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So with the Coronavirus/Covid-19 changing our country and the world on a daily and hourly basis, I expect we will see a great deal of permanent cultural changes in most societies in the near future.

Among them I expect to see the handshake becoming near taboo, including the Scout handshake, and thereby the OA handshake.

The left handed handshake and clasp are such an identifiable part of Scouting worldwide that it is hard to imagine it going away, but unfortunately I think it will. 
 

What method of greeting and respect, that would be unique to Scouting, could we adopt to take its place?

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

What method of greeting and respect, that would be unique to Scouting, could we adopt to take its place?

No need to reinvent the wheel, here.

Quoting Scouting for Boys, by Baden-Powell (page 41)

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When a scout meets another for the first time in the day, whether he is a comrade or a stranger, he salutes with the secret sign in the half salute.

And what is this secret sign and half salute?  From page 40

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. . . the scout will stand, holding his right hand raised level with his shoulder, palm to the front, thumb resting on the nail of the little finger, and the other three fingers upright, pointing upwards: -- This is the scout's salute and secret sign.  When the hand is raised shoulder high is is called the "Half Salute."  When raised to the forehead it is the "Full Salute."

 

Edited by Treflienne
typo
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By the way,  I found it odd that BSA (differing from Scouting for Boys) raises the hand well above shoulder high, rather than shoulder high, for the half salute.

Also,  I found it odd that the BSA does not accompany the scout handshake with the half salute.  Scouting for Boys, page 42 says

Quote

If a stranger makes the scout's sign to you, you should ackowledge it at once by making the sign back to him, and then shake hands with the LEFT HAND.

These are two areas in which GSUSA is closer to Baden-Powell than is BSA.

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I didn't know we were breaking from Badon Powell's scouts. But then, the BSA program does many things different, like electing the Patrol Leader instead of the SM appointing one for as long as the SM desired.

While I was a scout, to do anything less raising the scout sign (half salute) where the upper arm is parallel to the ground and the lower arm is strait up was being out of uniform. As a scoutmaster, I occasionally reminded scouts not to be lazy and always position their the Scout Sign properly. I wanted their action to be as automatic to them for the rest of their lives as it is for me. As for the scout left hand shake, I think that just faded away as a result of being un-natural and clumsy. Although we did perform the left hand hand shake while I was a scout, it was always awkward with a giggle generally following. It wasn't practiced at all by the time I was an adult leader. 

Google Norman Rockwell Scouts and you will find paintings of BSA Scouts saluting and half saluting in the same tradition scouts are taught today. Of course, if some folks here get their way and change the uniform to t-shirts like the GSUSA, I guess the sign can drop to reflect the new BSA.

Barry

 

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We do actually use the left-hand shake in our troop, but usually only at the end of a BoR or when handing out merit badges and awards at a CoH.  

To the original point of the post, though, I think things like handshakes are, for many people, gone for good.  I was having a discussion with a friend of mine just the other day about this.  There will likely be a segment of the population that still does it, but after months of not touching anyone who doesn't live in your house, it's going to seem very, very weird to shake hands and I suspect a lot of people will just stop doing it.  

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I believe in countries where the left hand is used instead of toilet paper the tradition of using the left hand to shake the hand of a fellow scout never caught on.

 

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Friends, not only am I going to shake hands with my Mediterranean cousins who live through this ... we will kiss, first right cheek then left. (As opposed to some of my Eastern European left-then-right cousins ... that always ends up a little messy.)

The one habit that I hope my scouts do maintain: hand washing. Our nails have never been so clean.

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I wish there was a question mark at the end of this thread title.

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Posted (edited)

I think it's irrational to believe that this pandemic spells the end of such basic parts of our culture as hand-shaking. For a season it may diminish in use, but only for a season - when we finally have this illness beaten, which we will, I believe the handshake will come back with a vengeance. Until that time, I am strongly encouraging all Scout leaders to salute each other - it's just as much a means of salutation as the handshake, and in many situations I even prefer it. Why don't we salute each other more? lol. 

Edited by The Latin Scot
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The hand shake survived the 1918 Spanish Flu, so why would it not survive this?  It may take time, but..

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It would certainly be more hygienic to end the handshake in general, not just scouts. As society learned about germs, we made changes to reduce the spread of disease.  Civil War "doctors" didn't sterilize their saws when doing amputations.  We learned that was a bad idea.  

It's not unreasonable to discuss ending the handshake.  There are people in my office who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom.  Some think 2 seconds of water and no soap is good enough.  There are many people like this.  Do you want to shake their hands? 

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7 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

It would certainly be more hygienic to end the handshake in general, not just scouts. As society learned about germs, we made changes to reduce the spread of disease.  Civil War "doctors" didn't sterilize their saws when doing amputations.  We learned that was a bad idea.  

It's not unreasonable to discuss ending the handshake.  There are people in my office who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom.  Some think 2 seconds of water and no soap is good enough.  There are many people like this.  Do you want to shake their hands? 

Yes! I shake lots of hands. Then wash before meals, snacks, or going out for my coffee.

You all touch the same toilet handle ... just saying.

Everyone in my family scratches the same dog, and I've seen that beast roll in some nasty stuff!

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