Scoutmaster Musings - Scout Handbook Thoughts


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Scoutmaster Musings

Scout Handbook Thoughts
Picked up the 12th edition this week. Here's some observations having skimmed through it.

Negatives:
The book is 1/2 inch shorter than the previous. This just means I've got a floppy black book cover on it now.
The back cover used to have three words - Character, Citizenship, Fitness - and I'd often use that when talking with scouts.

The mottled backgrounds on many pages makes it more difficult to read the text. I don't care for all the little graphic bits like paperclips holding on notes and spiral notepads and ripped paper. Just too cluttered and distracting for me.

Don't know why there's a photo of a snowboarder on page 422 since it has nothing to do with the High Adventure bases.

On page 414, the labels of gas stove and cartridge stove are mixed up.

On page 396 and 398, the use of Diagonal Lashing is a big change from the previous edition and the picture of diagonal lashing does not match the words. It now says a Diagonal Lashing should be used "to bind poles at an angle other than a right angle" but the picture shows a right angle. Previous, the Diagonal Lashing was to be used to bind poles that don't touch, such as the crosspieces on the sides of a watchtower. Other online resources agree with the previous description.

On pafe 383, 'running end' is used in the terminology but then never used again in all the knot tieing instructions.

On page 370, maybe it's time to drop the Watch Method for finding directions - what scout has a watch with hands?

On page 369, the point of finding North is lost in all the names and dotted lines. Castor, Pollux, and Capella are cool, but not helpful here.

The reminder to go to www.bsahandbook.org shows up on practically every other page. Alright, I get it - there's a supporting website.
On checking out the website, lots of glitz and flash and links to supporting information.

Positivies:
Chapter 6 Nature is a great addition.

Chapter 7 Leave No Trace is just the seven principles, not much more. But, LNT is presented throughout the handbook in a good, integrated manner which will hopefully drive the points home.

Chapter 5 Aquatics has good info and images of important swimming strokes. I do wonder how it worked out for the guy diving on page 178. :-)

Chapter 4 First Aid has been expanded from 40 to 50 pages and has better images to boot.

Not having a chapter for each rank is a big change, but with the page references on each rank requirement in the back, the organization into Scoutcraft, Woodcraft, Campcraft works just fine.

I like the Camping and Service Logs on pages 444-447 but I don't understand why there are two of them. They should make it easier for scouts to remember what they've done.

The big question I have ongoing is: How good is the binding glue? Past handbooks have notoriously fallen apart during use. I hope extra water-resistant glue is used on this batch.

Scout On
Posted: 9:19 08-12-2009 432
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