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Earrings

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What's with earrings, off the fanny pants, necklaces and wallets with chains worn with the scout uniform shirt? I was a another board and it seemed to be a hot button for a lot of scouters. Hasn't been a problem in our troop although several do wear these items. My poor boy bemoans his lot as his mom won't let him wear any of these "cool" articles of clothing.

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As I tell my son, it's my job to be mean and refuse to let him wear "the cool stuff". I can handle a stud earring or a necklace worn inside the shirt, but I have no interest in seeing your underwear and I am not raising the next Mr. T! (okay that told my age, do the kids know who Mr. T is?).

 

AND I'm going for the award of Meanest Mom of the Year! hehehehe

 

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Sounds like you're on your way to Mom of the Year! Kids want discipline and need discipline and they need to know boundaries, otherwise they're no different than water on a flat surface - no direction.

 

Wearing the uniform properly reflects the individual's respect to the BSA.

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Perhaps this thread needs to be in the P&I forum. IMHO, piercings on men, including Pirates, is an obvious sign of anti-social behavior and has no place in scouting. Piercings on boys is an obvious sign of irresponsible anti-social parenting and regardless shouldnt be allowed to be worn during scout functions.

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The earrings worn by the boys in our troop appear to be small studs and not a hazard and one of our older boys always has his necklace although he seems to be a fine youth. the chains of wallets and low slung pants don't work though. I have seen boys running with one hand on their pants to keep them up and to keep them from falling. Good grief

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Mr T? isnt he the guy who does telephone commercials featuring grandma's?

 

Any way, I was at the National Jamboree this past August. The Army Action center is where most of the scouts in my contingent spent most of their time. The scouts were impressed by the soldiers, sailors, and marines that were there. All the shows featured the soldiers in full dress uniform and the kids were always impressed by them.

 

I asked the kids why they were so impressed by the soldiers and they said, they look and act so cool. Then I pointed out they were all dressd exactly alike and no one had a chain hanging from a belt, a gold necklace from a neck and GASP, all had shirts tucked in and pants up where they belong. I didnt get much of response, as most had chains and necklaces on and their shirts werent as tucked as they could be. They did straighten up for a few days.

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I'm a male Scouter that easily remembers Mr. T and Howdy Doody. I wear an earring and have for over 25yrs. I have also had a braided ponytail at times. Aside from the uniform Scouting is very non-conformist. If you read anything by Green Bar Bill you will find that the idea of what Scouts want to do has never been "popular" or conforming. Some of the best Scouts I've ever met are true individuals and have a lot of self confidence.

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Most adult males I have seen with long hair and earrings (outside of motorcycle gangs) tend to be very open and accepting people and don't judge people by the their race, religion, etc.

 

However, 99% of the young boys (before high school) that I've seen with earrings have been trouble makers that had very little respect for any kind of authority. Back in the early 90's, another rage were those rattails the boys wore (usually along with an earring). We had 3 or 4 Scouts join our troop during that time span with rattails and earrings, and they were nothing but trouble. Usually, when a Scout quits the troop, we try to talk to them to get them to stay. However, there are some where you are saying "thank you" under breath when they leave. The earring kids were each one of those.

 

On the other hand, we had a Scout in the mid- to late-90's that like to do interesting things with his hair. It started out as bleaching in different patterns. Then, he went for a couple of years where he'd grow his hair long, wear a mohawk for a couple of weeks, shave his head, and start the process over again. Later on, he showed up with purple or blue hair at times. He was a good kid that never caused problems. He was always a little different (and continues to be so to this day), but he always worked well with the younger Scouts and did what was expected of him. I never had a problem with him because he knew when to conform and when to be unique.

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Dedicated Dad said....

 

"Piercings on boys is an obvious sign of irresponsible anti-social parenting and regardless shouldnt be allowed to be worn during scout functions."

 

Hold on there, guy! I'd bet that statement might rile some feathers out there in the Scouting world...or any world for that matter. While you may harbor that as your personal opinion, that's a pretty broad and negative generalization about the rest of us.

 

Or, was that an attempt at humor that simply lacked the little smiley thing?

 

 

 

 

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Uniforms should be worn properly, and that would seem to exclude necklaces worn outside the shirt.

 

Having said that, some elements of personal appearance are not worth worrying about. There are higher priorities. My oldest son wore his hair down to the small of his back and tie dyed t-shirts for years. He was a real throwback to an earlier era. We only insisted that he keep it all clean, which he did. Imagine my shock when he got a short hair cut and went to work in a stock brokerage!

 

One of the best scouts in our troop changes his hair color often. This may not be the healthiest practice for one's scalp, but that is between him and his parents.

