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Council Relations

Discuss issues relating to Scout Councils, districts and working with professionals

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Well, maybe "less culturally charged than a script that refers to the young Scouts as 'Braves'" would have been more descriptive of what I'm looking for. It is true that pretty much everything we do has cultural origins from somewhere. That is unavoidable. But I'm not really worried about a group of white kids (all the families in our Pack currently are as pale as the snow, as the fact is we don't live in a very racially diverse community) doing something that heralds back to Vikings or the ancient Celts. I am concerned about the perception that as we stand on the soil that was previously occupied by the Kalapuya Nation until our own (well, my own) direct ancestors arrived about 170 years ago and displaced them, we specifically call out Native American traditions and pretend that what we are doing is copying what they did, when in fact we haven't done a lick of research, made up the ceremony ourselves, and wouldn't really have any cultural right to use theirs even if we did know anything about what their traditions entailed. I'm not one to see cultural appropriation behind every rock and bush, but at the same time, I think it's always appropriate to be sensitive to our neighbors.
    • Nothing seems beyond politics and angst.
    • I have no idea... Do Scouts that age still like face painting?  If not, Continue bear, lion etc faces but not WebeLoS.    
    • Where to begin.   There's no such thing as culturally neutral.  Everything we do, all of our symbols and ceremonies, occurs in the context of culture.  BSA is awash in cultural appropriation.  Heraldry, uniforms, patrols, salutes, etc. all came from different cultures.  Woodbadge beads?  Appropriation.  Vikings, Trojans, Spartans, Valkyrie patrol patches?  Appropriation.  Heck, the entirety of the Cub Scout rank system, based on the Jungle book, was written by a racist defender of British Imperialism and stereotypes culture.    Further, appropriation of culture goes way beyond the words.  As you mentioned above, many cultures use face painting for any number of reasons.  Some cultures use face tattoos for similar reasons (face painting is just a temporary version of the same).  Therefore, the very act of face painting, even in complete silence, is potentially appropriative in its own right.  Our postmodern zeitgeist tells us that it's not the intent of the actor, rather how ones words or actions are perceived, that defines appropriation.  So, even if your Pack comes up with something they all agree is inoffensive (i.e. works for the culture of your Pack), anybody from outside that takes offense at the action has the postmodern moral high ground.   To be clear, I'm just a stranger on the internet.  I don't really care how your Pack celebrates your scouts and I'm happy that you are in fact celebrating in person.  Just be honest about your reasons for change.  Now, don't get me started on Yankees making grits!  🤣
    • As early as April 17, 1917, The Knoxville Journal and Tribune reported that the Knoxville Boy Scout Council received an offer from the Union National bank and John F. and James T. Shea, owners of the McDonald farm, to assist the Boy Scouts and provide a tract to help supplement food supplies for the war effort. read here
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