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  1. #1
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    A poor choice of words but Prince Edward is right

    There seems to have been a bit of controversy over Prince Edwards comments about the risk of death being part of the attraction of DofE.

    But does anyone else, like me, think that he has a point? I think that there is no doubt that his precise wording was perhaps a bit undiplomatic. Kids have died on adventurous activities and perhaps he could have made his point with different words vut I think he has hit the nail on the head.

    Kids do want an adventure which is why DofE, like scouting, guiding, cadets etc are all growing. And kids aren't stupid, they know that things like climbing or canoeing can be dangerous, but that is ultimately why they do it. They don't want to be wrapped in cotton wool. I remember the hard time I got at school for being a Venture Scout, then when I showed some pictures of me ice climbign in Scotland the piss taking reduced dramatically. Suddenly it was taken seriously.

    Prince Edward could probably do with a few words of advice on his wording but I think it would be a shame if his poor choice of words undermined a very important point that he was making.

  2. #2
    is it senior or very old TRH's Avatar
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    No I think he was wrong. Obviously taking lessons from his dad.

    ASL, 81st St Bartholomews (South Belfast)

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    Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kezzy's Avatar
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    When I am instructing on DofE I always tell youths that death is always an option on expeditions. That usually gets their attention.
    We only have 2 rules in our group:
    Rule 1 - I'm the Boss and
    Rule 2 - if in doubt refer to Rule #1

  4. #4
    Senior Member fmountford's Avatar
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    I think it was not right to say that but I also feel that its the more controversial stuff that seems to get the headlines and publicity.

    Just look at things that have been in the media recently
    Peter Duncan's appointment and being a pron star (supposedly)
    Scout and Guide Sexual Health
    Phones 4 U Scout Leader advert
    Bear Grylls appointment and Hotels
    Scout leaders sacked for not accepting Girls

  5. #5
    Senior Member cbKernow's Avatar
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    risk of death? Christ, my lot aren't going outside from now on. Too much paperwork if one of them croaks it!!


    I think being out of your comfort zone is definately a thrill, I wouldn't like to advertise any of our or DofE activities as being "potentially deadly". Theres a risk of death everytime you cross the road, mak a cup of tea or turn on the telly, but we shouldn't dwell on it too much.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRH View Post
    No I think he was wrong. Obviously taking lessons from his dad.
    I agree with Trevor here - it doesn't sound like Prince Edward's own thoughts at all! (I worked very closely with him in his younger days when he was the 'very hands-on' patron of the 'National Youth Music Theatre'.) I suspect that he is plugging some 'committee line' here which I think is wrong. I know what they are trying to say but this seems very clumsy and insensitive (and 'insensitive' is not an adjective I would level at Prince Edward. He is always very aware of the feelings of others which is where he differs totally from his dad!). 'Join the D of E Scheme, you might kill youself!' is hardly a selling point'. It has about as much appeal as saying 'Smoke 40-a-day, you might kill yourself!'

    I used to be a pretty useful skiier (qualified instructor). Skiing was my great love and my major 'thrill seeking' pastime. Of course I knew that I could kill myself doing it if I was vey unlucky but that was not a reason for doing it - indeed it was a major downside to it but the 'upside' of the sport outweighed the slight risk. I would never have said that the risk of death was an attraction to anybody. It was always firmly in the 'against' scale when weighing up the activity. It was just that the 'for' scale outweighed the 'against.

    (I still believe that Prince Edward was toeing a 'party line' and that those views are not his own!)

  7. #7
    Account Closed weefatbob's Avatar
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    I think your original point (if I have picked it up correctly) is a right one - young people these days do not take seriously the risks involved in hill walking and other adventurous activities. Our Group doesn't really have much of a problem since one of the boys was seriously injured a few years ago (when away with his parents I add) in the hills.

    But I think young people think if there are ropes, and mobile phones and GPS machines then nothing can surely go wrong - but it can.

    I think, in his own way, he was touching on an important subject. But granted, he didn't word it in the best way at all!

    Bob

  8. #8
    Scout Leader (Skip) Skip.Craig's Avatar
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    It's on Radio 2 Jeremy Vine at lunch time today

    They are going to play the full quote and then discuss
    Craig

    Scout Leader, 70th Portsmouth, Hampshire
    Group Scout Leader, 4th Kenton, GLMW


  9. #9
    Senior Member Watcher's Avatar
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    Having read a reasonable summary on the BBC I tend to agree with the Prince. The DofE is 'serious' and that's its attraction. If it wasn't then the YP wouldn't do it and the Gold Award would not have the standing it does. This is just the media getting all excited about what they hope is a story. Not much of one really.

