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imachristian13

Two questions regarding appropriate behaviors of adult and youth leaders

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Hi folks...

 

First, strictly a policy question. What is protocol regarding smoking (tobacco products) while in uniform? Our Scoutmaster is seriously addicted and, while we can respect that it's difficult, he doesn't seem to care if he smokes around the boys or while representing the troop.

 

Second, what are your thoughts on this? Recently, our troop assisted with a local run/walk for breast cancer research. One of our Assistant Scoutmasters also had a team running/walking in the event with many of his friends and family - including 5 or 6 of our troop members (including my son's patrol leader). The team wore t-shirts that stated "Save A Rack" with a pair of deer antlers to defer attention away from the obvious breast joke. The team members also had nicknames on the rear of the shirt that were equally inappropriate for young men to wear.

 

I get that free speech is here and that the leaders and those boys were not acting in an official capacity as participants in the event. However, my son commented on how inappropriate he felt it was for his patrol leader and Asst. Scoutmaster to wear the shirts - he felt (and I agree) that it goes against what scouts should be learning under "morally straight".

 

Where does the line get drawn?

 

Thanks for your answers.

 

Sincerely.

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Scout activities are to be tobacco-free if Scouts are present..

Adult leaders should support the attitude that they, as well as youths, are better off without tobacco in any form and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants.

All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.

As for the double-entendre stuff, part of growing up is learning "appropriate" behavior. Not everyone grows up. Those that do not grow up need counseling. "Appropriate" is a social judgment. A Scout troop is not the neighborhood bar.

 

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As far as the t-shirts as you stated it was not done as a bsa activity or troop activity. As such it is not really for you to judge as appropriate or not. Bsa strictly forbids martial art If you extrapolate your logic scouts should not perform martial arts together. I see it as they did a good deed, improved the physical fitness and had a little bit of fun doing it. Next make the smoking SM run it. :) and do you good deed by helping him prepare for the run.

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as for the shirts - not BSA function, no BSA logo etc on shirt... it's just you and son seeing a person from BSA at said event and doing what they want during their free time. You can agree or disagree with their choice, but it doesn't affect scouting.

 

as for smoking... as a smoker I was always told not in uniform (so if coming and going from meeting or activity and being seen by others I should not be seen in my uniform smoking) Troop meeting I can normally make it through unless my anxiety goes up (I have an anxiety disorder) in which case I go outside, away from everyone, and cover up uniform. If at a campout I do it in designated smoking area and where my boys don't witness this. This is actually harder at summer camp as they put the smoking area right out in the open by where the boys can see when walking to the pool for free swim time - so I'm in designated area but can be seen.

 

If ever seen by a scout at a non-scout function I make sure I let them know how much it sucks to be a smoker and how hard it can be to quit and the best thing to do is never to start.

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IMxian13, welcome! 1) The Charter Organization often sets the tone for these things. Every smoker is different, and often your COR is willing to work with what he or she has. If the fella is willing to step out of the room, and put out his cig when a boy wants to talk to him, I wouldn't sweat the uniform. 2) Although I'm glad for the many friends and family who are still with me as a result of grueling oncology research funded in part by it, the raciness of the campaigns can be perplexing. I try to remind myself that I worship "The Full Breasted One", and someone could take issue with adoration of El Shaddai. ;) People are complex. I guess I've been better off by hearing from folks about how I might have offended them. Especially if a young person was made uncomfortable. Sometimes I apologize outright, other times I ask the youth if they can understand why acting one way in one situation might be a trade of between different points in the scout law. I suspect this ASM (and probably the PL) would want a chance to let your son know they respect his view while at the same time, they made a compromise for complex reasons.

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I am guessing the OP is a youth.

 

Smoking was the social norm until quite recently. so for the last 2000 years we have walk north america and men have smoked. Only in the last 20 years and more specifically the last 10 has it become socially undesirable. So your SM is probably in his 40's or 50's and has smoked since his teens or early 20's. Smoking is currently not illegal, or forbidden at scout events. Instead of complaining about the SM may be he should be grateful there is someone interested in providing a scouting program for him. Millennial parents are not volunteering like the previous generations.

 

Far as the Breast Cancer walk goes. I have found that mixing personal life and scouting a tough thing to do. I am a 50 year old american male. I ride motorcycles, smoke cigars, drink bourbon and meet my boys at hooters for bike night. So does that make me morally bankrupt????? Don't think so.

 

Yep some do gooder mom complained that her son saw me drinking and smoking a cigar on my back porch to our Institutional head. He lives 3 doors down and is a friend of my son spends more time at my house than his.....Yep I was drinking, smoking a cigar and swapping lies with the neighbor. When the IH called me to talk with me about it, the conversation started with why he never got invited. Discussion was over, although the IH got a bottle of Black Crown for Christmas.

 

Never Mix personal life with scouting.

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Isn't hypocrisy a wonderful thing?

