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"Scoutmaster' Title Doomed?

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What I wish was doomed was this thread. :) Honestly, who has heard about this other than on this thread? I looked back at the start of the thread and all it is is a suspicion. Then there are 7 pages of whoa. Nothing is happening with the titles of the adult dudes and dudettes in the troop. Everything else is going to hell but the titles are good.

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1 minute ago, MattR said:

... Then there are 7 pages of whoa. Nothing is happening with the titles of the adult dudes and dudettes in the troop. Everything else is going to hell but the titles are good.

Well, I guess we could do @MattR a solid and quibble over an end to gaudy council names and patches ... :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

I'm probably repeating myself but I have always thought that for an organization with a history of child abuse, any title with "master" in it is maybe not the best choice. I've heard too many jokes and snide comments over the years. It's also headline fodder, like the most recent, horrific one this month in Overland Park. 

History of child abuse?  The BSA has no more "history" than many churches or schools.  Canada is going thru some soul searching about the Original Nations' forced schooling.  Is the Scout program at fault in general ? 

Father ?    Lord ?   Shepherd ?  

Too many jokes?   What jokes?   The "snide comments"  say more about the speaker than their  topic. of so-called "humor".  

 An abuser is an abuser, no matter what their title or official position or gender.  Or organization.   The title is not the problem.  Should we not call a Police Officer a Police Officer because a few choose to use their "POR"  in less than admirable ways?  

It is not the title that is faulty, but the person who claims it that needs attention.  

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6 minutes ago, SSScout said:

History of child abuse?  The BSA has no more "history" than many churches or schools. 

Downplaying the horrific child abuse scandal at BSA isn't going to do anyone any good.  It certainly won't stop the lawsuits or the bankruptcy.  

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13 minutes ago, SSScout said:

Is the Scout program at fault in general ? 

It's not the program that is at fault.  The program is good.  It is the executives who are at fault.  

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

I'm also not that worried about the PC aspect unless it''s something that is truly offensive but the scoutmaster title has always given me pause well before I ever heard of issues with it.

I'm probably repeating myself but I have always thought that for an organization with a history of child abuse, any title with "master" in it is maybe not the best choice. I've heard too many jokes and snide comments over the years. It's also headline fodder, like the most recent, horrific one this month in Overland Park. 

I also agree with your opinion that the title encourages certain types of personalities to take the title literally and become authoritative and dictatorial when dealing with youth. Advisor, mentor, guide is more in keeping with what I think the job description is in my opinion. I wouldn't think it matters much but we seem to have ongoing issues with units that struggle with scout led. 

Then we’d best look to a couple more examples to be sure the nuance is well fleshed out.  With  regard to PETA:

...the animal rights organization feels “pet” is a derogatory term and suggested people should stop using it since it is not animal-friendly language. She stated, “A lot of people at home who have dogs or cats will call them ‘pets’ and refer to themselves as ‘owners,’ and this implies that the animals are a possession, like a car, for example, When you refer to animals, not as the living beings they are, but as an inanimate object, it can reflect our treatment on these animals.”

This isn’t the first time PETA suggests using a new word or phrase for it to be less animal-centric. PETA argued words and idioms that involve meat products are offending vegetarians and vegans. For example, instead of saying flogging a dead horse” or “killing two birds with one stone,” the organization wants people to say “feeding a fed horse”, or “feeding two birds with one scone.”

So livestock is next, then the word Animal because someone might use it in reference to savage behavior.  
 

Then, let’s look at a corollary to ‘master’ .  We’d best tell the churches and families that the word ‘father’ is no longer acceptable because that too is an authority title, notwithstanding its acceptance across the epoch of time.  Plus, those children’s who lost their fathers or have abusive fathers might be offended or embarrassed and thrown into deep depression when others use the word. we can’t risk it.
 

