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Please excuse any misspellings or punctuation I can hardly see through the tears and my sides ache from laughter. I've just related the following story to my significant other and she had to leave the room to catch her breath. I'm a baby boomer and attended school through out the 50's. We all were waiting for the Russians to attack and practiced Air Raid drills weekly in school. I live in the Chicago area and remember traveling down Lake Shore Drive and seeing the Nike Missiles being cleaned and serviced by the military. I was raised Roman Catholic and every Sunday we would say a prayer for the godless Russians that God would have mercy on their doomed souls. My concept of "Russian" was very confused because we were Polish and my Grandfather came from a town which used to be Poland but was now Russia. All I knew is that Russians were different, so different that Russia and America might start killing each other at any moment. My first summer at camp was full of wonders and things I had waited to see. I was caught by something new at every turn. We had a tradition in the dining hall of singing songs that involved individual tables taking verses so that the song would jump from table to table. Green Grows the Russian's Toes was one of those songs. Like all the other lengthy songs one would have to write lyrics down in order to commit them to memory. Some were on sheets but Green Grows the Russian's Toes was not one of them. I was 15 when I stood up in the dinning hall as a First Year Staffer and decided to lead the entire group in the singing of this perennial favorite. The look on the faces of the Leaders told me something was wrong but the hysterical laughter I was met with after I explain which song I wanted to sing and was informed of the actual title is something I'll remember for ever. "Green toes" isn't my nick name anymore either. I wouldn't trade my Scouting memories for anything.


(This message has been edited by LongHaul)

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During last year's summer camp, our Troop had a major problem with profanity. So, our former SM and CC sent a letter to all the parents and simply stated that from now on, first offense, the boys parents would be called and they would have to come get the boy and take him home or stay the remainder of the weekend. Second offense -- parents must attend every event with the boy for six months. Third offense -- the young man would be asked to leave the troop.


Silly, maybe to some, but we have young boys bridging from Webelos who look up to the older Scouts. They hear the older Scouts using profanity and think it's cool and the thing to do.


During our planning campout earlier in the year, we had a young man use profanity. When he was called before the adults and taken to task, he became belligerent and defensive. He told us that "everyone says it", and that, I think is part of our problem. They hear it in school, TV/Movies, from their friends, and sometimes at home, so the boys think it's okay.


Yesterday, as our Troop was preparing to depart from our Pre-Camporee weekend, I imposed a new rule. I told the boys that from now on on the last day of campout, no Scout would be allowed to leave the campsite until all bags/packs were packed, tents taken down, kitchens cleaned and dismantled, and everything staged for packing.


Why? Because on Friday night, when parents were dropping their boys off, they were asking me what time we'd be home. I told them that I was guessing 1400-1430, based on a 1230 departure from camp. Saturday night my SPL asked if he could work on his SIT on Sunday. I told him that as long as everything was packed up and ready to go, he could.


So, one of our ASMs and I did a walk-thru of the camp -- dishes not washed, bags not packed, tents not taken down, kitchens not cleaned/packed. We went and got the SPL from where he was working on his SIT and pulled him back -- explaining that it was his responsibility to ensure all this was completed before he could go off and do anything else. Oh, and where were the Scouts? They were down on the beach playing in the sand. They had been told they could play, but had to be back in camp by 1145. Finally at 1320 we were able to depart and didn't end up getting home until 1630.


Silly rule -- maybe to some, but our adult leaders have to get home and get ready for the next work day (I have to ensure my uniforms are washed and pressed for the week), and the parents were expecting their boys home much earlier.


That's my $.02 worth.




"There is nothing so easy to learn as experience and nothing so hard to apply."(This message has been edited by Cigarsquid)

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One rule we is that breakfast is not served on Sunday morning until gear is packed, placed in pack line, and tents are taken down. Cooks that morning pack their gear before they exit the tent and their patrol mates take the tent down for them.


We've had the problem of boys flocking to standing around the fire when there was work to be done. I approached a few boys yesterday who were around the fire and said, "I don't believe it's your job to stand around the fire, is it?"



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I see a difference in what Hops describes and most of the rules that are mentioned in this thread. Hops' rule is an example of a troop tradition, and one that actually serves a purpose - that of teaching the boys how to prioritize work. If left alone, this "rule" may fade away, but the results stay.


For example, during the first couple of years of our troop's existence, we had problems with getting the fire going in the morning. Usually some of the adults who are early risers would get up early and stoke the fire. We'd huddle around it, drinking our coffee. Then the boys would come out of their tents and immediately run to the fire which we had built. We finally made a rule ("the 3 stick rule") that said you had to bring three sticks to the fire before you could huddle around it in the morning. After several campouts of moaning and groaning, the guys finally figured it out. If they stored up some wood the night before, they wouldn't have to do that in the morning. (What a concept). Over time, the rule has disappeared, but we always have plenty of wood in the morning.


I think that should be the purpose of most rules, to teach the boys the right way to do things.

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I am usually against troop rules but the story on profanity and the thread on cursing jogged my memory a bit. Awhile back when my son and I first joined the troop I thought the entire troop could use with a good mouth washing with soap. I asked the adult leaders if they noticed it, and they initially said no. Then a few camp outs later a few said they had been paying attention to the language the scouts used and said that indeed it was reprehensible. I then challenged the scouts that they could express themselves with any word they heard me utter, and that since I had a pretty wide ranging vocabulary with a veritable plethora of words, they shouldnt have a problem. It worked, the language was cleaned up quite nicely, but it also had the unintended consequence of having the scouts hang on every word I uttered. Especially after hitting thumb with hammer during an Eagle project and other such mishaps. Gosh oh Golly Oh Gee Whiz it is!

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