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#42326 - 06/26/05 03:09 AM Park Ranger???? The problem goes beyond the BSA.
brian Offline

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
I have seen a couple threads recently regarding lost Scouts and the failure on the part of the BSA to prepare these kids properly. I would like to contend that our failure to prepare our children (and adults) goes well beyond the BSA. This morning after breakfast my son (23 months old) went for a hike at a Texas state park near where we live. It was about 10am which in Texas in June means temperatures already at or near 90+ degrees F so this was just a short hike of maybe 30 min to an hour... nothing major because I dont want him to get hot and uncomfortable since the idea is for him to enjoy the outdoors (which so far he does quite a bit). As we are hiking down the trail we come across a park ranger (or atleast a park employee with a uniform identical to the rangers' uniforms) with group of about 6 children and 4 parents on a guided nature hike of sorts. When my son and I met up with them on the trail they were stopped and she was explaining something about cedar trees that I wasn't paying much attention too. What I did notice though was that this was about 10am in June in Texas and not a sinlge person in the group was carrying anything noticable. Not even one single bottle of water between them. Granted we were only about .25 mile from the trail head but I still found this to be unusual at best. I went on to notice that the "ranger" had nothing. No water bottle or canteen or knife or multitool or a belt pouch, shoulder bag or backpack of any type. I would have expected to see at least a bottle of water and FAK. There was nothing in her pockets either. Her shorts were tight enough that it was pretty obvious that her pockets were empty. It was really sad. She was not setting a good example at all. And here I come waltzing down the trail, Joe Nobody with my 2 year old son up on my shoulders in his bright orange t-shirt and me with my little PSK/FAK belt pouch (plus my normal EDC) and a bottle of water. It seems these days the only people I see carrying water on the trail are the trail runners and mountain bikers... and keep in mind its often 100 degree F or hotter when I'm out there. As far as anyone at all carrying any other gear... heck I would probably go in to shock if I actually ever saw that. Granted, I myself keep a very low profile so you'd have to be really looking to notice that I am carrying anything other than a bottle of water (and believe me I am) so I can only hope that the case is the same with some of the other seemingly unprepared people I see along the trail.
Learn to improvise everything.

#42327 - 06/27/05 06:11 AM Re: Park Ranger???? The problem goes beyond the BSA.
cedfire Offline

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 659
Loc: Orygun
I remember a hike not too long ago where I was coming down a popular trail, passing hordes of day hikers on their way uphill. What made me laugh was that the "serious" hikers, the ones with at least backpacks and water, were mostly retirement age or older. The younger crowd was busy peeling their shirts off, stopping on the side of the trail, and trying to grab some cool air. The older folks were flying right by them, sipping water and happily talking & enjoying the hike.

#42328 - 06/28/05 08:56 AM Re: Park Ranger???? The problem goes beyond the BSA.
johnbaker Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 384
Loc: USA
I think lack of preparedness is pandemic in our society. We indulge ourselves in a paternalism and naivete that our necessities and conveniences will always be made available whenever we want them, all without any planning, preparation, or work on our own part.

I suspect that this syndrome is remediable only on a very limited individual and personal basis as with your sons and mine. Otherwise, people will simply not learn until forced to do so by adverse personal experiences.


#42329 - 06/28/05 02:56 PM Re: Park Ranger???? The problem goes beyond the BSA.

I think some of this is due to technology ... kids today think that all they have to do is pull out the ubiquitous cell phone and punch 911, and within mere minutes, helicopers and first responders will be swarming around them to tend to their every need.

While it IS true that cell phones have helped in some rather dramatic rescues (which have for better or worse gotten a lot of print and media attention), the majority of people under about age 30 in the US have been so conditioned by what they see on TV action/adventure shows, that their brains are simply not equipped to handle the cold, hard reality that the outdoors is NOT the same as the backyard.

#42330 - 06/30/05 12:22 PM Re: Park Ranger???? The problem goes beyond the B
Craig Offline

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
The lack of preparedness can be seen all around us. Also, when is the last time you heard anyone mention personal accountability?

I thought so. When things go wrong today, it's not your fault -- file a lawsuit!

I think the lack of preparedness can also be explained in how others view it. If you are prepared for the unexpected, you realize the fabric of society can be ripped away at any moment.

Those who are not prepared, or who decline to prepare, or who refuse to prepare, are unwilling or unable to acknowledge that they may be caught in circumstances beyond their control.

That's the psychological issue here, I think. Control.

-- Craig


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