Boss?  Well, forget that.  Boss man is certainly a throwback to slaves and chain gangs, and prisons.  In fact, prisoner and convict are tools for oppression so they go out too.  I don’t know if anyone who wants to be called prisoner or convict especially if it’s a tool of the oppressive system that puts people down in a judicial and police system that is supposedly so bad that it has to be overhauled.  
 

the examples are countless and the point is that anyone anywhere will find reasons to mangle meaning and words to make themselves feel better and speak for others whether they want it or not.  It’s the idea of claiming the progress is based on the acceptance of a new word without accepting that ANY word can be made and used to sound ugly.  Humans have this odd disconnect between thinking they can change human nature by changing words.  Degenerate-lunatic-imbeciles-maniac-retarded-and so forth.  Psychiatry changes it’s diagnostic manual to capture the evolving understanding of mental disorders.  Each generation changes terms.  If, we, outside of psychiatry, use any of the terms on an everyday basis directed at someone, there is no mistake behind the meaning and intent:  mentally there is something very wrong with them.  Context is certainly important and what makes English complicated.  Certain 4 letter words can be used across the spectrum ranging from hate of a person to sex to admiration of a new idea and so forth.

 I suppose that scoutmaster has consistently meant, the leader of the group  but let’s look at alternatives:

 bossman, Pontifex Maximus, father- scout, fürhrer (which just translates as leader), grand marshal, pasha, sultan, how about king scout (queen scout might be a slap at cross dressers), headman (long accepted term in certain tribes around the world, Shah, Rajah, I would say chief but we know that’s dead in the water in American politics. 

Maybe if we go to the more egalitarian model the communists used in WWI when they had units in France during the revolution of 1917.  They had group elections on whether or not to fight.  Officers were ignored.  So if we do that, nobody is in charge because there is no respected hierarchy.  You see, the second you use words like advisor and mentor they become applicable to adults.  That’s authority and power tier one.  Well, someone has to make decisions, arbitrate and ultimately be a decision maker and arbitrator.  
That means you have to give them some type of easily recognizable designation (presumably that fits into scouting tradition...tradition as a word seems to have become profane in PC culture equaling tyranny, bigotry and narrow mindedness but never mind that).  
 

once you’ve got the designations in place, Bingo!  You’re right back to where you started.  You’ve only swept away understanding and function of one set to start over again because of sensitivity or criticism of others.  The relationship is what is attacked, the system is what is ridiculed, the uniforms, the symbols, the spirit all of it.  The words are a convenience and passive aggressive.  Are you seriously going to change your title as an American because of history and actions of others and the rest of the world mocks you as an American?  Are you going to start saying, maybe I’ll be accepted if I call myself a North American so they’ll think I’m one of the good guys? 
 

scouts is being dismembered make no mistake.  Piece by piece little by little sections get condemned and made into something different and it’s not alone.  I certainly can’t stop it.  But I don’t have to like it or accept it.  It’s an ongoing transmogrified experiment in a Frankensteinian lab run by destructive people and duped lab assistants. 

But I’m a little biased and irked by the whole mess.

 

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Well, I guess we could do @MattR a solid and quibble over an end to gaudy council names and patches ... :ph34r:

Speaking of flogging a dead horse :)

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2 hours ago, yknot said:

I'm also not that worried about the PC aspect unless it''s something that is truly offensive but the scoutmaster title has always given me pause well before I ever heard of issues with it.

I'm probably repeating myself but I have always thought that for an organization with a history of child abuse, any title with "master" in it is maybe not the best choice. I've heard too many jokes and snide comments over the years. It's also headline fodder, like the most recent, horrific one this month in Overland Park. 

I also agree with your opinion that the title encourages certain types of personalities to take the title literally and become authoritative and dictatorial when dealing with youth. Advisor, mentor, guide is more in keeping with what I think the job description is in my opinion. I wouldn't think it matters much but we seem to have ongoing issues with units that struggle with scout led. 

Please also Understand, I mean no pointed attacks towards anyone here in particular. As I have gotten older I see the disdain for change come out in me and dislike for social and cultural upheavals. I certainly know the importance of dignity usefulness of change.  I suppose I rail into the winds but one has to offer rebutted to a cultural energy of constant change that has a lot of negatives. Perspective and measured steps can be useful.  But everyone here exhibits this regularly. 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Troop75Eagle said:

Please also Understand, I mean no pointed attacks towards anyone here in particular. As I have gotten older I see the disdain for change come out in me and dislike for social and cultural upheavals. I certainly know the importance of dignity usefulness of change.  I suppose I rail into the winds but one has to offer rebutted to a cultural energy of constant change that has a lot of negatives. Perspective and measured steps can be useful.  But everyone here exhibits this regularly. 

