and knives. They will bite you if you don't show respect for their power and focus on the task at hand.

I think that the simple hacksaw is a good introduction to cutting tools, for kids who have no experience or parents who are nervous/inexperienced. You can do a surprising amount with a hacksaw. It will scrape you if you goof up, but that's it. And a one-third hacksaw blade, with sharp edges rounded and taped, will cut wood and bark, make a bit of kindling, strike a flint, cut rope and wire, etc. etc.

My two cents' worth.




Top
#164763 - 01/24/09 12:00 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: dougwalkabout]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1516
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Sounds like good advice from JR, above.

I think this is a worthy and thoughtful discussion. I would just add that presenting knife skills as part of "tool safety" might be more palatable to the uninitiated. That's really the focus anyway.

The trick AFAIK is to divorce 'tools' from any hint of the sexy/macho/weapon thing.

Tools include saws, hammers, axes, shovels, drills, and cutting edges like chisels and knives. They will bite you if you don't show respect for their power and focus on the task at hand.

I think that the simple hacksaw is a good introduction to cutting tools, for kids who have no experience or parents who are nervous/inexperienced. You can do a surprising amount with a hacksaw. It will scrape you if you goof up, but that's it. And a one-third hacksaw blade, with sharp edges rounded and taped, will cut wood and bark, make a bit of kindling, strike a flint, cut rope and wire, etc. etc.



My two cents' worth.




Or even a coping saw and small soft blocks of wood (tool wise). If you hurt yourself with a coping saw, there may be a point about not moving on to the hacksaw.


Edited by Desperado (01/24/09 12:01 AM)
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

Top
#164812 - 01/24/09 06:21 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Desperado]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2276
Loc: Alberta, Canada
We all had to start somewhere. A lot of kids don't have tool-savvy adult friends to learn from. Give them a simple, safe 'starter' tool like a hacksaw (or coping saw) and, once they get the hang of it, and realize what they can do with it, you can just see the lights turn on. Been there. It's really something.


Edited by dougwalkabout (01/24/09 06:22 AM)

Top
#164836 - 01/24/09 04:00 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Mike_H]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1326
Loc: United Kingdom.
Originally Posted By: Mike_H
Originally Posted By: Leigh_Ratcliffe

Make passing the survival/first aid course a requirement for remaining/advancing in the troop. If you can.

If not: try making it a requirement for participation in any of the active activities. After all the scout might have to render aid to a fellow member.

Part of me, the nasty part is considering various (perfectly legitimate) ways to encourage the touchy feely parent to take themselves and their offspring someplace else. The rest of me is saying that wouldn't be fair on the kids.


You can't go against national with things like this.



"Perfectly legitimate" means by lawful means. Learn the system. Understand the system. Use the system. Which should be second nature to any self respecting N.C.O.

It should be clearly understood that the touchy-feely brigade will be the first to complain/sue if something happens. No matter how minor. Which makes them a concern for the whole Scouting movement.

One other point: Any decent parent is protective of their children. Which is as it should be. Unfortunately the only way to teach children that it's not safe out here is to let them get hurt sometimes. You just make sure that it's minor.

Cut fingers, burns and bruises teach.

I've fallen out of tree's and off things. Burn and cut myself when I didn't listen.
It didn't kill me and it didn't traumatise me. It did however teach me caution and respect.
_________________________
I don't do dumb & helpless.

Top
#164841 - 01/24/09 04:45 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Desperado]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2177
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Originally Posted By: Desperado

Top didn't hide the good compass, you were holding it backwards.


What? The arrow doesn't point to me? lol

There's been some great advice so far, esp. regards to how children learn differently. Looking back, I remember things like learning fires in our SM's backyard (dirt yard), or doing dayhikes, or cooking on propane stoves... but all done seperately. Never had any big "survival heavy" days. It was just kind of baby steps, and learning a little every meeting. our meetings were always an hour long, with about 1/2 of it going to skills training. So really, by the time I stepped up to the Wilderness Survival MB, I'd been doing lots of those things for months-years anyway.

The point is, see what the scouts should have already learned, and gloss over those sections. Focus more on being found, shelter, finding water, etc. Most of them should know how to start a fire, or find a decent site to set up camp.

Top
#164886 - 01/25/09 12:47 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
Craig_phx Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 715
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I'm the webmaster for our Boy Scout troop. How about sharing some pictures of these outdoor survival classes? Our troop had our winter survival campout last weekend. Pictures can be found on our website: Troop 824

Please share your websites and pictures so we can see what you guys are doing. We can all learn from pictures.

Thanks!

Craig in north Phoenix
_________________________
Thermo-regulate, hydrate and communicate.

