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Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Sep 9, 2019 4:38am
Board
Do not publish clues or stamp images that are not your own unless you have the owner's permission. Once again an enthusiastic newbie has posted images on social media. Bless their little hearts. What surprises me were the number of likes they got on the post . Are we just ignoring the code of conduct now? I feel very curmudgeonly about stomping on their enthusiasm so I haven’t responded to their post and I know there are people who don’t care if their images are shared but what is the solution?
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979286 by Mizscarlet
Sep 9, 2019 5:32am
Board
It annoys me, too, and if we were in a face-to-face situation, I would kindly, privately (but in front of one other person if possible) ask them to stop doing it and give them my reasons.
We aren't face-to-face.

This is a social site, too.
Name them? (notice it's a question ~ should we?)
Identify the area where they are boxing so those who care can hide their plants?
Report the post as offensive? After all, it is, and there is an articulable reason.
Send a personal email?
Post a public objection on the site where the images appear?

Has anyone had any success changing behavior or getting stamp images removed from other sites?
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979286 by Mizscarlet
Sep 9, 2019 6:28am
Board
When joining a FB letterboxing group (or other site) what do the Admins have for information?
Are there any hoops to jump through or can you just ask to be added to the group?

Do they list a Code of Conduct?
If so, is it similar to AQ's CoC?

Do the Admins enforce group rules?

Anyone care to share what FB asks and tells before one is allowed to join a letterboxing group?

How many Lb groups are there on FB?

Inquiring minds want to know.

LbNA
https://www.letterboxing.org/tou.php
AQ refers you back to LbNA and adds more details such as Leave No Trace.
https://www.atlasquest.com/about/rules/
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979296 by Grrly Girl
Sep 9, 2019 6:45am
Board
I searched the Girl Scout website looking for Letterboxing info.
No where did I see any mention of:
Code of Conduct
Maintaining or removing the newly planted box after the badge was earned.

Maybe the Girl Scouts should amend the badge requirements to include CoC and maintenance.
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979296 by Grrly Girl
Sep 9, 2019 6:52am
Board
There are actually quite a few different soical media groups for letterboxing depending on your location and interest. I am part of a few, but I agree with most of the group about not sharing for lots of reasons - but then everyone has a different reason for LBing as well. The exercise, the views, trying to be in a different boxer's shoes (which now sounds gross), the quantity of stamps, the artwork.... all valid reasons, but taking out the fun of finding something unique gets lost when it's posted publicly.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979297 by Grrly Girl
Sep 9, 2019 6:56am
Board
But then it's really up to the leaders to research the subject of the badge. Especially when it can impact others. I recommend that scouts try letterboxing through an event. That way they meet other boxers or get a mini meet so they can get tips and guidance from someone who knows. There are a bunch of boxers - myself included - that help troops out for this in their states.
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979286 by Mizscarlet
Sep 9, 2019 7:07am
Board
Maybe we need a check box on the Code of Conduct page that new boxers need to click on to acknowledge they reviewed the rules before they can create a trail name.

I know folks seldom if ever read the lengthy Apple disclaimers, so perhaps we can sneak in "Drawn & Quartered" as punishment for revealing images on social media.
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979290 by Maude
Sep 9, 2019 9:13am
Board
Has anyone had any success changing behavior or getting stamp images removed from other sites?

I would go with a personal e-mail first and copy the owner of the box who's image was posted (Does that make any sort of sense?)

After that, depends on the type of response!
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979286 by Mizscarlet
Sep 9, 2019 1:14pm
Board
You could just post the link to the respect page of the Code of Conduct and sit back and watch.

99% of the time they just don’t know about it because they never bother to look around AQ. Though there are those few who know and choose to ignore it.

I don’t see an easy solution. Though I do like that idea of people being unable to pick a trail name without reading it.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979297 by Grrly Girl
Sep 9, 2019 1:32pm
Board
With Girl Scouts there are more resources available then just the badge requirements, but in the end it really depends on how the specific council does things. In CT we have a letterboxing patch and reading the code of conduct is part of that patch. We are also putting a kit that leaders can order from council that takes them through all the steps of both the Brownie Badge and the GSofCT Patch. I'm putting the finishing touches on the Leader Guide for the box - I'll double check it and make the code prominent. Many girls in CT learn letterboxing from the Letterboxing hikes we run four times a year our at our Event coming up in a few weeks. And we have our own letterboxing Social site for leaders in CT.

But in general the big problem with Girl Scouts is that each council does their own thing!

LL
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979315 by Lowland Lass
Sep 9, 2019 3:20pm
Board
Not that this will go anywhere, but maybe GS national council should add, "Read, discuss and understands the Code of Conduct for Letterboxing" as one of the fundamental steps to earning the badge.
They can write their own Code of Conduct appropriate to the age group.
While I have my magic wand, add a maintenance step.
Can't have the badge until a maintenance check has been done one month after planting.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979315 by Lowland Lass
Sep 9, 2019 4:12pm
Board
But in general the big problem with Girl Scouts is that each council does their own thing!

