one of these is not like the others

I found my self thinking about the differences between “adult-centered” and “youth-centered” organizations. Which of these most reflections what your organization is like?

  1. I, (last name, first name), joining the ranks of the  Pioneer Organization, in the presence of my comrades solemnly promise: to passionately love and cherish my Motherland, to live as we were taught, as required by the laws of the Pioneers.  (slightly edited)
  2. I am a member of the Young Pioneers. Under the Flag of the Young Pioneers I promise that: I love <my nation>, the motherland, and the people; I will study well and keep myself fit, and to prepare for: contributing my effort to the cause. (slightly edited)
  3. In the presence of this blood banner which represents our nation, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the  our country. I am willing and ready to give up my life for it, so help me God. (slightly edited)
  4. In the name of God and <my leader>, I swear that I will execute his orders and serve the cause of the revolution with all my strength and, if necessary, with my blood. (slightly edited)
  5. From this day forward, I sincerely promise to set an example for all youth to follow. I shall never do anything to bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my country, its flag, my parents, myself or the <organization>. These I will honor and respect in a manner that will reflect credit upon them and myself.  (slightly edited)
    1. Obey my parents and all others in charge of me whether young or old.
    2. Keep myself neat at all times without other people telling me to.
    3. Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.
    4. Keep my mind alert to learn in school, at home, or at play.
    5. Remember having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency.
  6. On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

      A Scout is:

    1. Trustworthy,
    2. Loyal,
    3. Helpful,
    4. Friendly,
    5. Courteous,
    6. Kind,
    7. Obedient,
    8. Cheerful,
    9. Thrifty,
    10. Brave,
    11. Clean,
    12. Reverent

There is only one of these that focuses at all on our duty to help each other. The others focus much more on obedience. There is something different about that.  Only one of these organizations tries to develop the kind of person that is a citizen of a democracy.

You can probably guess (young poineers (1,2), Itallian Fascist (4), Hitler youth (3), Young Marines with creed(5), and Boy Scouts (6)).

Written by Rob in: pedagogy,rant,scouting |

Low-complexity Backpacking.

I’ve begun to think about what light-weight backpacking means.  This is partially because I’ve been helping to teach scouts about it, and partially to help myself understand what is special about it.  I’ve never been an especially ultra-light sort of backpacker – usually due to what I call “leader tax”, but have used many of the techniques and equipment quite successfully.

It occurs to me that light-weight is not the issue, in reality, but that it is a by-product of a different design process. Low-complexity implies that the kinds and numbers of things you bring are small.  If you bring fewer things then you automatically have lighter weight.  (well at least if you are vaguely careful.  One dutch oven is a highly multi-purpose item, but no one would ever consider one a part of light-weight backpacking (even if they were made in titanium)).

A good example that comes to my mind is the guy I teach backpacking with to scout leaders.  He’s a great guy, but a conventional backpacker.  His tent is light, only 3 lbs or so, has 2 layers, a complex pole system and so has a raw parts count of 14-15.  While he may be able to get away with leaving a few parts  behind, most of those are critical parts.  I use a trailstar or a luna solo (depending on whether I want space or need to worry about bugs).  So my parts count, including hiking sticks, is 7-8.  Here in the southeastern United States, my critical parts count is one (the tarp) as everything else can be improvised.  He carries very light weight camp shoes. I just loosen my hiking boots.  He has a neat stacking plastic bowl and lightweight cutlery.  I use the same titanium pot and plastic spoon to cook and eat. He has a crazy creek chair for his pad (2 parts). I have a small pad from my pack (1 part).  However we both carry very similar first aid kits because it’s hard to skimp on those.

The point behind this is that we’re both very comfortable in the woods.  I just bring fewer things, and therefore carry less, have a lighter footprint, and have fewer things to lose.

Written by Rob in: backpacking,engineering,outdoors,scouting |

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