The essence of Scouting?

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John Kennaugh

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Sep 16, 2003, 5:47:06 PM9/16/03
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This thread has been prompted by a number of things. The IT badge. An
argument between Ewan and Karl and a report in the 'Independent' from
which I quote:

Mr Twine says. "There also seems to be a greater desire among the Scouts
themselves to get on with activities, rather than spending time
collecting wood, building up and starting a fire, when they could just
turn a tap on a propane cylinder."

The Scout Association has moved away from BP's legacy for what it
believes are good reasons however I would like to look at what BP's
version of Scouting was and why it worked.

As a species we evolved and for most of history lived in small groups.
There was no social gulf between adults and children as there is today.
No separate culture. Children helped out as soon as they were able. They
were included in adult social gatherings. They learned the skills of the
tribe and gained status and respect as useful members of the tribe as
they honed their skills. Scouting is based on that same model of a
community and at its best adults and children play the game of Scouting
together based on mutual respect.

The skills BP instinctively identified as Scouting skills were based on
the skills of our ancestors, making camp, putting up a shelter, cooking
over a fire, exploring our surroundings without getting lost, learning
about the natural world and how to use what it provides, constructing
things with pieces of tree and rope, tracking, and finally gathering
socially around a fire. Things which are part of our natural heritage
which our brief period being 'civilised' has not had time to erase and
which, without our knowing it we miss. Old fashioned pursuits? Yes about
4 million years 'old fashioned'. Touching the spirits of our ancestors
perhaps. Being part of a more natural social group than our modern
complex society. Indulging in the natural play patterns of the man cub.

Rubbish you might say. I don't think so. Why do perfectly sane people
abandon a modern fully equipped kitchen and light a BBQ at the bottom of
their gardens? It is not a logical thing to do but it is a natural thing
to do.

Scouting skills represented a different and separate set of
skills/values to those of everyday life. When I was at school my
playground status was rock bottom. The pecking order in the playground
depended on how good you were at football (among other things some less
savoury). Scouting had an entirely different set of values. The skills
required to be a good Scout required practice and dedication rather than
natural aptitude. In the BP scheme a 'Scouting skill' was a special
skill you needed, and frequently used, when Scouting, when doing
Scouting activities. You took pride in that skill, you tried to hone
that skill and your status as a Scout depended on it. A badge showed
what skills you had mastered and could, when asked, reproduce, and teach
others.

As far as I am concerned the traditional Scouting skills are underrated
and devalued by those who never mastered them and can't be bothered to
try. I personally have always found them exceedingly useful. We have had
a bumper crop of beans this year and my square lashings are holding up
very well although at one point the whole thing was getting top heavy
due to a bumper crop so despite the cross bracing I had to add some guy
lines. I had to fetch a motorbike from Bodmin on a trailer and there was
nothing but my roping skills between me an a very expensive disaster. I
had a pleasant week camping in a wood. I could get a kettle of water
boiling quicker starting from scratch and lighting a fire than using the
gas cooker I took. If I only wanted enough water for one cup of coffee
the cooker won but then there was no fire to sit by while I drank it.

By importing into Scouting every aspect of modern life the values inside
Scouting are identical to those outside of Scouting. It ceases therefore
to be a natural alternative to the artificiality of everyday life and it
ceases to be somewhere YP who don't fit in can take refuge and be equal
to the rest. Some of the best Scouts I have known have, in one sense or
another, been misfits outside of Scouting. It was Scouting which gave
them self respect. Now there is very little which can be identified as a
'Scouting skill' and those few which remain are being sidelined. If
fires are out there is no point in using axes and saws. Scouting is
'keeping up with the times'.

Why cook on a fire when all you need is to turn a tap on a propane
cylinder? Why stop at fires? Why use tents? If camp sites had decently
equipped chalets or bunk houses your Scout troop wouldn't need to cart
its own equipment around the countryside. It wouldn't actually need it
in the first place, think of the time that would save. Arrive, dump your
personal kit in the bunk house and you are instantly ready for the first
activity of the day. What shall we say - building a raft perhaps - maybe
not that requires skill and effort. Modern young people need something
more instant than that besides there are grants available if you take
the trouble to apply for them. Who wants to muck about with rafts? Why
not get some decent modern canoes for example. If we are going to keep
young people interested we need to be as well equipped and meet the same
standards as professional activity providers don't we? OTOH why bother.
Why not leave it to the professional activity providers, they get paid
for it? Why should we do it for nothing there seems to be plenty of
money about and grants for those who can't afford it?

I though the reason we do it for nothing is because we are not simply
unpaid activity providers, we are something different - Scouts.

Scouting is belonging, it is a community where young and old share a
common purpose.

Scouting is a code of honour.

Scouting is about self reliance and helping others.

Scouting is about learning to think ahead and work as a team.

Scouting is about being trusted to act responsibly and to take
responsibility for oneself and others.

Scouting is about learning skills which help you play the game of
Scouting, and earn you the respect of other Scouts.

Scouting is about passing your skills on to the next generation and
taking a pride in using them well and reaching the highest standard you
can.

Scout activities are different to those activity providers provide in
that they are, or should be, aimed at building up and encouraging the
above. Building a raft scores highly. It involves team work and
planning. It requires skill and leadership. It allows older Scouts to
demonstrate their skills and help the younger ones who are not as good.
Cooking on a fire scores quite highly. There is a lot of skill involved
and teamwork. It can result in considerable pride and satisfaction when
done right. Abseiling scores zero but I wouldn't mind betting that it is
one of the 'activities' Derek Twine has in mind that Scouts these days
'want to get on with'. The adventure in Scouting is not in being dangled
from a rope over a cliff nor being taken to some spectacular mountain
top with expert guides. The true adventure is finding oneself in the
middle of open moorland with no adult to help and having to rely on ones
own skills. Being trusted to take responsibility. Unfortunately the
population as a whole, and a lot of adults in Scouting believe that
trusting young people is being irresponsible. I agree with the DC who
says "Train them! Trust them ...and keep taking the pills". Trusting
young people is scary but it is (or was) what we do in Scouting.

You sit around your damn computers if you like. I prefer sitting on a
log, in a wood, by a fire, watching the sun go down and trying to tune
in to what nature is up to around me. I have spent too much of my life
sitting in front of a computer already and YP are condemned to spend
much more of their lives so doing than I have. As for the idea of a
computer base at camp :o( Me? I have never even liked taking tables and
chairs. Scouting is going the way it is going. I wish it success but it
is not my type of Scouting any more. I suspect that in 20 years time
some bright spark will come up with this terrific new idea. "Let's junk
all this high tech stuff, build a shelter in the woods and cook on a
real fire".

For the record a wood fire is more environmentally friendly that a
propane cooker.
--
John Kennaugh

Leslie Button

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Sep 17, 2003, 4:01:36 AM9/17/03
to
>
> Mr Twine says. "There also seems to be a greater desire among the Scouts
> themselves to get on with activities, rather than spending time
> collecting wood, building up and starting a fire, when they could just
> turn a tap on a propane cylinder."
>

No in my Troop they don't. The fire is the one thing they want to do
straight away - getting tents up, camp set and all the other things
done is hard work - but a fire - that's what they want. As one of my
Scouts said to me last year, "If I wan't to cook on gas, I'll stay at
home and cook in the kitchen"

Matt McVeigh

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Sep 17, 2003, 4:14:51 AM9/17/03
to

"John Kennaugh" <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:isYcu1VaT4Z$Ew...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk...

I generally agree with most of what you've said - absolutely. However - a
couple of points...

> Scouting is about passing your skills on to the next generation and
> taking a pride in using them well and reaching the highest standard you
> can.

Absolutely, fantastic - that pretty much sums up exactly why I am a Leader.

> Scout activities are different to those activity providers provide in
> that they are, or should be, aimed at building up and encouraging the
> above. Building a raft scores highly. It involves team work and
> planning. It requires skill and leadership. It allows older Scouts to
> demonstrate their skills and help the younger ones who are not as good.
> Cooking on a fire scores quite highly. There is a lot of skill involved
> and teamwork. It can result in considerable pride and satisfaction when
> done right.

Yup - I agree.

Abseiling scores zero but I wouldn't mind betting that it is
> one of the 'activities' Derek Twine has in mind that Scouts these days
> 'want to get on with'. The adventure in Scouting is not in being dangled
> from a rope over a cliff nor being taken to some spectacular mountain
> top with expert guides.

Ah, now then...

The true adventure is finding oneself in the
> middle of open moorland with no adult to help and having to rely on ones
> own skills. Being trusted to take responsibility. Unfortunately the
> population as a whole, and a lot of adults in Scouting believe that
> trusting young people is being irresponsible. I agree with the DC who
> says "Train them! Trust them ...and keep taking the pills". Trusting
> young people is scary but it is (or was) what we do in Scouting.

I agree wholeheartedly that we need to train and trust them (you should have
seen my comments in the Adventure Activity Authorisation review about this).
However, I think the adventure skills, taught in a Scouting context, are
different from the 2 hour tasters that activity centres etc provide.

I think that abseilling (as your example) certainly doesn't score zero. It
teaches YP to have confidence in themselves. It often involves overcoming
fear. YP tend to get together and encourage each other and help the younger
ones. It teaches belaying, setting up anchor systems, correct use of
equipment and maintenance, safety systems and first aid. All if done
correctly of course. Mark Garthwaite (a leading UK rock climber) started
climbing with my Scout Group, and my former leader. He may never have got
into it if he wasn't introduced as a Scout. In mountaineering (my own
speciality) you learn safety, navigation (macro and micro), pacing, gear
selection, emergency response (not just 1st aid), self arrest with ice axes,
snow conditions and avalanche assessment etc. There are a lot of skills out
there. I have been involved for a number of years in Winter Mountaineering
Skills weekends for Scouts. The objective is not to get to the top of a
mountain (we manage that only about 50% of the time, based on the YP). The
object is to hike up to decent snow, and teach the basic skills. This means
that as they progress into my Explorer Unit they have the core skills to
enable them to do the more adventurous things in mountains like reach
summits, learn basic mountaineering ropework and more challenging routes if
this is something that interests them.

On the International Camp Staff Programme in the US I taught COPE for 2
summers. COPE you say? Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (yes, I
know, what a pile of bollocks name). But it was a course providing
activities designed to foster teamwork and leadership in groups of YP, and I
found it hugely good. It involved climbing and abseilling amongst other
things, but critically had teams of YP working together for a week together.

I think that letting YP experience things like climbing, abseilling and
mountaineering is exactly what we should be doing along with the other thing
s you mention. You say that you should be 'passing your skills on to the
next generation'. Well, these are my skills (moreso mountains than rock
faces these days) and I have former Scouts who are now dedicated hill
walkers in Scotland, and in one case a competent Alpinist. I learnt my
skills in these fields in Scouting, and am passing them on as they were
passed to me. Yes, there is a happy medium. Core skills are essential, and
I absolutely applaud the brunt of your sentiment completely. But ancillary
skills (whether mountains, watersports, air activities etc) will always, for
me, be another important element in Scouting.

Matt


Ewan Scott

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Sep 17, 2003, 3:58:45 AM9/17/03
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On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
<jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>This thread has been prompted by a number of things. The IT badge. An
>argument between Ewan and Karl and a report in the 'Independent' from
>which I quote:
>
>Mr Twine says. "There also seems to be a greater desire among the Scouts
>themselves to get on with activities, rather than spending time
>collecting wood, building up and starting a fire, when they could just
>turn a tap on a propane cylinder."
>
>The Scout Association has moved away from BP's legacy for what it
>believes are good reasons however I would like to look at what BP's
>version of Scouting was and why it worked.
>

>snip
>


There is much that you say that is in essence true, and no-one could
deny that. However, I think that you put too much weight behind Derek
Twine's statement.

There have been changes in the way society operates. In particular the
speed of life and the expectation of instant gratification - of all
people of all ages. We must take some account of that in what we do.
It is all very well to take a fundamentalist route but the numbers who
will follow that route. Who will take enough interest to give it a
try, will be minimal. I would argue that it is better to find some
middle ground where we can introduce people to those "ancient" skills
and messages, and that out of that they might decide to follow a more
traditional path.

My experience is that if I take newcomers and throw them into a
complete culture shock of bivvying, cooking over fires, and digging
latrines (hypothetically), they turn away. If on the other hand we mix
activities, they sample and enjoy the backwoods skills, the
pioneering, the hiking etc.

> As far as I am concerned the traditional Scouting skills are underrated
>and devalued by those who never mastered them and can't be bothered to

>try..

Very true. I have lost count of the number of times knotting and
pioneering skills have proven useful in everyday life. So too axe and
knife skills and even stoves and lamps over the years. The problem ,
as you say, is that too many people can't be bothered to learn the
basic skills. I've said before, and ben berated for it, that if they
can't be bothered learning the basic skills, I don't want them as a
Leader.

