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

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
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

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

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
_________________________

- Ron

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

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
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!

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

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
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.

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

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
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.

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#164562 - 01/23/09 01:13 AM Re: TEACHING SCOUTS ABOUT SURVIVAL [Re: ]
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.

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

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
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

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

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
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

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#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.

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#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


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