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WisconsinMomma

How about those who prefer leaders keep their hands off the kids?

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Take the scout handshake, I have often heard Dads make comments  like "Why not shake like a man. Aren't you teaching them to be men."  They were unaware of the tradition and its reason.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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It comes to mind that perhaps we need to review how traditions are presented, and more importantly, be clear with parents and the youth as to what it entails.  Most of these longtime activities have been around for decades and often become stories told as adults with fondness and mirth.  Unfortunately, on a rare occasion. something may have gone wrong, and the memory or immediate response was not as intended.  IF, all the parties involved understand what will happen and "still choose" to perpetuate the tradition, then that should be at the option of the family, as long as nothing is being done that is actually harmful.  MOST kids will be nervous about some of these things but still want to do them.  It is part of growing up and often a step towards coping with minor challenges.  

So where do you draw the line?  Do you simply ban everything that might even remotely cause emotional trauma?  Have we not possibly gone too far in demanding that we must protect people from any chance of physical or emotional trauma?  If so, then we should be shutting down all the sports venues, all the game shows on TV, all the talent shows, and so on.  Already we are seeing the results of this overreach, and it is causing us to have emotionally weak individuals who too often explode because they never learned to cope with the realities of life.

We need to find that balance between real dangers and imagined "possible" dangers, and then be as sure as we are able that all involved are involved in deciding yea or nay.  

But, I am an old guy that somehow survived to date, in spite of numerous emotional and physical challenges.  Yes, I was briefly terrified when two regalia-clad, very large teen youth grabbed me from a log and took be to the Chief when I was 15.  Yet, the drama and traditional ceremonies from that era are why it was an honor.  And just because a few misguided people went too far on rare occasion, it was still something that younger youth looked forward to and then stayed involved with due to the ceremonies and tradition.  That loss is the biggest reason OA has lost its place in today's programs.  Throw out the baby, along with the dirty water.  Not the best way to respond as I see it.

And the same can be said about upside down cubs and junior leadership like TLC doing basic boards for the lower ranks in Scouting,  It was not only a leadership skill they learned, but it was real peer review.  As long as rational adult supervision was in place, it worked well; and it still would.

So, just like government regulations that overall are worthwhile, but have some tweaks needed so they will be even better, we need to constantly walk that "line" to make things safe, but maintain the mystique and possible character building challenges.

 

JMHO of course.

 

 

 

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This whole discussion brings up an important part of how we interact with others.  Sure there are other customs and norms out there that need to be addressed.  If I were to offer my hand as a token of friendship and another person does not do what "I" deem as appropriate, am "I" tolerant enough to respect that person whether I know their customs or not? Or do I automatically "assume" (and we all know where that leads to) the worst case scenario? or do I tolerate the gesture and maybe at a more appropriate time, respectfully inquire into the situation.  The other person says, "In my culture such touching is a problem for us and so we don't do it."  Nuff said, now I know what's going on and my tolerant behavior and respect for others is clarified and made clear.  I might inquire how then, should I show my respect and friendship to them.  Then the next time we meet, I can keep each other comfortable in what was an awkward situation for both of us.

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I find this a totally bizarre topic, yea a few kids might think the overly formal hand shaking in our Troop is a bit archaic but I doubt (kids on the spectrum aside) that there is any thoughts of weirdness about it. Sounds like a straw man argument.

To the contrary my experience with american teens this last decade is they are, at least with each other, the most huggiest generation ever. They see each other after a long weekend, big hug. Bad test, big hug. Dropped touch down, big hug. Once you get in their inner circle you may too get the occasional big hug. I don't think it is always sincere as it is a thing that started with the girls and spread to the guys.

Now since I am very uncomfortable hugging a teen I think my body language is sufficient to discourage repeats.

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25 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

Now since I am very uncomfortable hugging a teen I think my body language is sufficient to discourage repeats.

I am not at all uncomfortable with hugging a teenage scout. I don't do it because it is against the rules.

Edited by David CO

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4 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

...there may be some parents (and even Scouts and Scouters) who because of their culture are not willing to shake using the left hand. There are some cultures, too, that don’t like to shake hands at all. We should respect their wishes.