    Matthew
    GSL 1st Ribchester (Saint Wilfrid's) Scout Group,
    Clitheroe District, East Lancashire

  10. #10
    Senior Member Prodigal Son's Avatar
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    Having just heard the quote on Jeremy Vine, I have to say, in context, it pretty much sums up the DofE.

    Maybe, we should look at the press for using the quote out of context?

    Why shouldn't the risks be told, it is possible to die doing extreme, (and not so) adventure. It is also possible to have a hell of a lot of fun doing things for yourself, learning about your own capabilities, your shortfalls and make mistakes without dying!!

    We are cushioning our young people from the realities of life, taking away the responsibility of self! We must expose the youngsters to adventure in order to give them a chance at understanding that Mother Nature can bite back!!

    It is the greatest tragedy when a death happens on an organised activity be it scouting or Dof E. But the fact that it is such a very small number of deaths is a testament to the organisations and the skills of the adults when planning and overseeing the activities. We don't allow the young people to just go off and ignorantly face whatever dangers face them, we train them to be responsible and look for the dangers whilst doing expeditions and such.

    Life is a risk. Get on with it!!

    Edited to add: the times I have learnt the most is when I looked back and thought "Blimey, that was close, I wont be doing that again!!"
    Last edited by Prodigal Son; 30-10-2009 at 11:39 AM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I think that the taking on a challenge with the ultimate cost to the loser is indeed a motivator for a great many people.

    In the extremes in most outdoor activities kayaking/ canoeing, sailing, ski-ing, snowboarding, rafting, scuba diving, parascending, hang gliding, climbing there is a real and high risk of not coming back in one piece.

    Sure, when kids set off on their Bronze DoE or even their silver or Gold, if all they are doing is ticking boxes, then the risk that they will expose themselves to is limited. However, if they get hooked on an activity, they will acknowledge that there is a high risk, they will accept that risk and that knowledge is what makes them sharp and makes them improve their skills so that they can constantly push the envelope.

    Sometimes things go tits up. Our local lad who was killed climbing being one. It was very moving at his memorial to hear everyone, including his father say how he would not have changed a thing. My own son came home from kayaking with a dislocated shoulder. I've seen the video of the incident and heard the pop as his shoulder came apart. His aim is to get it sorted and go back to the same bit of river and beat the rock that took his shoulder out.

    Not because he wants to risk getting hauled out by Mountain rescue again, but because he has to beat the challenge. Me, I'd have let nature win that one.

    I've known plenty of young people in high risk sports who when asked about the cost of losing, have all smiled and said, something along the lines of, that's the challenge, beating the risk, pushing the envelope. Most older particpants have a less sanguine approach though.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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  12. #12
    Scout Leader (Skip) Skip.Craig's Avatar
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    The whole idea of adventurous activity is there is a small risk and we all know what the risk could be and that is why we have forms to fill out should there be a death on a scouting activity D of E is not that much different

    My favourite quote on adventure is:-

    " It’s when you’re safe at home that you wish you were having an adventure. When you’re having an adventure you wish your were safe at home. "
    Craig

    Scout Leader, 70th Portsmouth, Hampshire
    Group Scout Leader, 4th Kenton, GLMW


  13. #13
    Senior Member Raksha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    My own son came home from kayaking with a dislocated shoulder. I've seen the video of the incident and heard the pop as his shoulder came apart. His aim is to get it sorted and go back to the same bit of river and beat the rock that took his shoulder out.

    Not because he wants to risk getting hauled out by Mountain rescue again, but because he has to beat the challenge. Me, I'd have let nature win that one.
    Yup, I recognise that attitude. Will broke his arm badly coming off his mountain bike. When it was healed properly some 12 weeks later, the first thing he did was go and ride the same spot again (without telling me!!). Because he wanted to prove to himself that he could do it.
    The truth is rarely pure and never simple - Oscar Wilde

  14. #14
    GSL/ESL(YL)/TA Mark W's Avatar
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    ...that's not what he said....

    As ever, having listened to the interview, what Prince Edward said and what is being reported are two entirely different issues.
    If it was easy, it wouldn't be so much fun...
    GSL 1st Aylburton & Lydney, TA, ESL(YL), District Campsite Warden & webmanager .....only 1 hour a week, they said (not pointing out that was what was left)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    As ever, having listened to the interview, what Prince Edward said and what is being reported are two entirely different issues.
    Having now heard the actual interview on which the report was based, the reports by the press beggar belief. They are about as loosely based on Edward's words as 'The Life of Brian' is loosely based on St Matthew's Gospel! Do these reporters think that we are all morons who don't notice what somebody actually says but can only 'get' a story if they 're-present' it as a series of out of context sound-bites twisted to put their own slant on things?

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