>By importing into Scouting every aspect of modern life the values inside
>Scouting are identical to those outside of Scouting. It ceases therefore
>to be a natural alternative to the artificiality of everyday life and it
>ceases to be somewhere YP who don't fit in can take refuge and be equal
>to the rest.

I don't think we are importing every value of modern life. If we ban
our members from being modern kids, listening to modern music, wearing
modern clothes, then wecreate a barrier between us and them that makes
it increasingly difficult to get them to understand that our message
is universal. The management of the culture of a Group depends upon
its leadership. I'm apparently variously pompous, patronising,
arrogant, dictatorial, etc., yet I have a group of Scouts and
explorers who come regularly, who enjoy outdoor life, who kayak,
climb, camp, in both styles, and who enjoy , largely, what you
describe as the benefits of the traditional methods. We have some real
outsiders who feel quite at home in Scouts, partly because we don't
put any emphasis on football, partly because we level the playing
field, and almost certaionly because there is a lack of tolerance of
bullying. As opposed to lip service paid to anti-bullying tactics at
school. Anyway, I digress.

>Why cook on a fire when all you need is to turn a tap on a propane
>cylinder? Why stop at fires? Why use tents? If camp sites had decently
>equipped chalets or bunk houses your Scout troop wouldn't need to cart
>its own equipment around the countryside. It wouldn't actually need it
>in the first place, think of the time that would save. Arrive, dump your
>personal kit in the bunk house and you are instantly ready for the first
>activity of the day.

There are places for both types of camping. I've run weekends where we
set up traditional camps and spent the weekend collecting and chopping
wood for the cooking fires, pioneering, and cycling. They were
excellent weekends much demanded by the Scouts again.

We have also run activity camps where we turn up pitch camp and get on
with the activities. Again, much in demand.

We have also considered , for older Scouts and Explorers, bunkhouse
weekends where we use the bunkhouse as a base for visiting a different
part of the country and visiting gardens, houses, museums, theatres
and yes, shops. With lunch out at a pub and a late evening supper back
at the bunkhouse. Guess what, that too is much in demand.

>.What shall we say - building a raft perhaps - maybe

>not that requires skill and effort. Modern young people need something
>more instant than that besides there are grants available if you take
>the trouble to apply for them. Who wants to muck about with rafts? Why
>not get some decent modern canoes for example.

That is a rather poor example, John. We'll build rafts, bridges,
catapults and more. Kayaking is a very different skill and in fact is
one which requires personal ability, an element of courage, and
certainly an awareness of the natural environment and your fellow
paddlers.

>If we are going to keep young people interested we need to be as well equipped and meet the same
>standards as professional activity providers don't we? OTOH why bother.
>Why not leave it to the professional activity providers, they get paid
>for it? Why should we do it for nothing there seems to be plenty of
>money about and grants for those who can't afford it?

This is a different argument. If we are going to provide archery as a
skill rather than a have-a-go base, then we need to be trained to the
required standard of instruction. It isn't rocket science, and it
isn't difficult to keep skills updated. In fact, anyone who could read
the GNAS manual could teach themselves. However, inherent in being
trained to that standard is the awareness of the equipment. In which
case, if we are to do the job, we must do it properly, with the best
available equipment.
If we extend that to cycling, kayaking, climbing etc.., the same
parameters apply. Who can argue that using a modern rotomoulded
plastic kayak with ergonomically designed seats, backrests, and
bulkhead footplates is not a more satisfactory route to the activity
than using a leaky, osmotic old GRP boat with ill designed seats,
sharp interior edges and footrests designed to trap the paddler in the
event of being pinned. Yes, the activity of building the kayak is
lost, but it can be replaced with some other activity if desired.

There is a drive in some areas to move towards professional activity
provision. I'd prefer that we match it with our own skills. I'd prefer
to see more Leaders going out and developing their own abilities as
activity instructors and passing the benefits of those skills to the
Scouts. That's what I have done, and I feel that I'm better for it and
I can't understand why more people don't do it.

As for the grants issue, what is the problem?

The whole point of funding being made available, either publicly or
privately, is to help develop society. We do our bit to help maintain
society and develop citizenship through youth work, others do it
through raising funds to assist people who take a more particpatory
approach. So funds offered by Rotary, Round Table, Lions, Masons, are
raised specifically to help people who help provide voluntary services
such as Hospices, Scouts, care facilities, drug rehab schemes, boys
clubs, conservation work etc..
The government also recognises that third sector groups need fiscal
assistance and that we contribute to the stability of society. To
assist us and to minimise the effort they need to put in to the areas
we cover, they make available certain funds.
Sports bodies have funds to help bring newcomers into their sports,
and to develop the "stars" of tomorrow. That funding may come from
private funders with an interest in the sport, or it may come from
government, or it may come from commercial sponsors of that sport. It
would be completely irresponsible of anyone trying to buy , for
example, a sailing dingy, not to approach the RYA Foundation (if there
is one) to seek funding. In fact, it could be deemed a breach of the
terms of trusteeship if a group did not make the best efforts to seek
sources of funding for buying new equipment.


>I though the reason we do it for nothing is because we are not simply
>unpaid activity providers, we are something different - Scouts.

Yes

>Scouting is belonging, it is a community where young and old share a
>common purpose.

Yes

>Scouting is a code of honour.

Yes


>
>Scouting is about self reliance and helping others.

Yes


>
>Scouting is about learning to think ahead and work as a team.

Yes


>
>Scouting is about being trusted to act responsibly and to take
>responsibility for oneself and others.

Yes


>
>Scouting is about learning skills which help you play the game of
>Scouting, and earn you the respect of other Scouts.

Yes


>
>Scouting is about passing your skills on to the next generation and
>taking a pride in using them well and reaching the highest standard you
>can.

Yes, and this is entirely in keping with what we are trying to
achieve.


>
>Scout activities are different to those activity providers provide in
>that they are, or should be, aimed at building up and encouraging the
>above. Building a raft scores highly. It involves team work and
>planning. It requires skill and leadership. It allows older Scouts to
>demonstrate their skills and help the younger ones who are not as good.
>Cooking on a fire scores quite highly. There is a lot of skill involved
>and teamwork. It can result in considerable pride and satisfaction when
>done right. Abseiling scores zero but I wouldn't mind betting that it is
>one of the 'activities' Derek Twine has in mind that Scouts these days
>'want to get on with'. The adventure in Scouting is not in being dangled
>from a rope over a cliff nor being taken to some spectacular mountain
>top with expert guides. The true adventure is finding oneself in the
>middle of open moorland with no adult to help and having to rely on ones
>own skills. Being trusted to take responsibility. Unfortunately the
>population as a whole, and a lot of adults in Scouting believe that
>trusting young people is being irresponsible. I agree with the DC who
>says "Train them! Trust them ...and keep taking the pills". Trusting
>young people is scary but it is (or was) what we do in Scouting.

All of the above is true - except you miss the point of using
abseiling - as i suspect many others do. In attachuing yourself to a
static rope and sliding down it without a safety rope you are
demonstrating an understanding of the physics involved and an element
of self courage in going "over the edge". It is bravado. On taking a
yp who may not have abseiled before, may never have stood atop a 30
foot drop before, attaching them to a staic rope and then attaching
them to a safety rope and talking them over the edge, and down the
cliff we have a whole set of different achievements.

1. We have introduced them to the easiest and initially most obviously
exciting element of climbing. That changes once they take on the
climbing aspect in earnest.
2. We have taught them that if they trust skilled people to help them,
they can achieve what they thought was impossible.
3. They experience a rush that might encourage them to try to find out
more about climbing and abseiling.

If an abseil is set up as a have-a-go base with no intention of
developing the scout's knowledge of how it is set up, of how it
operates, and what it is, then it scores zero in your system. If you
use that to do more, them it must score higher.

It is beyond my skill level, or my inclination, but once introduced to
rock activities through abseiling, there is the potential to develop
skills and teamwork. I have Explorers whom I am happy to have run a
climbing wall under supervision. If they take their skills level
higher, and some will, then they will enter the realm of lead climbing
and that requires teamwork and trust of all involved.

>You sit around your damn computers if you like. I prefer sitting on a
>log, in a wood, by a fire, watching the sun go down and trying to tune
>in to what nature is up to around me. I have spent too much of my life
>sitting in front of a computer already and YP are condemned to spend
>much more of their lives so doing than I have. As for the idea of a
>computer base at camp :o( Me? I have never even liked taking tables and
>chairs. Scouting is going the way it is going. I wish it success but it
>is not my type of Scouting any more. I suspect that in 20 years time
>some bright spark will come up with this terrific new idea. "Let's junk
>all this high tech stuff, build a shelter in the woods and cook on a
>real fire".

I've got to agree, computers at camp are a crap idea.

>For the record a wood fire is more environmentally friendly that a
>propane cooker.

You must qualify that statement by saying that a natural wood fire is
more environmentally friendly than a propane cooker. Sadly most camp
woodpiles are full of MDF, chipboard and laminates that give of CFCs
and dioxins when burnt...

Ewan Scott

http://www.claytonwestscouts.org.uk

Dave Mayall

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Sep 17, 2003, 5:54:19 AM9/17/03
to
Leslie Button wrote:
>
> >
> > Mr Twine says. "There also seems to be a greater desire among the Scouts
> > themselves to get on with activities, rather than spending time
> > collecting wood, building up and starting a fire, when they could just
> > turn a tap on a propane cylinder."
> >
>
> No in my Troop they don't.

Nor in my Units.

Could it be that our Chief Executive is out of touch?

A Voice

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Sep 17, 2003, 11:01:51 AM9/17/03
to
"Dave Mayall" <da...@research-group.co.uk> wrote in message
news:3F682F4B...@research-group.co.uk...

<Gasp> Surely not.
--
A Voice
reply to anSPOTearATblueyonderSPOTcoSPOTuk
The best leaders inspire by example. When that's not an option, brute
intimidation works pretty well, too.


Tim Jones

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Sep 17, 2003, 11:21:08 AM9/17/03
to
On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
<jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:


>For the record a wood fire is more environmentally friendly that a
>propane cooker.
>--
>John Kennaugh

Playing devils advocate, it very much depends on how fully you
evaluate the environmental impact.

Are you planning on feeling a tree or picking up fallen dead wood?

To fell a tree is hardly very "green" and in picking up dead wood off
the floor you are removing one of the most valuable resources out
there for small bugs, mice, voles etc.......

It's not just about diminsihing fossil fuels and greenhouse gases.

Traditional scout skills wll always have their place, scouts enjoy
them and therefore we will continue to use them, but IME the 2 best
team building trips we have done have not involved axes, saws, open
fires or tilley lamps. One was a narrowboat trip where the need to
move quickly and safely through large flights of locks provided an
excellent opportunity for evryone to find their own useful niche in
the team. The second was a 5 day cycle tour of the D-day landing
beaches, where evryone had to work together to keep the trip moving by
cooking whilst pitching and striking camp each day, the objectives
were plain and the rewards were obvious.

The scouts that came on the last cycle trip still have a tendency to
pack my kit and strike my tent if I am overwise occupied at any camp
;)

Tim Jones

Tom Oldershaw

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Sep 17, 2003, 2:08:31 PM9/17/03
to uk.rec.scouting
On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
<jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:

[snip the rest of an entirely sensible post]

>things with pieces of tree and rope, tracking, and finally gathering
>socially around a fire. Things which are part of our natural heritage

One of my biggest concerns is the dying out of the campfire. As ESL I
had great difficulty getting Explorers to sit down as one group at the
end of the evening. It's the ideal time to socialise as a group, talk,
learn about each other and our selves, and maybe sing a few songs and
stunts, have a laugh and enjoy ourselves. For the first time this year
I attended a week long camp without at least one social campfire for
the kids (adults had one every night).

But what also annoys me is when campfires are 'misused'. IMHO, the
campfire at this year's Winter Camp was a prime example. Apart from
the lack of actual fire, it was basically a group of people sat round
in a circle singing daft songs. Admittedly it's very difficult to do
anything else at Winter Camp, but in too many cases that's the only
experience of camp fires that YP have, so when it comes to Explorers
they're not interested.

My father has an interesting theory, to which I also subscribe: open
fires are theraputic and have a positive effect on people's mental
wellbeing. The decline of open fires in houses is a contributory
factor in the apparant rise in mental illness in the last 100 years.
[1]

We should be encouraging camp fires for their benefits - the social
aspect, the chance to wind down at the end of the day, the warmth they
generate and the sense of belonging in all being as one around the
fire. If people want to sing songs as well, that's fine - but the
songs should not be the primary purpose for the gathering.