It's okay to feel strongly.  We're in very emotional times.  Everyone of us can easily pull ridiculous events from daily news.  For me, it's the constant resistance to police these days.  Protest in public opinion and fight in court.  Don't add pressure on them as they their immediate job.  

For me, the title "scoutmaster" carries little long term weight and has a lot of baggage due to mis-interpretation.  ... But, that's me.  And it's not the biggest battle.  

Edited by fred8033
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50 minutes ago, David CO said:

Downplaying the horrific child abuse scandal at BSA isn't going to do anyone any good.  It certainly won't stop the lawsuits or the bankruptcy.  

I have two kids, now adults, that were gymnasts. They were not subject to Nassers pedophilic claws but they know others that were.  Gymnast parents and kids know each other very well.  The parents watch like hawks and take notice of oddballs with no kids in gymnastics but seem to relish taking photos of the kids.  The parents watch social media because there are a lot of strangers who want to be ‘friends’ with the kids.  Obviously, in Nasser's case, the system failed.  He was good friends with some, went to parties and had trust.  Some of the parents must have had willful blindness or were just fooled.  There is likewise precedent and concern about high pressure sports and vindictive kids versus coaches.  That is insidious and difficult.

svouts may not have the added dynamics of gymnastics but parents can take a page or two from their experience.  It’s evident that whatever form National and local councils take, trust must be rebuilt and safeguards constantly reviewed.  Parents might do well to be sure they all know each other and be open to the possibility there is a renegade amongst them.  It’s an appalling and depressing thought but it seems it’s warranted.  If we are going to have diversity training, teaching kids the signs of abuse to their person and others needs to be taught along with encouragement that it’s not only ok, but a must to speak up in an appropriate way.  To my way of thinking, this has become more important than diversity training since the consequence would be diverse victims.  
 

one could see how a system could be weaponized against scouts reporting on scouts or scouts against Adults but that is something that has to be accepted and carefully scrutinized.  Having scouts look after each other on social media is a must along with adult review but that’s no easy task either.  Considering the long long history of abuse over millennia, it’s transparent this is an ongoing obligation anywhere kids are involved.  
 

National has a long way to go to rebuild trust, councils are on notice and troop leadership cannot feel exempted.  It’s an ongoing problem that is always under threat just as much as thieves will always be attracted to treasure. 

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1 hour ago, Troop75Eagle said:

Parents might do well to be sure they all know each other and be open to the possibility there is a renegade amongst them.  

It is not very realistic to expect parents in a scout unit (or any youth activity) to all know each other.  Many parents are very busy.  They just don't have the time.  

I think it is a healthy thing for kids to develop a life outside the family and away from their parents.  The family should be the most important thing in a kid's life, but it shouldn't be the only thing.  

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7 hours ago, qwazse said:

Well, I guess we could do @MattR a solid and quibble over an end to gaudy council names and patches ... :ph34r:

 

6 hours ago, MattR said:

Speaking of flogging a dead horse :)

To quibble,  "scouter", "adviser" should go too as a scout is not called a "scoutee", "advisee", ..

I like "ScoutMan". IMHO how's this for a non-gaudy patch AND...and I also came up with a marketing slogan to recruit volunteers...Become a Big Blue Boy Scout.

image.png.1c75cd788809dad0a1efeefc230529f6.png

:)

 

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26 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

 

To quibble 

 

That's perfect!  Quibblers.  

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5 hours ago, David CO said:

It is not very realistic to expect parents in a scout unit (or any youth activity) to all know each other.  Many parents are very busy.  They just don't have the time.  

I think it is a healthy thing for kids to develop a life outside the family and away from their parents.  The family should be the most important thing in a kid's life, but it shouldn't be the only thing.  

You are correct, but some sort of greater vigilance is required considering the scope and depth of what has occurred over time.  That is, what is known about what occurred.  As in most statistics, they always seem to be a fraction of what happens since embarrassment, fear, shame and pressure silence a lot of these crimes.  

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18 hours ago, David CO said:

It is not very realistic to expect parents in a scout unit (or any youth activity) to all know each other.  Many parents are very busy.  They just don't have the time.  

Time is relative and judgement and behavior can be changed.... That is what we need to encourage ...    

 

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