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mashmaster

What are your guidelines for Scout Appropriate skits?

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I am trying to document for the boys a set of rules/guidelines to help them understand what is scout appropriate and what isn't . I'd love to know what your troop's guidelines are.  Here are guidelines that make sense to me, but I might be over limited or under limiting.

 

No:

  • coarse language
  • disparage a certain demographic group
  • inappropriate costumes (cross dressing, nudity, underwear)
  • violence/death
  • toilet humor 
  • inside jokes
  • alcohol/drunkenness

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Is it ...

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, or Reverent?

 

And not the striking opposite of any of those?

 

Most of your limiting cases might fall under not being kind.

But not always. Some really good skits might get precluded by your tight boundaries.

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Wow, if you take out toilet humor and violence/death you just about nix about half of the skits I've seen or performed. 

 

 

Mike, I gotta go wee... go wee... whee!

Flush it, plunge it, look out below!

Jump, Lady Jump! oops

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coarse language: sure, but the occasional dab nabbit can be used for character development.

 

disparage a certain demographic: what about idiots? I understand not making fun of minorities, but the best slapstick usually makes fun of idiots. Or country bumpkins. There's a great skit where two cops end up moving a dead guy from one spot to another because they didn't know how to spell the first.

 

cross dressing: there are hilarious skits involving damsels in distress or pregnant women. A pair of socks or a pillow adds to it. The guy in the doctor's office that collects everyone else's ailments. Starts with a cough, a cold, itching, ... and finally a pregnant woman walks in and the guy runs off screaming.

 

death and violence: lots of skits with someone dying with over exaggerated motions. Or evil people just being evil. Death is usually used to setup the punch line.

 

toilet humor. ever see the one with the SM riding a roller coaster while the audience is told he's on the toilet? I know. this one can get out of hand really easy but let's face it, the bean scene in blazing saddles was funny.

 

inside jokes: yeah, those just aren't funny.

 

alcohol: I haven't seen it either way, so I'd be fine with this restriction. But you know, a country bumpkin sipping out of a paper bag could be funny.

 

I hate to say this, but most humor involves pain and ridicule. There's always a line that shouldn't be crossed. Rather than rule out anything that could be anywhere close to that line maybe a better approach is to start showing scouts how to find that line. And if they go too far it's an opportunity for them to learn how to apologize. Skits are fun. Be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water (that's both death and toilet humor :) )

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All good feedback, what would you think of this?  (sadly funny stuff sometimes just isn't scout appropriate, I recently watched the Bad News Bears and forgot what it was really like)  It was funny to me still but my teenagers didn't think it was funny at all.

 

No:

  • coarse language  (dab nabbit isn't course but the D-word is highly offensive to some scouts in my experience, let alone the much more coarse words)
  • disparage a certain demographic group  (yes referring to minorities, disabilities, or gender)
  • inappropriate costumes (cross dressing, nudity, underwear) This is actually directly from BSA, no cross dressing.
  • inside jokes
  • alcohol/drunkenness

Grey Areas:

  • violence/death  (is violence the point of the skit? like the skit I've seen done where boy come up to a camper and pretend kick him then run away over and over again)
  • toilet humor (the Wee joke ok, but depicting someone going to the bathroom?  this feels like a slipper slope)

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Aw, does that include the "important papers" skit?

I don't know that one...  We need a thread of great skits!

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Is it ...

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, or Reverent?

 

And not the striking opposite of any of those?

 

Most of your limiting cases might fall under not being kind.

But not always. Some really good skits might get precluded by your tight boundaries.

Agreed, but this is a really hard problem to define.  I get tired of the consistent rejection of skits "Do you really think it is funny because he got run over?"

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Can't we just let kids be kids? Seriously.

 

Sadly, Frank, those days are gone. Someone will get offended and someone else will feel the need to check one's "privilege".

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Sadly, Frank, those days are gone. Someone will get offended and someone else will feel the need to check one's "privilege".

And Mr. Orwell continues to smile down upon us.

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Hey Mashmaster,

 

I'm a volunteer for my council's outdoor adventures committee, and these are the requirements we use from the Summer Camp Staff Training Guide 430-037.

 

"The list of don’ts include:

• Toilet humor—anything that involves bodily functions, toilet paper, etc.
• Water—where the audience or participants get wet
• Embarrassing an audience member
• Racial put-downs, making fun of mental or physical disabilities, religious groups,
and others
• Portraying violent behavior
• Anything with sexual overtones
• Anything that is not in keeping with the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America"
 
Hope this helps!
Edited by 4CouncilsScouter
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Hey Mashmaster,

 

I'm a volunteer for my council's outdoor adventures committee, and these are the requirements we use from the Summer Camp Staff Training Guide 430-037.

 

"The list of don’ts include:

• Toilet humor—anything that involves bodily functions, toilet paper, etc.
• Water—where the audience or participants get wet
• Embarrassing an audience member
• Racial put-downs, making fun of mental or physical disabilities, religious groups,
and others
• Portraying violent behavior
• Anything with sexual overtones
• Anything that is not in keeping with the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America"
 
Hope this helps!

 

Would have been a very short campfire when I was a Scout.  Truly amazing that we all turned out OK.

Edited by frankpalazzi
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