Tom.

[1] Please don't start a thread about whether mental illness really
has increased or not. It's not relevant and probably OT.

--
Tom Oldershaw
DESC, Bedford
mailto: t...@bluegreen.org.uk
http://www.bedfordexplorerscouts.org.uk/

Chris Atkinson

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 3:16:18 PM9/17/03
to
In article <bk9t0v$qucur$1...@ID-144692.news.uni-berlin.de>, A Voice
<a.v...@blueyonder.co.uk> writes

>> Leslie Button wrote:
>> Could it be that our Chief Executive is out of touch?
>
><Gasp> Surely not.
I don't think it's fully a matter of DT being out of touch but, given
the inherent time constraints, more the source of his information. Have
any focus groups been sighted in your area of late? I doubt that it's
coffee machine gossip, nevertheless ...
Chris A.
--
Chris Atkinson
chr...@cgautc.demon.co.uk UTC Computer Services
Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.

Chris Atkinson

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 3:24:30 PM9/17/03
to
In article <358hmv8m2j4jnisj5...@4ax.com>, Tom Oldershaw
<ne...@bluegreen.org.uk> writes

>We should be encouraging camp fires for their benefits - the social
>aspect, the chance to wind down at the end of the day, the warmth they
>generate and the sense of belonging in all being as one around the
>fire. If people want to sing songs as well, that's fine - but the
>songs should not be the primary purpose for the gathering.
Spot on Tom. Too few folk recognise the training value in the Patrol
just sitting around their fire at the end of the day and chatting. From
the leader's point of view this is also a grand time to get a feel for
the way things are going by just sitting there quietly with them for a
short while.
Mind you it can all go belly-up if the little whotsits decide to cook a
gas canister or similar on the fire :-(

Francis William Oldroyd

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 3:55:23 PM9/17/03
to
In article <3F682F4B...@research-group.co.uk>,

Completely out of touch I'm afraid. :-)

This sort of talk is just pampering to adult preconceptions of what's
nice -- the sort of thing that results in most kids going to school in
the back of their parents' cars. It doesn't have any place in
scouting.

I find scouts love fires more than anything else - but they are also
happy to use gas when the need arises.

Bill

--
Bill Oldroyd, SL, 1st Tadcaster, Wetherby District.
Scout website - http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/oldieshome/scouts/

Francis William Oldroyd

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 4:04:58 PM9/17/03
to
In article <isYcu1VaT4Z$Ew...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk>,
John Kennaugh <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
snip ...

A beautiful piece John.

I'm going to print it out and ask our Explorer Scouts what they think -
especially the bit that defines Scouting.

Francis William Oldroyd

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 4:35:25 PM9/17/03
to
In article <3f68799b...@news.lineone.net>,

Tim Jones <tvj...@lineone.net> wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
> <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> >For the record a wood fire is more environmentally friendly that a
> >propane cooker.
> Playing devils advocate, it very much depends on how fully you
> evaluate the environmental impact.
> Are you planning on feeling a tree or picking up fallen dead wood?
I presume you meant felling :-). If a tree is dead then there isn't
much harm in felling it. If a tree is alive then you ain't going to
have much of a fire !.

> To fell a tree is hardly very "green" and in picking up dead wood
> off the floor you are removing one of the most valuable resources
> out there for small bugs, mice, voles etc.......

There isn't much harm, and possibly considerable benefit in selective
felling of timber and harvesting woodland by coppicing. Opening up
woodland allows many new plants to grow, which means different types
of animals will move in. Much standard woodland is actually a rather
barren environment when compared with a mixture of open areas, glade
and woodland which is undergoing active harvesting of the timber.

Trees recover quickly (in the tree's timescale) from sensible lopping
of branches, coppiced woodland recovers to allow regular cropping, and
even cleared woodland will re-generate in a few years.

> It's not just about diminsihing fossil fuels and greenhouse gases.

In this case I think it is. Natural gas is a far too valuable resource
to be wasted by burning it.

> Traditional scout skills wll always have their place, scouts enjoy
> them and therefore we will continue to use them, but IME the 2
> best team building trips we have done have not involved axes, saws,
> open fires or tilley lamps. One was a narrowboat trip where the
> need to move quickly and safely through large flights of locks
> provided an excellent opportunity for evryone to find their own
> useful niche in the team. The second was a 5 day cycle tour of the
> D-day landing beaches, where evryone had to work together to keep
> the trip moving by cooking whilst pitching and striking camp each
> day, the objectives were plain and the rewards were obvious.

I don't think this experience invalidates the point about woodcraft -
because I too have done many of the sort of activities that you
describe. They are very useful in building team spirit and self
reliance in the scouts.

But on the other hand, camping in a basic way as BP described does
also teach a scout to learn how to make themselves comfortable in even
the most difficult circumstances. It's also fun and sometimes slightly
scarey.

Francis William Oldroyd

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 4:58:23 PM9/17/03
to
In article <358hmv8m2j4jnisj5...@4ax.com>,

Tom Oldershaw <ne...@bluegreen.org.uk> wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
> <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> [snip the rest of an entirely sensible post]

> >things with pieces of tree and rope, tracking, and finally
> >gathering socially around a fire. Things which are part of our
> >natural heritage

> One of my biggest concerns is the dying out of the campfire. As ESL
> I had great difficulty getting Explorers to sit down as one group
> at the end of the evening.

Well much to my surprise our Explorers did of their own volition
organise a campfire at the end of this year's camp. It comprised the
singing of some old favourites, impressions, reminiscing and pop songs
of various vintages.

> It's the ideal time to socialise as a group, talk, learn about each
> other and our selves, and maybe sing a few songs and stunts, have a
> laugh and enjoy ourselves. For the first time this year I attended
> a week long camp without at least one social campfire for the kids
> (adults had one every night).

We couldn't have fires at our summer camp this year, but we did use
one of our big frame tents as the camp "sitting room", which had much
the same purpose as a social campfire.

> But what also annoys me is when campfires are 'misused'. IMHO, the
> campfire at this year's Winter Camp was a prime example. Apart from
> the lack of actual fire, it was basically a group of people sat
> round in a circle singing daft songs. Admittedly it's very
> difficult to do anything else at Winter Camp, but in too many cases
> that's the only experience of camp fires that YP have, so when it
> comes to Explorers they're not interested.

I couldn't agree more.

> We should be encouraging camp fires for their benefits - the social
> aspect, the chance to wind down at the end of the day, the warmth
> they generate and the sense of belonging in all being as one around
> the fire. If people want to sing songs as well, that's fine - but
> the songs should not be the primary purpose for the gathering.

I had always this was the main purpose of campfires - except for
special occasions. One way of handling it a camp is to rotate around
the patrol campsites for a communal supper.

Andy

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 6:17:55 PM9/17/03
to
"John Kennaugh" <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:isYcu1VaT4Z$Ew...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk...
> This thread has been prompted by a number of things. The IT badge. An
> argument between Ewan and Karl and a report in the 'Independent' from
> which I quote:
>
> Mr Twine says. "There also seems to be a greater desire among the Scouts
> themselves to get on with activities, rather than spending time
> collecting wood, building up and starting a fire, when they could just
> turn a tap on a propane cylinder."

My explorers favourite type a camp is what they call the 'Chill-out' camp We
use hike tents and gas on activity camps where time is an issue but given
the choice they prefer patrol tents and open fires. They sum it up simply:
"You can have 6 people in a hike tent playing cards at night" and "You can't
sit around at night staring into a gas burning"
The chill-out camp is a traditional camp with no other purpose than to camp
(when we have an activity camp then they often cook on gas by necessity due
to a lack of time).
The capable Explorers camp unsupervised although I pop down from time to
time and have a coffee with them. The first time I did so I saw them all
lazing about doing nothing so I looked closer. The fire was on and dinner
was slowly cooking, the wood pile was full, graded, covered and raised off
the ground. The store was laid out, area up, tent up properly etc.
They appear to do nothing all weekend, whenever you see then they appear to
be sitting around or poking the fire but things still get done as required
and without fuss. This is simply because they know not only how to camp, but
WHY they should camp that way. As a result, they can chill out knowing that
the work is done and they have time to themselves. Normally the end up
helping the campsite staff.
My lot can have the tents up, area sorten and fire on in a couple of hours
because it is second nature - we camp a lot probably because we have a site
only 15 minutes away from the Hall. I know of many others who use gas and
domes because it is faster (I suspect that these Scout do not camp a lot),
these Scouts are the ones normally found hanging round our fires, chatting
under our dining shelters, sitting at our tables or toasting in our saunas
because all they have are domes and gas.
Four walls and a roof make a house, furniture and home comforts make a home.
Likewise a tent and a cooker gives you a place to eat and sleep, fires,
shelters, benches etc makes a camp.

Andy


Andy

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 6:25:26 PM9/17/03
to
"Tom Oldershaw" <ne...@bluegreen.org.uk> wrote in message
news:358hmv8m2j4jnisj5...@4ax.com...

> My father has an interesting theory, to which I also subscribe: open
> fires are theraputic and have a positive effect on people's mental
> wellbeing. The decline of open fires in houses is a contributory
> factor in the apparant rise in mental illness in the last 100 years.

Agreed 100%.

At the end of the day just sitting round a fire breaks down barriers, after
songs etc people sit and stare into the flames and I find that voices
quieten and you can chat about things that you simply cannot during the day.
Barriers break down and the macho front that teenage boys put up or the
studied indifference the teenage girls manage to exude from every pore
vanish and you can have real conversation about real subjects (not just Pop
idol or Corrie).

Freud would have done much better is he had a campfire instead of a couch
:-)

Andy


Stephen Rainsbury

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 6:59:30 PM9/17/03
to

"Ewan Scott" <ew...@scotia57.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1l1gmvcuqjsntao2l...@4ax.com...

> On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
> <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> We have also run activity camps where we turn up pitch camp and get on
> with the activities. Again, much in demand.

I agree, we have to be very clear here, there is camping for its own
enjoyment and camping as a cheap way of providing residential accommodation
for another activity. AFAIAC these are related but different.

--
--
Stephen Rainsbury
SL 8th Gillingham
DSL/DESA Gillingham District


Stephen Rainsbury

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 7:08:44 PM9/17/03
to

"Francis William Oldroyd" <oldie...@argonet.co.uk> wrote in message
news:4c3382eb04...@argonet.co.uk...
> In article <3F682F4B...@research-group.co.uk>,

> This sort of talk is just pampering to adult preconceptions of what's
> nice -- the sort of thing that results in most kids going to school in
> the back of their parents' cars. It doesn't have any place in
> scouting.

That's why we have TLFs (fka PLC) and unit meetings so that what the young
people want is reflected in their programme and activities.

If they don't want to cook on a fire then forcing them won't make them enjoy
it, they have to want to or its a waste of time. We also have to be careful
of YP lighting a fire and dicking around with it rather than using it for
doing dinner.

If they are going to cook dinner (and we should encourage that) then I think
that its important that they will cook something that has a good chance of
success. Watery spag bog will just but YP off, IMHO they are better off
doing something like packet pasta or rice which they will enjoy and want to
do again. then you try them on something more complex.

Stephen Rainsbury

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 7:10:30 PM9/17/03
to

"Matt McVeigh" <matt.mcv(nospam)@virgin.net> wrote in message
news:bk95a2$6k7$1$830f...@news.demon.co.uk...

> > Scouting is about passing your skills on to the next generation and
> > taking a pride in using them well and reaching the highest standard you
> > can.

I disagree, to me its about young people absorbing your skills and using
that to develop their own in a direction which is meaningful to them.

You don't have to be good at something to encourage someone else to excel.

Stephen Rainsbury

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 7:14:34 PM9/17/03
to

"Tom Oldershaw" <ne...@bluegreen.org.uk> wrote in message
news:358hmv8m2j4jnisj5...@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
> <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> For the first time this year
> I attended a week long camp without at least one social campfire for
> the kids (adults had one every night).

My lot just lit a fire each night without asking. there was never a question
about if they were going to or when. As soon as dinner was washed up they
just got some wood and lit it, and for that I have to thank my three young
leaders who could have run the camp without me. (Except for the shopping)

Stephen Rainsbury

unread,
Sep 17, 2003, 7:24:56 PM9/17/03
to
Our explorer camp in a few weeks is going to be differrent. They don't want
to spend to much time faffing aound getting the site ready so

1 - No dining shelters, benches, or tables. Eating will be under trees,
sitting on logs. (Hamlet wood has plenty of small clearings that never get
wet.

2 - Tents are going to be army bivvy sheets strung between trees, and
plastic ground sheets. Again this is going to be quicker than patrol tents,
and any way thats what Ray Mears does.

