Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Proposal : Pioneering Certification

rules

  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 HelpfulTracks

HelpfulTracks

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 180 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:21 AM

I understand there are risk management issues involved with many of the rules surrounding pioneering, but in my youth pioneering was one of biggest draws for scouts and we were able to build some fantastic permanent and semi-permanent structures; towers, gateways, rope bridges etc. that we actually used. I would love to see scouts being able to do pioneering the way we used to do it in my youth.

 

I am going with the assumption that the rules for pioneering will not be loosened, so I am looking for the next best solution.

 

With approval from the council risk management committee you can still build structures over the 5ft standard. (I believe that is the current standard). Getting the right people out to approve such structures is difficult or impossible to accomplish for smaller events or unit outings. For some councils it is even difficult for larger events. As a result you do not see the amount or level of pioneering I remember from my youth.

 

If there was an opportunity that would allow scouters to be trained and certified in building and assessing risk of larger pioneering structures I think we could get back to the glory days of pioneering and maintain the safety/risk mitigation that BSA desires.

 

I would like to get some feedback from Scouters in this forum on that concept.

 

TIA for you help.

HelpfulTracks


Edited by HelpfulTracks, 24 August 2017 - 07:25 AM.

  • 0

#2 Eagledad

Eagledad

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6055 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 08:15 AM

You know, I wished I had thought of that. There is training for rappelling, swimming and boating. Why not Pioneering! I like it.

 

Barry


  • 0

"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#3 blw2

blw2

    Troop Treasurer

  • Members
  • 2019 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 08:30 AM

Agreed...... guessing, but I'd imagine my son would have been woo'd by some really cool structures in his first year or two of scouts....

Seeing the older scouts build some really cool towers and useful structures I'd imagine would seem really cool...especially when coupled with discovering a good scout lead freedom to come up with their own ideas and make it happen without too much too much adult influence and interference....

Who knows, that might have been just that one more thing it would have taken to trip his interest level over that threshold that is currently holding him back!

so you idea to make pioneering more "accessible" could be golden!


  • 0

#4 qwazse

qwazse

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6841 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 08:34 AM

You're asking to hoe a long row. But, I agree that it's worthwhile.

 

BSA would need to get input from proper industry experts (e.g. OSHA, Iron Workers Union, ... is there a timber lobby?)

 

We have to make it about the balance between job security and safety.

 

My observation is that my oldest brother and I are more confident with roof-work than my boys or my brothers who weren't scouts. I attribute that to summer camp working on monkey bridges and three-story towers (by the time our troop's week rolled around, we were usually on the 2nd level lashing up the third). My Victorian house is hardly any different when it comes to cleaning gutters and checking shingles. That said, son #1 is a useful partner when I (nowadays, we) prop up the 24' ladder. He is thorough with the safety check and catches things that I would otherwise ignore.

 

It would behoove our country to have more boys entering apprenticeship with experience working at height with an understanding of safety apparatus.


  • 0

#5 Eagle94-A1

Eagle94-A1

    Been there. Done that.

  • Members
  • 1991 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 08:44 AM

Back when I was a COPE Director, we could certify pioneering structures.  So I see the usefulness of a pioneering certification.

 

But who would it be for Scouts or adults?

 

If only for adults, why not for Scouts?

 

And if for Scouts, will we put in stupid age restrictions?


  • 0

"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#6 John-in-KC

John-in-KC

    Moderator and nice guy

  • Moderators
  • 6825 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:08 AM

Ping @RichardB ourlon of the National Safety Team.


  • 0

#7 MattR

MattR

    Member

  • Members
  • 1038 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:14 AM

Please push for it. Not only would it make it more fun it would likely make things safer. When the rules are so stifling people tend to ignore them. I did.

 

It isn't just height that should trigger a check. There were some people in my troop that made a monkey bridge without me around and they nearly killed a kid because they didn't make good anchors. Nobody was even scratched but it was close to a disaster. Anyway, this had nothing to do with height, that part was legal. It was about construction and just a mindset that safety is important.


