Scouts camping out
Mauro Cicognini (gin001@CDC835.CDC.POLIMI.IT)
Thu, 9 Sep 1993 10:38:28 WETDST
Thanks to Don Izard, Olan Watkins and Rick Clements for their feedback.
I would like to add some comments.
Don says that wilderness land is getting used up, esp. near the cities.
I'm sorry: the US are so large that I thought that, if *we* can find
places to camp out in the (more or less) wilderness, it shouldn't
be a problem over there!
But then again, we don't have as many people and families camping out,
in fact I don't think there are any. People over here would rather spend
their vacation time in hotels on the beach.
Don also wrote me that BSA teaches zero impact camping - leave nothing in
the woods except foot prints. It reminds me of B.-P.'s words:
"Leave only two things behind you: your thanks, and nothing".
We have the same trend over here, though, of protecting land more and more,
and I really think it's getting a little manic: everybody has discovered
suddenly that the environment needs to be treated well. Now it's getting
to the point that it can't be used anymore, because of the frantic concern over
keeping up the very few "wild" areas left. And I can assure you that the
environment here has been worked upon really a lot. We have a much higher
population density, and even the highest mountain paths have been trodden
some time or another. Probably at least by a sheep herd!
I, for myself, favor a more reasonable approach to the subject; don't abuse
it, but use it; and be educated on how to live in harmony with nature. This
is something that scouts have ALWAYS done, long before the Greens started
being overly concerned about "the environment" and, mind you, they are
the same people that up to that moment, had been badly exploiting all the
resources they could find! I think the public opinion has become
Also, forest fires ARE a big problem here. And I think they're a symptom
of this ill feeling, where half of the people want to protect forests and
the other half sees them as a source of revenue. Most fires here are
actually arsons, being started by people that would like to be able to
build houses on top of wilderness areas!
One other thing: our merit badges and stuff are left completely to the SM,
so we don't need camp staff setting up for them. We used to have fixed require-
ments, but never had the idea of setting up an installation in a camp for
that. Maybe never thought about it.
Also, staying on private grounds is here too a way to fend off legal troubles.
We haven't had court problems (yet), but yes, local laws and regulations,
as I said, are getting more and more to be a problem. So, I really think
that we will have eventually to follow in BSA's path and buy camp grounds
so that the local authorities will be happy: especially the Health ones
and the Forest ones.
Buona Caccia e Buona Strada!
Mauro Cicognini (Talpa Rampante)
Cub Leader, Pack Orzinuovi 1 AGESCI
OA ordeal member, Skyloo lodge 442 (I forgot to add this!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City