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mattman578

Singing? For Your Stuff (Edited By Packsaddle)

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Eagledad's on to something here - measure the actions by the Scout Law.

 

Is making someone sing for a lost item Helpful?  Friendly?  Courteous?  KIND???  

 

Is snatching the hat off another person's head Trustworthy? Helpful?  Friendly? Courteous? Kind?

 

Is sending a Scout out for a rope stretcher or a left handed right footed smoke bender Kind?

 

My vote?  No.  And if someone tries to do any of those things to one of my Scouts, they'll find out very quickly just what Loyal means.

Well done CP. Simulating an aggressive condescending tone to represent to the forum exactly the attitude of those he claims to be offended by. Even better, CP cleverly models a hypocritical threatening nature of being unfriendly, patronizing, and aggressive at the weak when adults are supposed to be the scout’s best models for showing scout law like behavior in all situations. In fact, quite cleverly CP represents what some might suggest is the bullying style tendency of hiding behind a key-board while being aggressive. CP is just showing us an example of what Sentinel is saying that if leaders want to flex their adult muscle against the weaker less mature youth, there is little to stop them except being in control of their emotions. Certainly CP doesn’t really believe the scout law shouldn’t be in play at all times.

 

Of course mature adults of character can converse their opinions without trying to belittle and intimidate a point of view. So we can certainly assume that CP wouldn't act in the way he suggest because the action could be misunderstood as aggression and create more harm than the youths act that offended him. For those of us who had been approached by lawyers representing parents who thought the unit leaders style of guiding their son was less than, oh let’s say less than scout like, we can relate to the humility of the consequences of emotions directing actions.

 

Personally CP, I’m more impressed with adults who can express their opinion with impact without using dissenting dialoged. But we can assume you were doing it to show us how complicated this subject can be. Good job. By the way CP, I’m sure you would agree that we would both enjoy meeting in person and learning more about each face to face as equals. Expressing one’s opinion face to face, that is the real test of a man of character, wouldn’t you say.

 

Barry

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Try taking a gal out on a first date and it's her birthday.  You go to Texas Road House and she has to get on the saddle and have the wait-staff sing stupid songs FOR her?   She doesn't even have to say anything.  So, seriously, do you really envision a second date out even in the far future?  Yes, singing happy birthday can be embarrassing.... even without the moose hat....   :)

 

By the way, I took my daughter out to Texas Road House on her birthday and as we were going in, she reminded me that she did have cab fare to get home if I so much as mention to anyone there that it was her birthday.  

Yeah I'm not comfortable with that sort of thing, my life isn't for public consumption and/or spectacle. Really any sort of public recognition makes me uncomfortable though I have no problem with public speaking.

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Of course mature adults of character can converse their opinions without trying to belittle and intimidate a point of view.

 

I am not saying your are (or have) done this, but there are also those who can use eloquent language and high-brow humor and intellect to do the very same without the person in question knowing he's ever been insulted or belittled.

 

George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde were very good at this. There's a famous Monty Python skit to this effect. ;)

 

[Note: Semi non-Scouting content in the link] 

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Yeah I'm not comfortable with that sort of thing, my life isn't for public consumption and/or spectacle. Really any sort of public recognition makes me uncomfortable though I have no problem with public speaking.

 

I'm with you on this.  I am in scouting for the boys, not for any other reason.

 

I'm thinking that a lot of young people are looking for opportunities to spread their wings, so to speak, and test the waters a bit.  But when adults dump on them with such things as push-ups, pranks and songs, it kinda sets them back.  After such actions, it is VERY difficult for that young person to trust that particular adult again.  They aren't going to put themselves out there just to get shut down again.  They might feel a bit on par with a peer, but they are out of their league if an adult instigates such activities.  It does make very subtle progress for maintaining adult control over the situation.

 

Sure, I make sarcastic remarks, usually so grandiose that no one listening knows I'm being serious.  However, if I am being serious it is always within the privacy of a SMC.  That's for the good stuff as well as the bad.  The boy that gets his rank advancement and applause from the audience is one thing.  The SM saying, "Well done, Scout." is often times more powerful.  The negative works the same way.  Screaming and yelling when they screw up is one thing, but taking them aside and with a smile say, "I bet you never do that again." is a recognition of the situation that the boy is fully aware of as having fallen flat.

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Sure, I make sarcastic remarks, usually so grandiose that no one listening knows I'm being serious.  However, if I am being serious it is always within the privacy of a SMC.  That's for the good stuff as well as the bad.  The boy that gets his rank advancement and applause from the audience is one thing.  The SM saying, "Well done, Scout." is often times more powerful.  The negative works the same way.  Screaming and yelling when they screw up is one thing, but taking them aside and with a smile say, "I bet you never do that again." is a recognition of the situation that the boy is fully aware of as having fallen flat.

 

Well said @@Stosh.

