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Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:27 pm
by Davespice


Hi everyone;

I’m quite interested in somehow getting involved with outreach into the community. I fully expect the foundation has some kind of plan already formulated on how this will be done but I wondered if volunteers from the community could be useful at all?

It also occurred to me that the Scouting movement (as in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) might be one place to target this outreach. Once thing for sure is that parents who send their kids to Scouts are likely to be practical and would encourage some kind of constructive use of a computer aside from just playing games. One of my work colleagues is a Cub Scout leader and they have asked him several times if he can do anything to teach the kids about computers. A lot of the kids he gets are from quite deprived areas and have never owned a computer before. We both thought the Raspberry Pi would be perfect for them to learn on.

Obviously you don’t want to turn Scouts into a computer club, they generally meet once weekly and they have various things they need to get through in the evening. But it could be something that they spend say 45 minutes doing every other week. With the leader giving instruction and demonstrations and maybe, assuming some of them can acquire a Raspberry Pi themselves, setting them a task to do in their own time over the week. It could be an issue finding Scout leaders who have the skills to do this though.

What about then, if, someone like myself went around to visit various Scouting groups giving a demonstration of the device and it’s abilities? That would certainly create interest and it could potentially create a computing community amongst the kids where they all rely on each other and share knowledge as they learn on their own. The demo would probably include showing the device running on a modern HDMI TV, an old TV, how to compose music, make simple graphic shapes or animations and how to write a simple program in Python. The content of such a demo is perhaps for discussion on another topic.

The same kind of principle could also be applied to primary and secondary schools. What do we think? I suppose I should also ask if there is some kind official volunteer programme people can get involved with?

Thanks for reading
Dave

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:35 pm
by abishur
It's been a while since I was in the Scouts, but from what I remember they were a fairly outdoors oriented program... almost Luddite-ish. Not trying to discourage the concept on the whole, just saying that the scouts program might not be the best target? :?

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:18 pm
by johnbeetem
Quote from abishur on November 28, 2011, 19:35
It's been a while since I was in the Scouts, but from what I remember they were a fairly outdoors oriented program... almost Luddite-ish.

While the memories of my far-off USA scouting days are pretty foggy nowadays, I believe there was actually a Computer merit badge even back then. I think you had to do things like learn to operate a key-punch machine, tie and untie knots in 9-track magnetic tape, identify burned-out valves in computers, and portage a Univac Fastrand drum unit across a stream.

Yep, those memories are pretty foggy. I think part of my brain froze permanently when we went camping in Wisconsin with overnight low of -20 degrees F (-29 C).

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:22 pm
by Davespice
I was in Scouts too, Sea Scouts actually. We did all the land based orienteering and stuff but we also did gig rowing and small dingy sailing. I agree that some people in the Scouts are luddites. You only have to look at some Scout group websites to get a time warp back to 1997! Frames, marquee scrollers, blinking text, badly anti-aliased pictures - the lot. They're probably being maintained by pensioners who've done a HTML course! :)

Anyway, do you remember proficiency badges? They have an Information Technology staged one as well as an Electronics one. Not sure if it's the same across the pond though. So they're definitely not against IT all together.



It's probably in keeping with the Scouting code of conduct to help other people out with their IT too.

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:08 pm
by SeanD
Quote from johnbeetem on November 28, 2011, 20:18
While the memories of my far-off USA scouting days are pretty foggy nowadays, I believe there was actually a Computer merit badge even back then. I think you had to do things like learn to operate a key-punch machine, tie and untie knots in 9-track magnetic tape, identify burned-out valves in computers, and portage a Univac Fastrand drum unit across a stream.

I am the father of a current US Scout who is an ex UK Cub. This Saturday I will be supervising a group of scouts who are learning electronics and need some help honing their SMD soldering skills. We will however be doing this outdoors as it fixes some health and safety issues regarding ventilation.

I never was a scout but I have been pleasantly surprised how progressive at least the bits of the UK and US movements have been. Still lots of opportunities to hike up things etc. but also to build robots, repair PCs, learn comms etc. So I agree the Scout movement would be a good one to get to support the RPi. I will do some investigation here in the US.

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:15 pm
by trevj
Davespice said:


[...] Anyway, do you remember proficiency badges? They have an Information Technology staged one [...]


I just found this one too. I was in the cubs/scouts as a kid but have little knowledge of the movement nowadays. However, I know a leader in Brownies so must remember to ask her. Tackling gender stereotyping is important IMHO. Also, how about the Woodcraft Folk?

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:10 pm
by mccp
trevj said:


Tackling gender stereotyping is important IMHO.


Indeed, which is why all Scout Groups (in the UK at least) have been required to admit girls since 2007 before that individual Scout Groups could decide whether to admit girls or not.

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:22 pm
by liz
trevj said:


Tackling gender stereotyping is important IMHO.


Couldn't agree more; I still wince to recall that I joined the Girl Guides back in the 80s because I really wanted the little air hostess hat that they wore. I remember an awful lot of cooking and sewing, most of it tent-based.

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:38 pm
by wocket
Hi Guys

My first post. Here in Australia, as an Amateur Radio enthusiast we participate in "Jamboree of the Air" which over the last few years has included "Jamboree of the Net" which sadly to a "Ham" is more popular with the Scouts. So why not make it more of a challenge than using IM to chat to other packs around the world.

Maybe assembling a portable (Outdoor) rig comprising of the Raspberry Pi, Roll-out keyboard, solar/battery power, 3G/WiFi modem, etc before sitting in forny of a computer which most of them could do at home.

Rod

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:50 pm
by trevj
liz said:


Couldn"t agree more; I still wince to recall that I joined the Girl Guides back in the 80s because I really wanted the little air hostess hat that they wore. I remember an awful lot of cooking and sewing, most of it tent-based.


My Brownie leader friend found these:


Guides
Brownies (complete with pink overkill!)

Re: The Scouting Movement

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:43 am
by trevj
Also just found this article from 2006 in The Telegraph: