Archive for September, 2009

From a tweet from ScoutsAustralia, the latest JOTA-JOTI bulletin (24 September 2009)

It’s not too late to get involved!

It’s Not Too Late
There’s still time. Your most urgent action now is to tell people that the event is on, how to get there etc. There are many sources of information about JOTA-JOTI, however the primary source for Australia is at http://www.scouts.com.au – look under the INTERNATIONAL menu item. This site has information and links to information that you will need for a successful JOTA-JOTI.



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Water safety

A HORROR year for drowning which claimed 302 Australian lives has prompted urgent calls from the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia for increased parental awareness, a greater emphasis on swimming and water safety education, and extreme caution when swimming in rivers, lakes and dams to halt the rising death toll.
2009 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report [1],
Royal Life Saving Society – Australia

Explain the “buddy” system and basic rules for safe swimming.
(Swimming Achievement Badge)


In older children aged between 5 and 14, more than half of all drowning deaths occurred in rivers and almost three-quarters of those who died were boys. Too many children aren’t being given the information and skills to accurately judge the risks posed by natural waterways. …
— Rob Bradley, [3]
Royal Life Saving Society – Australia CEO

Using a personal flotation device (PFD) demonstrate the Heat Exposure Lessening Posture (HELP) for two minutes.
(Swimming Achievement Badge)


… The basic paradigm of aquatic lifesaving is to affect a rescue, without placing oneself at risk. Twenty-five fit, untrained adults were recruited to assess their lifeline throwing abilities. Results from 190 competitors as participants in the Line Throw events at the National Australian Pool Lifesaving Competition 2009 were analyzed for speed, efficacy, and accuracy. It takes a medium time of 35 s for an untrained bystander to throw a lifeline. Only 20% can throw a line within 2 m of the target at a first attempt. In the heat of the moment, 20% do not secure the end of the flung rope. Trained children can affect a 10 m accurate throw and pull a potential victim to safety with a medium elapsed time of 23 s. …
“Flinging the Squaler” Lifeline Rescues for Drowning Prevention [4]
John H. Pearn, Richard C. Franklin
International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education 3(3), August 2009

Explain and demonstrate a rescue method, the recovery position and the importance of getting adult help.
(Swimming Achievement Badge)


[1] 2009 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report (2009-Sep-14) [Royal Life Saving Society – Australia]
[2] 2009 Royal Life Saving Society national drowning report (PDF) (2009-Sep-14) [Royal Life Saving Society – Australia]
[3] 2009 Royal Life Saving Society national drowning report (2009-Sep-15) [Australian Policy Online]
[4] “Flinging the Squaler” Lifeline Rescues for Drowning Prevention (Abstract) IJARE, 3(3), August 2009, Copyright © 2009 [IJARE]

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For the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary, there is a new theme for the 2009 Fall recruitment season – Words to Live By. Based upon the 12 points of the Scout Law, the new theme also marks the kick-off of a widespread public relations campaign including new videos advertising Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing!

A New Recruitment Campaign
A new national recruitment campaign is coming, and it will motivate more young people to join Scouting. It will energize your staff and volunteers, parents, and kids. Our new campaign will give you the right tools to find and create tomorrow’s leaders.

Words To Live By


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Carrying a knife?

I was very surprised to hear the following statements from the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police on the Jon Faine radio program [1] on Monday Morning (10-Aug-2009); from the interview it would appear that anyone carrying a knife is planning on using it as an offensive weapon.

We are very concerned about a growing knife carrying culture starting to emerge here in Victoria.
— Simon Overland [2]
Chief Commissioner, Victoria Police

We need to clearly indicate that carrying a knife is not ok, let alone using one.
— Simon Overland [2]
Chief Commissioner, Victoria Police

… “I’m concerned about a 9.1 per cent increase in robberies where a knife was produced,” he said.
“We’ve seen the trend in other countries, such as the UK, where knife crime has increased, and become one of the most significant public order issues.
“We need to address this issue now, and these tougher random search powers will help us avoid similar trends.” …
{Simon Overland} [3]

It is disingenuous to describing all knives as weapons, a knife is just a tool. As with any tool there is a correct handling procedure and a user should have training to use it safely and understand it’s uses. Overland does towards the end of the interview mention the “without a lawful excuse” clause.

