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Boy Scout Activity


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One of our local Boy Scout Troops is camping this weekend and I've been asked to plan a 1-2 hours GPS activity for them in the morning. Besides finding the nearest geocache, does anyone have any good ideas for introducing them to GPS? (These boys are 12-14 years old)

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I'm doing the same thing for my niece's girl scouts. I was going to combine Navigation and Map reading skills. They actually have some sort of navigation badge they will get for this.


I'll be watching this thread for any other ideas!





"Only when the last tree is cut,

and the last stream is polluted,

and the last fish is caught,

will we realize that you can't eat the money"

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Why don't you hide a Boy Scout specific cache and fill it with scouting-related cachestache? Perhaps you can make it a multi-cache that combines GPS usage with basic map reading and compass skills activities.


If memory serves, there are some activity suggestions in the BSA fieldbook.

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A couple of months ago I did a cache hunt for our webelos during a winter camp out. I hid 5 temporary caches. Each was identical and contained a pocket knife and a rescue whistle. We held a class to explain what geocaching was, how the gps worked, what the dancing arrow meant, how to use a compass for final triangulation, and the ethics of geocaching. Then my wife and I took the scouts out 5 at a time with a different scout acting as leader for each find. After all 5 had found a cache and claimed their prize, we replaced them all and took another group out. We hiked about 2 miles with each group to find all five. (which means I did a lot of hiking!) I used different hide techniques for each to provide variety and made them pretty hard hides. It was a grand success! The scoutmaster for the entire pack heard about it, so I'll be doing the same for some of the other dens when they have campouts.

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Before "cheating" with a GPS, it's important for people to know basic map and compass. I've read things about people who went out in the woods with a GPS, the batteries died and even though they had a topomap and compass they got lost!!!


My advice: Use a topomap and get the scouts to do proper map and compass to find the Geocache.


After they can do some by map and compass THEN let them cheat with the cool hardware!



Mobile Cache Command


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After reading these ideas, I'm thinking of doing something like this ...


1) Mark 100 feet in a field and have each scout pace the distance a couple of times to determine their stride.


2) Give them instruction to complete a preset path of 4 or 5 legs.


3) Let each one carry a GPS strapped to their head (no looking) and let them attempt the route using only a compass and their newly found stride length.


4) Plot each scout's path on an aerial view so they can see how they did (against the preset path and each other)


This way, they will actuall learn something (their stride and the limitations of it) and they'll see a little bit of the technology as well. Maybe even let them try walking the route with the GPS (probably not since time won't allow for this).


The results can look somehting like this:



Any comments on this will be appreciated.

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I have been in a class for basic GPS stuff for boy scouts. They had enough GPSr (same kind) so that there was 1 for every 2 boys. They told how GPSr works, and some of the limitations on it, and what type of accuracy/precision to expect. They then set them off and told them to play with it and mark a few spots for half of a hour. When they came back they switched GPSr and looked for others teams waypoints. After this they sent one group out to mark a location and return back to the rest of the groups. They gave them the cords and had a race to see witch team got there first (first group would clarify when they were right).


This taught them what to expect out of a GPS and how the basic operations worked (makeing a waypoint, goto a waypoint, and creating a waypoint with other peoples cords).


Wyatt W.


The probability of someone watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your actions.

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