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


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#21 Chadamus

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 06:14 PM

Aside from the apparent headaches caused by the ten, the change in the requirement from "found in your community" to "found in your local area or camping location" is a good one. Being able to fulfill the requirement from (almost) anywhere on Earth is a plus.
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#22 NJCubScouter

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:16 PM

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. :(

I think the requirement is intended to mean what you wish it would mean.

It is a poorly-worded requirement. It was obviously not written with the expectation that it would be analyzed (or, if you will, picked apart) by lawyers, or grammar experts for that matter. Or taxonomists. Personally, I think the listing of the broad categories (mammals, reptiles, etc.) is mostly superfluous. By "kind" I think they mean things like chipmunk, rabbit, squirrel, fox, deer, frog, lizard, etc. etc. Of course, within most of these "kinds" there are more than one species. If the 10-to-12-year-old in question sees both a white-tail deer and a mule deer, AND is able to correctly distinguish them, I think that's two. Otherwise, that's just another deer, and you still have nine to go.

Edited by NJCubScouter, 23 April 2017 - 07:19 PM.

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#23 TAHAWK

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:42 PM

Surely poorly written, as is too often the case.

 

And I think they meant or intended the three fire requirement to require three fires started by expedient methods, but they clearly said otherwise just as they clearly said "identify or show evidence of."  

 

The distinction between the disjunctive and the conjunctive was covered in Third Grade in California when I toyed with pubic school teaching: "an apple or a peach" vs. "an apple and a peach.  Which means you have two pieces of fruit?"  Perhaps we live in a declining age and lawyers, or grammar experts are required to tell the difference rather than Third-Graders, but I think not.  Try it with any Third-Graders at your disposal.

 

A lawyer would point out that intent cannot overcome the plain meaning of the language used.  

 

"Aside from the apparent headaches caused by the ten, the change in the requirement from "found in your community" to "found in your local area or camping location" is a good one. Being able to fulfill the requirement from (almost) anywhere on Earth is a plus."

 

Definitely.  Especially for Scouts from deep in the city in view of "native" and "wild."


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#24 Stosh

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:27 PM

I'm all for making up the requirements to mean "anything you wish it would mean".  Unfortunately, that's not a slippery slope I wish to be on.

 

The U. S. Government defines an invasive species as one "that is not native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health."

 

That sounds like it means more than "anything you wish it would mean" especially to a conservation, ecologically minded, nature person like a Boy Scout.

 

I sure hope that the rule-of-thumb "anything you wish it would mean" when it comes to poisonous plant identification....  just sayin'.

 

Just my 2-cents.


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#25 TAHAWK

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:42 PM

We have made the big leagues - Giant Hog Weed here and there all around us.   :eek:    Only requirement beyond poisonous is "common."  Given how bad GHW is, I'd opt for common enough.  

 

Poison Ivy everywhere.  Poison Sumac in the wetlands.  Yew everywhere we planted it and nothing to mess with.


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#26 Chadamus

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:49 PM

Nettle caused us some grief this weekend. Until I looked I had no idea it was native to almost all continents. Anyone have a bread recipe? ☺
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#27 Stosh

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 09:54 PM

Nettle caused us some grief this weekend. Until I looked I had no idea it was native to almost all continents. Anyone have a bread recipe? ☺

It makes a great tea, very nutritious.... by the way, Jewel Weed growing in the same vicinity is the cure for the nettle's itch.  :)


Edited by Stosh, 23 April 2017 - 09:55 PM.

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#28 qwazse

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 05:36 AM

Overthink example:

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

Where do you find "native" in he requirement?
"... found in your area ..."

My aunt, (the oldest living campfire girl) likely saw a very large cat in her garden. We think in her frail state, she identified a migrating cougar. At one time the word would come easily for her. Such beasts are no longer native to northern WV, yet. But it would count toward the list. Although a full set of prints and snagged fur sample would have helped settle the argument.

So a scout saw a distinctive kind of tree. Help him find its name, determine where it came from, speculate as to how it got there and how long it's kind will remain. This is what a first class scout does.

Or, has wondering at the wide world been written out of advancement?
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#29 TAHAWK

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:14 AM

New requirements mandatory as of Jan. 1, 2017 Where can I find the new Boy Scout requirements?

The BSA has made it easy for you, providing this printable Handbook insert and this PDF

 

http://www.scouting....equirements.pdf

 

5a

Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants found in your local area or campsite location. You may show evidence by identifying fallen leaves or fallen fruit that you find in the field, or as part of a collection you have made, or by photographs you have taken


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#30 perdidochas

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:31 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

Well, IMHO, if a boy can tell the difference between ten types of Chickadees, he's probably pretty aware of nature. I'd count it. There is no "diversity" rule listed--you are adding to requirements.  Also, being a birder, finding ten different species of a single type of bird is much harder than finding ten different species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and mollusks.   