In Victoria all knives are controlled weapons, and as such illegal, unless you have a legal use for them (eg. eating your dinner) giving you a “lawful excuse”.

controlled weapons‘ – which means a knife, other than a knife that is a prohibited weapon, plus the seven weapons listed in Schedule 2 of the Control of Weapons Regulations 2000 (Vic)

A ‘Lawful excuse’ in Victoria means:
* the pursuit of any lawful employment, duty or activity;
* participation in any lawful sport, recreation or entertainment; and
* the legitimate collection, display or exhibition of weapons.

It must also be taken into consideration that a person must not carry a regulated weapons unless it is carried in a safe and secure manner consistent with the lawful excuse for which it is possessed or is carried or is to be used. It is also important that when carrying a knife it should not be concealed (hidden).

Granted it is not lawful to carry a knife for the purpose of self-defence – but there are many more reasons to be carrying a knife. In Scouting we will normally be carrying a knife for sport or recreation purposes. The knife that we are using will also be either a fixed blade or folding knife.

“Correcting bad habits cannot be done by forbidding or punishment.”
— Lord Robert Baden-Powell
Founder of Scouting

Swiss Army knives, “scout” knives and pocketknives, as well as knives used in the course of work duties, are not prohibited when used in a lawful manner.

Perhaps if we were to instruct an educate youth on the use of knifes as tools, and the correct use of them as a tool we would prevent more knife crime than blowing hot air in the press? Perhaps a focus on the crime and stricter penalties for committing a crime – not more political posturing and meaningless amnesties [5] would be in order.

I think we’ll finish the post with the following;

Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.
(A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.)
— Seneca the Younger

[2] Hectic 10-8-09 (MP3) (2009-Aug-10) [ABC Melbourne]
[3] New weapons search powers for Vic police (2009-Aug-09) [ABC News]
[4] Australasian Knife Collectors (National Knife Collectors -Australia)
and the Victorian Prohibited Weapons Legislation
[5] Hand in weapons ‘no questions asked,’ police urge (2009-Sep-14) [The Age]

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Via the jota-joti-australia Yahoo Group;

hi all

It’s almost upon us!

Some hints to improve your JOTA-JOTI experience

First – visit http://www.scouts.com.au to see information and links for JOTA and JOTI. All you needed to know but were afraid to ask!

Second – make sure your Amateur Radio Operator AND you “computer guy”
also visit the site for info.

Third – find out from your State organisers when the broadcasts of the Governor General’s address will be held. Dont forget to participate in the callbacks.

Fourth – Register your group at jotajoti.org

Fifth – have fun. Put plenty of photos of your fun in your blog at jotajoti.org

For those doing JOTA, look on Echolink for Scout stations and repeaters.

Good luck with JOTA and JOTI – I”ll post more info here as I receive it

JOTA-JOTI Coordinator
(posted: 9th October 2008 )

[1] JOTA-JOTI … The world’s largest Scout activity! [Scouts Australia]
[2] 52nd Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) – 16-18 October 2009 [Scouts Australia]
[3] 13th Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) – 16-18 October 2009 [Scouts Australia]
[4] JOTA-JOTI Registration and Weblogs [Scouts Australia]
[5] jotajoti.wordpress.com

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From the VicScout newsletter September 2009;

The theme for JOTA-JOTI this year is Global Warming. Some helpful hints about how to make the event a success can be found here https://www.vicscouts.asn.au/Branch/Info/Newsletter/JOTA-JOTI.pdf
— Bob Bristow
JOTA-JOTI Coordinator – Scouts Australia


Climate Change Challenge “C3″

World Scouting’s communication theme for this year is environment, given our work and the worldwide focus on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP 15) in Copenhagen 7 – 18 December.
Therefore the “C3” is an excellent opportunity to show to the world the efforts of millions of Scouts to protect the environment and take positive action against climate change. JOTA is a real testimony to the international dimension of Scouting, where young people not only learn about new technologies, they can understand that there are millions of Scouts all over the world sharing the same vision: creating a better world!

JOTA 2009 Theme: Climate Change Challenge “C3” [www.scout.org]

In order to complete the Climate Change Challenge (“C3”) a JOTA participant should:

  1. . Help your JOTA radio station to become a “green” radio station. Is your radio station environmentally friendly? Can you reduce the carbon footprint of the radio station?
  2. Discuss with 2 different people from 2 different countries about what actions can you do to reduce your environmental footprint
  3. Learn about an environmental problem found close to the JOTA radio station and write down a possible action to improve the situation.
  4. BONUS: build yourself the most environmentally friendly radio: the apple radio [PDF].

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