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What should they call us?

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"Our Dogs have middle names but answer to their first names or the sound of the can opener."


hahaha.. Our cats and dog have middle names as well. They picked them up some time after they were given their first names, although the time has been shortened with each animal.


Of course, I use only "thou" and "thee" when addressing the animals in second person. It just wouldn't be proper (even though they have middle names) to give them the plural pronouns of respect reserved for formal occasions. Just kidding...

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This thread has caused me to try to see how I adress the boys in our Troop. Last week, when the thread was new, I figured there would be no sense in monitoring what I called the boys in my Troop, as the discussion may have influenced it too much. This week, I didn't even think about it until I was driving home. I believe the pattern that I noticed is fairly typical of how I do things:

When calling out to a Scout, I tend to call them Mr. (last name). When being adressed, my response is often "Sir!". When referring to one boy while speaking to another, I call the other boy by his first name ("Are you and John going to meet with the Merit Badge Counselor this week?"). When talking to a Scout, I refer to adults using Mr. or Mrs. When talking to an adult in front of a Scout, I use the adult's first name. And lastly, I heard a couple of Scouts talking about our SM, and the conversation went "(last name only) gave me a hard time". I was very quick to offer the correction that it should be Mr. (last name).


What I do find somewhat odd about my position on this is that I would prefer that the Scouts who are on this forum call me Mark, even if they aren't Eagle Scouts. Can't rationalize that desire, but it's what I prefer.


And of course, the most important requirment I have is to be called anything but late for dinner.



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Mark - I've been "monitoring" ours as well, and I found almost the exact thing.


-When addressing a Scout, I use "Mr. lastname" or "Firstname", with no apparent rationale for one or the other.

-When addressing a scout in 3rd person, I almost exclusively use first name.

-When addressing an adult, even in front of a Scout, I use his first name.

-When addressing an adult in 3rd person, I use "Mr. lastname".


It's interesting to see what habits you get into without even realizing it.


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I do try really hard to know the names of all the people in the District. Starting at Tiger Cub events I ask them their names and over the years it isn't as hard as it may seem.

I have found little Lads who can't remember my name and overheard two of these little fellows talking about me as "That white haired guy who talks funny."

Some you win some you ...


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I guess I technically fall in the 35 and under (for 3 more weeks anyway) so that might color some of my opinions. By the way this is my first post here in a long, long time. I couldn't even begin to think of what my ID and password would have been back then.


It's funny, the only troop that I have ever been in (and I have been in 7 so far) that required MR_Whatever was the troop where I was stationed in Germany. It was disconcerting to me that as an 18 year old to be called MR by 15 and 16 yr olds. I didn't have a problem with the 11 yr olds calling me that but it did bother me with the older scouts. I think that dislike has affected me every since.


The troop I am in now definitely does not require last names, by any stretch. The SM is around 68 and has been the SM for around 40 some odd years. He has many of his former scouts come back with their own kids to the troop and he is still just Dave, not Mr_Whatever. He is probably the most committed scouter I have ever met in my life and if he can live with it, I figure thats good enough for our troop.


We have had issues over the years with new adults who have come in to the troop wanting to be called Mr_SoandSo, and can't understand why myself and the other adults don't want to. Usually they have just crossed over from cub scouts with their sons (and I can see why they want it there). It's tough on the boys to have to call 1 of the 5 adults Mr, but not the other 4. Some of the adults have switched over to first names, others have gone on to other things because they couldn't handle the informality of the troop.


We had one Scout in the troop who called everyone in any kind of authority Sir, even patrol leaders. At first the veteran in me liked it, but it didn't take long to see that there were other issues at work, and it was definitely ostracizing (sp?) him from the other Scouts. But his dad was a different kind of ex-military than me and his son was going to call everyone sir and that was it. As someone else pointed out you can't force anyone to raise their kids a different way, even if it is causing them emotional damage.


To me a title isn't respect. I can heap a great deal of derision on a person while still calling them MR, or Sir (been there, done that). In the military you are required to call officers Sir, respecting the rank if not the person. That was probably one of the reasons I didn't last long in the military was having to give that title of respect to somoene I thought didn't deserve it. To me Scouting is the same way. If the boys respect you they will show that respect in many ways. If they don't respect you, forcing them to call you mister just because of your position is not going to prove anything.


The only time anyone calls me Mr is when I am in trouble. :-)


My .02


Ted McLaughlin


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As committee chair I meet all the new boys. I tell them that they will now be treated as an adult and that I expect them to behave as an adult. I tell them as an adult they can call be Bill, Mr. B of Mr. Bogdanowich. I then ask them how they want to be address. I have one boy that I call Mr. XXXX, Im the only one that does and he get a kick out of it. In my opinion it does not matter how you are address only that you are treated with respect.


In a Board of review or any meeting I would use this rule if there were introduces as Mr. Smith I would call them Mr. Smith, if there introduce by a nick name I call them by that name.


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So, this weekend we're on a campout. We're putting up the canopy and I gave some sort of instruction incorrectly. I was corrected by one of the boys. The boys all teased me for making a mistake - all which is perfectly fine. Then, one of the Webelos who were camping with us said "Yeah, John". You should have heard the boys jump on him: "That's Mr...., to us, show some respect!!!".


In reality, it wasn't the using the first name, but it was the sarcasm I think that brought out the chorus of corrections. But it was funny to see how the other boys reacted.

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Here's a twist.


We solve the problem as (I understand) BP intended. Every Scouting adult has a Scout name. Usually a native animal that has some significance to that person. I am Emu. (Silly looking bird with long legs). I know it is a lame reason however that is what I am known as everywhere.


It is not formal nor is it too informal. It is a Scouting specific name that says I am trained and entrusted with a uniformed leadership role.


The Scouts use the name/title so unconsciously that they call me Emu in the street etc. Other kids often look confused. They are not members of this great organisation and so do not have the right to use the name.


Other names used refer to Aboriginal culture or hobbies. My dad was "chip" (a carpentar). Some are "skip" (skipper) but that is a bit old now. I knew one "Lego" - that is what he collected. Under his house was a very cool place for young boys to play. Others have used knicknames from school or worksite but they do not ring as true to me.


Further the tradition is that the Scouts chose the name for you. After they have fun with the look on your face following suggestions like pig, bat, cow they can come up with some good suggestions. The ultimate choice is yours. That is how I got mine.

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our troop is a Latter day Saints troop and all the adults a r called 'Brother.' I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned as 70% Scout troops across America are LDS. So, I'm Brother Jacobs at Scouts.


On the street, or by the campfire, I'll be Mr. Jacobs also which is fine.


If I hear "Jake," I know I'm being addressed by a parolee or a probationer that was in my unit and again, noting that 70% figure, has a 70% chance of returning to jail. And yes, one of my former Scouts did show up in my housing unit as an inmate for a while. Scouting doesn't reach everyone, I suppose..... Dave J!, Brother Jacobs, Jake!

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