 

I'm not a tea totaler, and I have recently given up smoking. Does that mean I'm a better person than the next? No, it means I just have a bit more money in my pocket. Giving something up because one can't afford it is not the same as giving it up for moral/ethical/healthy reasons.

 

I'm more of a whiskey man, and if someone is looking for a Christmas gift idea, it's Crown Royal, thank you very much. :)

 

And so how many scouters out there are conceal carry? There's another whole can of worms.

 

Stosh

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Interesting comments all. Here's some follow-up from the OP.

 

First, nobody is looking to go after anyone here (that's why I came to a forum like this instead of contacting a leader higher up the food chain.

 

Second, someone thought I was young yet I have a son old enough to be in Boy Scouts. Barring a very early teen fatherhood, I'd have to be at least 26 or 27, right? Anyways, I'm 44.

 

On the 5K: This scenario was odd in that it was both a scout function AND a non-scout function at the same time. My son and I were participating as volunteers from the troop. The ASM, PL and others were participating as runners. My actual "argument" if you will, it concerns me that this ASM recruited boys from the troop to come and enjoy the event - purchasing them all the questionable shirts. The line between ASM and adult friend is so clearly blurred its difficult.

 

On the smoking. I really just wanted to know what the policy was and wasn't.

 

Any further thoughts are welcomed.

 

 

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No smoking in uniform. Also, anyone can smell it if you just put it out. So..... You can wear a patch under the uniform.

As for the shirts. I get the humor, but it wasn't on Troop time.

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I am guessing the OP is a youth. Smoking was the social norm until quite recently. so for the last 2000 years we have walk north america and men have smoked. Only in the last 20 years and more specifically the last 10 has it become socially undesirable. So your SM is probably in his 40's or 50's and has smoked since his teens or early 20's. Smoking is currently not illegal' date=' or forbidden at scout events. Instead of complaining about the SM may be he should be grateful there is someone interested in providing a scouting program for him. Millennial parents are not volunteering like the previous generations. Yep some do gooder mom complained that her son saw me drinking and smoking a cigar on my back porch to our Institutional head. He lives 3 doors down and is a friend of my son spends more time at my house than his.....Yep I was drinking, smoking a cigar and swapping lies with the neighbor. When the IH called me to talk with me about it, the conversation started with why he never got invited. Discussion was over, although the IH got a bottle of Black Crown for Christmas. Never Mix personal life with scouting.[/quote'] Two things. The BSA frowns on Tobacco not because it's immoral, but because it's not physically healthy. It's not so much aimed at making adults quit smoking as it is encouraging youth to never start. My other objection is, isn't the point of Scouting is to mix the oath and law into your personal life as a guide to your life?

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Ex smokers can better explain the problems with tobacco use than someone who's just following policy protocol and program scripts.

 

It has always amazed me that the WCTU (Women's Christian Temperance Union) is fanatically against the consumption of alcohol. Yet the word Temperance (moderation) is in it's title. I had them give me a card when I was a small kid that said if I sign I'd never drink alcohol in my lifetime. I took it home and asked my mother. She took the card, looked it over and tossed it in the garbage. She said I'd never be able to adhere to it anyway. She was correct, I'd never have been able to be a minister, never take Christian communion, and that's just the start.

 

Sometimes we get so fanatical that we often times miss the forest because the trees get in the way. If we have boys bringing drugs to events, I'm thinking catching them smoking or drinking, is an easy fix. The national average for kids trying out alcohol is 8th grade. I don't know what it is for smoking or doing drugs, but I'm thinking it's right in there at that experimental age. How adults handle it at that point is critical and hypocrisy is not the answer.

 

Stosh

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Iamchristian13. additionally many of the breast cancer awareness events do use not so subtle language as part of their marketing:

http://b4bc.org

http://www.spydersurf.com/collections/b4bc/products/b4bc-tote-bag

 

additionally here is a link to 71 other slogans event use to sponsor and raise money for this research.

http://brandongaille.com/71-catchy-breast-cancer-awareness-campaign-slogans/

 

Many people that participate in these events are directly affected by breast cancer.

 

OK was it racy sure. but you seem to be focused on this perceived slight and not focusing on the good the kids and the ASM did.

 

As the ASM he spends valuable time away from his family to support the troop. on top of this he is getting the boys involved in the community outside of scouting and devoting time to train and be engaged in this event.

 

A breast joke MAYBE in bad taste but immoral? NO!

If you are so upset next year have the troop run as a troop and you volunteer to run and lead the event.

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There are myriad ways to offend and be offended by one another. And in this case there is an ethical underlying controversy. I.e., are we, through the humor, teaching women that their best path to advocacy is through objectification?

 

I think the best thing you could do is let the ASM know that you weren't prepared for your son to be exposed to the bluntness of the campaign (especially the t-shirt). But also respect his enthusiasm for getting the boys involved in something he thinks is important.

 

Even if you find his actions questionable, the good news is that he did something tangible and public. And, that's NOT the hallmark of someone with predatory intentions.

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