scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Fun with New Names
Kevin E. Johnson (KevinKnSC@AOL.COM
Fri May 05 2000 - 17:30:33 CDT
In a message dated 5/5/00 12:26:58 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
> While many of the names tend to relate to "scatology", isn't that
> the way these children tend to talk? Even the best raised ones on
> occasion? Their jokes may not make much sense to us, as they
> involve some bodily functions in strange ways, but these kids find
> them funny.
I know a lot of teenagers who think that crude jokes about the opposite
gender are funny. By your logic, that makes these jokes an excellent
resource for the Venturing program. "Their jokes may not make much sense to
us, as they involve some bodily functions in strange ways..." I submit that
not everything Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, or Venturers/Sea Scouts find
entertaining is necessarily something that needs to be included in the
> Also, this comes from a _children's_book_!
Have you looked at children's books lately? There are quite a few out there
that are not things we need to include in Scouting. This hardly serves as
justification for using this idea.
> As someone posted before, this is _Boy_Scouts_, (or Cub Scouts) not
Scouting is supposed to be a "safe haven." No Scout should dread going to
his Den Meeting because all the other boys in his den have adopted a crude
and embarrassing nickname for him. Is this an unrealistic fear? I've seen
> Oh, and what is to prevent Billy from saddling Johnny with a name
> like "Grumpy Toiletcheeks"? The fact that Billy probably has
> "Stinky Pottyface" on his own nametag.
He might. Or he might have something entirely tame, like "Flunky
Monkeychunks," which leaves him free to have fun with other people's more
> Perhaps it's time to "lighten up" a bit?
When a slightly overweight Scout has that fact pointed out to him, should I
"lighten up" and let his fellows continue having their fun? Should I
"lighten up" when Scouts decide that having fun is a legitimate reason to
disregard the ideals of Scouting?
> (All together now... 1, 2, 3 "God, bless my underwear..." Sorry,
> couldn't resist that one. ;) )
This topic came up at Western Region National Camping School (Cub
Scout/Webelos Scout Resident Management Section). People sometimes have
sensibilities that we wouldn't guess. Because of this, we as Scout Leaders
need to watch what sorts of things we include in our program. Specifically,
the NCS literature suggests that the following are grossly inappropriate for
a Scouting environment:
-Patriotic songs with alternate, humorous lyrics (Pink Pajamas, the
aforementioned God Bless My Underwear)
-"Toilet Humor," jokes about bodily functions
-Undergarments, nudity, the discussion thereof (the aforementioned song, the
JC Penny skit, etc.)
-Disrespect toward anyone's religious beliefs (the aforementioned song)
Some of this stuff can be seen as being overprotective, but there is a reason
these things are discouraged. There are enough really good, really
worthwhile tools at our disposal that we don't need to resort to things that
might be counter productive to our aims. Something in the message is lost
when you solemnly retire a flag in the same ceremony where you sang a mockery
of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. I literally cannot count all of the
Scouts that I have seen hurt--and often in tears--because of something as
insignificant as name calling.
I fully support the idea of giving Scouts a nickname. That's a creative, fun
idea. But there's no reason whatsoever that the Scouting movement needs to
resort to toilet humor to accomplish its goals. If you still feel that this
idea is worthwhile, then use it. But please don't suggest that it is in
agreement with the ideals of Scouting (courteous, kind, etc.).
Camp Director, Magness Adventure Camp,
Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch, Denver Area Council