What about those that prefer to kiss or hug? :)

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Oh, to be a myopic American.  :)  Scouting is a global phenomena and our chances of meeting those of other cultures in such places as World Jamborees will often times put us in "uncomfortable" situations.  A handshake?  A hug? A double kiss? A bow?  Let's just hope that tolerance of others keeps the peace.  When in Rome, do as the Romans, which is okay as long as one knows what Romans do.  

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47 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

I find this a totally bizarre topic, yea a few kids might think the overly formal hand shaking in our Troop is a bit archaic but I doubt (kids on the spectrum aside) that there is any thoughts of weirdness about it. Sounds like a straw man argument.

To the contrary my experience with american teens this last decade is they are, at least with each other, the most huggiest generation ever. They see each other after a long weekend, big hug. Bad test, big hug. Dropped touch down, big hug. Once you get in their inner circle you may too get the occasional big hug. I don't think it is always sincere as it is a thing that started with the girls and spread to the guys.

Now since I am very uncomfortable hugging a teen I think my body language is sufficient to discourage repeats.

It was and is a pretty common practice among my male and female friends growing up. I suppose that cultural practice has made me not think twice about it. I don't give my Scouts hugs because that's getting into the murky areas where things can be misconstrued. 

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If I am in Japan I will bow. If I am in France I’ll do the kissy thing. If I am in Sweden (and they’re girls) I’ll pretend I’m French and do the kissy thing. If I’m in the USA I’m shaking your hand whoever you are. That’s what we do. 

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38 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

If I am in Japan I will bow. If I am in France I’ll do the kissy thing. If I am in Sweden (and they’re girls) I’ll pretend I’m French and do the kissy thing. If I’m in the USA I’m shaking your hand whoever you are. That’s what we do. 

You might not want to do the French "kissy thing" in Sweden. Do the French kissy thing in France, the Belgian kissy thing in Belgium, .... BTW, a handshake between men in France is fine. Oh, and don't use your lips when doing the kissy thing. It's more cheeky than kissy. All in all, how to say hello is different everywhere and there are subtle rules. I took Japanese in college and we spent an entire class talking about how far to bow. It depends on the people in the room and their relationships, and even the Japanese don't always know. All in all, a great source of fun stories to tell your friends.

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Maybe it's just better to wait and see what the other person does.  If they offer a hand, shake it, if they bow, you do too, if they grab you and do the kissy thing, go with the flow.  If they give you a big bear hug, smile and pat them on the back.

Just remember, whatever it is they are doing is trying to be welcoming and friendly.  Accept it for what it is regardless of your reaction.

So, if they are pointing a gun at you, it might be wise to hold your hands up in the air,  I think that is the universal option at that point.

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7 hours ago, numbersnerd said:

Also, I fail to see how Latin Scot's post was directed at anyone specifically as nobody was quoted, named, or otherwise singled out. More of a blanket statement, similar to others that have been issued.

I appreciate this comment. I apologize, @WisconsinMomma, if you felt my words were unkind. They were not meant to be, and if a general statement I made was erroneously taken personally, I am sorry. But they were meant to be honest, which I cannot apologize for. I do believe that making too big an issue over a small thing is unwise, and a distraction - it takes our attention from the things that matter by focusing our energies on actions and behaviors instead of on people and individuals. We can focus all we want on whether handshakes or upside-down boys are right or wrong - but by so doing, we divert our attention from the boys themselves. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. 

Now, I will not bring up the matter again, as it would be ungentlemanly of me to do so, and I apologize if you mistakenly thought my comments were directed towards you, or were rude or insulting. But when others disagree about the issues with which you yourself take umbrage, I ask that you will treat them with the same respect that you have requested of me. To suggest that my words were inappropriately intoned, while at the same time manifesting an open hostility towards the comments of others who are in disagreement over the issue of Cub Scout ceremony traditions, is equally unfair. I hope we can proceed with this topic in a more civil manner, holding myself as first offender, for which I offer my most sincere apologies.

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18 hours ago, David CO said:

I am not at all uncomfortable with hugging a teenage scout. I don't do it because it is against the rules.

Please share your blocking technique when they move in for the hug? Is the crossed arm block, the straight out arms, or the shouted "NO!"?

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