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On the issue of a "swear jar", it seems to me that the first step in cleaning up the troop's language is for the leaders (both adult and youth) to clearly establish that this behavior is unacceptable, and part of that is to set a good example and not swear themselves. In other words I think a "penalty" works better on behavior that is an exception, not the rule. Just my opinion.

Edited by NJCubScouter
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I think the use of the swear jar is a cutsie distraction.  Okay the kid swears.  Strike One  He owes a buck and refuses to pay up.  Strike Two... so what is Strike Three and who enforces it.  Kick the kid out for how long for swearing one time?  Does the price go up if the kid is rich?  What if the kid comes from a poor family who can just barely cover the cost of going in the first place.  Gonna dump him?  The situation needs to be enforceable on all levels and I see this whole process just becoming an even bigger headache than just swearing.

 

I have a singular solution that I use and it curtails inappropriate language quickly.  A boy/adult comes up to me and asks a question but if it includes language I don't appreciate, I get up and leave.  Do this often enough and in order to get an answer, they need to leave out the bad language.  If I even over-hear others swearing, I put distance between myself and the conversation.  No big scene, just leave the area.  They'll figure it out eventually and if they want me around, they will cease and desist. 

 

A boy comes up to me and says he's having trouble with the *#P@&$^ gas stove.  I simply get up and walk away without saying a word.  Then they ask me why I didn't answer.  I tell them flat out, I quit listening when the language became discourteous for polite company.  Again as I said before, DISTANCE is your ally.  No big scene, no punishment, nothing, just walk away.   They will soon figure it out.  If not when it comes time for the &%#&% SMC, the SM might just keep walking away instead of scheduling a time for the meeting.  Then again, if the language turns south, it might be difficult to finish it too if the SM keeps walking away.  Same holds true for the SPL and PL's.  If they stick around and listen to this discourteous language, are they not condoning the practice?

 

I've never had this problem in any of my troops I have served because I never listen to the conversations of bad language.  

 

By the way, I do this even in places other than scout activities.  Just isn't worth my piece of mind to put up with it.

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Swearing ... What do you mean by swear words.  There are some words clearly categorized as swear words.  Those should be absolutely off the table for scout environments.  But there are many words that depend on who you are and where you grew up.  Heck, there were words I was shocked to hear said because I was shielded as a kid.  Now, though I view them more as blunt or slightly crud.  And, there is taking the Lord's name in vain.  

 

I'd prefer all those words would be avoided, but it is also not realistic to change some people's basic language arts.  

 

One big regret we had in our troop was that we got a kid who was a potty mouth.  We knew it the first camp out.  I really wish we would have stopped him earlier than we did.  He was a poison to the environment and to those looking to join our troop.  Just the same as bullying or just plain mean kids.  Find a way to deal with it and deal with it early.  

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There are several substitute swear words that I call the boys on, too. Freaking, flippin' fracking, etc.  I ask them to define what that word means as used in the context that they said it, or do push-ups.  Building some good shoulders!

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Swearing ... What do you mean by swear words.  There are some words clearly categorized as swear words.  Those should be absolutely off the table for scout environments.  But there are many words that depend on who you are and where you grew up.  Heck, there were words I was shocked to hear said because I was shielded as a kid.  Now, though I view them more as blunt or slightly crud.  And, there is taking the Lord's name in vain.  

 

 

Such as?

 

 

There are several substitute swear words that I call the boys on, too. Freaking, flippin' fracking, etc.  I ask them to define what that word means as used in the context that they said it, or do push-ups.  Building some good shoulders!

 

 

Exactly! Everyone knows what that's the substitute for. Had a Battlestar Gallactical fan use "frackin'" for a while. While I appreciate the geek in him the SPL told him even that was unacceptable.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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What's a swear to you?  Yesterday a Scout from another troop was lamenting that he forgot to say "no onions" on his burger, so I joked he was going to fart all night, he said "we don't talk like that in our troop."  I told him I also say "crap" with a wink, to which his pal said "wow, money in the swear jar."  He was 15 with his buddies, I'm pretty sure he was being a smartmouth, but God knows nowadays. 

Do I speak crassly all the time? No, it's not courteous.  Words have meanings and connotations, I pick the right one for the effect I'm going for. 

 

Now, if you're talking actual swear words that everyone beyond 5th grade recognizes as a swear word, that's something you need to have a powwow with your SM about, why it bothers you, and that he needs to get everyone on board.

 

As far as family camping, it is not Scouting.  There are some people here who are wishy-washy on this because they're invested in the answer, so let me be blunt: Family camping is not Scouting and families do not belong on Scouting trips.

 

It sounds like your SM also dislikes all the parental interference, so you two simply need to sit down and strategize.  Here's your reasoning:

People who don't see a problem with family camping in Scouting don't understand the purpose of Scouting, so you need to explain what the point of the program is: To create young men who are physically fit, of good character, and who can do things for themselves.  That is why you go camping.  Not because camping is fun and Scouts is a camping club, but because camping is a fun way to reach our goals.  If mommy and daddy, or baby brother and sister, are hanging around, then you can't learn to do things for yourself.

The Guide to Safe Scouting addresses this issue:
"If a well-meaning leader brings along a child who does not meet these age guidelines, disservice is done to the unit because of distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is also done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by the older campers."

 

People who think of Boy Scouts as a family activity do not understand what Boy Scouts is.  People who think Boy Scouts is a father-son activity don't understand what Boy Scouts is.  They're confusing Boy Scouts with Indian Guides.  Again, bonding time is a nice side effect, but it is not the mission of Scouting and never was.

