Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: MR.
Fri, 23 Apr 1999 12:51:44 -0400
<golden cliff wrote>
There is no requirement in Scouting that adults must be addressed as
"Mr." or "Mrs."
Some units do it that way, some don't. There's no right or wrong way,
it's up to each unit. My troop doesn't, my Scouts call me Cliff.
William Hillcourt was "Green Bar Bill", Daniel Carter Beard was "Uncle
Dan", and Lord Baden-Powell was "B-P". Not a "Mr." in the group.
Baden-Powell described a Scoutmaster as an older brother leading his
younger brothers in the game of Scouting. I know I've never called my
older brother by "Mr".
What is the Scouting purpose behind the requirement that a Scout
address a male, adult leader as Mr. _____? How does a Scout address
his Patrol Leader or Senior Patrol Leader where this is practiced?
Many years ago, when I was a Scout, calling an adult Mr. _____ was a
sign of respect. In my troop it just naturally happened that way.
While there were many Scouters who preferred to be addressed by their
first name, it was still considered courteous to address them as
adults. After all, isn't a Scout supposed to be courteous?
This is not the sort of thing I spend a lot of time correcting Scouts
on since most of them learn quickly what I expect from them. If they
happen to call me something other than Mr. Mako I don't mind as long
as they are being respectful. They also know that they have the right
to expect the same from me. That really is the key.
A big thing among some of my Scouts right now is "dissing." Not the
so-called game of coming up with the best put-down. Some of them think
every attempt to get their attention or speak to them in any way is an
attempt to "dis"-respect them. They think nothing of disrespecting
others, though, and tend to get defensive if you say anything. One way
I've found to correct this kind of behavior is to show the Scout that
you respect him, and that you expect the same from him. I do a lot of
SM Minutes and individual conferences on "A Scout Is Courteous,"
especially when I see a Scout treat his parents or family members
At the same time, I have Scouts who AUTOMATICALLY call me Mr. Mako
because of what their parents taught them. To these Scouts, calling me
by any other name would risk parental wrath. So, do you let each Scout
call you by whatever name they are comfortable with? I prefer to set a
single standard. They know what's expected, and what they can get away
with. I expect "Mr. Mako", they can get away with "Tony" as long as
they're respectful, and most of them have learned that "Hey You" will
get them much more attention than they wanted.
Yes, B-P, Uncle Dan, Green Bar Bill, and several others were able to
go through their lives without being called Mr. Baden-Powell, Mr.
Beard, or Mr. Hillcourt. Then again, these men had reputations that
commanded respect. Scouts, and non-Scouts for that matter, respected
these men for who they were and what they had done. Any youth who had
the chance to meet B-P would have addressed the many as Barber-Pole if
B-P had asked him to. Fortunately, I'm willing to admit that I don't
command that kind of respect just by walking in the room.
A. J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org , Scoutmaster Troop 381
Home of the Unofficial Win95 Boy Scout Desktop Theme,
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"