3 - Most food wil lbe cooked on fires, there are plenty of fire circles, but
the menu has been designed for minimum fuss, eg One Billy Paella, Bean Hot
pot (1 tim baked beans, 1 tin kidney beans, 2 tins cambells meat balls, a
large slug of HP sauce, and IIRC a tin of new potatos - heat the whole lot
for 20 minutes and eat) etc..

They don't want a formal site, but something low key, practial, less
"intrusive", minimum fuss, and less kit to put away afterwards!

Dave Mayall

unread,
Sep 18, 2003, 2:45:54 AM9/18/03
to
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 06:02:41 GMT, gu...@nospam.org (Karl Pollak)
wrote:

>>We also have to be careful of YP lighting a fire and dicking
>>around with it rather than using it for doing dinner.
>

>YP may dick around. SCOUTS DO NOT.

Of course they do. Scouts *are* Young People and imperfect.

>>If they are going to cook dinner (and we should encourage that) ...
>
>I will gladly allow their own stomachs do all the "encouraging" they need.
>
>> ... then I think that its important that they will cook

>>something that has a good chance of success.
>

>Let us also not forget proper nutritional value, visual appeal and good
>table manners. As long as it comes in a "boil-in-the-bag" packet.
>
>Have you understood anything at all of John's article?

Have you? Have you understood anything that BP wrote upon the subject
either?

If you give them something to cook that has a better than even chance
of not turning out well, how will they react? Will they be encouraged
to try again to get it right, or will they be discouraged.

I suggest the latter.

So, we start them off on things that we know will work, and which will
appeal to them, and allow them to progress to more difficult stuff as
they gain experience.

We stretch them constantly, every time a little bit more, so that they
gain confidence, so they learn what they *are* capable of. Chucking
them in at the deep end simply teaches them that they are not capable
of doing something, and discourages trying again.

One of my ES never cooked anything at home, and came into Scouting
where he started off with easy stuff guaranteed to work, and
PROGRESSED to more advanced stuff. A couple of weeks ago, he started
at college on a catering course, where his tutor has passed comment
upon the high skill level that he has.

Would he have achieved this if the first thing he did was to fail?

--
Dave Mayall

Matt McVeigh

unread,
Sep 18, 2003, 3:34:55 AM9/18/03
to
"Tom Oldershaw" <ne...@bluegreen.org.uk> wrote in message
news:358hmv8m2j4jnisj5...@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
> <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> [snip the rest of an entirely sensible post]
>
> >things with pieces of tree and rope, tracking, and finally gathering
> >socially around a fire. Things which are part of our natural heritage
>
> One of my biggest concerns is the dying out of the campfire. As ESL I
> had great difficulty getting Explorers to sit down as one group at the
> end of the evening. It's the ideal time to socialise as a group, talk,
> learn about each other and our selves, and maybe sing a few songs and
> stunts, have a laugh and enjoy ourselves.

Absoultely. Although we were overseas this year, weren't in one location
and were frequently indoors (which didn't help with running campfires -
Youth Hostels tend to be averse to naked flames :-) ); on my last UK Summer
Camp in 2003 my Ventures (as they were then) organised their own campfires
(2 or 3 over the 9 days if memory serves). They sat around chatting and
playing their guitar, tambourine and didgaridoo (?!) to 'modern classics'
along with songs written by a band that 3 of them were in. If I tried to
force them to sing 'Cubby' songs they'd revolt, but doing it their own way
they couldn't have them often enough and loved them.

Matt


Dave

unread,
Sep 18, 2003, 5:36:22 AM9/18/03
to

"Tom Oldershaw" <ne...@bluegreen.org.uk> wrote in message
news:358hmv8m2j4jnisj5...@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
> <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> [snip the rest of an entirely sensible post]
>
SNIP

> One of my biggest concerns is the dying out of the campfire. As ESL I
> had great difficulty getting Explorers to sit down as one group at the
> end of the evening. It's the ideal time to socialise as a group, talk,
> learn about each other and our selves, and maybe sing a few songs and
> stunts, have a laugh and enjoy ourselves. For the first time this year
> I attended a week long camp without at least one social campfire for
> the kids (adults had one every night).
>
SNIP

> We should be encouraging camp fires for their benefits - the social
> aspect, the chance to wind down at the end of the day, the warmth they
> generate and the sense of belonging in all being as one around the
> fire. If people want to sing songs as well, that's fine - but the
> songs should not be the primary purpose for the gathering.
>
> Tom.
>
SNIP

> Tom Oldershaw
> DESC, Bedford
> mailto: t...@bluegreen.org.uk
> http://www.bedfordexplorerscouts.org.uk/

Whilst much of what has been said here is great - the main "problem" appears
to be in quote "great difficulty getting Explorers to sit down as one group
at the end of the evening" and "encouraging camp fires for their benefits -
the social aspect, the chance to wind down at the end of the day".

In the first quote you mention "getting" which implies that you want them to
rather than they want to. "In the second quote you mention "encourageing" -
this is far the easiest option IF done correctly.

From experience we have found that young people of this age wish to do their
own thing and will object to be told that this is a good idea. However, we
found that if adults sit round a fire "putting the world to rights" and
having fun and exchanging stories they will either set up their own and do
similar or will just join the adults and eventually join in. There is no
pressure and they want to be seen as part of it.

Dave B
West Yorks


Derek Biddle

unread,
Sep 18, 2003, 6:54:52 AM9/18/03
to
In article <358hmv8m2j4jnisj5...@4ax.com>, Tom Oldershaw
<ne...@bluegreen.org.uk> writes

>On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
><jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
<snip>
>
>My father has an interesting theory, to which I also subscribe: open
>fires are theraputic and have a positive effect on people's mental
>wellbeing. The decline of open fires in houses is a contributory
>factor in the apparant rise in mental illness in the last 100 years.
>[1]
>
I think he is wrong. It didn't do a lot for Joan of Arc.

;-)

<snip>


>
>[1] Please don't start a thread about whether mental illness really
>has increased or not. It's not relevant and probably OT.
>

--
Derek Biddle

Tom Oldershaw

unread,
Sep 18, 2003, 1:31:47 PM9/18/03
to uk.rec.scouting
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 10:36:22 +0100, "Dave" <dave.ba...@virgin.net>
wrote:

>Whilst much of what has been said here is great - the main "problem" appears
>to be in quote "great difficulty getting Explorers to sit down as one group
>at the end of the evening" and "encouraging camp fires for their benefits -
>the social aspect, the chance to wind down at the end of the day".

In that particular Unit there are problems getting the Explorers to do
anything as a group - that camp saw one particular group of friends
sat in their tent listening to music/playing computer games rather
than taking part in activities. I've got no objection to people doing
their own thing, but there are limits.

As Leaders, we recognise the value in having a campfire from time to
time. It is our role to encourage such things where we can see the
benefits. It's finding the balance that's tricky.


--

Dave Mayall

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 2:55:46 AM9/19/03
to
On Fri, 19 Sep 2003 04:30:50 GMT, gu...@nospam.org (Karl Pollak)
wrote:

>>If you give them something to cook that has a better than even chance


>>of not turning out well, how will they react? Will they be encouraged
>>to try again to get it right, or will they be discouraged.
>>
>>I suggest the latter.
>

>Taht of course will depend on their leader.

Not at all. It depends upon human nature.

>My boys frequently fail in their endeavours.

How sad. Do you not imagine that they would gain more from their
Scouting if they spent more time succeeding?

>Then they try again and agian until they get it right.
>Which is precisely the point of their coming to Scouts.

We have very different values. I am here to support and lead Scouts,
to show them what they CAN do. If you are there to have them fail
repeatedly in the belief that such repeated failure is character
forming, I feel sorry for them.

>We are the place where failure is only a stepping stone to success. There
>is no shame in failing at something if you have tried your best and if you
>are willing to try again until you get it right.

We are a place where they do sometimes fail to meet the next
challenge, because it is in the nature of things that sometimes a
challenge isn't met the first time.

However, any good leader will ensure that the challenges he sets his
YP stretch them. They must be at a higher level than the YP works all
the time. They must be SLIGHTLY beyond what the YP thinks he/she can
do, but they must NOT be so far beyond what the YP can do as to be
doomed to failure.

>The boys must learn their skills on their own. I am not their teacher, I
>am a leader. I will not run a classroom they get enough of that crap at
>school. I show them the way I do things and then let them either try to
>duplicate it or try their own ways.

A leader leads. He doesn't "how them the way I do things and then let
them either try to duplicate it or try their own ways". He provides
support, and advice throughout. He guides. He encourages.

>I just love the look on their faces when they holler "Hey Skip, this
>works!!"

Wouldn't you like to hear it more often?

>>So, we start them off on things that we know will work, and which will
>>appeal to them, and allow them to progress to more difficult stuff as
>>they gain experience.
>

>No, you start them off on things that will challenge them that they will
>have to conquer.

You start them off on stuff that challenges them, but which you know
they can achieve.

>The kiddie stuff was left behind in Wolf Cubs.

The UK hasn't had Wolf Cubs during my lifetime. We have Cub Scouts.

Remember that not every YP has come up through Beavers and Cubs etc.
Half the YP in my unit joined at Scout or Explorer level.

>>Chucking them in at the deep end simply teaches them that they are
>>not capable of doing something, and discourages trying again.
>

>Not if you are truly a leader. My standard instructions read: "I know you
>can do it.

But if you don't know that they can do it you are telling them a lie.

>>One of my ES never cooked anything at home, and came into Scouting
>>where he started off with easy stuff guaranteed to work, and
>>PROGRESSED to more advanced stuff.
>

>That's nice.

>>Would he have achieved this if the first thing he did was to fail?
>

>In my troop he would.

You mean he would if he hadn't got the message from early failures
that he couldn't do it?

>There is no better place to fail than in your Scout troop. Nobody was
>ever born an expert in anything. All skills are learned skills and learning
>without failure does not exist. By spoon feeding them, coddling them and
>shielding them from failure, you are shielding them from life.

No I'm not. They don't succeed every time, but they do succeed a great
deal. Ensuring that they have successes ensures that they take the
failures for what they are.

>You are
>preventing them from being prepared for failure in life and being able to
>deal with it. Coming up short of your objective is just as important part
>of the learning process as is finally achieving it. I would say perhaps it
>is even more important since success is the destination.

I take it you are a great fan of leaving newborn babies exposed
overnight to weed out the weaklings?

--
Dave Mayall

Ewan Scott

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 6:19:00 AM9/19/03
to
> One of my biggest concerns is the dying out of the campfire. As ESL I
> had great difficulty getting Explorers to sit down as one group at the
> end of the evening. It's the ideal time to socialise as a group, talk,
> learn about each other and our selves, and maybe sing a few songs and
> stunts, have a laugh and enjoy ourselves. For the first time this year
> I attended a week long camp without at least one social campfire for
> the kids (adults had one every night).
>
I can't say that the campfire is dying out. We always have a group
around the campfire, or the tilley lamp on some camps, chatting till
way too late in the evening. Different age groups get sent of to bed
at different times. And sitting around chatting at the end of the day
can make or break a camp. It gives us a chance to develop a working
relationship with the members that helps them to understand that they
are becoming adults too.

In the case you describe I'm tempted to say that this is an example of
poor quality Leadership.... to say the least. (running for cover)

Ewan Scott

Dave Mayall

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 7:25:51 AM9/19/03
to

"Ewan Scott" <ew...@scotia57.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1dcd660f.03091...@posting.google.com...

> > One of my biggest concerns is the dying out of the campfire. As ESL I
> > had great difficulty getting Explorers to sit down as one group at the
> > end of the evening. It's the ideal time to socialise as a group, talk,
> > learn about each other and our selves, and maybe sing a few songs and
> > stunts, have a laugh and enjoy ourselves. For the first time this year
> > I attended a week long camp without at least one social campfire for
> > the kids (adults had one every night).
> >
> I can't say that the campfire is dying out. We always have a group
> around the campfire, or the tilley lamp on some camps, chatting till
> way too late in the evening. Different age groups get sent of to bed
> at different times. And sitting around chatting at the end of the day
> can make or break a camp. It gives us a chance to develop a working
> relationship with the members that helps them to understand that they
> are becoming adults too.

I think that part of the problem, particularly at ES level, is that the
organised large campfire doesn't appeal to them.

To be honest, that is fine, because the large organised campfire doesn't
provide ANY of the things that we all seem to be seeking at ES level.

At ES level, we shouldn't be trying to push them into things because we
always enjoyed them when we were younger (a long hard look will often remind
us that by the time we had reached 14 we weren't keen either), but tempting
them into the social experience of the intimate private campfire for a group
of friends. Softly, softly catchee monkey.

