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yarrow

Earrings

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Eman

I noticed in your post that you had more than one of those "gasp" Harley motorcycles. I just did not want to take anymore strikes away from you!

You Harley ridding long haired, tattoed, pierced scouter!

Few more months and we can be out ridding! Well at least in the midwest!

Don

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Now I don't have a leg to stand on....our SM pierced his ear and wears a small stud. Go figure.

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Yarrow, a big emotive topic. I couldn't figure out how to make my contribution flow so excuse the numbering pls:

 

1. Yes, rings can be dangerous. I explain why and people remove them or ask to have them taped flat when doing ring unfriendly activities. ( I daytime at an outdoor education centre)

 

2. Body 'art' and dress is a cultural thing. Cultural misunderstanding is a big issue.

 

3. Due to 2. wearing unusual things (including rings etc) can be misconstrued by people even if you are of shining character. For this reason restraint is, I think, the best policy when wearing uniform in public.

 

4. Many young people wearing rings, chains, exposed undies etc are seeking conformity or attention because they are unsure of themselves somewhere. Most of the time they will work it out fine. In extreme cases it is a cry for help. Such times are our big opportunity.

 

5. Being culturally determined, dress and adorment can be harmless and even a sign of moral strength and integrity (Budhists, Krishna's, Hindu's, Sikhs etc.) This also goes for quite a few bikers, martial artists, soldiers etc who I know. Are the 'flamboyant' scouts in category 4 or 5?

 

6. Pants three sizes too big with a crotch around the knees make such things as running, backpacking, bracing body in canoe, swimming, riding bikes etc very difficult. The inability to perform in these activities helps these scouts to consider why they are lining up so strictly in the fad. It has helped me initiate frank group discussions on why we might, or might not, dress this way. Many had not really considered that there are options.

 

7. This issue is big and timeless. Aristotle and Kurt Hahn had problems with disrespectful youths slavishly lining up to social fads.

 

8. I have great respect for the senior forum members and their depth of insight. But like any 'junior' it upsets me to see my seniors fighting when they do so much more when off their moral high ground. I have some of these issues in my Troop and can do with some useful suggestions please.

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I know a father of a cub scout who has ruled out a very good troop for his son. Why? One of the asst. scoutmasters wears an earring. It must have been a very small stud because no other parent seemed to notice it that night. I asked my son an indirect question about did he remember the adult with long hair and an earring, his answer was "huh? I don't remember anybody with long hair."

 

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Ozemu, very good post, put things in the proper perspective.

 

Jim

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I haven't been on the site for a little while, and when I came back and saw the thread for a discussion on earrings, I immediately had to read. You see, the idea of earrings has recently come up in conversation with the management of our Council's summer camp. Our policy has always been one of non-interference. However, we are in the process of considering a "no earrings" rule for our staff. I had hoped to read some refreshing points of view on the subject, which I did. However, Dedicated Dad and Chippewa29, I was surprised with the feelings you both had on the subject.I only hope that your feelings are truly personal and not foisted on the troops you work with. In the past 13 years that I have worked with the youth staff of a summer camp, never once have I seen any difference in the behavior of kids with piercings versus kids without. In fact, it is that idea of being different and standing out that has made some of these kids the best of the best with whom I've worked. The statement that 99% of the children that I've seen with piercings are behavior problems is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy, that creates the bad behavior by treating those kids differently. On the bright side for me, after reading this thread, I can make up my mind that our rules should not be changed. So thanks for that, everyone!

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In the past 13 years that I have worked with the youth staff of a summer camp, never once have I seen any difference in the behavior of kids with piercings versus kids without. Anecdotal evidence to be sure. Now if piercings are OK, eyebrow, nose and tongue included, then painted finger nails, tattoos, purple hair, and womens clothing must be OK should there be no exhibited behavioral problems, right?

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"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."

 

If we're on the subject of anecdotal evidence,Dedicated Dad, could you show me the hard facts to back this little quote up?

Anyone that relies on personal experience is hardly using what would be considered anecdotal evidence.

I think it may be a little overboard to equate someone with a tongue, ear, or eyebrow piercing to a Scout who wants to parade aroung a Scout meeting in a dress.

 

And, to go backwards a little bit, if these kids are truly exhibiting anti-social tendencies, should we not, as Scouters, be doing our best to encourage growth and development in these kids instead of immediately blocking them out?

 

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I was going to slowly back away from my terminal and run...As long as this debate has been running, it would be the wise thing to do. But, something compdcd said is compelling me to comment.

 

I think it may be a little overboard to equate someone with a tongue, ear, or eyebrow piercing to a Scout who wants to parade around a Scout meeting in a dress.

 

I've debated both sides of the earring issue. However, in regard to the tongue and eyebrow piercing, mark me down officially as being "overboard".

 

As to DD's comment regarding a dress, it's an exaggeration to make a point (but no one ever seems to get that - go figure). Point being, when does the Scout's fashion statements become an issue. How far can one go before it does become an issue? Where do you draw the line? Everyone gets upset when you draw a lineyet, no one would deny that wearing a dress is definitely going over the line. So if there is a line, where is it?

 

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The Boy Scouts of America have regulations controling proper uniforming, we leave accessorizing and hairstyling to the legal parental authorities, not to the personal prejudices of adult volunteers.

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I submit that it can be dictated by the troop per the beliefs and values of the chartering organization. Otherwise, I agree, it would become a subjective matter and should not be left to the whims of an individual or a group with no guiding principle (provided by the chartering organization).

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And I think here is were the confusion lies. We seem to be discussing 2 seperate topics in this string. Membership requirements and advancement requirements.

 

The chartered organization has the authority to set membership requirements that can include dress codes as well as personal appearances, religious restrictions, residential restrictions, any restrictions the charter organization wants to set based on their tenants and the population the chartered organization serves. The troop cannot, nowhere in scouting is the unit committee given authority over membership requirements. Te unit must follow those set by the chartered org.

 

Once a youth meets the joining requirements of the BSA and the membership requirements of the Chartered organization you cannot set additional advancement regulations on him.

 

If he wears to many piercings or dresses in a way contrary to the chartered organization' liking, only the Charter Organization Representative can remove his membership, but no one can change the advancement requirements.

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its a little piece of metal or a little kool aid in the hair!

 

This does not mean the scout is doing DRUGS or in a GANG, it means watch me a little closer!

 

If a troop policy is no dyed hair, no earrings, and no tattos, how many GOOD leaders would they lose? Or would it be like a BSA policy, if it is keep hidden while doing BSA stuff its okay!

 

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DISCLAIMER: Before you read my next statement, know this - I am not arguing for what ought to be, but what I feel is legal per BSA policy.

 

Scout Spirit can cover a lot of ground. If a SM feels a Scout is not being reverent, than he may chose not to sign him off for Scout spirit. This is true for all 12 points of the Scout Law and the Scout Oath. The SM is expected to reflect the values and goals of the chartering organization. This has implications for such issues as wearing earrings and the like. Furthermore, BSA policy does not distinguish between religious organizations and others when it says -

 

Program Schools, community and religious organizations, and groups, with the help of the BSA, organize Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, Venture crews, and Learning for Life groups for children and youth. They manage these units and control the program of activities to support the goals and objectives of the chartered organizations.

 

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roodter7 you are absolutely correct. The charter organization has the right to set membership requirements based its goals and objectives. However it also signs an annual agreement, the Charter, where it promises to abide by the policies and regulations of the BSA.

 

The charter organization can refuse or remove the mebership of any adult or youth it chooses. However as long as that youth is accaptable as a member of the troop by the CO, you are required to treat him in accordance with the rules and regulations of the BSA.

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