scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: FW: Personal Electronics in the Outdoors
Rick Hoover (redh@PACBELL.NET
Wed Aug 30 2000 - 01:08:12 CDT
I ALMOST agree with you. The problem is that we are dealing with people who
are in the midst of hormonal and developmental crisis. I just got back from
Philmont as an advisor. We had one boy who would have been in complete
oblivion the entire trip if a personal CD player had been allowed. He would
have been towed from camp to camp and would not have known what state he was
in. I personally don't want to be Mr. Policeman telling him that now you
have to turn the CD player off and look at the pretty tree. I'd rather
sacrifice the huge enjoyment that I would get from the music selection that
Chuck suggests in the interest of focusing the boys on the experience
without an hourly battle about experiencing the surroundings vs. the
COR Troop 828
Golden Empire Council
From: CHUCK BRAMLET [mailto:chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2000 4:01 PM
Subject: Personal Electronics in the Outdoors
There has been a great deal of heat generated over the last few weeks
on this discussion. What to allow vs. what not to allow. I have
read many comments from people who would ban everything down thru
Cell Phones, because it inhibits _their_ enjoyment of the outdoors.
There are others who would ban nothing, and put up with the noise.
However, I ask you to consider a few points:
CD Players - what could be more "intense" that watching the sun rise
over the Tooth of Time, with Grofe` Sunrise- Grand Canyon Suite,
playing on your personal CD player? To sit in the door of your tent
watching a "cloudburst", while Cloudburst for the same music is
playing? To watch the buffalo running on the plains, while listening
to "The ride of the Valkyres"?
"Walkie-talkies" and CBs - Can serve very well to keep the leaders in
contact during a hike or trip. Especially if they have a longer than
average range. But for the cheap "walkabouts" that have been
discussed - if your hike leaders is more than 150 yards ahead of
"Tail End Charlie", you have a problem with the boys. On those
hikes, the fellow at the rear could notify the leader of any problems
that he sees, without trying to stop the whole hike to tell him.
If your CB isn't getting more that 1-2 miles, you may need to have it
tuned to the antenna. I believe the legal limit on power is just
under 5 watts. With 4 watts on a personal Ham, you can get a ways.
CB may not take you quite as far, but with everyone having one - or
scattering yours out thru the group, you could keep all the cars in
contact over 20 miles of distance. But you have to manage them
Cell Phones - have their place. The coverage areas are growing
rapidly, and what is in a dead area today, may not be tomorrow.
Don't put your faith in having it, but if you do during an emergency,
having it could be invaluable.
Many of you are beginning to sound like the purist who hikes into
the Grand Canyon, and becomes outraged because he can hear the motors
of the river rafts. Or that airplane way up there.
Jim Moss writes:
>I think walkie talkies promote laziness, poor planning and lousy
>Instead of planning our route, stops, destination, fuel, we just
>radio each other back and forth in the cars. Instead of teaching
>map reading to the Scouts, who can navigate for the drivers, we just
>rely on technology.
Makes me wonder how the old Scoutmaster felt when he saw his first
boy with a store-bought tent, cook kit, or backpack.
You can plan, and reality steps in. The flat tire, the leaky gas
tank, or the road construction or bridge out that wasn't in any of
the reports. And even with the radio, and the laptop, someone needs
to navigate for the driver.
Technology changes our lives - sometimes for good, sometimes not.
But usually it's for the good overall. As far as radios contributing
to poor Scouting in the cars, what about the laptop with the GPS,
tracking your way down the highway and showing you on the screen?
You _still_ have to be able to read a map to use that.
None of the modern technology will make any difference on planning if
the Rattlesnake Patrol forgot their food, or a member of the Coyote
Patrol gets salmonella. But that radio could make a lot of
difference to the sick boy. And while you want the modern stuff left
home, don't forget about your Gore-Tex gear, your ultra lightweight
pack frame, or your Velco(r) fastened hiking boots.
In the mean time, if my hiking with a Walkman and/or cell phone
impacts your "wilderness experience", maybe you have just a bit of a
Chuck Bramlet -- I "used to be" an Antelope! WEM-10-95 Member DNRC
ASM Troop 323, Firebird District, Grand Canyon Council, Phoenix, Az.
"When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to
be free." -- Charles Evans Hughes
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