They might not sing the same songs that we did all those years ago, although
they probably will as the evening wears on. They might want to sing
something modern, they might want to sing something that was modern when we
were younger (my lot love Pink Floyd, another brick in the wall!). They
might not want to sing at all some of the time, but they will be sharing a
social experience to beat all others.


Manky Badger

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 8:11:15 AM9/19/03
to

"John Kennaugh" <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:isYcu1VaT4Z$Ew...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk...

snip !!!!

I'm sorry - while I agree with some of the sentiment expressed here,

there's a lot that worries me. Let me elaborate on some of John's

points:

"Some of the best Scouts I have known have, in one sense or another,

been misfits outside of Scouting"

This echoes, almost word for word, the concerns expressed to me by my

daughter's ASL, shortly after she left the troop. This young lady was

telling me that, much as she enjoyed her time as a scout, in her

opinion, 90% of the yps now in her troop were "weirdoes". In her opinion

scouting was not perceived as "cool", and so not attractive to the

majority of children. I just smiled at that and muttered some

platitudes, but then she pointed out what she saw as the logical

extension of her opinion - a generation of children today seeing

scouting as "for the weirdoes" will not in years to come want to send

their children to scouts.

John asks "Why use tents? If camp sites had decently equipped chalets

or bunk houses your Scout troop wouldn't need to cart its own equipment

around the countryside. It wouldn't actually need it in the first place,

think of the time that would save. Arrive, dump your personal kit in the

bunk house and you are instantly ready for the first activity of the

day"

Is camping such a big thing?

How many camps do you run a year?

I help with cubs where we camp once a year and have four residential

sleepovers. Our scout troop camps about four times a year, but something

taking place four times a year cannot be considered one of the

"mainstays" of the program, can it?

In any event what's wrong with using a bunk house or chalet? Certainly

with the cub age, the attraction of camp or pack holiday is the being

away from home. I see no need to "rough it" under canvas, with all the

sweat and effort that setting up a camp requires.

He also asks "Why should we do it for nothing there seems to be plenty

of money about and grants for those who can't afford it?"

There are grants available for scouting too !!!!!

Our scout group has been given thousands of pounds by the local

council.

John then cuts to the heart of the matter:

"Scouting is belonging, it is a community where young and old share a

common purpose.

Scouting is a code of honour.

Scouting is about self reliance and helping others.

Scouting is about learning to think ahead and work as a team.

Scouting is about being trusted to act responsibly and to take

responsibility for oneself and others.

Scouting is about learning skills which help you play the game of

Scouting, and earn you the respect of other Scouts.

Scouting is about passing your skills on to the next generation and

taking a pride in using them well and reaching the highest standard you

can."

I agree entirely.

What has prompted this reply is that many years ago I was a "weird kid".

I was a member of the Boys Brigade with all the other "weird kids" -

our group had two sorts of kids - those from the top stream of the local

grammar school, and those from the bottom stream of the local secondary

modern.

Not one "normal" boy among us.

We were proud to wear a uniform that made us look like "Thunderbirds"

puppets, and being a member of the Boys Brigade got me a good kicking

from other kids more than once.

But I suffered the verbal taunts and physical abuse because I liked

being a member of the Boys Brigade. For pretty much the same reasons

that John has listed about scouting above. It gave me a sense of being a

member in something worth being a member of.

But my school friends, and as I grew up, work colleagues, did not see

the Boys Brigade as I did. They saw a bunch of misfit children marching

around in silly costumes behind a god-awful brass band.

And eventually those in authority in the Boys Brigade realised that no

matter how much the boys and young men enjoyed being in the Boys

Brigade, more and more were leaving because of the perception that the

public had, and the ridicule the public gave.

So they tried to change that public perception, to lose the stupid

uniform in favour of a more acceptable one, to become something that

looked attractive rather than ridiculous. To do away with marching the

streets on a Sunday morning and do other more interesting things

instead.

And they failed, as the rank and file leaders of the Boys Brigade

didn't want to change.

John says "As far as I am concerned the traditional Scouting skills are

underrated and devalued by those who never mastered them and can't be

bothered to try" and ends with "Scouting is going the way it is going. I

wish it success but it is not my type of Scouting any more."

Why is it not?

If what is happening at a scout meeting is not what used to be

"traditional scouting" there is a reason for it.

Take for example the example John gives - square lashings.

Tying stupid knots was one of the reasons I left scouts (the other was

that the scout master used to slap kids round the ears, but that's

another thread!).

I couldn't be bothered to tie a stupid knot because it was a stupid,

pointless waste of time. I didn't care that generations of scouts before

me had mastered it, and my scout master at the time didn't care that

generations of scouts before me had though it a stupid, pointless waste

of time too.

My son's scouts thought tying knots was a stupid, pointless waste of

time too, and made no effort.

So a different tack was tried. Don't do knotting AT ALL.

Go sailing on home-made rafts.

Make six feet tall working ballistas and trebuchets and have a rabbit

poo fight.

Do some pioneering project that will be fun

And they learned the knots without realising they have done it. And so

did I!

Scouting is still something to be proud of, at its most basic level

still carrying BP's values.

The most recent changes are in many ways like the "Beanz Meanz Heinz"

slogan being axed. The outside might have had cosmetic changes, but

what's inside is just the same.

And if we are to continue, it's important that we embrace that change.


Matt McVeigh

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 8:40:21 AM9/19/03
to

"Manky Badger" <m...@nospampleez.puritan.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:bkerot$uec$1...@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk...

>
> "John Kennaugh" <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:isYcu1VaT4Z$Ew...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk...
>
> snip !!!!
>
> I'm sorry - while I agree with some of the sentiment expressed here,
>
> there's a lot that worries me. Let me elaborate on some of John's
>
> points:
>
>
>
> "Some of the best Scouts I have known have, in one sense or another,
>
> been misfits outside of Scouting"
>
>
>
> This echoes, almost word for word, the concerns expressed to me by my
>
> daughter's ASL, shortly after she left the troop. This young lady was
>
> telling me that, much as she enjoyed her time as a scout, in her
>
> opinion, 90% of the yps now in her troop were "weirdoes". In her opinion
>
> scouting was not perceived as "cool", and so not attractive to the
>
> majority of children. I just smiled at that and muttered some
>
> platitudes, but then she pointed out what she saw as the logical
>
> extension of her opinion - a generation of children today seeing
>
> scouting as "for the weirdoes" will not in years to come want to send
>
> their children to scouts.
>
>
I have exactly the opposite problem. Virtually all of my Explorers (and
Ventures of the past) had a lot of 'cred' at school - part of the popular
brigade. I guess they stay/ed in the Movement because we offered a good
programme and had a tradition of foreign trips, which are one of the best
bits of Scouting IMHO. However, the 'weirdos' (not a term I would use)
often quit at the end of Scouts and don't even try my Section out despite my
best efforts, mainly because they don't want to mix with the popular lot.

At present I have one 'weirdo' in my Section (I would prefer to say one YP
who prefers reading and computers to parties and beer) and he gets on fine.
Does he attend many hiking, hillwalking or other generally outdoor
activities? No. But he gets something out of attending my Section and
that's all that counts. Now if only he could coax some of his mates to
join...

It's a strange world.

Matt


Dave Mayall

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 9:06:04 AM9/19/03
to

"Manky Badger" <m...@nospampleez.puritan.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:bkerot$uec$1...@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk...
>
> I'm sorry - while I agree with some of the sentiment expressed here,
> there's a lot that worries me.

and long may it continue to worry you, because whilst it worries you it
means you are thinking about it

> "Some of the best Scouts I have known have, in one sense or another,
> been misfits outside of Scouting"

"Some of the best" doesn't imply 100% wierdo!!

> extension of her opinion - a generation of children today seeing
> scouting as "for the weirdoes" will not in years to come want to send
> their children to scouts.

10 quid says you are wrong. My contemporaries, at secondary school in the
80s thought Scouts were wierd. They send their kids to Beavers and Cubs (you
can't IMHO send kids to Scouts, they decide for themselves)

> Is camping such a big thing?

Yes

> How many camps do you run a year?

12

> I help with cubs where we camp once a year and have four residential
> sleepovers. Our scout troop camps about four times a year, but something
> taking place four times a year cannot be considered one of the
> "mainstays" of the program, can it?

Yes

If the troop camps 4 times a year, we can hope that one of those is a weeks
camp, so we are looking at 13 nights camping. Assuming that they sleep 8
hours a night, that makes 208 hours per year Scouting at camp.

If you hold 2 hour long weekly meetings with no summer break, 2 weeks off at
Christmas and a week off at camp, they spend 98 hours per year Scouting in
the HQ.

I'd suggest that 2/3 of their Scouting time is a mainstay!

> In any event what's wrong with using a bunk house or chalet? Certainly
> with the cub age, the attraction of camp or pack holiday is the being
> away from home. I see no need to "rough it" under canvas, with all the
> sweat and effort that setting up a camp requires.

Nothing "wrong" with it if it is appropriate for the particular activity,
but it lacks the excitement of camping.

BTW, if you "rough it" under canvas, you aren't doing it right!

> John says "As far as I am concerned the traditional Scouting skills are
> underrated and devalued by those who never mastered them and can't be
> bothered to try" and ends with "Scouting is going the way it is going. I
> wish it success but it is not my type of Scouting any more."
> Why is it not?

Because we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater1

> If what is happening at a scout meeting is not what used to be
> "traditional scouting" there is a reason for it.
> Take for example the example John gives - square lashings.
> Tying stupid knots was one of the reasons I left scouts

> I couldn't be bothered to tie a stupid knot because it was a stupid,


> pointless waste of time. I didn't care that generations of scouts before
> me had mastered it, and my scout master at the time didn't care that
> generations of scouts before me had though it a stupid, pointless waste
> of time too.
>
> My son's scouts thought tying knots was a stupid, pointless waste of
> time too, and made no effort.
> So a different tack was tried. Don't do knotting AT ALL.
> Go sailing on home-made rafts.
> Make six feet tall working ballistas and trebuchets and have a rabbit
> poo fight.
> Do some pioneering project that will be fun
>
> And they learned the knots without realising they have done it. And so
> did I!

Erm, didn't you just answer your own point there.

The problem isn't (and has never been) that the traditional Scouting skills
are outdated. The problem is (and has always been, througout almost 100
years of Scouting) that some leaders are incapable of building those skills
into a programme which makes them interesting

> The most recent changes are in many ways like the "Beanz Meanz Heinz"
> slogan being axed. The outside might have had cosmetic changes, but
> what's inside is just the same.

The question is whether that is the case.

I know that in some quarters it is the case, but I worry that those who
failed before the changes will still be crap after the changes. A lick of
paint never stopped rotten timber rotting.

> And if we are to continue, it's important that we embrace that change.

We must indeed embrace change, and we must never be afraid to take on new
things, but we must always select what is best from the whole range, both
old and new. Those who embrace everything new, and discard everything old
are fools, and my old Scout leader always told me that the 8th Scout law was
"A Scout is not a fool"


Leslie Button

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 9:12:33 AM9/19/03
to
>
> > I show them the way I do things and then let them either try to
> > duplicate it or try their own ways.
>
> A leader leads. He doesn't "show them the way I do things and then let

> them either try to duplicate it or try their own ways". He provides
> support, and advice throughout. He guides. He encourages.
>

I'm with Dave 100% here. But one thing that springs to mind I saw on
the Ray Mears website (www.raymears.com) :

Tell me, and I will forget.
Show me, and I may remember.
But involve me, and I shall understand.

The thing about leadership is that it is **LEADING**. It is not
showing a kid and letting them get on with it. You have to be there
with them, letting them do things and being there to help them when
they get stuck, offing those few words of advice that turn a certain
failure into a success. Letting them struggle for just long enough (a
time span that varies from person to person and lengthens with age and
experience) and then correcting them so that they get the sence of
achievement from perseverance instead of the despondancy of failure.

Bev Dickinson

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 11:33:48 AM9/19/03
to

"Dave Mayall" <da...@research-group.co.uk> wrote in message
news:bkeuoc$eel$1...@localhost.localdomain...

>
> "Manky Badger" <m...@nospampleez.puritan.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:bkerot$uec$1...@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk...
> >
> > I'm sorry - while I agree with some of the sentiment expressed here,
> > there's a lot that worries me.
>
> and long may it continue to worry you, because whilst it worries you it
> means you are thinking about it
>
> > "Some of the best Scouts I have known have, in one sense or another,
> > been misfits outside of Scouting"
>
> "Some of the best" doesn't imply 100% wierdo!!
>
> > extension of her opinion - a generation of children today seeing
> > scouting as "for the weirdoes" will not in years to come want to send
> > their children to scouts.
>
> 10 quid says you are wrong. My contemporaries, at secondary school in the
> 80s thought Scouts were wierd. They send their kids to Beavers and Cubs
(you
> can't IMHO send kids to Scouts, they decide for themselves)
>
> > Is camping such a big thing?
>
> Yes

It is here too


>
> > How many camps do you run a year?
>
> 12

4, (with Cubs), usually one bunkhouse in February, I am too soft to stay
under canvas with snow on the ground, one greenfield camp , and a couple of
camps where cubs have a choice of chalet or canvas.


