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WisconsinMomma

Please don't use bad language at committee meetings

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I struggle a lot when I hear people use bad language at committee meetings.  Unfortunately, I have heard the phrase (I'll make it less crude) "poop show",  at both a Cub committee and Troop committee meetings. 

I decided to leave Cubs because I felt that there was a growing negative vibe overall, coupled with a lack of appreciation for many of the adult volunteers.  Then at the next Troop meeting I went to, I heard the same phrase, but in a less accusatory and critical way.  

But honestly, I hate hearing this kind of language from adults in Scouting.

Now, if I hear this again at troop committee?  Do I say something?  Is that too parental?  

I am *not* a delicate flower, I just want people to use clean language throughout Scouting, observing the Scout Law.

What would you do / say?  Thanks! 

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WisconsinMomma:

Keep your focus on Scouts, not on adults.

You don't have time for this rabbit-hole, inviting the risk of being seen as a moralizer or a prude, etc.  Of course, if this language is used in earshot of Scouts that's a different matter.  Adult-only committee meetings?  Let it go.

 

Edited by AltadenaCraig

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If the language is from an individual (or a couple individuals) there are probably others thinking the same as you.  I would address much the same way I would address it with the Scouts - a simple "that kind of language is not appropriate", "that kind of language is not necessary", "we can do better than that" or "we're supposed to be setting the example".

If it is used by most of the group you'll have a tougher time. 

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As one who let's his tongue slip more than I should ...

Yes! Please remind guys like me that it's wrong in meetings to take advantage of language others don't want to hear or use.

Iron sharpens iron.

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15 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

WisconsinMomma:

Keep your focus on Scouts, not on adults.

You don't have time for this rabbit-hole, much less the risk of being a moralizer or a prude, etc.  Of course, if this language is used in earshot of Scouts that's a different matter.  Adult-only committee meetings?  Let it go.

 

My issue is that when we are meeting as a committee, we are on-duty as volunteers for the BSA, and therefore submit to the values of the organization. 

If we were at a non-Scouting event, then I don't care.  I care about Scouting. 

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21 minutes ago, qwazse said:

As one who let's his tongue slip more than I should ...

Yes! Please remind guys like me that it's wrong in meetings to take advantage of language others don't want to hear or use.

Iron sharpens iron.

Qwazse:  I follow your posts and appreciate them as coming from a good egg.  I expect you'd be the kind of person to take any constructive criticism well.  My guess is that if I heard you say something that really offended me I'd have the confidence to approach you personally and mention my discomfort, knowing that you would appreciate my sharing my feelings.

 

If her relationship with the potty-mouth is secure, I'd advise Wisconsin Momma to similarly make mention of her feelings one-on-one.  If it's not, then let it go.  We're here for Scouts' character development, not that of Scouters.

Edited by AltadenaCraig

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I like to think of the adult leaders in my troop as a team.  We're all in it together to bring Scouting to the youth in our troop.

If some of the leaders in our troop are uncomfortable with certain language, I'd hope they'd say so.  Generally, I try to keep our meetings fairly professional - so I tend to shy away from any kind of adult language.  Not so much because it's a Scout setting - but because I wouldn't do it at work, church, etc...  But, if something we do say or how we say it is bothering some members of our team, I'd really hope they would tell us.

I'd encourage you to bring it up at the beginning of a meeting one day.  Simply tell everyone that you're not comfortable with some of the adult language and negativity.  Don't single anyone out or give examples unless asked.  Simply ask the group to tone down the language.  If you did that in our troop, everyone would spend the next few minutes acting sheepishly and feeling bad they'd made you feel uncomfortable.

Maybe there's someone you have to talk to offline - but I'm guessing if you keep it positive and make the ask folks will get the message.  I like doing it at the start of a meeting so that you're not correcting something from this meeting - but setting the tone for how you'd hope we act going forward.

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1 hour ago, AltadenaCraig said:

Qwazse:  I follow your posts and appreciate them as coming from a good egg.  I expect you'd be the kind of person to take any constructive criticism well.  My guess is that if I heard you say something that really offended me I'd have the confidence to approach you personally and mention my discomfort, knowing that you would appreciate my sharing my feelings.

 

If her relationship with the potty-mouth is secure, I'd advise Wisconsin Momma to similarly make mention of her feelings one-on-one.  If it's not, then let it go.  We're here for Scouts' character development, not that of Scouters.

I agree that adults should be feel comfortable in expressing how they feel about habits and behaviors of scouts and adults in the program. Some discussion may be required for their education, but everyone should feel comfortable in opening the discussion. Not only did our adults understand my intolerance for colorful language, our scouts knew as well.

But I disagree that adults shouldn't consider themselves as students of character change. Who is to say when everyone can't learn something new. I have many many stories of adults having to correct their behavior for the sake of living the oath and law (myself included), but I will only mention the one of the lawyer visiting a meeting to express their client's concern of one of our leaders bad judgement of how they role model to our scouts. Leaving the parents choice of getting our attention aside, we found the adult changing his behavior the easier route to the solution. 

I believe, and taught this in my adult leadership classes, any adult who is not open to suggestions for change does not belong in the scouting program because as the scouts change and mature, so must the adults change and mature just to keep up. Add to that, if we are to assume scouts to grow into adult character, we must accept them, and ourselves as equals to develop that respect.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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We have a swear jar. Its a virtual one but we do use it to remind adults to watch their language. Ex: Joe says the f-bomb someone will pipe up and say $5 bucks to the sear jar and we move on.

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5 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I agree that adults should be feel comfortable in expressing how they feel about habits and behaviors of scouts and adults in the program. Some discussion may be required for their education, but everyone should feel comfortable in opening the discussion.

...

I believe, and taught this in my adult leadership classes, any adult who is not open to suggestions for change does not belong in the scouting program because as the scouts change and mature, so must the adults change and mature just to keep up.

Agreed.  We're all adults (not to mention volunteers & teammates) and should behave as such.

 

10 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

But I disagree that adults shouldn't consider themselves as students of character change. Who is to say when everyone can't learn something new.

It's one thing to approach adult personal behavior In General as an educational opportunity - of course we should all be students of the scout oath and law (though, alas, I personally require repeated instruction).  It''s another for any of us to appear to call-out the behavior of other adults under the veil of championing those values.  No one appointed any of us Lone Ranger.

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