Top
#164937 - 01/25/09 01:51 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Craig_phx]
JohnnyRocket Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 13
i]"Unfortunately the only way to teach children that it's not safe out here is to let them get hurt sometimes. You just make sure that it's minor.

Cut fingers, burns and bruises teach. "[/i]



The advice above should be avoided at all costs This is teaching by using a negative reenforcement and it is absolutely wrong when teaching children. You can teach adults using this method because they are old enough to make thier own decisions, children are not! I was an industrial arts teacher for years, never, NEVER did I let a kid get hurt so they would "learn something". I taught 250 kids a year and NEVER had an accident. Fear will only push them away from the message you are trying to share and possibly open yourself up to litigation. Create a positive atomosphere where the kids feel comfortable doing and trying the skills that you are working on. Guide those individuals that need help and let those that seem to have it, do it, and show others. Help create leaders and build confidence and you will see team work and mastery of skills and your program will GROW! Wouldn't it be cool if little Johnny had so much fun, he brought a buddy along? Isn't that better than trying to explain to Johnny's parents how he cut his hand or why he had to go to the hospital?

Tom

Top
#164944 - 01/25/09 02:45 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Craig_phx]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1888
Loc: NE Illinois
Craig,

Those pics are AWESOME! I'll try to find a way to share them with the PLC in my son's troop.

His troop doesn't have a website yet. Still, I take lots of pics - I'm the guy who's always running around with a camera.

What were the temperatures there?

The thermometer says its 7F out right now. Kinda cold.

Ken

Top
#164958 - 01/25/09 04:29 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: JohnnyRocket]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2276
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: JohnnyRocket
i]"Unfortunately the only way to teach children that it's not safe out here is to let them get hurt sometimes. You just make sure that it's minor.

Cut fingers, burns and bruises teach. "[/i]


The advice above should be avoided at all costs ...

Tom


Even though I would never put a child in harm's way if it could be avoided, I think there is a kernel of truth in Leigh's post.

Despite the best instruction, demonstration, practice and positive reinforcement, some kids just don't believe tools and fires are really dangerous until they have a close brush with them.

My $0.02.

Top
#164961 - 01/25/09 04:36 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: JohnnyRocket]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1516
Loc: DFW, Texas
I don't think anyone was advocating endangering a child with power tool or the like. I remember 7th grade industrial arts class, it was shop back then. My teacher had us working with tin and snips. Sounds relatively harmless right. He even warned that the cut edges of the tin was sharp. I must have been in the bathroom for that part, because I had to learn the hard way.

I do remember that the cut edges of tin are sharp.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

Top
#164982 - 01/25/09 08:50 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: KenK]
Craig_phx Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 715
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Ken,

It is nice to hear from you again. I think it is great that Scouters can share outdoor skill ideas here.

The winter survival camp-out was in the 40s during the day and in the 20s in the morning. Last year it was in the low teens. There was almost no wind, so it didn't feel very cold. You can look at all our pictures by clicking the little color circle in the lower right hand corner and then clicking on the Troop824 link.

I might be able to help with your Troop website. I wrote ours using TextPad. I am using Google's calendar, Blog and Picasa. It takes up about 80 MBs but most of that are older photo albums. I am willing to share my code if you are interested.

If you download Picasa you can upload albums that we can all look at. Later you can create sideshow links you can put in your website.

Almost everything in the website is click-able. All the rank, position and merit badge patches link to a BSA website with the current requirements and responsibilities.

The Black Canyon Trail is one of my favorite slide shows. It was a 10 mile hike. I took lots of pictures of spring flowers. There are also pictures of my wife, sons and myself. The dessert was in full bloom.
_________________________
Thermo-regulate, hydrate and communicate.

Top
#164985 - 01/25/09 10:15 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: JohnnyRocket]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
I'm not sure if you are missing the point, or telling a tall tale.

Never had a kid slip with a screw driver and stick his hand? Never had one slam his thumb with a hammer? Or get his knuckles kissed by the belt or disk sander? I don't buy it. We aren't talking about taking your thumb off in the table saw or putting the drill press through your hand, we are talking about booboos. I respect disk sanders becuase I buffed the skin of a knuckle when I was in shop class- I made a mistake, and everyone in the class learned from it.

We aren't talking about carving the kids up or burning them intentionally. We are talking about admitting that people have accidents. Even the best of us have bad days and moments of inattention, and then "owwwww". If you can do 250 kids per year, and never have one of them draw blood, or get singed if you are doing anything with metal, or get a little zap if you have electronics, then I really have to ask what you are really doing. I'm not trying to be insulting, but I went to a technical college. It is like a great big shop class. IQs quite a bit higher than average, everyone really wants to be there, most of us had been working with this stuff for a couple years already in some form, and we'd all had the safety briefings. Never saw a semester where someone didn't get hurt in the machine shop, or the automotive lab, or civil lab area, or the electronics lab. Not major, but someone having to regrow a couple of fingerprints, or pick up a scar, or sticking their finger into something live and quite a bit more than 12VDC, or find out the hard what that yes, this is why you wear steel toes and be glad you still have ten toes. It happens when you aren't 100% or you bite off more than you can chew, and everyone has bad days and worse luck.