>
> > I help with cubs where we camp once a year and have four residential
> > sleepovers. Our scout troop camps about four times a year, but something
> > taking place four times a year cannot be considered one of the
> > "mainstays" of the program, can it?
>
> Yes

must admit not in our cub pack, but with the scout troop it definately is;
but they are a highlight in the year


>
> If the troop camps 4 times a year, we can hope that one of those is a
weeks
> camp, so we are looking at 13 nights camping. Assuming that they sleep 8
> hours a night, that makes 208 hours per year Scouting at camp.
>
> If you hold 2 hour long weekly meetings with no summer break, 2 weeks off
at
> Christmas and a week off at camp, they spend 98 hours per year Scouting in
> the HQ.
>
> I'd suggest that 2/3 of their Scouting time is a mainstay!
>
> > In any event what's wrong with using a bunk house or chalet? Certainly
> > with the cub age, the attraction of camp or pack holiday is the being
> > away from home. I see no need to "rough it" under canvas, with all the
> > sweat and effort that setting up a camp requires.
>
> Nothing "wrong" with it if it is appropriate for the particular activity,
> but it lacks the excitement of camping.
>
> BTW, if you "rough it" under canvas, you aren't doing it right!

If the cubs have a choice, I usually have about 4 inside on the first night,
but they all sleep under canvas on the second night, it is thier choice .


>
> > John says "As far as I am concerned the traditional Scouting skills are
> > underrated and devalued by those who never mastered them and can't be
> > bothered to try" and ends with "Scouting is going the way it is going. I
> > wish it success but it is not my type of Scouting any more."
> > Why is it not?
>
> Because we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater1
>
> > If what is happening at a scout meeting is not what used to be
> > "traditional scouting" there is a reason for it.
> > Take for example the example John gives - square lashings.
> > Tying stupid knots was one of the reasons I left scouts
>
> > I couldn't be bothered to tie a stupid knot because it was a stupid,
> > pointless waste of time. I didn't care that generations of scouts before
> > me had mastered it, and my scout master at the time didn't care that
> > generations of scouts before me had though it a stupid, pointless waste
> > of time too.
> >
> > My son's scouts thought tying knots was a stupid, pointless waste of
> > time too, and made no effort.
> > So a different tack was tried. Don't do knotting AT ALL.
> > Go sailing on home-made rafts.
> > Make six feet tall working ballistas and trebuchets and have a rabbit
> > poo fight.
> > Do some pioneering project that will be fun

We made ballistas last camp with water bombs and a target, usually a willing
explorer, they learn knots becuase they know they get something from it at
the end.


> >
> > And they learned the knots without realising they have done it. And so
> > did I!
>
> Erm, didn't you just answer your own point there.
>
> The problem isn't (and has never been) that the traditional Scouting
skills
> are outdated. The problem is (and has always been, througout almost 100
> years of Scouting) that some leaders are incapable of building those
skills
> into a programme which makes them interesting
>
> > The most recent changes are in many ways like the "Beanz Meanz Heinz"
> > slogan being axed. The outside might have had cosmetic changes, but
> > what's inside is just the same.
>
> The question is whether that is the case.
>
> I know that in some quarters it is the case, but I worry that those who
> failed before the changes will still be crap after the changes. A lick of
> paint never stopped rotten timber rotting.
>
> > And if we are to continue, it's important that we embrace that change.
>
> We must indeed embrace change, and we must never be afraid to take on new
> things, but we must always select what is best from the whole range, both
> old and new. Those who embrace everything new, and discard everything old
> are fools, and my old Scout leader always told me that the 8th Scout law
was
> "A Scout is not a fool"
>
>

Don't fight change go with it, but slowly.


Dave Mayall

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 11:44:45 AM9/19/03
to
> Don't fight change go with it, but slowly.

I don't agree.

Saying "Don't fight change" is just as wrong as saying "Fight change".

Both prejudge whether the change is a good or bad thing, and anybody who
says either "Change is a good thing" or "Change is a bad thing" has simply
taken their brain off the hook.

Some change is good, some is bad.

Fight against the bad changes. If you can't beat them, do your best to
mitigate the damage they will cause.

Run with the good change. Drive it forward in new ways to make it even
better.


Tony Mochan

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 11:53:18 AM9/19/03
to
On Fri, 19 Sep 2003 16:44:45 +0100, Dave Mayall <da...@research-group.co.uk>
wrote:

> Some change is good, some is bad.
>
> Fight against the bad changes. If you can't beat them, do your best to
> mitigate the damage they will cause.
>
> Run with the good change. Drive it forward in new ways to make it even
> better.

You forgot the bit in the middle about discussing whether the change is
good or bad ... and the subsquent arguements about that.

--
Tony Mochan
Scout Leader, 20th Dundee

Tom Oldershaw

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 12:45:18 PM9/19/03
to uk.rec.scouting
On 19 Sep 2003 03:19:00 -0700, ew...@scotia57.freeserve.co.uk (Ewan
Scott) wrote:

>In the case you describe I'm tempted to say that this is an example of
>poor quality Leadership.... to say the least. (running for cover)

I'd be tempted to agree with you there Ewan :(

Stephen Rainsbury

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 1:21:00 PM9/19/03
to

"Karl Pollak" <gu...@nospam.org> wrote in message
news:3f6949ed...@news.pacificcoast.net...

>
> YP may dick around. SCOUTS DO NOT.

We take in YP an turn out scouts. The stops in between can only be regarded
as a work in progress.

> Have you understood anything at all of John's article?

Yes, and I didn't agree with all of it.

Roger Woods

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 1:59:05 PM9/19/03
to
Hi

I beleive Camping is one of the core values of scouting. My firts camp
with my Cub pack after doing 8 years with Beavers we did back to
basics.

I was told it would fail. I was told it was a recipe for disaester.
What did we do:

Pioneering with garden bamboo canes etc.

Tracking

Shelter building.

Cooking with fire ( closely supervised although I don't think they
realsied how closely.)

Assault course.

lighting fires

and generally a load of things I had found in an old, very old BP cub
scouts for boys or soemthing along those lines. Book is in Scout HQ.

It was voted best camp they have ever had and I know have to make one
of our weekend camps devoted to that.

Roger Woods
Cub Scout Leader
Pegasus Pack
1st Sawley (All Saints) Scout Group

John Kennaugh

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 2:05:25 PM9/19/03
to
Tim Jones writes

>On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
><jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>
>>For the record a wood fire is more environmentally friendly that a
>>propane cooker.
>>--
>>John Kennaugh
>
>Playing devils advocate, it very much depends on how fully you
>evaluate the environmental impact.
>
>Are you planning on feeling a tree or picking up fallen dead wood?

A relatively small woodland will produce an enormous amount of dead
wood. It is best to remove dead branches before they end up on the
ground. Again in any woodland trees fall over for one reason or another
and need to get cleared. Trees die for no apparent reason (disease lack
of light). Trees or parts of trees are damaged by squirrels.

>
>To fell a tree is hardly very "green"

There is no timber in your house then? How do you think that got there
if it wasn't by cutting down trees? Trees are a managed resource.
Cutting a tree down is perfectly "green" provided planting ensures that
the total amount of standing timber remains constant, or better,
increases.

If a wood is managed whether for timber, logs or pulp there ends up vast
amounts of smaller parts of trees which can be used for firewood.

> and in picking up dead wood off
>the floor you are removing one of the most valuable resources out
>there for small bugs, mice, voles etc.......

I don't think mice or voles are affected and if bugs have taken up
residence it is past its best for burning.

>
>It's not just about diminsihing fossil fuels and greenhouse gases.

When timber rots it releases just as much CO2 as burning it does.
When a tree is growing it absorbs CO2 and turns it into the carbon in
the wood and releases oxygen. When it burns (or rots) the Carbon ends up
as CO2. It is a completely sustainable cycle. It has no net effect on
the environment provided the bulk of standing timber is constant.

Cutting trees down and not replacing them is bad.
Planting more trees is good.

One way of reducing the total amount of CO2 would be to cut down lots of
trees and build timber houses or houses with a high timber content. If
you then grow more trees then you have carbon tied up in the houses and
more being absorbed into the growing trees. Young trees grow faster than
old ones.

Trees only play a small part in removing CO2 about 90% of CO2 removed is
by green algae in the sea. We have to be exceedingly careful about how
we treat the sea. Bugger that up and we are sunk.

A high percentage of CO2 released comes out of volcanos. There isn't a
lot we can do about that.

Millions of years ago the earths atmosphere had little oxygen but loads
of CO2. Algae and plants evolved which took carbon out of the
atmosphere. It took millions of years to produce enough oxygen to
allowed oxygen breathing creatures to evolve. The Carbon removed is now
locked up in chalk and limestone - from the shells of sea creatures. in
Coal - from fossilised peat from vegetation and in oil and natural gas
from decomposed animal tissue. Burning any fossil fuel puts carbon back
into the atmosphere with no way of removing it again.

You have to appreciate also that it is not just the gas you burn but the
energy which has been used in the process of getting it to you in the
first place. Transporting it, refining it to say nothing of the amount
of fossil fuel required to smelt the iron and manufacture the gas
cylinder.

I rest my case.
--
John Kennaugh

John Kennaugh

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 2:46:59 PM9/19/03
to
Ewan Scott writes

>On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
><jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>This thread has been prompted by a number of things. The IT badge. An
>>argument between Ewan and Karl and a report in the 'Independent' from
>>which I quote:
>>
>>Mr Twine says. "There also seems to be a greater desire among the Scouts
>>themselves to get on with activities, rather than spending time
>>collecting wood, building up and starting a fire, when they could just
>>turn a tap on a propane cylinder."
>>
>>The Scout Association has moved away from BP's legacy for what it
>>believes are good reasons however I would like to look at what BP's
>>version of Scouting was and why it worked.
>>
>>snip
>>

>
>There is much that you say that is in essence true, and no-one could
>deny that. However, I think that you put too much weight behind Derek
>Twine's statement.

I wonder. Loud trumpets heralding that Modern Scouting is embracing
computers, (lots of strings pulled to get an item on TV perhaps) closely
followed by an article which is saying that Scouting is moving away from
doing old fashioned things which conflict with its new image. Endorsed
by the Chief Exec of the SA and pointed out as something which leaders
should read by John Fogg - keeping leaders in touch with HQ thinking. I
know (or think I know) the relative roles of Chief Scout and Chief Exec
according to the book but I wonder where the real decision making power
lies these days.

>
>There have been changes in the way society operates. In particular the
>speed of life and the expectation of instant gratification - of all
>people of all ages. We must take some account of that in what we do.
>It is all very well to take a fundamentalist route but the numbers who
>will follow that route. Who will take enough interest to give it a
>try, will be minimal.

I helped out on a pioneering stage 2 badge weekend a year or two back
and the Scouts on that restored my faith in modern youth. There are
young people out there who are up for it. There were some young leaders
there too who gave me hope. If we pander too much to the terminally
apathetic we will lose the good ones. I suppose if you can get the
balance right you might bring them onside. You seem to have it about
right. How do you deal with those who only want to do 'zero effort'
activities?

>I would argue that it is better to find some
>middle ground where we can introduce people to those "ancient" skills
>and messages, and that out of that they might decide to follow a more
>traditional path.

And would have no hesitation having seen your program in accepting that
you are doing a first rate job both in adapting to modern circumstances
and in keeping the more traditional aspects alive. I would also make it
clear that I see nothing wrong in including some activities which I rate
low from a Scouting stand point. We all need a bit of fun. My question
to you is whether keeping "ancient" skills in your program is something
which HQ is encouraging you to do and will encourage new leaders to do.
I have a suspicion that if it hadn't been for you kicking up a fuss the
word "Scoutcraft" would have been dropped from the program. Having
looked at the Matrix, there is nothing in there likely to encourage an
interest in it.


>
>My experience is that if I take newcomers and throw them into a
>complete culture shock of bivvying, cooking over fires, and digging
>latrines (hypothetically), they turn away. If on the other hand we mix
>activities, they sample and enjoy the backwoods skills, the
>pioneering, the hiking etc.