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There's more important things for Scouters to do that to worry about earrings and ponytails. Personally, I don't wear earrings, have a ponytail or tattoos (and neither does my son). However, some of the finest people that I know in Scouting have one, two or all three of those. Might not be my cup of tea, but so what?

 

The boys and adults can show their respect to the BSA by wearing the uniform properly, having the BSA patches, etc. in the proper places, and looking sharp and proud while wearing it.

 

I agree with previous posts which say chains, necklaces, etc. on the outside of the uniform do distract from the uniformity of the troop.

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Or, was that an attempt at humor that simply lacked the little smiley thing? Not hardly there olbuddyIts my opinion and Im sticking to it. I would also find parents who allow their children to get tattoos are being irresponsible as well. The adult non-conformists who conform to non-conformity are fine by me but I think there is a bright line when a parent allows a child to perminantly alter their body.

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Well then, Dedicated Dad, we have at least one thread subject where we're pretty much on opposite sides of the coin. With regard to the tattoo thing, that's a non-issue, as every state I'm aware of where it's legal (and that's most) outlaws the practice on anyone younger than 18, or the age of consent in that state. BTW, I have a couple. So does my oldest son...the one who is still jump-qualified, even though he's been out of the Army Rangers for a few of years. Oh, and he had a pierced ear in High School...since grown out...it was a fad thing. And he earned his Eagle. And my youngest, the ex...er...I mean Marine has a couple of tattoos. Oh, and he had a pierced ear in High School...since grown out...it was a fad thing. He got to Life Scout, and then turned aside for other ventures...like 4H, honors courses at school...that sort of thing.

 

Point is, a sweeping generalization like yours is pretty mean-spirited. Yes, there probably are lots of folks out there who let their kids run wild, but there's more that don't...many more. And tattoos, pierced ears don't make a hill 'o beans worth of difference. They're good kids, and they grow up better, because of Mom & Dad. But, you certainly are entitled to your opinion, no matter how sweeping a negative generalization it may be.

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My opinion comes pretty close to Dedicated Dad's. I realize there are some great men (and boys) out there (in the world) that wear earrings and have tattoos. However, for the most part, I see it as a character flaw. I believe tattoos and piercing are inappropriate, and especially so for Scouts. I believe this to be true for three reasons:

 

1) It's fair to say that BSA "believes in the individual". Still, IMHO, the individual distinguishes himself by developing his character and the subsequent actions he takes as a result of that character. Someone once said, "A man's true character is measured by what he does when no one else is looking". Conversely, I believe that a man (or boy) who wears tattoos and earrings (and other piercings) is seeking attention. A man of character does not intentionally seek attention, especially not this kind. It's the cheap kind that you get for merely being different. While seeking attention may be human, it's not a trait that we should celebrate. We should celebrate the individual that humbly distinguishes himself through his character and by his service to others. * [see footnote below]

 

2) It distracts from the uniformity of the troop. Again, it's a cheap and selfish way of attracting attention to oneself vice the accomplishments of the group. * [see footnote below]

 

3) Any parent who would allows their son to get tattooed or pierced while a minor, is doing their child no favor. When I was 17, I was as liberal as they came. Today, I think President Reagan is our country's greatest living hero. Given an opportunity to get a tattoo at 17, who knows what I would have stuck on my chest (maybe Jimmy Carter's smiling face). By the way, I like Jimmy (just don't agree with him any more).

 

I put purple hair in the same category as tattoos and piercing, at least for my first two points. Just so there's no mistakeI do believe that an Eagle Scout can have tattoos and an earring. However, I would respect his status as an Eagle Scout in spite of his tattoos and earring, not because of them.

 

* I must admit I feel differently about servicemen (throw policemen and firefighters in that group as well). Somehow, I feel they deserve the attention that their tattoos attract. I still see it as a character flaw, but it's one that pales considerably when one views it against the sacrifices that they make on our behalf.

 

Having said all of the above, I have about two inches of flab that hangs over my belt. I see this too as a character flaw (also doesn't look very good with the uniform). And to be honest, I'd rather have a tattoo than two inches of flab. My point is this: While I would discourage boys from getting tattoos and earrings (and over eating), I wouldn't make a major issue of it either. We all have our vices. Just my two cents.

 

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Well then, by the definitions offered, my sons and I, and the Mrs., for she has a tattoo also, must be seeking attention, and we all must have a character flaw.

 

Funny, I've always perceived myself to be a rather upstanding kind of guy. Benn a Scout Leader for over 20 years. Been a member of the Lions Club for 5 years. Been on countless school committees, including the Citywide Parents Council in Boston when Judge Garrity was enforcing the school busing issues. Even been to and back from a little Asian country back when the fightn' was going on (got the holes to prove it). But there must be a character flaw there. Hmmmmm...darned if I can see it. Oh, wait...it's on my arm.

 

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