Re: Scout Handshake
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 16 Sep 1992 18:41:19 CDT
Okay..okay...okay...here it is, in order according to the resources thaty
I have on hand...starting with 1938 and moving forward from there.
My resources include the Scout Handbooks, Scoutmasters' Handbooks and
"the Boy Scout Encloypedia" (published for the BSA by Rand McNally).
Okay...here we go.......
"By agreement of the Scout Leaders throughout the world, Boy Scouts greet
Brother Scouts with a warm LEFT HAND clasp. This means of greeting is also
used in connection with all Scout gatherings. It is intended to have this
different method serve to remind Scouts that they belong to a world-wide
brotherhood and that everywhere throught the world Scouts are following
this method of extending greetings as evidence of their interest in Scouts
in all parts of the world."
"In America, Scouts extend the LEFT HAND with the little finger separated
from the others (sounds familiar, huh???). The hand clasp is a warm grip,
like any sincere handshake, the only difference being that the little finger
is separated and interlocked with the little finger of the person with whom
you are shaking with. "
"The Scout Handclasp is made with the LEFT HAND, the hand nearest the heart,
the hand of friendship. When you travel in foriegn countries, or when you
greet a Scout from another country, you use a straight left hand clasp. In
America you use your left hand with the three middle fingers in the same
position as in the Scout Sign. Spread the little finger and thumb apart.
Interlock your fingers with the fingers of your friend, and clasp them
firmly around his hand.
(ditto as 1948)
(ditto as 1962:)
"THE SCOUT HANDCLASP-- It is made like a right handshake or greeting except
Scouts use the LEFT HAND. The little finger is NOT (my emphasis) separated
from the other fingers. The handclasp for Scouts in the United States is
the same as for Scouting in all the countries of the world (which may explain
the change at this point...the "improved Scouting program" point).
(ditto as 1972. This was the year of the interim changes to the Scouting
"The Scout handclasp is a token of friendship. That is why it is made with
the LEFT HAND. This is the hand nearest to the heart, the hand of friendship.
To give the Scout handclasp, extend your left hand with the thumb separated
from the other four fingers. Grasp your friend's hand and clasp it firmly.
(In other words, this is a regular handshake. This period starts the BACK
TO SCOUTING BASICS program). "
1982 to 1989:
(ditto to the 1979 explaination above).
From the Webelos Scout Book (1991 Printing):
To give the Scout handclasp, use your left hand instead of the right. Do not
interlock your fingers. The Scout handclasp is a token of friendship. That's
why you use your left hand--the one nearest your heart.
1991 version of the _Boy Scout Handbook_ :
"The Scout handclasp is a token of friendship. That is why it is made with the
LEFT HAND, the hand nearest your heart. Give the Scout handclasp by extending
your LEFT HAND to another Scout and firmly grasping his hand."
As far as I know, there has NOT been any changes made to the Scout Handclasp
since 1991. ALL of the 1992 printings of my publications here state the same
as the 1991 versions above.
The Order of the Arrow is and always will be where the traditions of the BSA
are kept. This is one of the reasons why the OA (Ordeal) Handclasp is what it
is. Another reason is to remind you and the other Arrowman of the Obligation
that you undertook when you became a member of the Order.
For everyone else, the Scout Handclasp has always (except for a short period
of time in which printing error made ours quite unique!) been in line with
the worldwide Scouting handclasp. This explains why I can shake hands with
Scouts from Great Britain and Germany and get the same, left-handed shake back.
I hope that this clears up the handshaking. Remember, our primary resources
are our commissioner staffs....and the handbooks and manuals that support the
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City