You know, the whole reason this place exists.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

Top
#165042 - 01/26/09 01:00 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: ironraven]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
I'm glad I was able to get this thread going. A lot of great ideas and a good discussion. I always emphasize safety.

...I had posted something much longer, but my wi-fi took a dump and lost it all. I'll try and post it later, when I don't want to put my fist through the screen.


Edited by enolson484 (01/26/09 01:04 PM)
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#165102 - 01/26/09 07:06 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Craig_phx]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: Craig_phx
The winter survival camp-out was in the 40s during the day and in the 20s in the morning.

Just got back from a Scout weekend myself. It was -12 Sunday morning. For most of the day on Saturday it was around 5 with flurries.

We did some various survival training scenarios outdoors. I ran the fire starting one. Believe it or not, they had a VERY hard time starting and sustaining a fire. We did a post mortem afterwards and I sent them back out later in the day. This time, every group had a fire going with their first cotton ball and fire lay.

Many great posts about teaching kids differently than adults. So true, so true. Their attention span is much different. Every now and then, you will get one that really soaks up the information.
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#165615 - 01/29/09 05:07 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: Mike_H]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Well, the first class, Survival 101, has been postponed until Feb 9. Our meeting/class was canceled due to the heinous weather we just went through in the Ozarks. Over 100K without power, projections look like a lot of folks won't get back on the grid until mid-February. One more topic on my list of potential survival situations. My wife and I were well prepared: bathtub full of water, 25G of water in 5-5G cans filled and staged inside, 2-burner camp stove filled and ready, 1 propane and 2 white gas lanterns ready to go, and ample food supplies, including MREs. I have 16 cases on hand and I always have 10 gallons of white gas and 6 2.5 pound bottles of propane available. I use up a gallon or a bottle, and it gets replaced on the next trip to the store.
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#165618 - 01/29/09 05:37 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2276
Loc: Alberta, Canada
That's too bad.

The speculative part of me wonders if having the scouts, parents and leaders together in the thick of it would have focused everyone's attention and smoothed the way forward. But I realize that, in practical terms, that would just be a massive bloody headache.

Idea: call all your scouts' parents and ask, with all sincerity, how they're 'surviving' the storm. Might get some wheels turning.

Anyway, stay safe.


Edited by dougwalkabout (01/29/09 05:37 PM)

Top
#165797 - 01/31/09 03:00 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: dougwalkabout]
OilfieldCowboy Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 40
Loc: WY/AK
Where were the Scout Masters like you when I was in Scouts?

We just had a long line of "Scout Masters" pushing their kids through the ranks getting them on the fast track to Eagle, the rest of us just got lost in the shuffle...

It isn't just the boys that make the Boy Scouts, the caliber of leader is what the Troop is judged by. Sounds to me like you have the makings of a world class Troop.

Top
#166043 - 02/02/09 01:23 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: OilfieldCowboy]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
I'm dealing with that right now. There're quite a few Scouts getting their Eagle that, in my opinion, haven't really done much to deserve it. There's been a decided course change however, with the new group of parents that has stepped up over the last year and slowly, but surely, the BSA standards are being enforced. Of course we're meeting resistance from the old guard parents that liked it the old way. My better half and I are also the new Advancement Chairs. She's fairly easy going, and a lot of people mistake her for being a pushover. What they don't see is her iron backbone. She's had to put a Marine in check, after all, and I've deserved it each and every time! So, I think the old guard will be in for a quite a surprise. And it won't be anything malicious, it'll just be an enforcement of the standards and the BSA standards really aren't all that difficult. They take time, effort, and work. A foreign concept to some folks, unfortunately.
There's a Troop Committee meeting tonight and I've heard some rumblings that there are some old guard parents who feel the Wilderness Survival package is too difficult and will be too challenging for the Scouts and, my favorite, they resent not being allowed to "approve" the classes and training prior to implementation. Okay, fine, if the subject comes up tonight, I will gladly turn over my material to the parents that are qualified to critique it. They will have had to have graduated from either a military or nationally recognized survival school as well as taught the subject matter. I'm not trying to be mean, but I resent having those with no experience or knowledge attempt to critique my experience and knowledge. In other words, I don't do it to you, please don't do it to me.
Understand I am not trying to be confrontational or malicious, but please try to understand the mindset I'm dealing with here...


