Skip to Content
Register · Login
About Theme

A Letterboxing Community

Search Edit Search

Read Thread: Code of conduct

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.
Re: Code of conduct
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979370 by GypsyLadybug
Sep 11, 2019 6:03pm
Board
Yes, above all we need to be kind and welcoming. We might disagree about the details but we should try and remember we were all newbies once.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979352 by Kirbert
Sep 12, 2019 5:02pm
Board
It’s a nice kit. The description says it helps fulfill the last requirement for the badge. There are more requirements - four more - before they earn the badge.

I came into letterboxing with my then-Brownie. She’s a second year junior now, with ~400 finds. She’s much more interested in finding the boxes than stamping and carving. Lol. But as a leader, I try to ensure that all the scouts I go out with know the leave no trace principals, and are respectful of boxes and hiding spots too.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979345 by Grrly Girl
Sep 13, 2019 6:35am
Board
As a Lifetime Girl Scout, previous Brownie leader, avid letterboxer and facilitator who teachs a letterboxing class to adults and girls - I can tell you that the badge requirements are such that the girls are to create their own stamp not purchase one. Perhaps 1. the folks on Etsy should not market these items and 2. troop leaders should know better than to buy them.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979361 by Wry Me
Sep 13, 2019 6:38am
Board
When I teach this to adults, I suggest 1 troop stamp instead of 12 individual stamps. My troop had 1 troop stamp!

It's an education issue.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979345 by Grrly Girl
Sep 13, 2019 7:03am
Board
Apparently I need to set up an etsy shop and start selling these!
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979411 by NLW
Sep 13, 2019 8:46am
Board
When I teach Girl Scouts, I always have them make their own stamps (woodblock and foam) and encourage exchanges. And I do suggest to leaders they have a single troop stamp for boxing in the wild. At camp I let them all stamp in and limit the number of boxes with logbooks (one per series), but at the camps I keep up a pretty good maintenance schedule! I also put ink in all the boxes at camp (letting them know this is not typical in the wild) - I think it prevents more problems that way, but again only because I do regular maintenance (and buy ink pads by the gross/case).

LL
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979410 by NLW
Sep 13, 2019 8:47am
Board
I’ve been shopping on Etsy for years and it’s not like it used to be. It’s gotten much bigger with I think different owners than the original people. Many shop owners are unhappy and many have left. You see items that clearly have copyright issues and unless a shop gets reported Etsy allows it to continue selling. They allow sales of lots of stuff that should not be listed and a ton of stuff that is clearly not handmade or original.
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979366 by photopam
Sep 13, 2019 11:20am
Board
Haven't been in Girl Scouts in maybe 10 years or more. I had been enrolled in GS for 34 years. I stopped volunteering as a trainer just after the new journeys program started... but I did help teach a mini event for the service unit we are in about letterboxing. Code of conduct was 1st. It went well and we short term planted boxes for them to find. One of the PIA mom's got mad at the Service Unit Manager (my kid) and told the council that we were teaching kids to sneak and hide things from the community. Oh and lie too. She ended up being a campfire leader...LOL
Re: Code of conduct & Brownie Scouts
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #979412 by Fantastic Mrs. Fox
Sep 13, 2019 2:23pm
Board
Seems to me that letterboxers other than Brownie Scouts might be interested. It looks like a good package for any letterboxer who's put off by carving, painting, etc., and just wants to try planting.