scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Follow up on table manners
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET
Tue Jun 27 2000 - 07:38:17 CDT
>Not only is politeness at the table important,
>but boys have to learn HOW to eat in public. They need to know how to use
>a fork and knife, how to pick up vegetables. Imagine your daughter coming
>home from the prom disgusted that her date embarrassed her at dinner.
I agree with Roman 100%. Here is what we do in our troop:
1) Not only do we offer a prayer at the beginning and end of every meeting,
but also before every meal. Our troop is multi-denominational, so a variety
of prayers are offered. That is just fine--but no patrol eats until that
patrol has offered thanks.
2) No patrol eats until all of the food is ready. No sneaking bacon, or
anything else. Patrols work together...and eat together.
3) If you are told when a meal is ready and choose not to come, you miss
the meal. Period--unless you are on some assignment from the PLC or
4) We have vinyl table clothes for each patrol that are in their patrol
boxes. They are expected to use them.
5) Adults eat with the patrols. If a scout does something disgusting at
the table, he is excused. Everyone laughs and thinks its funny...until they
realize that this scout doesn't get to finish eating until everyone else is
done, and he is stuck with what's left. Generally, it only takes one or two
meals for this to sink in. Now, some minor horseplay is acceptable--the
inevitable "train wreck" or "sea food" jokes, for example, are sometimes
even perpetrated by the scoutmaster. :) However, belching, for example,
is not permitted at the table, unless followed by an immediate excuse
me...and no laughing.
6) Personal tastes are just that. I see difference in a young man choosing
to make a spaghetti sandwich or mix his food together than when I eat
European-style...and put some meat, potatoe and veggie on my fork all at
once. Playing in one's food, however, is not acceptable.
That's the big ones I can think of right now...there are others, I'm sure.
We used to have a major problem with manners on campouts. But, we follow
these rigidly. Meals are more fun, the boys talk more and belch less, and
the parents have noticed the changes.
Jason A. Cruse
Dept. of Political Science
University of Missouri-Columbia