Edited by enolson484 (02/02/09 01:45 PM)

Top
#166048 - 02/02/09 01:41 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 3860
Loc: Anchorage AK
Yeah, I've experienced that before, and not just in Scouts. I suspect the propensity for manipulation is unavoidable. Sad to say, once the leadership has been infected, it is nigh impossible to get them to change their ways, and the bottom line is the kids always suffer. Many of them who will have a bad or at best mediocre experience with it will not return to perpetuate what was once a great idea. Nowadays I see so much of this "non-exclusion" policy crap, where no one fails and everyone gets to participate, regardless of ability or interest, it totally turns me off from participating.

Even with mandated programs, like State Hunter Education, you will find those who approach it with less than desirable enthusiasm. The state's rules for training are well defined, and yet still you will have instructors who insist on cutting corners, going off-topic, or teaching something off-standard. I had one instructor at a jamboree actually tell me that the ethics prescribed in the workbook the state published were wrong.
How can you be a certified instructor when you disagree with the course material the kids are being certified by? Then again, how many teachers have I had to endure in public school who tried to teach me something other than the facts? I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Top
#166222 - 02/03/09 03:36 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: benjammin]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Okay. I am chagrined. I am humbled. And I am so very, very, surprised! Perhaps it was because of the ice storm which has just pummeled our area, or a mass attack of common sense, but the old guard were not only receptive to the Wilderness Survival package, but very enthusiastic! I actually had a few of the more touchy-feely parents approach me about some private instruction! Wow! The majority of the Scouts are pumped up, the parents are pumped up, apparently some Cub packs that are about to Cross Over have heard about it and our Troop Recruitment is climbing... now I have to deliver. I'm confident in my abilities and skills to teach, but I always get butterflies right before I go into a course. The best thing about this turn of events is that, now, I'm even more motivated to teach these boys than ever before!
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#166223 - 02/03/09 03:39 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
Mike_H Offline
ASM
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 607
Loc: SE PA
Definitely the best of luck with this!!! Maybe it was the situation with the ice storm and people realizing how quickly conditions change.

Either way, sounds like a green light for you. Waiting to hear how it all goes!
_________________________
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

Top
#166244 - 02/03/09 05:50 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
airballrad Offline
Gear Junkie
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 231
Loc: Harford County, MD
Suhweet!!!

...Umm, so you're gonna share your notes after you do this, right? wink
_________________________
EDC Bag | PSK

Top
#166262 - 02/03/09 06:55 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: airballrad]
enolson484 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 20
Loc: SW Missouri
Oh yeah, this will be an ongoing project to the forum. I'll also be passing out course critique sheets to the students (Scouts and parents), so each class and hands-on event can get a drubbing and I can tailor these specific classes more towards Scouts and less towards adults. Remember, I'm used to teaching Uncle Sam's Misguided Children equipped with firearms and explosives. While my Scouts may really want that kind of instruction, the parents might not be too keen on that, regardless of my personal enthusiasm. I'm also planning on some photo intensity to document the "dirt" training. Another intention, and as time allows, I'd like to post the actual classes and powerpoint presentations to the forum, once I figure out how, open to all for criticisms and improvements.
_________________________
E. N. Olson

Top
#166273 - 02/03/09 07:25 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
Well, I am glad it worked out for you in the end. I would also like to see the written material. I do not participate in scouts, but my bagpipe instructor is a scout master locally; maybe I could pass the idea off to him, and get an instructor slot!!! laugh
_________________________
my adventures

Top
#166289 - 02/03/09 08:53 PM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: enolson484]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1888
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: enolson484
some old guard parents who feel the Wilderness Survival package is too difficult and will be too challenging for the Scouts


There's a big difference between challenging and dangerous. Scouts LOVE a challenge, so long as there is some kind of support structure (pep talks, additional training, "lifeguards")when things don't go well.

Good luck to you on revamping the troop. It can be veeeeerrrryyyy difficult, but the rewards can be absolutely life-changing for the boys.

Ken

Top
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
November
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30
Who's Online
2 registered (Russ, Bingley), 44 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
relaxrsgdfifa, knifeman, harrybrad, Funkybassjunky, JacobTyler
5063 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Happy Thanksgiving!
by Doug_Ritter
Yesterday at 05:49 PM
Estimating risk
by Denis
Yesterday at 05:07 PM
How much water do you carry for a day hike?
by MDinana
Yesterday at 03:47 AM
Fiador Knot Gear Carrier + Tutorial Link
by TonyE
11/27/14 02:40 PM
Up on the slope
by wildman800
11/27/14 08:53 AM
Drones Find Joe
by CANOEDOGS
11/27/14 07:50 AM
One Sure Fire - Emergency Fire Bundle
by Phaedrus
11/27/14 07:43 AM
Pineapple Knot
by TonyE
11/26/14 09:15 PM
Newest Images
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
70's Buck 501
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.