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Ah, the turn of a word. Mottos (Whatsa motto? nothin'. Whatsa motto wit' you?), slogans. I suppose each generations has their own,in it's own context...

Stosh made me think ...

"Bet you don't do that again"


"Hey! Watch this!"


(comment after a grey area comment) "Mebbe, mebbe not".


"More like, they be guidelines, actual"


"What a revoltin' developement this is"


"Yada, yada, yada..."

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"Hey watch this!" Here's one that everyone has to be aware of because it might be the last thing that scout ever does! :)


Boys do not learn a whole lot of things, but catchy phrases seem to stick with them. I like my motto because it is easier to digest than: "I told you so."


I also like to use phrases that the boys aren't used to hearing. A lot of them are overworked by parents and teachers so that they are guaranteed to go in one ear and out the other.


The phrase needs to be owned by the scout before he'll take it to heart. I had one boy who was homesick at summer camp. He was crying in his tent the second night into the week. I called him out on it and told him he was breaking the rule "#3. Have Fun!" It caught his attention because he couldn't deny it. After I let him vent a while I told him I was homesick too. He looked surprised but then I added, "I'm sick of home, so that's why I'm here." It was not something he had heard before. He was anticipating some long song and dance about how great summer camp would be if he just gave it a chance. Those things will not sink in at all and all you'll end up with is a long night of "Yada, yada, yada."


Take the 10 most important ideals you wish to convey to the boys and find a short phrase that will stick in that situation.


Servant Leadership: "Take care of your boys."


Responsibility: "What's the Scout Motto?"


Stepping up to the plate: "Who wants to take lead on this activity?"


Discipline problems: "Do you want to be as bad as the other guy?"


Failure: "Sucks to be you. What are you going to do about it?" or "I bet you don't do that again!"


Leadership problems?: "Would you follow someone like you?" I actually had my latest Eagle come to me one day a while back and say "the boys won't listen to me!" I said when he was 11 or 12 you wouldn't listen to me either. What did I do that changed your mind?" He never again made a comment like that and now is a pretty good leader.


What's really fun is when the boy knows what you're going to say and you don't. The "Look" works really nice, even better than Sign's Up!.


Argumentation: "The effective range of an excuse is zero meters.... do you want me to convert that to feet?"


Management: "You can answer my questions with anything but, "I don't know"." What's really fun is when you're doing new scout orientation and I ask the older boys "What's the one answer I never want to hear?" My older boys finally got it right when they answered, "The one answer Mr. B, never wants to hear are the words, "I don't know". The rest of the troop actually cheered the boy when he came up with that answer. :)


Character development: "I'm not here to build up your self-esteem, I'm here to build up your self-confidence."


Uniform Inspections: "I see your mother didn't dress you very well today. I'm going to have to have a talk with her."


Hands in the pockets, "What is it you are volunteering for?"


I find it usually takes only about a year to have the boys assimilate these phrases and actually use them as part of their leadership in the troop.



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"What's really fun is when the boy knows what you're going to say and you don't. The "Look" works really nice, even better than Sign's Up!."


I have that one down, I can look a a group that is talking when they shouldn't and within 10 seconds they will have stopped and be looking back at me very guitily. :D

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"I promise to never treat you like you're a girl scout." (After a youth figures out that no adult in the troop or crew is starting fire / making breakfast / orienting the map for them.)


Or ...


"I'm your good-for-nothing advisor. Best use me that way." After youth finally step up and make a better plan than the one I laid out.



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I am sorta known (maybe just in my head) for a few "pat" answers that are sorta common phrases in our Troop.


"I don't know, CAN you (insert go/do and a location here) and why are you asking me?"


"Are you're asking ME because you don't know who your PL or SPL is?"


"Where do YOU think (insert anything here) would be and have you checked there yet/again?"


"I'm just the Asst. Scout Master, I don't even remember your name......?"

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Actually, I don't want to disclose too much as my sons are writing a book to be titled, "Dadisms." I come up with some folksy turn of a phrase and the two them turn and look and each other and in unison say, "book."


A couple Scout oriented ones:


"What goes in the fire stays in the fire" That one is delivered in a low monotone, almost like a Gregorian chant. One of my personal favorites because it came from my old Scoutmaster and I can still hear him every time I say it.


"Light the Fire" which means your mama ain't here, get up off your butt and do it yourself. Came from a true story one cold, rainy Sunday morning. I walked past one cold, wet miserable kid who was staring blankly into a cold, dead fire pit.

"What's the problem, Matthew?"

"I'm cold."

"Anything you could do to change that?"


"Have you considered....."


Another one "And how is that working for you?" or "And what is the definition of insanity?" Of course, that applies to doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.


Of course the best of one of them all, "Ask your Patrol Leader." And I get goose bumps every time I hear the SPL say that. My current version is, "Today's not my day to be in charge. Tomorrow ain't looking good either."

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"Knowledge is good."


Or, more seriously: "Eh, let's see what happens." Now, I know that may sound even less profound than a quote from Animal House, but its an attitude that I wish more adult leaders would adopt. The goal of Scouting is not perfection, and it is not to avoid failure. So the next time your Scouts come to you with a ridiculous idea that you know has no chance of working, maybe let them go for it and see what happens. Sometimes, there's more to be learned from failing than from succeeding.

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Hey dad, can you explain how you adjust the carburetor?


Well, son, you have to gibreate the gabriel with the wemlinger while mainting adequte torque with the gameranous


Never did figure out what that meant, but it was pretty much the stock answer for all questions automotive

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Been using this with the troop that I serve as a life lesson, they eventually understand, it is a haha for the young but as they age understanding kicks in:


Never play leap frog with a unicorn!


Stock answer when they have other resources: Yes? (blank look)


Doing a Good Turn is a couple of things:


When in a parking lot look around for carts that are not in the cart corral and go get them and put them where they belong. Amazing how other people will get the hint.


Bring happiness to those around you every day even if it means leaving the room.


When something is said that need not be said:


Even a fish will stay out of trouble if it keeps its mouth shut.



fed feather


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Catchy Phrases seem to come and go. A lot depends on what is the in Catchy Phrase at the time.

Many of us have lived through the "Where's the Beef" -

"A little dab will do you" and "Isn't that special!"

Right now where I work the "Hows that working out for you?" Is in.

Back when I took WB I thought that I would gladly murder the next person who said "Check your resources"

I was on staff for one WB course where another staff member armed with a selection of these catchy phrases printed in big bold letter went around sticking them all over the place. You know the type "If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds" And so on.

One morning I went to the mens room and was having a pee. The Catchy Phrase Staffer had stuck again. I looked up at the mirror, only to read "The Future is in your hands" I didn't "Go There" deciding that this indeed was a gray area.


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