>
>> As far as I am concerned the traditional Scouting skills are underrated
>>and devalued by those who never mastered them and can't be bothered to

>>try..
>
>Very true. I have lost count of the number of times knotting and
>pioneering skills have proven useful in everyday life. So too axe and
>knife skills and even stoves and lamps over the years. The problem ,
>as you say, is that too many people can't be bothered to learn the
>basic skills. I've said before, and ben berated for it, that if they
>can't be bothered learning the basic skills, I don't want them as a
>Leader.
>
>>By importing into Scouting every aspect of modern life the values inside
>>Scouting are identical to those outside of Scouting. It ceases therefore
>>to be a natural alternative to the artificiality of everyday life and it
>>ceases to be somewhere YP who don't fit in can take refuge and be equal
>>to the rest.
>
>I don't think we are importing every value of modern life. If we ban
>our members from being modern kids, listening to modern music, wearing
>modern clothes, then wecreate a barrier between us and them that makes
>it increasingly difficult to get them to understand that our message
>is universal. The management of the culture of a Group depends upon
>its leadership. I'm apparently variously pompous, patronising,
>arrogant, dictatorial, etc., yet I have a group of Scouts and
>explorers who come regularly, who enjoy outdoor life, who kayak,
>climb, camp, in both styles, and who enjoy , largely, what you
>describe as the benefits of the traditional methods. We have some real
>outsiders who feel quite at home in Scouts, partly because we don't
>put any emphasis on football, partly because we level the playing
>field, and almost certaionly because there is a lack of tolerance of
>bullying. As opposed to lip service paid to anti-bullying tactics at
>school. Anyway, I digress.
>


>>Why cook on a fire when all you need is to turn a tap on a propane
>>cylinder? Why stop at fires? Why use tents? If camp sites had decently


>>equipped chalets or bunk houses your Scout troop wouldn't need to cart
>>its own equipment around the countryside. It wouldn't actually need it
>>in the first place, think of the time that would save. Arrive, dump your
>>personal kit in the bunk house and you are instantly ready for the first

>>activity of the day.

>
>There are places for both types of camping.

I don't disagree.

> I've run weekends where we
>set up traditional camps and spent the weekend collecting and chopping
>wood for the cooking fires, pioneering, and cycling. They were
>excellent weekends much demanded by the Scouts again.


>
>We have also run activity camps where we turn up pitch camp and get on
>with the activities. Again, much in demand.

No problem with that but there is an increasing tendency towards only
doing the latter.

>
>We have also considered , for older Scouts and Explorers, bunkhouse
>weekends where we use the bunkhouse as a base for visiting a different
>part of the country and visiting gardens, houses, museums, theatres
>and yes, shops. With lunch out at a pub and a late evening supper back
>at the bunkhouse. Guess what, that too is much in demand.
>

>>.What shall we say - building a raft perhaps - maybe
>>not that requires skill and effort. Modern young people need something
>>more instant than that besides there are grants available if you take
>>the trouble to apply for them. Who wants to muck about with rafts? Why
>>not get some decent modern canoes for example.
>
>That is a rather poor example, John. We'll build rafts, bridges,
>catapults and more. Kayaking is a very different skill and in fact is
>one which requires personal ability, an element of courage, and
>certainly an awareness of the natural environment and your fellow
>paddlers.
>
>>If we are going to keep young people interested we need to be as well
>>equipped and meet the same
>>standards as professional activity providers don't we? OTOH why bother.
>>Why not leave it to the professional activity providers, they get paid
>>for it? Why should we do it for nothing there seems to be plenty of


>>money about and grants for those who can't afford it?
>

>This is a different argument. If we are going to provide archery as a
>skill rather than a have-a-go base, then we need to be trained to the
>required standard of instruction. It isn't rocket science, and it
>isn't difficult to keep skills updated. In fact, anyone who could read
>the GNAS manual could teach themselves. However, inherent in being
>trained to that standard is the awareness of the equipment. In which
>case, if we are to do the job, we must do it properly, with the best
>available equipment.

Again I would rate archery as another activity scoring zero. Again I
will say there is nothing wrong in including such an activity. Now if
following an archery session the Scouts were allowed to experiment tying
thin cord to the arrow and using it to get a rope over a high branch to
make a death slide or across a river to get a rope across there is a
Scouting purpose in learning but I don't somehow think the GNAS manual
covers that sort of thing :o) Do you see my point. Learning a skill at
an activity base which cannot be used outside that activity base scores
zero.

>If we extend that to cycling, kayaking, climbing etc.., the same
>parameters apply. Who can argue that using a modern rotomoulded
>plastic kayak with ergonomically designed seats, backrests, and
>bulkhead footplates is not a more satisfactory route to the activity
>than using a leaky, osmotic old GRP boat with ill designed seats,
>sharp interior edges and footrests designed to trap the paddler in the
>event of being pinned. Yes, the activity of building the kayak is
>lost, but it can be replaced with some other activity if desired.
>
>There is a drive in some areas to move towards professional activity
>provision. I'd prefer that we match it with our own skills. I'd prefer
>to see more Leaders going out and developing their own abilities as
>activity instructors and passing the benefits of those skills to the
>Scouts. That's what I have done, and I feel that I'm better for it and
>I can't understand why more people don't do it.
>
>As for the grants issue, what is the problem?

I don't have a problem with that OTOH I can also see where Karl was
coming from. Karl is unaware of the situation which exists in this
country.

For Karl's benefit - this country is awash with money earmarked for
charitable purposes to say nothing of councils eager to show they are
'doing things for young people'. The definition of a charity is so broad
that I doubt it would exclude a club exclusively for millionaires. OTOH
some areas of real need are excluded because such money cannot go to
those in need if it is the result of the government not doing its job.
The net result is that if people like Ewan didn't make the not
inconsiderable effort of filling in all the forms to apply for some,
those who's job it is to try and get rid of the money may resort to
giving it to fund a multi million pound architects fantasy to house the
national sporran collection. I exaggerate - but basically Ewan is not
taking charity from the needy he is simply making sure that at least
some of the money does a bit of good.

>
>The whole point of funding being made available, either publicly or
>privately, is to help develop society. We do our bit to help maintain
>society and develop citizenship through youth work, others do it
>through raising funds to assist people who take a more particpatory
>approach. So funds offered by Rotary, Round Table, Lions, Masons, are
>raised specifically to help people who help provide voluntary services
>such as Hospices, Scouts, care facilities, drug rehab schemes, boys
>clubs, conservation work etc..
>The government also recognises that third sector groups need fiscal
>assistance and that we contribute to the stability of society. To
>assist us and to minimise the effort they need to put in to the areas
>we cover, they make available certain funds.
>Sports bodies have funds to help bring newcomers into their sports,
>and to develop the "stars" of tomorrow. That funding may come from
>private funders with an interest in the sport, or it may come from
>government, or it may come from commercial sponsors of that sport. It
>would be completely irresponsible of anyone trying to buy , for
>example, a sailing dingy, not to approach the RYA Foundation (if there
>is one) to seek funding. In fact, it could be deemed a breach of the
>terms of trusteeship if a group did not make the best efforts to seek
>sources of funding for buying new equipment.
>
>
>>I though the reason we do it for nothing is because we are not simply
>>unpaid activity providers, we are something different - Scouts.
>
>Yes


>
>>Scouting is belonging, it is a community where young and old share a
>>common purpose.
>

>Yes


>
>>Scouting is a code of honour.
>

>Yes


>>
>>Scouting is about self reliance and helping others.
>

>Yes


>>
>>Scouting is about learning to think ahead and work as a team.
>

>Yes


>>
>>Scouting is about being trusted to act responsibly and to take
>>responsibility for oneself and others.
>

>Yes


>>
>>Scouting is about learning skills which help you play the game of
>>Scouting, and earn you the respect of other Scouts.
>

>Yes


>>
>>Scouting is about passing your skills on to the next generation and
>>taking a pride in using them well and reaching the highest standard you
>>can.
>

>Yes, and this is entirely in keping with what we are trying to
>achieve.
>>
>>Scout activities are different to those activity providers provide in
>>that they are, or should be, aimed at building up and encouraging the
>>above. Building a raft scores highly. It involves team work and
>>planning. It requires skill and leadership. It allows older Scouts to
>>demonstrate their skills and help the younger ones who are not as good.
>>Cooking on a fire scores quite highly. There is a lot of skill involved
>>and teamwork. It can result in considerable pride and satisfaction when
>>done right. Abseiling scores zero but I wouldn't mind betting that it is
>>one of the 'activities' Derek Twine has in mind that Scouts these days
>>'want to get on with'. The adventure in Scouting is not in being dangled
>>from a rope over a cliff nor being taken to some spectacular mountain
>>top with expert guides. The true adventure is finding oneself in the
>>middle of open moorland with no adult to help and having to rely on ones
>>own skills. Being trusted to take responsibility. Unfortunately the
>>population as a whole, and a lot of adults in Scouting believe that
>>trusting young people is being irresponsible. I agree with the DC who
>>says "Train them! Trust them ...and keep taking the pills". Trusting
>>young people is scary but it is (or was) what we do in Scouting.
>
>All of the above is true - except you miss the point of using
>abseiling - as i suspect many others do. In attachuing yourself to a
>static rope and sliding down it without a safety rope you are
>demonstrating an understanding of the physics involved and an element
>of self courage in going "over the edge". It is bravado. On taking a
>yp who may not have abseiled before, may never have stood atop a 30
>foot drop before, attaching them to a staic rope and then attaching
>them to a safety rope and talking them over the edge, and down the
>cliff we have a whole set of different achievements.
>
>1. We have introduced them to the easiest and initially most obviously
>exciting element of climbing. That changes once they take on the
>climbing aspect in earnest.

>2. We have taught them that if they trust skilled people to help them,
>they can achieve what they thought was impossible.

or could they get the message that their safety is the responsibility of
adults and has nothing to do with them. The ideal Scouting activity is
one where a leader puts responsibility for his well being in the hands
of a Scout.

>3. They experience a rush that might encourage them to try to find out
>more about climbing and abseiling.

Or is it just like a fairground ride? Sometimes it certainly is. I'm
sure you try to teach a bit of theory and have them learn but quite
often it is simply queue up have your turn and on to the next base :o(

Scouting theory is that you should choose something less inherently
dangerous and make the YP responsible for their own well being and work
some of it out for themselves. One could use the same kit, let the
Scouts set it up themselves and have them lower a heavy object down a
cliff. A car engine say or a block of granite. You can incorporate the
use of levers, sheer legs and other pioneering techniques to get it over
the edge before controlling its decent.

>
>If an abseil is set up as a have-a-go base with no intention of
>developing the scout's knowledge of how it is set up, of how it
>operates, and what it is, then it scores zero in your system. If you
>use that to do more, them it must score higher.

I agree but learning by observing is nothing like having a hands on
activity.

>
>It is beyond my skill level, or my inclination, but once introduced to
>rock activities through abseiling, there is the potential to develop
>skills and teamwork. I have Explorers whom I am happy to have run a
>climbing wall under supervision.

Super.

>If they take their skills level
>higher, and some will, then they will enter the realm of lead climbing
>and that requires teamwork and trust of all involved.


>
>>You sit around your damn computers if you like. I prefer sitting on a
>>log, in a wood, by a fire, watching the sun go down and trying to tune
>>in to what nature is up to around me. I have spent too much of my life
>>sitting in front of a computer already and YP are condemned to spend
>>much more of their lives so doing than I have. As for the idea of a
>>computer base at camp :o( Me? I have never even liked taking tables and
>>chairs. Scouting is going the way it is going. I wish it success but it
>>is not my type of Scouting any more. I suspect that in 20 years time
>>some bright spark will come up with this terrific new idea. "Let's junk
>>all this high tech stuff, build a shelter in the woods and cook on a
>>real fire".
>
>I've got to agree, computers at camp are a crap idea.


>
>>For the record a wood fire is more environmentally friendly that a
>>propane cooker.
>

>You must qualify that statement by saying that a natural wood fire is
>more environmentally friendly than a propane cooker. Sadly most camp
>woodpiles are full of MDF, chipboard and laminates that give of CFCs
>and dioxins when burnt...

I am afraid that the art of using an axe on MDF is not one of the modern
Scout skills I have mastered. :o)
--
John Kennaugh

Stephen Rainsbury

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 1:28:06 PM9/19/03
to

"Karl Pollak" <gu...@nospam.org> wrote in message
news:3f6a6132....@news.pacificcoast.net...
> x-no-archive: yes
> Dave Mayall <david....@ukonline.co.uk> wrote:

>
> I just love the look on their faces when they holler "Hey Skip, this
> works!!"

I prefer, "Look what I have just done!. And I worked it all out for myself".
Yeah right.:-)


> That's nice. A few years ago I had a couple of boys in my troop who at 12
> years of age had never had a knife, axe or matches in their hands before.
> Rather than spoon feeding them, when it came time for them to make fire
> using no more than 2 matches for their B-P Woodsman Badge (required for
> investiture) I gave them a small axe told them to get their fire ready and
> walked away.