  • 0

#8 DuctTape

DuctTape

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 604 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:44 AM

Not a fan. Allow me to explain. While giant structures, arches, gates etc... are "fun" I think too often these become the focus take away from the main purpose of pioneering. Rarely are the giant towers and trebuchets the product of boys ideas and work, and for the most part are not useful. IMO the main purpose and focus of pioneering is to make camp life easier by having the ability to make gadgets, and useful (small) structures so one dorsn't have to transport everything from the trailer. I use lashings on almost every trip, even if just to make a tripod to hang the pot over the fire. I often make a quick camp chair, and sometimes a small table. I suppose when one takes the trailer and never is more than 100 yds from it the need for pioneering skills on a campout are diminished. So, I am not in favor of this proposal as I see it as encouraging the giant structures at the expense of focusing on what I see as the real purpose of pioneering when there is already a dimished focus on that purpose.
  • 1

#9 qwazse

qwazse

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6841 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:53 AM

I kind of see @DuctTape's point, but I think there's a "both-and."

If I've learned how to pick and anchor material suitable for a floor ... I've learned how to make a suitable chair or table.


  • 0

#10 Eagledad

Eagledad

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6055 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 10:12 AM

When I took my kids to the local Scoutorama, the first place they ran to was the Pioneering area with the 3 story tower and 2 story rope bridge. Boys can build that!

 

Pioneering was a lot easier in the days without self supporting tents, tarps and elaborate camp cook boxes. Even tripods struggle with wash basins near latrines and stoves replacing campfires. Technology has replace the need for knowing the proper knots for more comfortable camping. Pioneering towers and bridges help romanticize the skills that boys in general find boring. A clever SM then uses imagination to push the scouts a little further with visions of gadgets and camp aids.

 

Barry


  • 0

"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#11 HelpfulTracks

HelpfulTracks

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 180 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 01:43 PM

Thank you all for you feedback.

 

Pioneering has always been something, in my opinion, that scouts loved. Anything we can do to make it more accessible is indeed "golden."

 

Thank you John-in-KC, I will ping RichardB


  • 0

#12 HelpfulTracks

HelpfulTracks

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 180 posts

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:28 PM

Not a fan. Allow me to explain. While giant structures, arches, gates etc... are "fun" I think too often these become the focus take away from the main purpose of pioneering. Rarely are the giant towers and trebuchets the product of boys ideas and work, and for the most part are not useful. IMO the main purpose and focus of pioneering is to make camp life easier by having the ability to make gadgets, and useful (small) structures so one dorsn't have to transport everything from the trailer. I use lashings on almost every trip, even if just to make a tripod to hang the pot over the fire. I often make a quick camp chair, and sometimes a small table. I suppose when one takes the trailer and never is more than 100 yds from it the need for pioneering skills on a campout are diminished. So, I am not in favor of this proposal as I see it as encouraging the giant structures at the expense of focusing on what I see as the real purpose of pioneering when there is already a dimished focus on that purpose.

 

DuctTape, I would agree that fundamentals of pioneering must be first and prominent in any pioneering training.

 

However, I would argue the FUN is absolutely one of the real purpose for pioneering and huge reason Scouts keep scouting.

 

Character building, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving and building are also important and real purpose for pioneering. Something larger project make easier.

 

A completely useless project that my troops scouts came up with one a rafting trip last year is still the "stuff of troop legend" and regularly talked about. After a day of rafting the adults settled down in their camp and the scouts in their camp some distance away. With a an hour or so of daylight left one of the scouts scurried into camp and told the adults the scouts needed them down at the river bank. Upon arrival the adults saw a homemade raft the scouts had put together using wood, bamboo and rope. They managed to get 4 scouts on the raft and pushed off, floating downstream to the cheers of the adults, their fellow scouts, and most importantly to them, strangers/rafters who where camped just down stream. They did this all on their own, with wood they found and the skills of a couple of scouts who are pioneering nuts. The story is still told in the troop to new crossovers each year, as if they had conquered Mount Everest. The scouts routinely want to do pioneering project and bemoan the fact they can't do more bigger and better project. Even more true now that several of them went to Jamboree and saw what CAN be accomplished.

 

Personally, if the scout want to do more and bigger and better projects because they are fun, that is reason enough for me to find a way to make it happen.