That is because the badge requirements themselves don't specify these things. I've read them; they are basic in the extreme, and say nothing of retrieving or maintaining the box, or anything more specific than hiding it in the woods -- at least that I recall. It certainly lacks the finer nuances. That leaves it up to the individual councils by default. CT is lucky you are there!
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979314 by MissMoon
Sep 9, 2019 7:13pm
Board
Though I do like that idea of people being unable to pick a trail name without reading it.

If that is done, it will need to be short, not the whole Code of Conduct. Perhaps the three most important sentences, as a bulleted list.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979316 by Grrly Girl
Sep 10, 2019 8:30am
Board
Not that this will go anywhere, but maybe GS national council should add, "Read, discuss and understands the Code of Conduct for Letterboxing" as one of the fundamental steps to earning the badge

I've seen letterboxing kits for scouts for sale on Etsy. Each kit includes a carved stamp, logbook, and container. It seems that some scouts are able to "earn" their badge by buying these kits and hiding them.

I always thought they had to do the work of creating the box but that doesn't seem to be true for all of them.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979343 by MissMoon
Sep 10, 2019 10:00am
Board
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979345 by Grrly Girl
Sep 10, 2019 10:04am
Board
Is the person selling this a letterboxer? Is seems to go against the spirit of both scouting and Letterboxing.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979345 by Grrly Girl
Sep 10, 2019 10:12am
Board
Now they just need to find someone to plant the letterbox for them!
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979345 by Grrly Girl
Sep 10, 2019 11:35am
Board
Maybe they have s shopping badge.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979345 by Grrly Girl
Sep 10, 2019 1:34pm
Board
https://www.etsy.com/listing/163881095/scout-letterbox

At least they look like nice stamps! I wonder who gets a carving credit on the box?
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979352 by Kirbert
Sep 10, 2019 2:11pm
Board
I've met this letterboxer and she's very involved in letterboxing. Just by reading the information on the Etsy site, you can tell she understands letterboxing and is explaining it well to the buyers. I like this idea of the Scouts/Brownies having the option to buy "the full package" done correctly rather than having them plant boxes with silly and tiny store-bought stamps placed in a disposable container with a bunch of folder paper for a logbook, which I've found planted numerous times. So anything that helps letterboxers do it right sounds like a good idea to me.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979345 by Grrly Girl
Sep 10, 2019 2:28pm
Board
Apparently you don't need to do anything but spend a little money to get a badge.

I totally get where the sarcasm comes from here and in the other messages re: these Etsy boxes! However, for context we should consider a few things about the Brownie Scout program.

1) Brownies are girls aged 7-9.
2) The boxes are most likely being bought by their Troop leaders and then being hidden as a Troop activity.
3) Unlike Boy Scout (ages 11+) merit badges which are individualized and are single badges for a topic, many GS badges are designed to be done as group activities as part of a larger arc of similarly themed badges that spans their GS career. Later in this particular arc they will do a Geocache badge, then others as they progress through the age groups (Brownies, Juniors, Cadette, Senior). The Letterbox badge is for the youngest girls so the requirements are the simplest. Whatever they do as Cadettes and Seniors in this themed badge arc is probably more complex and puts more emphasis on the individual girl. I don't know what other badges there are for big girls after Geocaching.

My expertise here is that I came to letterboxing through my daughter's Brownie Troop. She lost interest but I kept it up. What her Troop leader did was had the girls make "stamps" by using foam stickers on little wood blocks, then had them go find a box that she had hidden just for them - nothing permanent. That was it, as far as I could tell.

Secondly, a colleague and I have been working on developing an Archaeology-themed set of badges for GS. The BS have an Archaeology badge but the GS do not and I have girls who come to our archaeology summer program and are disappointed not to be able to earn a badge. However, I have been somewhat annoyed with the '4-badge/tiered by age/must fit into a theme/best if done as a Troop (so the girls in last year's camp did not give my prototype badge a try)' system they have in Girl Scouts. We are still working on it, but GS is very slow to respond even though they say they are interested in having us develop this badge series. This is all off-topic, but you can see where my info comes from. I definitely agree with other posters that the I individual councils/troops do what they want! And the requirements for Brownies are very simplistic. But certainly they should discuss Code of Conduct as a troop.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979355 by detective
Sep 10, 2019 3:13pm
Board
A lot of what takes place in a Brownie troop is very dependent on the troop leaders as well as the councils.

Our troop is large so we split into two groups and hid temporary boxes for each other. It worked well except that my group made a mistake on our left vs right and the other half of our troop needed help finding the box. Ooops.

We started with the foam stamps too, but the girls weren't satisfied. We ended up carving real stamps. It was quite impressive. My girls are awesome.

As for the code of conduct, I did give them an age appropriate description of the rules. I stressed the leave no trace, stealth and hiding things well. We also mentioned doing maintenance on boxes we find as we box. Not sure I mentioned maintenance on our own boxes. That's a tough thing for 7 year olds. I did give the parents a hand out though. I'm pretty positive no one read it.

