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"10 kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks)"


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#1 TAHAWK

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:38 PM

While waiting for National to reply, and NOT holding my breath, I thought I'd give the community a crack at this.

 

Preparing for IOLS, I again read SC-4, and pondered on what in the world BSA means by "10 kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks)"

 

Mollusks are a phylum.  The other four listed are classes in the subphylum Cordata.  Strange sort of examples.  Like "10 kinds of plants (Edicots, Serbian spruce, Colorado spruce, Norway Spruce, Black spruce)" --  in the sense of different levels of abstraction.

 

If we are sorting "kinds" at that level of taxonomy, the five listed parenthetically must be merely examples.  You can't get to ten with an exclusive list of five.  So amphibians are OK.  Insects?   Worms?  I hope so.

 

"Kinds"?  "Kind" is not a conventional scientific term.   Since the examples of "kinds" are one phyla and four classes, are "kinds" at that level of abstraction?   Examples from ten different phyla / ten different classes?   1. a Bony fish.; 2. a Cartilaginous fish; 3. a Jawless fish - and so on?  Or is it ten animals that are different is some undefined way we get to define, thus adding to the requirements?

 

"Wild" animal.  Easy, right?  What makes an animal "wild" for advancement purposes? Are feral Felis catus or feral Canis familiaris or feral Quaker Parrots “wild” for advancement purposes? Does it depend on whether they escaped from a pet shop? Is a domesticated Canis lupus or one habituated to man NOT “wild” for those purposes?  What if is kills a Homo. sap?  If the adjective does not matter, why is it there?  Again, we could decide, but . . . . 

 

I pointed out to the advancement team ten years ago that the three fires requirement for WIlderness Survival allows for electric BBQ starters, kerosene blow-torches, thermite grenades, butane lighters, naphtha lighters, railroad flares, and propane torches as not "matches."   No action.  So every MBC still writes his/her own requirement, differing from place to place (6 volt batteries?).  Perhaps we should rejoice in the practical freedom to "roll our own."


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#2 NJCubScouter

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:36 AM

Before I try to interpret the requirement, I need to know, am I limited to the words on the page, or am I allowed to consider extrinsic evidence of intent?

:)
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#3 TAHAWK

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:58 AM

Danger!  Logic approaching. 

 

"Extrinsic" to official B.S.A. pronouncements?


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#4 Back Pack

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:38 AM

Ten plants. Ten wild animals. Let's not over think this.
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#5 Oldscout448

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 06:42 PM

Not a pet or livestock.  Not a plant seeded by human agency such as crops or ornamental shrubs


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#6 Stosh

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 06:47 PM

Biology 101 - Either it's a plant or an animal.  fungi, and other life forms don't count.  Way too complicated beyond plant and animal.

 

Take any square yard section of the field/woods and get a magnifying glass and you'll get all 10 plants and animals.  I

 

It's a good thing we only have plants and not wild plants because otherwise one has to determine if the  the Jack-in-the-Pulpit volunteers in your home garden is it still wild?  Do the plants have to be native? or are imported or invasive plants valid?  Russian Olive, Buckthorn, Garlic Mustard, Burdock, Dandelion  and Purple Loose Strife are all invasive, but Yellow Loose Strife is native.  Dame's Rocket is invasive, but Phlox is native  If it's growing in someone's yard does it count or does it need to be in a park or forest away from homes?

 

 I have a Hawiian Ti plant I grow in the house.  It's not native to my neck of the woods, but I set it outside in the summer.  Does that count? 

 

Rats are not native to America, and invasive insects are not native.  They can be both inside the home and outside.  Would anything introduced by human intervention be considered "wild"?

 

And the ultimate test.... are the Barn Owl, Barn Swallow and Barn Sparrow really wild?  Or the Horse Fly or Common House Fly wild? 

 

I have a bat house for mosquito control are my bats wild or domesticated because I provide their house????

 

Alien species to any region or area is considered as such when it is introduced by human intervention.  Burdock was introduced and "escaped" the gardens of America to become an invasive species, i.e. wild.  Same holds true for animals.

 

So if we are interested in finding evidence of animals, do woodpecker holes count?, bird nests?, bird poop on the windshield?, roadkill?

 

I have no idea how we are to get these boys through these requirements!  .


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#7 TAHAWK

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:24 PM

 "Do the plants have to be native? or are imported or invasive plants valid?"

 

"10 kinds of native plants"    :rolleyes:


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#8 DuctTape

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 05:35 AM

I think sometimes too many view the requirements in a vacuum for advancement purposes only and miss out on the intent. Scouts should be observant and knowledgeable of their natural surroundings. Go outside, walk around, have fun. Find stuff, find out what it is. Make a game of it. Have fun. The requirements will happen with only a wee bit of focus.
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#9 Back Pack

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:00 AM

Native is a relative term. Most grasses are nearly always an non native invaisive. Same with Japanese Elms in my region. As Duct Tape said, the idea is to get outside and learn something; not poke around a park and pick out three types of grass, a dog, cat and squirrel and consider yourself 1/3 done.
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#10 TAHAWK

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:05 AM

I think sometimes too many view the requirements in a vacuum for advancement purposes only and miss out on the intent. Scouts should be observant and knowledgeable of their natural surroundings. Go outside, walk around, have fun. Find stuff, find out what it is. Make a game of it. Have fun. The requirements will happen with only a wee bit of focus.