When I give new scouts matches most will say "Whats that?". Whne you tell
them some will say that thy are not allowed matches others will be scared
because their parents have told them that matches are noly for naughty boys
and playing with them is the easiest way to a quick death.

> They are Scouts. I expect effort from them, I expect ingenuity from them,
> I expect perseverance from them.

When they become scouts. Its not a switch that comes on automatically when
they join the troop and hey presto they are capable. It takes years and
quite often we fail, but the good ones are worth the effort.

Teaching YP stuff is the easy bit, helping them want to learn is 90% of the
job.

Francis William Oldroyd

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 6:13:48 PM9/19/03
to
In article <bkerot$uec$1...@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk>,
Manky Badger <m...@nospampleez.puritan.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

> I help with cubs where we camp once a year and have four
> residential sleepovers. Our scout troop camps about four times a
> year, but something taking place four times a year cannot be
> considered one of the "mainstays" of the program, can it?

Say 46 troop meetings a year at 2 hours each equals 92 hours of
scouting - 20 days camping a year at 24 hours a day equals 480 hours
of scouting. OK that includes some time sleeping, but one still vastly
outweighs the other.

> In any event what's wrong with using a bunk house or chalet?
> Certainly with the cub age, the attraction of camp or pack holiday
> is the being away from home. I see no need to "rough it" under
> canvas, with all the sweat and effort that setting up a camp
> requires.

Well one point bear in mind is that camping is usually a lot cheaper
than staying indoors, so you can do more camping. And camping can be
done in places where is no indoor accommodation - like the 6 nights
spent camping on a river bank this year.

Bill

--
Bill Oldroyd, SL, 1st Tadcaster, Wetherby District.
Scout website - http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/oldieshome/scouts/

John Kennaugh

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 5:41:55 PM9/19/03
to
Stephen Rainsbury writes
>
>"Francis William Oldroyd" <oldie...@argonet.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:4c3382eb04...@argonet.co.uk...
>> In article <3F682F4B...@research-group.co.uk>,
>
>> This sort of talk is just pampering to adult preconceptions of what's
>> nice -- the sort of thing that results in most kids going to school in
>> the back of their parents' cars. It doesn't have any place in
>> scouting.
>
>That's why we have TLFs (fka PLC) and unit meetings so that what the young
>people want is reflected in their programme and activities.
>
>If they don't want to cook on a fire then forcing them won't make them enjoy
>it, they have to want to or its a waste of time. We also have to be careful

>of YP lighting a fire and dicking around with it rather than using it for
>doing dinner.

There is a balance (isn't there always). As far as I am concerned a YP
who does not want to learn how to construct, light and cook on a fire,
learn how to do a square lashing, learn how to read a map, choose a site
for a tent and put it up... etc. does not want to become a Scout because
that is what Scouts do. You join a football club if you want to play
football, you join Scouts if you want to Scout.

>
>If they are going to cook dinner (and we should encourage that) then I think


>that its important that they will cook something that has a good chance of

>success. Watery spag bog will just but YP off,

Why should it be watery unless you have added too much water? The point
about a cooking fire is that you are trying to simulate the heat given
off by a gas ring not trying to melt iron. If you succeed then it should
be not much different cooking on a fire than cooking on a gas ring. If
they need lessons in cooking their parents haven't done their job IMHO.
I would suggest asking the parents to give them practice cooking prior
to camp.

> IMHO they are better off
>doing something like packet pasta or rice which they will enjoy and want to
>do again. then you try them on something more complex.

Yeuk! Give me a good stew any day. Or chicken and chips.
--
John Kennaugh

John Kennaugh

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 6:02:06 PM9/19/03
to
Karl Pollak writes

>
>Have you understood anything at all of John's article?
>
Karl you are being unnecessarily abrasive. I am trying to start a
discussion not a war. You must appreciate that I am the one out of step
around here. Those who agree with me are reactionaries.
When the recent changes and new program was launched, every leader had
to attend a presentation. Part of that presentation involved a comic
character called 'Norman'. The message was that anyone still clinging to
old ideas was to be considered a figure of fun. It was an old
'playground' technique. Basically saying that 'if you disagree with us
we will laugh at you'.

It was made abundantly clear that anyone in a 'position of influence'
who did not enthusiastically endorse the new scheme would be removed
from their position of influence.

I should also point out that 5 years ago I had my warrant removed for
speaking out of turn and I have now been banned in my own county from
even helping out for a similar reason - well actually I dared to quote
the rule book to a County Commissioner.

I have no future in Scouting. I have decided to drop out. I was getting
a few things I feel passionately about off my chest before I do.
--
John Kennaugh

John Kennaugh

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 6:19:22 PM9/19/03
to
Dave Mayall writes

>On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 06:02:41 GMT, gu...@nospam.org (Karl Pollak)
>wrote:
>
>>>We also have to be careful of YP lighting a fire and dicking
>>>around with it rather than using it for doing dinner.
>>
>>YP may dick around. SCOUTS DO NOT.
>
>Of course they do. Scouts *are* Young People and imperfect.

[snip]

>
>If you give them something to cook that has a better than even chance
>of not turning out well, how will they react? Will they be encouraged
>to try again to get it right, or will they be discouraged.
>

Karl is being unnecessarily abrasive in my view but putting that aside.

When I did my Scouting you were called a 'tenderfoot' if you could not
construct a fire using only natural materials and light it with no more
than two matches. All the older Scouts in the Troop were expert fire
lighters and used to cooking on a fire. The tenderfoot was taught by his
patrol leader and would succeed because of 1:1 tuition and because the
patrol leader did not let it fail. When the tenderfoot was confident he
could do it unaided he asked the Scoutmaster to test him. It was the
patrol leaders job to stop the tenderfoot fooling around. As a system it
worked. One of the reasons it worked is because there were a limited
number of clearly defined Scouting skills the older Scouts had mastered
them and the younger ones wanted to emulate them (and lose the tag
tenderfoot).
--
John Kennaugh

John Kennaugh

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 6:22:19 PM9/19/03
to
In article <RS5ab.74$_1...@news-binary.blueyonder.co.uk>, Stephen
Rainsbury <ste...@rainsbury.net> writes
>
>"Matt McVeigh" <matt.mcv(nospam)@virgin.net> wrote in message
>news:bk95a2$6k7$1$830f...@news.demon.co.uk...

>
>> > Scouting is about passing your skills on to the next generation and
>> > taking a pride in using them well and reaching the highest standard you
>> > can.
>
>I disagree, to me its about young people absorbing your skills and using
>that to develop their own in a direction which is meaningful to them.
>
>You don't have to be good at something to encourage someone else to excel.
>

I believe the traditional Scouting skills can be mastered by anyone.
They involve practice and dedication not aptitude.
--
John Kennaugh

John Kennaugh

unread,
Sep 19, 2003, 6:25:45 PM9/19/03
to
In article <676ab.3$ac...@news-binary.blueyonder.co.uk>, Stephen
Rainsbury <ste...@rainsbury.net> writes
>Our explorer camp in a few weeks is going to be differrent. They don't want
>to spend to much time faffing aound getting the site ready so
>
>1 - No dining shelters, benches, or tables. Eating will be under trees,
>sitting on logs. (Hamlet wood has plenty of small clearings that never get
>wet.
>
>2 - Tents are going to be army bivvy sheets strung between trees, and
>plastic ground sheets. Again this is going to be quicker than patrol tents,
>and any way thats what Ray Mears does.
>
>3 - Most food wil lbe cooked on fires, there are plenty of fire circles, but
>the menu has been designed for minimum fuss, eg One Billy Paella, Bean Hot
>pot (1 tim baked beans, 1 tin kidney beans, 2 tins cambells meat balls, a
>large slug of HP sauce, and IIRC a tin of new potatos - heat the whole lot
>for 20 minutes and eat) etc..
>
>They don't want a formal site, but something low key, practial, less
>"intrusive", minimum fuss, and less kit to put away afterwards!
>
>
Yippee! Can I come.
--
John Kennaugh

Stephen Rainsbury

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Sep 19, 2003, 10:00:46 PM9/19/03
to

"Ewan Scott" <ew...@scotia57.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
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> And sitting around chatting at the end of the day


> can make or break a camp. It gives us a chance to develop a working
> relationship with the members that helps them to understand that they
> are becoming adults too.

Every camp we start off saying that the leaders tents are out of bounds and
that they are not allowed in our mess tent/eating area etc.. but you can
guarantee by the last night that they are all in there with us poncing
biscuits/MORE hot chocolate/playing UNO etc.

When we eventually kick them out to go to bed you can guarantee that they
older ones will want to go an light a fire.

Stephen Rainsbury

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Sep 19, 2003, 10:02:24 PM9/19/03
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"Dave Mayall" <da...@research-group.co.uk> wrote in message
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>
>> They might not sing the same songs that we did all those years ago,
although
> they probably will as the evening wears on. They might want to sing
> something modern, they might want to sing something that was modern when
we
> were younger (my lot love Pink Floyd, another brick in the wall!). They
> might not want to sing at all some of the time, but they will be sharing a
> social experience to beat all others.
>
This years camp song was by Electric Six - "Gay Bar" although they did
change it to "Tea Bar" or "Burger Bar" when my missus complained

Stephen Rainsbury

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Sep 19, 2003, 10:13:50 PM9/19/03
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"John Kennaugh" <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
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> Ewan Scott writes
> >On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 22:47:06 +0100, John Kennaugh
> ><jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >We have also run activity camps where we turn up pitch camp and get on
> >with the activities. Again, much in demand.
>
> No problem with that but there is an increasing tendency towards only
> doing the latter.

What gets my goat is the number of troops that ONLY do central catering by
adults.

It may make life a bit easier for the adults, especially if 'er indoors is
at camp and moaning that the yp are going to poison themselves. But what are
the scouts doing before dinner? probably dossing in their tents, getting
bored etc...

Camp cooking in an activity, it must be there is a badge for it!! Please
don't chuck it away.

Stephen Rainsbury

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Sep 19, 2003, 10:37:21 PM9/19/03
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"John Kennaugh" <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:BwlU52Yjg3a$Ew...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk...
> Stephen Rainsbury writes

> There is a balance (isn't there always). As far as I am concerned a YP
> who does not want to learn how to construct, light and cook on a fire,
> learn how to do a square lashing, learn how to read a map, choose a site
> for a tent and put it up... etc. does not want to become a Scout because
> that is what Scouts do.

Lets consider the follwoing (theoretical) CSAs

Option 1

Global Challenge (learing all about eye disease in Gambia - run a disco to
raise unds for it)
Community Challenge (get involved in a scented garden at the OAP home, and
tell the council)
Creative Challenge (Build a robot, take it to Robot wars, and take it to the
local hypermarket)
Fitness Challenge (Train for and do a sponsored trampoline session for group
funds)
Personal Project (Work with the beavers for 3 months, try out parascending,
write a letter to the cubs due to link up)
Outdoor Challenge (residential 2 day camoing course with a bit of cooking,
shopping and cleaning up etc included.)

Option 2
Outdoors Plus (loads of camoing and scoutcraft)
Expedition (2 days in the New Forest, mapreading and carrying all their own
kit)
Adventure Challenge (Climbing, Kayaking, Sailing)
Creative Challenge (Pioneering Course, District Cooking Competition, Gang
Show)
Personal Project (Work with Beavers for 3 months, try parascending, tidy up
the troop store)
Otdoors Challenge (Weeknd camp + First aid course)

So which is the better scout and which is the better citizen?

Which is more likely to be a "Peace scout" and recognise the wrongs of war?
Which IIRC was the original aim of the movement.


Please don't get me wrong I enjoy camping and so do most of my troop, but
not all. For those we can look again at the programme and provide something
that is equally relevant and challenging.

In practice our last 2 CSAs were made up from bits of both of the above,
except that one of the Scout actually completed 6 Challenges (outdoors,
outdoors plus, expedition, Creative (twice), Community and Adventure) plus
had three "credits" because he had already passed the explorer award under
the old scheme.

He is a Cocky little sod though. I blame the father.

Stephen Rainsbury

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Sep 19, 2003, 10:40:45 PM9/19/03
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"John Kennaugh" <jo...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:zgKYNxaez3a$Ew...@kennaugh.demon.co.uk...
> Karl Pollak writes

> It was made abundantly clear that anyone in a 'position of influence'
> who did not enthusiastically endorse the new scheme would be removed
> from their position of influence.

I didn't see it that way, ok so Norman was a figure of fun but I saw it as
his attitudes that were being revised not his skills.

In fact the new camp permit scheme should make it easier to get YP away on
decent camps, at the moment too many are well intentioned disaster areas
that just put YP off