Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1998: Re: saluting
Fri, 25 Sep 1998 17:21:25 -0400
Despite my generally anti-formality attitude, I would have to say that I
actually think that some formality might actually be a good thing for a lot
of boys today. Not being Mr. Manners in any stretch of the imagination, nor
wishing to be, I nonetheless note a strong lack of basic etiquette and
"civil" politeness. People no longer know how to introduce one another.
Many do not know about hand shakes and how to use them.
I can't say I'm advocating that it necessarily be salutes and standing when
the SM enters and such, but perhaps there was some wisdom in the more formal
days of our country: not just of Scouts but everyone (more or less).
Should it be a national standard? No. I think each SM might have a better
sense of where his boys are and the best way of approaching it with his
personality and style. The boys who deal with me can expect a frequent
handshake with a greeting. And I make sure that I coach those who do not
know how to handshake well.
I hesitate to criticize a lot of things that SM's do based on personal
attitudes because it seems that no matter how much I don't like some things
some people do, no matter how much I can philosophize about whether it's
"Scout Spirit" or "Over-military" or "too informal" or whatever, it works
for them and the boys benefit from it. If it's clearly destructive to the
person (such as frequent public humiliation) boy do I ever speak out!