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Patrol Name Reality Check

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I was quite miffed at the name of the winning patrol of the local Klondike Derby, in First Place was the "Bear Rasslars" which I took to be quite offensive. The reality check, is would anyone else also find this name offensive or do you think this an acceptable name.


I have to admit that the week the Klondike derby was held at the end of a week that had a long time unit leader and Camp staff member arrrested for sex with a 14 year boy in his home (the leaders, not the boys). Should that make a difference?

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I don't see it either, sorry OGE. You know "rassler" is a common local pronunciation of "wrestler" so maybe the idea the boys were aiming for was that they were so tough, they wrestle bears.


By the way - patrols in our troop have a tradition of using alliteration in their patrol names. For a while we had the Krazy Kangaroos. Leaving aside the annoying intentional mis-spelling, we adults were just glad they didn't choose a name with three words starting with the letter K!(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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I googled "rassler" and I couldn't find any use of the term other than some European surnames and as a nonstandard pronunciation / spelling of "wrestler." I can't think of any reason why "Bear Rassler" could be offensive to anybody, except maybe people who think Boy Scouts should leave the poor helpless bears alone and stop wrestling with them.


Sometimes patrols do things which are mistaken. My son's first patrol when he crossed over from Webs was the "Eagle" patrol. Nothing unusual about that. But they chose a really cool art-deco stencil of an eagle to decorate their patrol flag with. Nothing wrong with that, either, but apparently it was just similar enough to a Nazi symbol that they ended up getting a lot of questions from people. I hadn't been aware that the Nazis even used an eagle as a symbol, but when I looked it up it was definitely NOT the same design as the one they'd downloaded and used on their flag. It was, however, a similar artistic style. It raised enough eyebrows that they ended up painting over the eagle symbol, and had a rather plain flag with no symbol on it at all. Better to not have people THINK it's a Nazi symbol, even though they're mistaken.


So... the moral of the story... if there are more people than just one who think "Bear Rassler" is offensive, they should be advised to change it. I personally can't quite figure out what you're seeing in it, though, OGE. Maybe it's a local or regional connotation the rest of us aren't aware of? I know of a hound club once that gave a college scholarship to a young man, but wasn't allowed to present it at the school's honors ceremony because the club name had "coon hunting" in it and some people thought it sounded racist. Why it's racist to hunt raccoons is hard for me to imagine, but I guess in some regions "coon" is a racial slur in addition to being slang for a small furry critter with unusual manual dexterity.



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I have to agree with the others, OGE, I'm not seeing what the problem is with a patrol called the "Bear Rasslars" (Wrestlers).


In this district I've seen:

Chubacabra--should we be offended that they call themselves after a fictional monster that sucks the organs out of its livestock victims?

Black Eagle--should we be offended that it's got "black" (or any other color for that matter) in the name?

PYROS--their flag has a burnt edge to it. Should we be offended due to the implied potential arson implications here?

Roadkill--flag and homemade patch both have an area of fake fur/blood with tire tracks across it. Surely, this would offend the vegans out there, never mind PETA. :)


And I could go on and on.


As I said, I agree with the others, you're reading something in this that isn't there IMHO.


Be thankful these scouts actually have a patrol name/flag. I know many a unit that struggle to convince their youth to have a patrol identity.

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It's interesting, but none of the patrols in my son's troop have chosen traditional names. After two rounds of patrol formation, it's obvious that they pick names for how they sound to others, not to themselves. Samples include:


Crimson Red Permanent Assurance

Mixed Berry Fruit Cup

and so on


The only name that I was not sure of was one that named it after the Scoutmaster. The patrol name is "The Mr. P----- Experience Patrol." Can't say why it disturbs me to name a patrol after an active leader, but it just does. But I let it go.


Now whether we have patrols that really do anything other make names is another topic......



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Now that we're off on goofy patrol names...


One of the newest patrols in our troop recently named themselves the Flaming Dingoes. I helped them design a patch with a flaming dingo on it, although they haven't placed their custom patch order yet.


OGE, I see what you mean now, but as you realize now you were probably being oversensitive. Not without good reason! It was smart of you to bring it here and get the reality check you were looking for. I kind of like the "Bear Rassler" name, although perhaps it has a slightly different spin when you HEAR it for the first time, rather than reading it spelled out.



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You don't post if the fellow who was arrested is a friend of yours.

It is always very sad when we see people that we like and admire fall.

For my part I all too often feel that they have let me down and are guilty of letting the side down. I know I'm guilty of making everything somehow making its way to being all about me.

I do hope that the child involved (If he was involved) is OK and that this fellow gets all the help that he needs.


I'm not a great lover of odd Patrol names.

Mainly because my hope is that the Patrol will outlive the members of the Patrol and be around long after the members have gone.

As we have seen in the NY Post cartoon and back in 2005 with the cartoons in the Danish newspapers, sometimes what might seem funny to someone at the time can cause a lot of people to be very upset.

When I read: "Bear Rasslars" I read it as Bear Wrestlers and was unsure why you found this so upsetting.

I can see however if they are making it come over as the "Bare asses" that it is in very poor taste. Which if posted in some places (Local Newspapers??) could be viewed in a very poor light.


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"Rassle" actually has a deep linguistic history - and I just thought it was a hillbilly thing! From Merriam-Webster:



Pronunciation: \ˈra-səl\

Function: intransitive verb

Etymology: by alteration

Date: 1758

: wrestle


They might want to spell it " 'Rasslers," though... change the second A to an E, and put an apostrophe at the beginning so it's clear that it's a slang-ish form of another word.


I see no problem with it. "Bare Derrieres," on the other hand, would be an issue. ;)

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