 

As part of our TLT we teach our boys the "Sandwich Principle" for giving constructive advice: Give an example of something good the scout has done, discuss the "area for development" or criticism you need to discuss with the scout, and close with another example of something good the scout is doing or has done.

 

We have found this has been a good tool to teach scouts (and some adults) on how to give criticism or discuss areas of development.

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I am not saying your are (or have) done this, but there are also those who can use eloquent language and high-brow humor and intellect to do the very same without the person in question knowing he's ever been insulted or belittled.

Yes, that is another example of bad form. 

 

These are examples of pride vs humility. My scouts would say that I'm big into humility because the trait is required to be a cheerful servant to others. I was delighted to see Sentinel express a form of humility when he said they would have to just agree to disagree. He didn't give up anything, he just bowed out when the discussion had reached it's end. 

 

At some point when it has become obvious we can no longer further our opinion and be a cheerful servant at the same time, we humbly relent, but without giving up our opinion or beliefs. Agreeing to disagree is the humble out. The hard part is not letting our pride drag us into a place where nobody benefits. That is why I’m big into the scout law.

 

I enjoy good intellectual or civil discussions because they allow us to express ourselves without feeling intimidated. Sometimes we are wrong, can we learn that without getting put down. But a civil discussion does require a great deal of discipline, and as you point out an eloquent use of words is not necessarily intellectual.

 

But the main point of humility is that your every action toward others is for the good of the others, not yourself. How would these discussions flow if every attempt of our words was to serve the audience? Maybe it would allow us just enough pause to just consider what the other person is actually saying.

 

 

Do I fail in my attempts to make a point, most certainly. Stosh's misunderstood my words so badly that it would take a weeks worth of typing to correct his misunderstanding. It easier to just let him have the last word. 

 

There was a time that this forum was a great resource to help scouters improve their programs and it had a huge following of many hundreds. The forum lost that following when several folks started intimidating others through condescending attacks. I think I'm being fair in saying that. I would like to think we could back to day when the scouter forum was the great resource of helping unit leaders. That is why I'm still here.

 

Barry

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At some point when it has become obvious we can no longer further our opinion and be a cheerful servant at the same time, we humbly relent, but without giving up our opinion or beliefs. Agreeing to disagree is the humble out. The hard part is not letting our pride drag us into a place where nobody benefits. That is why I’m big into the scout law.

 

 

Agreed on all counts.

 

However, there are times where our opinions -- while well meaning as they may be -- have no basis. It is difficult, if not darn near impossible, to have an opinion about something without direct experience. When confronted with that experience we may reshape our opinion. But an opinion based on no direct experience is one that does not carry much weight.

 

If you were an expert mountain climber, and I took a few indoor climbing classes, would you give my opinion on how to climb K2 much weight? Sure, I have an opinion but it is not an informed one based on experience. If I had climbed K2 once or twice you'd probably taken my opinion with more weight. Sure the discourse should be civil and respectful, but that does not mean because we disagree that my opinion based on no experience is correct.

Edited by Mozartbrau

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Wow - I wonder what you would post if I wasn't agreeing with you.  Or was I wrong to suggest that you were saying to let the Scout Law be our guide on the approriateness of making Scouts sing for their possessions, or snatching hats off of people's heads, etc?  If folks want to argue that making a Scout sing for their possessions is courteous, kind, helpful or friendly, I'm all ears.

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However, there are times where our opinions -- while well meaning as they may be -- have no basis. It is difficult, if not darn near impossible, to have an opinion about something without direct experience. 

I agree that it can be frustrating to debate experience with idealistic theory, and this forum is big on that. But that is no excuse to attempt a civil none intimidating discussion.

 

I try to bow out of discussions when they get muddy and hope that my words stand on their own. However, I do remember that being used against me in this forum when a poster said several weeks later that I had agreed with her because I didn't respond to the point of her post. But I still feel I was on the higher road by not responding to the derogatory language in the discussion. I knew there was nothing I could add to change the direction of the discussion. Sometimes holding back pride takes the most courage. 

 

Barry

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Is making someone sing for a lost item Helpful?  Friendly?  Courteous?  KIND???  

 

Yes, it can be. Do a google search on "benefits teasing." There are a number of people that study social interactions. In a nutshell, teasing can be a form of play where kids learn social skills and/or bond. It's also a way for some to ensure social norms in a positive manner. In every one of those articles they also say it can go too far. I can see where people don't like that risk because it is a fine line. Sometimes the kids are learning where that line is.

 

I've noticed that kids with siblings tend to have a head start on social skills compared to kids without siblings. How much of that is teasing? My kids are very close and enjoy teasing each other, and me. There's no power struggle. There are a couple of ASMs in my troop that tease each other about being wimps/lazy/out of shape/too old. They are both incredible athletes that are encouraging each other in a fun way.

