Re: Knots or NOT
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 7 Oct 1992 14:51:57 CDT
(* Jessiann's laughing out loud!*)
The reason she's laughing is because last night was a perfect example of
Don's comment. I agree and disagree with him on this point....but I bring
last night up as an example of what can happen when this "situation" happens
Last night, after having an extremely difficult day at classes, Jessica and
I attended the Roundtable meeting here in town. Well...thanks to the
ineptude of yours truly, we made the last half of the meeting (after driving
around told thinking that "Memorial" was in the name of the church where the
meeting was to be held).
When we finally arrived, we both went first to where a demonstration was being
held for WEBELOS Den leaders and assistants. We then went inside (it was too
cold for her) and tried to find where the Boy Scouts were to have their meeting.
We settled with sitting in on the Cub Scout Roundtable instead. We got there
as they were finishing up the game and as we sat there in the corner (by the
waterfountain at the least!), the Cub Roundtable commissioner and one of the
staff members started talking about knots....(uniformed one, of course). Seeing
my uniform, he immediately went back to get me and bring me up in front of the
30 or so Cub Scouters in the room....and then the showing-off started!
(*Jessiann stated "gag me big time...he loved it!*)
Then after that was over, then he gave out some awards and then the meeting
broke for a few minutes while they waited for the Boy Scouters to finish their
meeting.....(we stary there because one of the Boy Scouters--who ducked out
as soon as their meeting was over with--had a patch for me and I had one for
Bill!)...then everyone including the DE flew to me and started talking with
Now...you have to visualize this. Here I am, sitting, making no noise whatsoeve
r, with my dress shirt on (*Jessi says "glowing, as in a beacon flashing in
a lighthouse*) and she's there with a nice set of clothes on, disappearing into
the wallpaper because she is not even recognized as being there!!
She was insulted and cryed two times and left the room during this ordeal.
I was insulted too...because everytime I would bring up the fact that this was
HER first meeting and HER first Roundtable, the discussion would mysteriously
come back to me.
We *did* manage to meet several people there and they did manage to talk with
both of us, not treating the lady like she was invisible...but they didn't go
out of their way to really welcome her.
It was like she didn't exist because a) she didn't have a uniform (there
were many Scouters there without a uniform!) and b) she didn't have all of the
"bells and whistles" (her term, not mine!) on a uniform even if she had one.
A point of order.....there were several Scouters with lots of square knots,
patches, insignia, etc. etc.....but there were only three black/African
Americans in attendance..the other two were bare in appearance compared to me.
Further, under the dress shirt was another shirt with less on it as far as
insignia is concerned....I wore it because I felt that perhaps I would be
"underdresssed" for this meeting. I didn't get the chance to wear it because
everyone was hovering over me!
After the meeting we discussed the impact of my choice in uniforming for this
meeting....Jessica stated that "I could have come in there, jumped on the
table, stripped naked and still nobody would of noticed because you came in
looking like I went through a nuclear distaster and glowing brightly!"
I stated that we should go to another Roundtable in a nearby city, whereby I
would wear the barest Scout uniform I have (I call it my "scouter red" shirt.
Story about that was placed on the list before...(*laughter*) ) and STILL
I would be approached by everyone there because I'm new...and different.
She stated that this was really humulating and it didn't make her anixous to
work with Scouting. She wasn't jealous (oh, maybe a little but not that much).
It was the fact that people pay attention to "the bells and whistles" more than
the person wearing the bells and whistles.
I could have went there with no uniform, but yet I went there in full uniform
to set the example as a Scouter should. This was the most extreme instance of
attendance at a Scouting event that we have encountered. Don, I do have
several Scout shirts with various amounts of "bells and whistles" on them.
I have two shirts that I have almost nothing on them. I go camping and
to outdoor events wearing different shirts (and I admit, partly for the impact
of wearing certain things). We have had this discussion about the merits and
demerits of wearing "everything" (and to be really honest, I don't have
"everything" I am supposed to wear on that particular shirt!! If I did, I
would REALLY look like a Christmas Tree!) on the shirt.
I agree with you that BSA Scouts look like Christmas trees because we have
MUCH MORE AWARDS than other nation's Scouts do. We have many more opportunities
for advancement than Scouts from other nations and we have several different
avenues (the Order of the Arrow, the aquatics awards, the Philmont treks,
the leadership programs) for advanced work than Scouts from other nations.
I also disagree with you that we shouldn't have much to wear because that is
one of the "drawing cards" that Scouts and Scouters join Scouting for. WE
ALL WANT TO LOOK LIKE CHRISTMAS TREES! We all want to look the part of knowing
what wer're doing, even if we don't! Why do you think that the BSA spent all
that time working on full-color badges and insignia for their membership and
then placed them on light khahi uniforms?? Scouts love to wear things that o
others can see and that helps them to enjoy the programs better.
Bottom line.....I don't need any stinkin' badges in order to go camping or
hiking either....but it would help if I traveled that long a distance to get
something tanigble that I can trade later on!
Jessica was so upset that she wanted to immediately find the Girl Scout office
and ask them where they need help at!
(*I am trying to keep her in the BSA fold...but the fiasco last night kinda
placed a deep ditch in the way!*)
Oh yeah.....why are DEs so damned pushy about getting blacks in their programs??
Does it look good or something??? *laughter* You people have similar problems>
(sorry this is long....but it had to be said. Thanks Don!)
Settummanque!@ For the record, I have seventeen square knots, fifteen of which
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City