Fwd:Re: 2nd Class Hiking Requirement
Bob Losee (rlosee@CCMAIL.UNL.EDU)
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 10:06:51 -0600
>I've always had a problem with the "map you've drawn" part. Nobody I
>know who regularly go into the back country draws their own maps. And I
>don't see it as a skill that's necessary nowadays. USGS topos are
>accurate and readily available. I'd rather show a boy how to get
I'm an amateur astronomer (and SM). I always wondered why people were drawing
what they saw thru their telescopes with pencils when they could get a
photograph from the biggest telescopes humanity has. But at a meeting they
showed how to do it and recommended it. Why? Because the act of drawing
something engages the powers of observaton much more than just looking at
something. I was amazed at how little I had really paid attention to what I had
seen thru telescopes until I tried to put it down on paper. I wondered if I had
really observed at all before put trying to draw them.
So in answer to your question I don't think the requirement is a throw back to
old days and an attempt to replace USGS maps any more than astronomers think
pencil drawings will replace Hubble photos.
It is to make the scout think about what makes a good map. Is scale important?
Is every tree on the map important or is it too confusing? Are just the
intersections of roads good enough? Is it important to consider what the map is
used for? Trying to make a map suddenly makes scouts have to think about these
things and the answers aren't always obvious. For instance, I like to point out
some of the most useful maps in the world are in subways. They are usually drawn
completely out of scale, with little reference to direction (so they fit in long
narrow advertising slots in the cars), and have almost no details except for the
names of stations. But they get you to your destination quickly and efficiently
with just a glance needed to see if you get off at the next stop.
After the scout draws his map have him use it then review with the scouts what
they thought worked well, and what didn't. Then when they do go out to get maps
they'll have a better idea if they need a USGS topographic or a Forest Service
YiS, Bob Losee, SM Troop 25
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City