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#31 Stosh

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:35 AM

I like the "native plant" and "wild animal" part of the requirements, it shows a deeper level of understanding about these items rather than just identifying them.  Dutch Elm Disease, Oak Blight, Emerald Ash Bore, and other invasive species have taken their toll on many of the native species in our area and an awareness of the ecological impact goes a long way to "remembering for a reason" dynamics of the requirements.


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#32 Stosh

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:41 AM

Well, IMHO, if a boy can tell the difference between ten types of Chickadees, he's probably pretty aware of nature. I'd count it. There is no "diversity" rule listed--you are adding to requirements.  Also, being a birder, finding ten different species of a single type of bird is much harder than finding ten different species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and mollusks.   

 

I put up a bird feeder in my backyard outside the kitchen window many years ago when my kids were small.  We were going to teach the kids about the different kinds of birds that would come to feed.  Sparrow after sparrow showed up.  Nothing else..... until we got a bird book out and started a whole new area for me, there a tons of different kinds of sparrows out there.  House Sparrows, Field Sparrows, English Sparrows!  It was really neat and at one time I could easily identify 10 different kinds of sparrows.... something I would never have been able to do had I just blown off the "failure" of not having a variety of different "birds" at the feeder.  Since then my kids have grown to appreciate the different kinds of birds that don't go to seed feeders and are carnivorous, such as Turkey Vultures, Eagles, Robins, Swallows and non-seed eaters like Ducks and Geese.  And this "diversity" became quite an interesting opportunity for my family.


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Stosh

 

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#33 RememberSchiff

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:51 AM

IMHO, I see diversity in the habitat as a reasonable interpretation of the "10 different ...animals". When scouts take Environmental Science and Nature merit badges this will be emphasized.

 

If a scout found ten types of chickadees here in North America, well forget SC let's send him to Cornell. :)


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#34 NJCubScouter

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:17 AM

I have a feeling that the requirement-writer for First Class requirement 5a was not necessarily being literal with the word "native."  If you "find" it growing in your area or on a camping trip, I think it counts.  I think what they are trying to exclude is, plants growing in peoples' gardens (on purpose) that were "imported" from elsewhere.  Of course, I could be wrong.


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#35 CalicoPenn

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:17 AM

:happy: 

Well, IMHO, if a boy can tell the difference between ten types of Chickadees, he's probably pretty aware of nature. I'd count it. There is no "diversity" rule listed--you are adding to requirements.  Also, being a birder, finding ten different species of a single type of bird is much harder than finding ten different species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and mollusks.   

 Unless it's spring migration and you're on a certain boardwalk in Northern Ohio on Lake Erie where you might find 20 or more of 54 species of warblers in a couple of hours.  :)

 

I think we've identified the biggest problem with the requirements - the problem is us - and specifically adults.

 

Identify or show evidence of 10 different kinds of animals.  You're average 10-12 year old is going to be able to understand that at a basic level.  You need 10, they need to be different, and they can't be plants or fungi.  Only adults would try to parse that by phylum, class, order, family, genus or species.  An 11 year old is going to just stick with kingdom, where animal means mammals, fish, birds, molluscs, reptiles, amphibians and insects.  The requirement's limitations are animals and wild (and 10).  It only gives examples of animals when it uses "such as" - that doesn't leave out reptiles, amphibians and insects - it just leaves them unsaid..  The boys can figure that out.  You average 11 year old isn't going to see a dog or cat in the wild and think "oh, feral animal - that's wild too".  They're not going to count dogs, cats, horses, cow, sheep, chickens and pig as wild (unless they live somewhere where there truly are wild horses and wild boar).  Let's give the boys some credit here.  Saying all that, we as adults can push back a bit at times.  Identifying something as a bird, rabbit, deer, fish is really just not enough.  Tell us what kind of deer, what kind of rabbit,what kind of bird, what kind of fish.  That's the point of the requirement.  Of course, if their evidence of deer is deer tracks, you may need to settle for deer if you're in an area where white-tailed and mule deer actually mix.

 

Sometimes though, we write requirements thinking we're being clever.  Identify 10 different kinds of native plants?  You better have a good plant id field guide because a lot of plants out there that folks might call native truly aren't native, if the definition of native is a plant that has not been imported from elsewhere.  Dandelions were brought to the US 100's of years ago - not native.  Queen Anne's Lace - not native.  Narrow-leaved Cattail - not native.  Canada Thistle - not native.  Oxeye Daisy - not native.  I would even go so far as to suggest that for most of us, most of the plants we are most familiar with and can identify most readily are actually not native at all.  I suspect that what the requirement writer was getting at was don't identify plants that were planted in gardens or in cropland.  A better requirement would have been to identify 10 "wild" plants and then identify them as native or introduced and if they are invasive or not-invasive.