We're all volunteers. Stuff happens. None of us are experts on everything our girls decide to persue.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979355 by detective
Sep 10, 2019 4:47pm
Board
I would rather find a juvenile depiction of a cat done by a Brownie than a professionally done letterbox purchased for the sole purpose of learning about letterboxing and getting a badge.

When I hunt for a Brownie letterbox I expect the quality to be commensurate with the age of the troop, not a purchased product.

Seven to nine year old Scouts should be capable of producing the stamp and logbook and understand the difference.

My absolutely favorite stamp is from an exchange with a four year old carver.
I had to print his trail name so he could copy it into my logbook.
I have his first carve's first impression of his stamp.
I don't know which of us was happier with the exchange.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979356 by LROSEM
Sep 10, 2019 6:14pm
Board
I was originally under the impression that the main goal of the badge was planting a box -- choosing the spot, writing the clue, etc. So, really, is the fact that you bought the things in four different places so much better? At least this way, there is a hand-carved stamp, right?

But really, the badge is solving clues, finding and stamping into boxes, writing clues, making the box, and hiding it, so, yeah, the kit isn't really all that kosher. In fact, they are bypassing half the process. Even if the leaders are buying and planting them so they can have practice finding them, it doesn't save them all that much time, expense and effort, because they still have to teach them how to make their own box for the rest of the badge. Why not just have all those seeking the badge hide for each other? What am I missing?

I was noodling around and thought this site was excellent! And it's very thorough.

I remember thinking I wished the badge was for older girls. Then we stood a fighting chance of having them transition to real boxers. Newbies!
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979358 by Grrly Girl
Sep 10, 2019 6:15pm
Board
When I hunt for a Brownie letterbox I expect the quality to be commensurate with the age of the troop, not a purchased product.

That's what makes them so darn cute! That and the million teeny stamps without trail names taking up your entire logbook! They forget the part about having a trail name, I just realized.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979346 by Mizscarlet
Sep 10, 2019 6:20pm
Board
Is the person selling this a letterboxer? Is seems to go against the spirit of both scouting and Letterboxing.

This is the part where we all pretend we didn't just look up their trailname. Or fart in the elevator.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979355 by detective
Sep 11, 2019 5:26am
Board
My expertise here is that I came to letterboxing through my daughter's Brownie Troop. She lost interest but I kept it up.

This is our experience as well. My daughter at the time was ambitious and she earned all the badges. We looked at the letterboxing badge, at first I put it off because it looked "weird", but once I started reading the requirements, it sounded fun, and we got started right away.
We later helped lead the troop to make foam stamps, decipher clues, and exchange. They didn't get to hide a box because it started raining that year and canceled our hike to do this, and the leader never rescheduled. Oh well.

Whatever they do as Cadettes and Seniors in this themed badge arc is probably more complex and puts more emphasis on the individual girl. I don't know what other badges there are for big girls after Geocaching.

These badges are in the Adventure line, so after the juniors have Geocashing, the Cadettes have Night Owl - which is sharing constellation stores, talking to someone who works at night, among other night related activites. We went to a observatory and looked through telescopes. The Seniors have traveler - which is trip planning I believe.

So, the letterboxing badge is designed to get the girls engaged with being outside and planning. It's more artistic and "craft" related to engage the younger girls.
It would be great if the GS badges had helpful tips for the leaders, and they might now in the volunteer tool kit. I don't have access to it since I'm not a leader to see if the letterboxing badge meeting plans might mention maintance and ettiquette.
But most of the GS badges are upto the leaders to deliver and interpret. There is usually not a lot of help from councils and it's more of a "do your best to get the spirit of the badge" and have fun.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979362 by Wry Me
Sep 11, 2019 7:45am
Board
Or fart in the elevator.

"One must never own up to a fart in public. That is the unwritten law, the single most stringent protocol of American etiquette. Farts come from no one and nowhere; they are anonymous emanations that belong to the group as a whole, and even when every person in the room can point to the culprit, the only sane course of action is denial."
~The Brooklyn Follies, by Paul Auster
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979368 by MissMoon
Sep 11, 2019 9:52am
Board
I prefer to turn and look in the direction of the accused.
It couldn't possibly be me.
I cannot turn and look at myself.
Impossible.
Accordingly, it was someone else.
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979286 by Mizscarlet
Sep 11, 2019 11:03am
Board
We should all remember this is a fun hobby with preferred expectations. Everyone interprets "the rules" differently. It is wonderful the hobby continues to gain new letterboxers. We must remember they are new, often excited, and happy to share their new journey.
If a letterbox is being displayed without permission it is best to privately suggest they contact the owner, review the code of conduct, and maybe consider a vague post in place of photos. Some don't understand that others don't want the image spoiled or shared. Educating new boxers politely and privately is better than embarrassing them publicly.
As for creating and selling letterboxes...this is fabulous as well. Many donate and sell their carves to others. The particular boxer "unnamed" is very ethical and dedicated to this hobby. She is a positive influence.
I can't speak for practices of Girl Scouts as i have never been involved. But with anything else...it goes back to the Leader and their guidance.
We need to be a welcoming, accepting community if we wish to encourage and grow this hobby.