scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Sir Names?
Bob Lazell (rlazell@QED.NET
Mon Apr 10 2000 - 17:59:58 CDT
Wow, great question!
I perfer "Oh Grand Exhualted Lord and Master"
Seriously, I think this is an imortant issue that embodies vital issues to
our mission. I firmly believe that the default "respectful" way for anyone,
but especially our youth, to address any adult is by Mr. Ms. or Mrs.
(Dr....etc.) This is what we require in our Troop. However, as Lord BP
said, a Scoutmaster should be "of the boys" not above them (hey, on the list
only a few months and I'm quoting BP!) So, my personal practice is, as a
boy gets older and we naturally have more and more shared experience (read,
become friends) more leeway is given.Until a boy turns 18, they don't call
me "Bob," but, by the time a boy is, say, 14 or 15, and especially if they
have acheived a leadership position, they can, in accepted cicumstances,
call me "Laz" or, what has been most popular, "SM." These circumstances are
exactly what you would expect; non-formal situations such as on the trail,
or a around a campfire, or at say, at the PLC where all the boys are older.
The older boys with this privlidge learn that it is incumbant on them to
model for the younger guys, so, in whole troop situations, they do revert to
So much of Scouting is positive male role modeling and certainly, one of the
"rewards" for a boy growing older in the Scouting environment is that they
do learn to become more comfortable with men, learn the ways and mores of
the tribe, so to speak . With that growth and knowledge should come the
recognition that they are soon to leave boyhood behind and by rights be able
to call us by our given names. I think it is my job to be a transitional
figure in their lives; a SM should be one of the first adults a boy should
feel comfortable calling other than Mr.
An aside: My wife is a Professor with her Ph.D. we do not share the same
last name. To save the boys the stammering confusion of what to call her,
she has been dubbed "The Doc" for most situations (she is not a Scouter).
If they refer to her formally it is Professor or Dr. So in our troop, they
get disabused early of any notion they may have had that women are somehow
inferior or belong "in the home"
SM Troop 127
VAlley Cottage, NY