Jason Cruse (jcruse@NEMONET.COM)
Wed, 23 Jul 1997 18:43:38 -0500
My wife and I were on our camps' staff a couple of years ago. I recall
being told that somehow nicknames were against youth protection. The
rationale we were given was that nicknames often are derogatory, in some
respect, and do not build the self-esteem of the youth. Therefore, they
should be avoided.
The message was given to the staff as whole, in order to set the example,
though it was stressed to the over-21 staff members, as adults.
We could do nothing to stop the nicknames in the troops, though we were to
stop it, if we could, amongst class members.
I personnally have not had a problem with it in my troop, given that the
names were not derogatory. I must add that the program director at camp
that year went too far, in my opinion--shortened names (Mike, Joe, etc)
were okay, but as far as he was concerned, it didn't matter if someone
really did go by "butch", we couldn't use it, because it was a nickname.
(this is the same program director who, upon further reflection upon and
interpretation of BSA policy, determined that if anyone was going to say
grace or any other prayer, and reference to deity at all had to be removed,
lest we offend. Regardless of how our religion suggests we pray, we had to
change it for him.)
Jason A. Cruse
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City