 

At our last meeting there was one new scout that was unsure about going to summer camp. He's a shy kid. I asked him, encouraged him, told him all the fun things he could do. Not sure. Obviously he doesn't trust me. Near the end of the meeting the SPL pulled out a box of leftover gear and everyone that had something came up in front of the troop. And the new scout had to dance. Based on this thread I watched this scout closely. He did fine. This time they all danced at the same time. Big cheers afterwards. Anyway, by the end of the meeting I asked him if he wanted to go to summer camp. "Yes!" There was also a fun game and the troop guides are great, and that's probably why he's going, but certainly the dancing didn't hurt and he appeared to be having fun. He trusts the scouts in the troop more than me. I'm OK with that.

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I agree that it can be frustrating to debate experience with idealistic theory, and this forum is big on that. But that is no excuse to attempt a civil none intimidating discussion.

 

 

So you are insinuating that I am doing this with @@Sentinel947 because he espouses an opinion devoid of experience? If so, I go back to my climbing analogy. Or let me make it easier: Who's opinion about space would be more valid: Neil Armstrong's or someone who watched a few episodes of Cosmos?

 

I have opinions about stuff I have no experience with, but I would not profess to know more than someone who has a wealth of experience in that area. That's not intimidation. Please.

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So you are insinuating that I am doing this with @@Sentinel947 because he espouses an opinion devoid of experience? 

What in the world are you talking about? :huh:

 

I don't have a clue of what is going on between you and Sentinel. I was only responding to your comment that I highlighted. 

 

Barry

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A = I'm not judging you in black and white.

B = I'm judging the behavior and it is our role to judge and to learn right from wrong.  It is wrong.  

Statement B is and example of you doing Statement A.  No grey area here?

 

Embarrassment is negative discipline and explicitly against BSA positive discipline rules.  That part is explicit.  

Lemme empower your bureaucratic self: Show me.

 

 

Further, it's the intentional inflicting embarrassment as your tool for punishment that is cruel and against all that we are supposed to teach our scouts.  It went out the door with pointed dunce hats and shame.

 

Perhaps some people get the joke.  But those that need the lesson don't get the joke and don't learn the lesson you want.  They learn resentment, not to trust and it's okay to be mean and inflict bad experiences on others as long as you can justify it.

 

Too many blanket assumptions and assertions for me to care about.  So I'll detail the scenario in a final attempt to enlighten you:

 

Scout signs up.  Boy leaders are making announcements. Two boys are not paying attention and talking loudly enough to be a distraction.  The SPL calls their names and points to the floor.  The boys near them in formation shift away from them to make room because they know that the 2 chatterboxes are about to knock out 5 push-ups.  The SPL resumes his talk while the miscreants quickly get exercise.  It's over.

 

It's not cruel, it's not mean, it's not resented.  It's what happens when you talk in troop formation and disrupt your mates efforts to get things done.  This is the consequence that the Troop has decided to impose for your actions.  You did this to yourself when you kept blabbering instead of listening.

 

What are some 'positive discipline' alternatives?

 

"Mike and Bill are talking.  Let's wait until they are done and then we'll resume our meeting."

 

"Mike?  Bill?  Why don't y'all come up front and tell everybody what's so important?  No, no; come on up here and share your knowledge and wisdom.  Speak louder so we can hear you!"

 

"Mike and Bill?  Please take your conversation out in the hall so that the rest of troop can hear who is bring food for this weekend."

 

Ignore Mike and Bill's discourteous conversation and have the SPL talk louder?  How about a megaphone?

 

I think that our troop's method of 5 push-ups is less humiliating and more effective.  Especially late in the day when the kids ADHD meds are wearing off.

Perhaps doing push-ups is physical and you fear that could segue to corporal punishment. 

Edited by JoeBob

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I just remembered at one summer camp where all the troops at morning flag assembly started singing (don't remember the song) while waiting for a troop that was late and thus holding up the program. I don't remember one single person who felt the camp had stepped out of bounds of the scout law. Certainly not me or our scouts, and our troop was the targeted late one. But only once. 

 

Honestly I think that had a lot more impact on our PLC than if the camp director had spoke privately to our SPL about the problem, which is how I would have handled it.

 

Barry

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An assumption as to the motivation of others may be correct.  Or not.

 

And I can see that even the best of motivation may drive unfortunate behavior.  We are not perfect.

 

 

Generalizing from one's necessarily limited experience may be accurate.  Or not.  Your experience may not actually be universal however passionately you believe otherwise..

 

 

And I still believe that the Scout Law is up to the task and that no more zero tolerance rules are required.  In fact, "not" rules are contrary to the entire scheme of the Law.

 

"The boy is not governed by DON’T, but led on by DO. The Scout Law is devised as a guide to his actions rather than as repressive of his faults."  BP

 

 

"Regardless, I see we aren't going to agree on this topic, and I don't see our opinions changing."   But more hurt feelings can be generated.

Edited by TAHAWK

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