  • 1

#13 DuctTape

DuctTape

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 604 posts

Posted 25 August 2017 - 05:08 AM

I am not against the idea to limit boys fun. Quite the contrary. I see it as a likely increase in adult interference when too much already exists.
  • 1

#14 RichardB

RichardB

    Member

  • Members
  • 242 posts

Posted 28 August 2017 - 09:03 AM

Not sure what the issue is.   Pioneering is primarily a merit badge, designed for a scout (most are targeted at a 12 year old) to experience.   Not sure how setting up a training program is going to drive a need to go higher, bigger, etc.   High COPE elements by design need to meet ACCT standards for design, installation and operations.  Asking laymen to do something like this is actively discouraged.    Please see the COPE section of the GTSS.  

 

And if you would like to review the risk assessment documentation (found in 680-009 http://scouting.org/...pdf/680-009.pdfor 680-026 http://www.scouting....df/680-026.pdf) on your own you will also find out that relying on training and procedures is low on the hierachy of controls.   Wouldn't really be applicable to the OP vision of success that would be training.           


  • 0

#15 Eagle94-A1

Eagle94-A1

    Been there. Done that.

  • Members
  • 1991 posts

Posted 28 August 2017 - 09:31 AM

Not sure what the issue is.   Pioneering is primarily a merit badge, designed for a scout (most are targeted at a 12 year old) to experience.   Not sure how setting up a training program is going to drive a need to go higher, bigger, etc.  

 

Please tell me you are joking.

 

The issue is that under current GTSS policies, pioneering projects are extremely limited.

Note: Pioneering projects, such as monkey bridges, have a maximum height of 6 feet. Close supervision should be followed when Scouts are building or using pioneering projects.

 

 

Unless NCAP has been changed, the only way to go higher than 6 feet is at a council summer camp program with the council's risk management's approval.

 

What's going to happen when we host the WSJ in 2019? will we ban structures over 6 feet? Or will Summit staff go around and approve everything? let's face it, pioneering is a traditional Scoutcraft, and some countries think the BSA is silly for the restrictions.

 

 

Gone are the days where Boy Scouts in the US could build cool stuff like towers, Bosun Chair Rides, Ferris Wheels ad nauseum. I remember when my troop growing up use to build 2 towers 15-20 feet and 25-30 tall, connect steel rope between them, and connect a Bosun's Chair so that folks could ride between the two towers. We use to have a 30 minute wait to have people on the ride. When national put those height limits in effect, my troop stopped going to Scout Shows because they were BORING. We went to only 1 after the ban, and that was because William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt was there.

 

 

As for pioneering being a MB targeted to 12 year olds,  Then how do you explain these:

 

http://www.scoutreso...ring/index.html

 

https://s-media-cach...72f1307415b.jpg

 

https://s-media-cach...dbfb2fb2a1f.jpg

 

http://the.earth.li/...- photo054.html

 

https://s-media-cach...d6696d4830e.jpg


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 28 August 2017 - 09:58 AM.

  • 0

"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#16 RichardB

RichardB

    Member

  • Members
  • 242 posts

Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:33 AM

 Eagle dude, please enlighten me I'm interested to know where you found such designs in the program of the BSA?   Really, not joking - I'd like to know.   

 

Now your examples appear to be from accross the pond.  And several, have some pretty significant fall exposure.   Opinion, they wouldn't have made it past a risk assessment by a competent or qualified group.  If your not familiar, Scouting in the UK requires a written risk assessment for all activities.    In some parts of the US those structures could be considered amusement devices, many of which would require state licensing and inspection.  Not sure they would pass that test either.  

 

I'd also wonder where did all that base material come from.  Most camps I'm familiar with really wouldn't want folks choping down trees to make a pioneer project each week from their natural resources.   

 

Finally, the folks gearing up for the WSJ have some great risk assessment tools and staff who know how to use them.  Very confident there is a plan.      


  • 0

#17 Eagle94-A1

Eagle94-A1

    Been there. Done that.

  • Members
  • 1991 posts

Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:01 AM

Richard,

 

Just because something comes from across the pond, doesn't mean our Scouts would not be interested. Heck Scouting for Boys came from across the pond.

 

As for where ideas come from BSA's program, here are two links I found from councils' douments on pioneering projects.