Good advice.  

 

Intent should always guide interpretation.  

 

Always good if it is a game.  Helps develop true enthusiasm. 

 

One could believe we are supporting good citizenship by developing interest in the natural world on the theory that those interested in nature are more likely to support government policies that preserve nature.

 

Now if we can only get it expressly said rather than depending on inference. 

 

And clear English might also help with determining intent.


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#11 RememberSchiff

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 10:03 AM

I interpreted "find 10" as an exploration of diversity in the habitat and their place (consumers) in the food chains/webs. So I don't want 10 list of chickodee, two types of nuthatches, four woodpeckers, titmouse,... not much diversity.

 

My $0.02


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#12 DuctTape

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 11:37 AM

Good advice.  
 
Intent should always guide interpretation.  
 
Always good if it is a game.  Helps develop true enthusiasm. 
 
One could believe we are supporting good citizenship by developing interest in the natural world on the theory that those interested in nature are more likely to support government policies that preserve nature.
 
Now if we can only get it expressly said rather than depending on inference. 
 
And clear English might also help with determining intent.


The intent used to be in the handbook in the sections associated with the requirements.
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#13 qwazse

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 11:50 AM

I take the wording to be non-scientific because this is not a STEM requirement.
I want my PL's to ask leading questions like how the scout could tell one from the other? What signs of the flora or fauna did he observe. What did he think the critter or plant was doing? Did it make sense that some of the items were together (e.g. Why would bear scat be near berry patch?)

On our nature walks, I ask scouts to close their eyes and determine what they could identify, (calls, footfalls, feel, smell). I challenge them to use their discoveries to infer what's going on that day. I look for that report from any scout, regardless of rank, so as a matter of course, the scout will meet this requirement.

We've observed that walking sticks have become rare in these parts, of late. So if a scout counts that as one of his ten, I would be inclined to accept it. But, if the list only contained insects, I'd ask him to read the requirement closer.
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#14 TAHAWK

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 12:25 PM

"On our nature walks, I ask scouts to close their eyes and determine what they could identify, (calls, footfalls, feel, smell.
A fantastic way to have them learn by doing something.

 

BSA: "identify or show evidence of"

 

This is an animal track. It is evidence that a kind of animal was here.  

This is a different animal track so it is sign of a different kind of animal.  That's two.

 

This is a kind of plant because it has leaves and plants have leaves.

This is a different kind of plant because the leaves are different from the other kind of plant.  That's two.


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#15 Stosh

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 02:32 PM

Diversity?  Invasive plants are not diversity, they are destructive and destroy native species.  Take Kudzu for example......  Purple Loosestrife, too..... 

 

At one time Australia was England's penal colony.  Didn't need to take care of these people just let them fend for themselves in an inescapable land.  Well, the ships bringing in the criminals also brought with them rats.  No known predators and soon Australia had a rat problem.  So they imported cats, well, now they have a feral cat problem, too.

 

It would be good to educate the boys beyond just plant identification, native plants is a good start.

 

How big is our problem?  "According to a paper by Cornell ecologist David Pimentel and others, invasive species cause major environmental damage amounting to almost $120 billion per year.  About 42 percent of the species on the U. S. List of Endangered and Threatened Species are at risk primarily because of nonnative invasives.  (See Ecological Economics, Volume 52, Issue 3, 1 February, pages 273-288)." 

 

It might do well to stick to the requirement of identifying native plants.  This requirement has been around longer than BSA's emphasis on STEM and there might be a good reason for it.


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Stosh

 

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#16 TAHAWK

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 03:13 PM

Over half the cat tails are gone due to an invasive grass that provides no habital for native species and is a tremendous fire hazard.

 

 

And I wish the requirements were  to identify BY observation or signs ten different animals/plants..  It isn't.  It's to identify OR show evidence of ten different kinds of animals and ten different kinds of native plants.  Disjunctive.   :(


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#17 Stosh

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 04:06 PM

http://thewildclassr...es/Cattails.htm

 

:rolleyes:


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#18 qwazse

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 04:10 PM

Invasive species are, by definition, wild. If they were tame, they wouldn't invade.

I think a scout being able to identify, say, Japanese knotweed, is ready to plan a service project to clear the marsh of it without destroying the cat tails as well.

Use advancement as a springboard, not a benchmark.
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#19 eagle90

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 04:18 PM

I agree - Let's not overthink these requirements.  Most of the scouts doing them are 10 1/2-11-12 years old, NOT botany or zoology majors in college. 


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#20 TAHAWK

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 05:48 PM

Not overthinking is just fine.

 

What are the requirements we are to not overthink?   

 

 

This is a kind of plant because it has leaves and plants have leaves.

 

This is a different kind of plant because the leaves are different from the other kind of plant.  That's two.

 

One thing is clear, the ten kinds of plaints must be "native," whatever meaning one assigns to "native."

This is a kind of plant because it has leaves and plants have leaves.

This is a different kind of plant because the leaves are different from the other kind of plant.  That's two.


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