 

Oh, and if a boy identifies 10 different kinds of Chickadees in the US, forget Cornell, let's send him to Oxford (there are only 7 species of Chickadees on the US - if he discovers three more, he deserves better than Cornell).


Edited by CalicoPenn, 24 April 2017 - 09:23 AM.

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#36 Stosh

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:20 AM

Is "being literal" just another excuse for not doing what the requirement states, i.e. adding and subtracting from the requirement.  I am in no place to be the one to second guess what was going through the mind of the writer of the requirement, but a number of people must have approved it to make it into the requirements.


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Stosh

 

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#37 Stosh

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:27 AM

I like the word "native" in the requirement.  It shows the scouts the impact of introducing invasive species into established ecosystems and how that could disrupt the whole natural setup. 

 

I have various ferns, native grasses and plants in my "flower gardens".  I can walk my scouts out there and identify 10 invasive and 10 native plants in 5 minutes.  I can also tell you the reason for the invasives because many of them were brought into the area for medicinal and ornamental purposes.  Make sure my invasives do not escape my garden, but use them on a regular basis.


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Stosh

 

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#38 TAHAWK

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:47 AM

I have a feeling that the requirement-writer for First Class requirement 5a was not necessarily being literal with the word "native."  If you "find" it growing in your area or on a camping trip, I think it counts.  I think what they are trying to exclude is, plants growing in peoples' gardens (on purpose) that were "imported" from elsewhere.  Of course, I could be wrong.

Or you could be right and he/she/they simply cannot write clearly.    

 

You are, however, arguing for "native" meaning "native or naturalized."  Because "or naturalized" could have easily been added, but was not, normal standards of interpretation leave us with "native."


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#39 Col. Flagg

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:01 AM

So here is what we've always done:

  • Our Instructors teach the class on plants and animals for our first year Scouts.
  • They take the group to a local park (200 acre nature preserve in our city) and hike the trail system, pointing out a select group of 20 trees, plants, shrubs, vines, flowers and grasses. The Instructors point out characteristics of each plant (e.g., Burr Oaks have huge acorns, Live Oaks are green year around, etc.).
  • Scouts can use all their senses to identify these plants (e.g, the difference between Honeysuckle and Star Jasmine).
  • Scouts take notes on these characteristics, trace leaves, draw acorns, describe smells or texture, etc.
  • At the end of the nature hike the Scouts are cut loose in an area to collect evidence (using cameras so they don't violate LNT) of 10 of these 20-25 things. If they find something they cannot identify they can bring an Instructor and adults to the site to try to identify it.
  • If they get ten they are done.

We do the exact same thing for animals.

 

We discuss "native" versus "invasive" but do not limit their list of ten to just "native" plants. Why? Because we had a kid one time that was a budding Paleo Botanist who proceeded to argue that very little in our area was actually native unless we defined the period in which we were investigating.

 

Who needs lawyers when you have a well-read 12 year old who can identify more plants than the park's biologist? Guess who become the instructor for this course for the next 5 years?  ;)


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#40 TAHAWK

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:24 AM

And that is one way to deal with requirements one does not like - write your own.  So tempting given some of the language we are given to work with and the lack of a mechanism to even ask for clarification, much less rationalization, of that language. 

 

I write my own when BSA is unclear.  It's a decision I made decades ago.  If you cannot say what you mean you invite such behavior out of necessity.

 

I will not write my own simply because I disagree, as I disagreed with the requirement of Life Saving MB  for Eagle, which prevented my best friend, and the best Scout in our troop, from Eagling.  Following the rules, when one can understand them, is part of the "deal."  So I tell Wilderness Survival candidates that they must memorize the seven "priorities" in the invariable "order" dictated by BSA, even as we agree that priority will vary according to the facts on the ground and that STOP (SOTP), shelter, and fire are not needs but tools to meet needs whose very utility to meet actual survival needs vary according to those same facts.

 

A middle ground that you come close to is to argue that a given plant, brought here in merely historic time, has been so naturalized as to be "native." That, to me, is easier to defend than  "do not limit their list of ten to just 'native' plants."

 

 

 

Native plants are plants indigenous to a given area in geologic time.  This includes plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in an area.

 

As I am sure you know, Star Jasmine is an alien species that arrived in recent historic times and survives in the U.S. in Climate Zones 8-10.


Edited by TAHAWK, 24 April 2017 - 10:24 AM.

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