 

Camping is one of the 8 Methods of Scouting: "Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for God's handiwork and humankind's place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Boy Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature's resources."

 

So, you need to explain to these parents that camping is done a certain way (by boys with as little adult interference or planning as possible) for a certain reason: To grow your leadership skills and develop self-reliance.

 

You can also do various things to make life more difficult for meddlesome parents, like requiring anyone over 18 who wants to camp with the troop to take Youth Protection Training.

 

Are there times when it is unavoidable to bring a sibling, or use parents?  Of course, but that's not what we're talking about here.

Edited by Scouter99
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I wouldn't ban or limit parents.  Heck, our problems are usually not having enough adults participate.  What I would do is make them understand any adults on the trip will effectively be an Old Goats patrol and adults will not work with their own children.

 

"You want to come along?  Great!  I've already got Bob set up to work with your boy so can you and Henry take Jimmy and Tommy and work with them on first aid?  Thanks alot!"

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Bess Truman:  "It took me YEARS to get Harry to say "manure."

 

 

<<We also have a kid that simply will not listen to anyone but their parents, and this is a major problem because the scout is always causing trouble.>

 

 

Leave him home on outings until he gets the picture.

 

Send him home from troop meetings if he misbehaves.

 

 

In general,  one Scout who misbehaves will cause four other Scouts to drop out of the program.

 

Shape up or ship out.

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A lot of it has to do with one's situation, cultural environment, religious background, etc. What is offensive to one is not necessarily offensive to another.  When my mother told me to go back and pick up all the crap that we dumped by the front door when we walked in, it was always translated as junk or clutter, like books, coats, gym bag, etc. that we unloaded when we walked into the house.  It had nothing to do with what the dog or cat left there.  Others on the forum must have been raised with pets.

 

Then again when we refer to swearing, it has multiple meanings as well.  Cursing is something of a broad term reference as well.  One could fill a whole 2" loose-leaf notebook of words that are inappropriate in certain places at certain times that mean something differently in a different context/place.  When your mother tells you it's time for bed, it doesn't mean the same thing as when a guy tells his date that.

 

So, OMG, who's going to define what is inappropriate?

 

Normally people don't generally walk down the street using foul language, but in certain places at certain times it does get used.  I'm thinking that sometime in the past it became okay to use poor language and what is said in the troop activities is not the same language used at the scout's supper table at home.  The patterns of language used in one place can be altered for differing situations.  Inappropriate language at the supper table will invoke a reaction from Mom, discourteous comments aimed at a teacher will get a free hall-pass to the principle's office, etc.  Anything goes on a scout outing?  Well, that's what's been taught.  It can be untaught as well.

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...

I have a singular solution that I use and it curtails inappropriate language quickly.  A boy/adult comes up to me and asks a question but if it includes language I don't appreciate, I get up and leave. ...

By the way, I do this even in places other than scout activities.  Just isn't worth my piece of mind to put up with it.

 

That's my mode of operation on certain forum posts ... even ones that may interest me deeply. When it gets to the point that someone can be no more creative than to type a cuss word, I no longer want to associate my credentials (pseudonymous as they may be) with that discussion.

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I wouldn't ban or limit parents.  

 

If they're swearing in front of the kids, you're darn tootin' parents should be limited/banned. Does not sound like they have the same problem you do. They have too many volunteers.

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Swearing ... What do you mean by swear words.  

....

 

I'd prefer all those words would be avoided, but it is also not realistic to change some people's basic language arts.  

 

One big regret we had in our troop was that we got a kid who was a potty mouth.  We knew it the first camp out.  I really wish we would have stopped him earlier than we did.  He was a poison to the environment and to those looking to join our troop.  Just the same as bullying or just plain mean kids.  Find a way to deal with it and deal with it early.  

An off-the-cuff-definition:

 

Word choices that some folks in the group never want to use out of fear of offending their God, country, or Mamma.

 

No, we can't dodge all choice words (otherwise, St. Paul's one-word depection of material gains would have to be excized from the New Testament), but we can keep them to such a minimum that more folks would be willing to hear what we say and maybe respond with something that we need to hear.

 

Sometimes closing our mouths serves to open our ears!

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Swearing on a Bible before giving testimony in a trial case is forbidden by Christian, Jewish and Islamic law, but like a lot of things it has now become "socially acceptable".

 

Let's just go with inappropriate language so everyone understands in their own way what that means.

Edited by Stosh

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Such as?

 

... not going there ...

 

 

I told him I also say "crap" with a wink, to which his pal said "wow, money in the swear jar."  

 

I consider that a swear word ... a minor one, but still a swear word.  So would many others.  Just because it's common in the culture does not mean it's not a swear word.  Especially in scouting where you include many home schooled and/or strong faith-based families.  A vulgar image is being used as an adjective.  Same as if you used private body parts or bodily functions to draw vulgar images.  

 

That's why I asked the original question. I consider the above crude, lacking sophistication and absolutely not the vocabulary to use around scouts.  I'm pretty middle of the road too.   BUT I never use that word.  Period.   Others would clearly consider it swearing.  ... That's why I asked.  

 

The original poster complained about swearing.  What two people hear can be interpreted very differently.  

Edited by fred johnson

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... not going there ...

 

 

Well, then it's kinda tough to know what you mean when you say some language is considered appropriate depending on "who you are and where you grew up."  Not buying this situational or culturally selective application of appropriate language. If you wouldn't say it in your house or worship, in front of your boss or in your kid's school then you know pretty much if it is appropriate or not, no matter who you are or where you grew up. That's just no excuse.

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