Re: Embarassed by the Uniform?
Robert Heller (RHeller@SWRI.EDU)
Thu, 9 Apr 1998 14:14:19 -0500
Of my two sons, neither is real keen on being seen in public wearing their
Scout uniforms, nor really being seen with me wearing mine. It is not so
much being embarassed, as having peers making fun of them. For a young
adolescent, bearing the brunt of teasing is next to death. Why do peers make
fun of them? why do adolescents make fun of each other? anything that points
them out as different can bring out the teasing. anything. Good grades, bad
grades, neat clothing, messy clothing, Scout uniforms, the list is endless.
Its a hard age, and one reason that it is so important to provide a safe
haven within a Scout unit.
My older son (Life Scout, Senior Patrol Leader, almost 15, 8th grader, team
lacrosse captain), accepts the wearing of his uniform and seems more resilent
to the teasing. Perhaps it is because he prides himself on his outdoor
skills (which include activities outside of Scouting, ie hunting and
fishing), and in South Texas, those skills are looked upon with favor. He
has had his share of being teased regarding "being a Scout," but he now
ignores his tormentors or responds with questions about outdoor skills: have
you ever? type questions.
My younger son (Star in the first year, Troop Scribe, just 12, 6th grader),
will wear his uniform only only only when he has too. As soon as a Scout
meeting is over, off comes the shirt, revealing a non-Scout theme tee shirt.
What's the difference? I dont know. It may just be a difference in level of
social maturity -- acceptance by peers, etc.
What I do know is that it is not embarassment, its reaction to social
pressure in the form of teasing. Its not new today, I bore the brunt of
being so teased -- about Scouting -- 30 years ago. Being teased about being
a Scout, about being a "do-gooder," in a culture that so often seems to
idolize other values -- the Simpsons, South Park, the Terminator, etc.
Off the soap box, with apologies.
Eagle Class of 71
Vigil Honor 72
I used to be a Bear -- gonna work my ticket if I can...
Scoutmaster Troop 59
Alamo Area Council (San Antonio, TX)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City