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Banned Skits

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"The term 'banned skits' will be forever banned forthwith from all Scouting Events. Especially Council Camporees. " -- this was posted in Fixin Scouting thread and struck home for me.

 

I had never heard of banned skits until NCS when one group of adults did the banana/bandana skit and the instructors told us it was inappropriate as there could be a "hungry" scout in the group that shouldn't see food wasted in such a way. I thought at the time that that was taking PC too far but mayhaps I was wrong (it has happened before). What is the consensus of this group about banned skits and which skits are your refering too?

Kristi

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The immediate "banned skit" that comes to mind is either the "motorcycle skit" or the "roughrider skit", normally it involves two guys, one sleeping in a tent one not, the "gang" beats up the guy sleeping outside twice, after the second time the sleepers switch places and then the gang decides to beat up the guy in the tent. Big fun

 

The only reason to ban skits is to encourage creativity amoung the troops, but then why deprive kids of the "old nuggets"?

 

 

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"Banned Skits" because staff is tired of seeing them- ridiculous! I know it is the tradition at some camps that 'such and such' a skit is 'discouraged' because it is a moldy oldie, but that strikes me as unfair to those for whom the skit is still fresh. Besides- groaning at old jokes is part of the fun!

 

"Banned Skits" that include outdated racial stereotypes, sexism, 'potty humor', etc.- I can see, but I think there are better mechanisms than 'banning'.

 

"Banned Skits" because of a wasted banana? Yeesh.

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Skits like Pencils & the Pink Pansy Motorcycle Gang are timeless classics. They shouldn't be banned!

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Banning skits is a method to decrease offensiveness and increase acceptable humor. The problem is that it stifles creativity. The resolution can come in two forms. The first is to take a tired old worn out skit and have everyone put on costumes. Costumes allows for Scouts to assume the character's identity and ham it up. PC limits also change and everyone should be aware that certain topics need to be avoided to not offend or put someone down. So, the second method is to rewrite the offensive parts and to insert acceptable humor. This takes some time and effort. It should be done prior to the performance in a "Comedy Club or Improv night".

 

Scouts have a natural humor that is normalized to their own time. What one generation sees as funny, the next wonders what they were thinking about. It is important for Scouts to find their "funny bone" and to use it. There are many resources for humor on-line if the Scouts feel that they have "writer's block". It takes some preparation time and if the skit is "new". It should be practiced so that the audience will "get it" or hear it or understand it when finally presented.

 

 

FB

 

 

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About the "Banana/Bandana" skit, I don't know how it's performed where you are, but it was also banned in my parts. The reason being that the skit relies on a misunderstanding about whether the "magician" is talking about a banana or bandana. How was this misunderstanding created? Well, often, the boys made the "audience participant" into basically a retarded child who keeps messing up. I can see how the skit is offensive when it's performed in such a way.

 

As for hungry scouts, I can't believe that's actually the rationale.

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My son is PLL for our troop. As such, he attended the daily SPL meeting at summer camp. This is where all of the skits for the campfires got approved or rejected. They rejected a lot because they were inappropriate. That doesn't really surprise me. I've always monitored what my son watches or listens to. I'm no fool, I know he has heard probably every dirty word in the book. I had by the time I was his age. But that didn't mean I used them. I'm reminded of a time my son 9 years old and was a Webelos 1. One of his Webelos buddies came over to spend the night and brought a couple of Austin Powers DVD's to watch. His parents had bought them for him. To me personally, while the movies might be a hoot to a 48 year old guy, they are totally inappropriate for 9 year olds. There is such a thing as decorum. Driving home from summer camp a few weeks ago, this same boy and another were doing the old Saturday Night Live skit with a guy acting like Sean Connery playing Jeopardy. The skit contains a number of references to body parts. The fact they did it once would have been OK. Not knowing it was coming, there wasn't much I could do about it. The fact that like most 12 year olds, they had to repeat it over and over and over while giggling the whole time. After about the fourth time I decided they were not going to stop on their own and move on to something else and asked them to stop because it was not scout appropriate. Scouts grow up in a variety of atmospheres. Some parents cuss like sailors and will watch anything and everything in front of their children from the day they are born. Some will not. Just because it is allowed at home does not mean it should be allowed at scout campfires. We encourage the boys to find new skits or create their own because it does get boring seeing the same old skits over and over, but we don't ban the old skits. We only pull the plug when they want to do cruel or bathroom humor.

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The quote mentioned in the first post was posted by me originally.

 

My dislike of banned skits comes from a Council Camporee when all the troops doing skits had to register their skit with the staff. Fair enough. Our SPL went up, and wanted to do 'Fritz'. Turns out it was a banned skit. We had never even heard the term 'banned' and 'skit' used in the same sentence until then, and were rather caught off guard.