 

http://www.pioneerin...gConference.pdf

 

http://www.pioneerin...ON_PROJECTS.pdf

 

If I had more time, I would start pulling historical BSA photos with now banned pioneering projects. My personal favorite is the 30' Signal Tower with a Scout on it from the 1937 NSJ. And if you want, I look at my collection of handbooks and field books when I get home.

 

But if you have time, and the museum is not already packed up and moved to Philmont, maybe a visit to the archives would show you some of the wonderful pioneering projects BSA allowed in the past.

 

Regarding supplies, with proper planning you can get them. For the Arial Runway project, my troop called it The Bosun Chair, we were able to get supplies. We either got them donated, or got permission to cut down. Helps to have someone with access to a tree farm.

 

EDITED:  Forgot to add, I used pictures from overseas deliberately to show relevance today. If BSA wants to use oveseas Scouting associations as models for going coed (the one going around looks like how the Finns do Scouting and Guiding), then why not use their examples for pioneering. But I did find that some Troops are ignoring the G2SS ban and making pioneering projects over 6 feet.


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 30 August 2017 - 07:15 AM.

  • 0

"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#18 qwazse

qwazse

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 6841 posts

Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:26 AM

 ...  Opinion, they wouldn't have made it past a risk assessment by a competent or qualified group.  If your not familiar, Scouting in the UK requires a written risk assessment for all activities.    In some parts of the US those structures could be considered amusement devices, many of which would require state licensing and inspection.  Not sure they would pass that test either.  

 

I'd also wonder where did all that base material come from.  Most camps I'm familiar with really wouldn't want folks choping down trees to make a pioneer project each week from their natural resources.   

 

Finally, the folks gearing up for the WSJ have some great risk assessment tools and staff who know how to use them.  Very confident there is a plan.      

But that's the point, isn't it?

Train interested scouts and scouters in better risk assessment.

 

Look, these boys are going to own property and build buildings of their own someday. Hands-on experience is not that far-fetched. If we go through the safety routines in our program, we may save countless lives outside of it.

 

Regarding natural resources. Lumber is harvested and sold all the time. Putting aside reserve for scout-craft is part of land management.

If that is a "real" problem, I have two words: composite logs.


  • 0

#19 RichardB

RichardB

    Member

  • Members
  • 242 posts

Posted 30 August 2017 - 11:01 AM

Folks, it's 2017.   Not 1937 or 1996.   The program of the BSA is updated from time to time.    The OP has been asked and answered, if YOU would like to build these giant devices, feel free to do so, but please don't call it Scouting.   


  • 0

#20 Eagle94-A1

Eagle94-A1

    Been there. Done that.

  • Members
  • 1991 posts

Posted 30 August 2017 - 12:08 PM

Folks, it's 2017.   Not 1937 or 1996.   The program of the BSA is updated from time to time.    The OP has been asked and answered, if YOU would like to build these giant devices, feel free to do so, but please don't call it Scouting.   

 

If pioneering is no longer considered Scoutcraft in 2017, then why is basic pioneeringskills still required for Scout, Tenderfoot,Second Class and  First Class ranks as well as a Pioneering Merit Badge, designed for 12 year olds as you mentioned, still around?

 

Pioneering is still a traditional Scoutcraft skill, still required for advancement,  has the potential to keep older Scouts involved if given the chance, AND had relevance in the 21st Century. Don't believe pioneering is relevant in the 21st? Ask the NASA astronaut who lashed the Space Shuttle's broken arm intoplace so that they could return to Earth.

 

Yes the OP has been answered. Sadly you and the rest of national do not see the point. The rules and regs are sucking the lifeblood out of Scouting.The ban on water guns made us a laughing stock nationally, and is ignored not only by volunteers but also professionals. At the one day camp, the DE said "Waterguns are no longered allowed by the BSA. So bring your personal water soaking devices to cool down.: The ban are wagons for under 14 and service projects caused a bunch of 8 year old Bears to laugh when I told htem about it. Yes, a bunch of 8 year olds thought the rule was a joke.  Look at the restrictions on power tools. You do realize that Girl Scouts can use powertools, but we cannot ? https://www.kansasgi...Checkpoints.pdf

 

Maybe should quit as a volunteer now. I should have realized when I worked for national back in the day that the powers that be do not listen to those of us with boots still on the ground until after the mistakes are made and a solution is needed to fix problems.


  • 2

"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users