 

When inquired and learned that banned skits include any skit that has:

 

-Killing

-Violence

-Guns

 

And so on and so forth, drugs, sex, etc.

 

The drugs, alchohol and sex stuff I completely understand. But guns? What 9 year old has not seen someone pretend too shoot a gun and someone else die equally as fake? Often with a few mischevious flails. Cartoons exhibit this kind of behavior daily. Yosemite Sam is always packing his pistols, and stuff like that.

 

I just don't see the reason to ban skits with guns and stuff.

 

Anyways, to make a long story short, later that night at the council campfire someone did Fritz, and that skit where the people are in the submarine and they commit suicide but they guy at the end 'dunno how'.

 

After rereading some posts, I have to agree with you guys. (I mean seriously, roughriders? Whenever I have seen it done, the riders and the campers hardly make contact...)

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Roughriders, bandana/bananna??? This is PC going way too far.

 

I've heard that the general rules were against "potty jokes" (important papers, etc.), cross-dressing, poking fun at an individual (involuntarily), or significant violence. Our camp supposedly inforces those rules, but this year at camp I counted two potty jokes, two involving cross-dressing, four examples of picking on someone from the audience and several with some amounts of violence (including roughriders). If they are banning any skits here, I'd hate to see what isn't getting through.

 

(BTW, we had at least two parents offended by some of the skits on parent's night). One of them left early.

 

I've found that many of the "old favorites" can be re-written to make it unoffensive. Also, I believe much of the offensiveness occurs in words that don't need to be used (count how many times "frickin" is used at the next campfire).

 

Also, this is a sidenote.... but I've heard it referenced that some skits are appropriate for campfires where there are no visitors, but not appropriate for "family night". I think this is a gray area that causes confusion in the mind of a twelve year old. Just my humble opinion.

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The last two times our Troop performed skits at summer camp, we poked fun at an aspect of summer camp. The 1st one was poking fun at the check-in procedure and the 2nd was poking fun at swim checks titled "One Fine Day at Aquatics". Neither were PC and both received standing ovations! And we had to get both approved by the camp director ahead of time.

 

I think we worry a little too much about offending anyone. Sure we shouldn't be doing black-ace but if done correctly, humor can be funny!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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but I've heard it referenced that some skits are appropriate for campfires where there are no visitors, but not appropriate for "family night". I think this is a gray area that causes confusion in the mind of a twelve year old. Just my humble opinion.

 

Not only does it created a gray area for the boys, but does for me as well. If I think the Scoutmaster and company was hiding the way they allowed the boys to behave (i.e. there is one standard for when no one is looking and another when mom and dad are around), Id be livid. Im depending on the adult leadershipthey have my trust. If they ever broke that trust in such a way, Id be in their ear like there was no tomorrow.

 

As for banned skits, if the skit is truly offensive why would I mind? I think there is a time for this. Unfortunately, people do go way too way (i.e. banana skit, guns, etc.)

 

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In the situation I discribed the banana/bandana skit was done by a group of adults with one being the "instructor" and the others being the demonstrators. No magician and no "learning challenged" participants. Just your humorous "misunderstanding of a word".

My group did the CPR "Wanna Switch" skit. Makes me glad we didn't offend any cardiac patients. :)

Kristi

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There are no skits specifically banned by the BSA nor is the Bandana/Banana skit in any way a violation of the guidelines given by the BSA.

 

All program events are to be in good taste. There is no place in scouting for poor manners, racial, ethnic, or gender slurs; or vulgarity.

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just saw the "J C Penny" skit for the 100th time-hmmmmm also saw staff do an interesting version of If "I weren't a Boy Scout"-sometimes its the way the Scouts do the skit that's just plain funny or not. How about "I've come to marry the princess" done right I fall off my bench. Anybody remember Sid Ceaser, Flip Wilson or Robin Williams in female dress-how about Japanese Kabuki dancers-all male in all roles. Cross dressing is not the same as stage costumes.

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Only my son in our troop likes to do skits. Most of my boys say "there stupid". They don't sing either. So it's a real challenge to get a skit either myself of my son can do. I'd much rather the boys do it than have to rely on a leader being present but that's how it goes. This year at SC we did an enpromptu skit titled "General Custer" involving myself as Custer my son as the trusty Colonel and our ASM as the punch. Custers looking over the battle field and ask tells the Colonel "Hmm doesn't look good. Cirlce the wagons." Colonel repeats "CIRCLE THE WAGONS". A few minutes later looking through binoculars Custer says "Hmm better get the ammunition ready." Colonel repeats "PREPARE THE AMMUNITION".

Now coming across the stage is our ASM in his class a with OA sash.

Custer looks at the Colonel and says "What! Was that!" Colonel looks at Custer and say "Arrow man"

Audience didn't get it but the OA leadership did.

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