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What are your guidelines for Scout Appropriate skits?


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#1 mashmaster

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:07 PM

I am trying to document for the boys a set of rules/guidelines to help them understand what is scout appropriate and what isn't . I'd love to know what your troop's guidelines are.  Here are guidelines that make sense to me, but I might be over limited or under limiting.

 

No:

  • coarse language
  • disparage a certain demographic group
  • inappropriate costumes (cross dressing, nudity, underwear)
  • violence/death
  • toilet humor 
  • inside jokes
  • alcohol/drunkenness

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#2 qwazse

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:32 PM

Is it ...

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, or Reverent?

 

And not the striking opposite of any of those?

 

Most of your limiting cases might fall under not being kind.

But not always. Some really good skits might get precluded by your tight boundaries.


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#3 JasonG172

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:33 PM

No Toilet humor?


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#4 Col. Flagg

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:35 PM

Follows the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.


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#5 krikkitbot

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:36 PM

Wow, if you take out toilet humor and violence/death you just about nix about half of the skits I've seen or performed. 

 

 

Mike, I gotta go wee... go wee... whee!

Flush it, plunge it, look out below!

Jump, Lady Jump! oops


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#6 MattR

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:39 PM

coarse language: sure, but the occasional dab nabbit can be used for character development.

 

disparage a certain demographic: what about idiots? I understand not making fun of minorities, but the best slapstick usually makes fun of idiots. Or country bumpkins. There's a great skit where two cops end up moving a dead guy from one spot to another because they didn't know how to spell the first.

 

cross dressing: there are hilarious skits involving damsels in distress or pregnant women. A pair of socks or a pillow adds to it. The guy in the doctor's office that collects everyone else's ailments. Starts with a cough, a cold, itching, ... and finally a pregnant woman walks in and the guy runs off screaming.

 

death and violence: lots of skits with someone dying with over exaggerated motions. Or evil people just being evil. Death is usually used to setup the punch line.

 

toilet humor. ever see the one with the SM riding a roller coaster while the audience is told he's on the toilet? I know. this one can get out of hand really easy but let's face it, the bean scene in blazing saddles was funny.

 

inside jokes: yeah, those just aren't funny.

 

alcohol: I haven't seen it either way, so I'd be fine with this restriction. But you know, a country bumpkin sipping out of a paper bag could be funny.

 

I hate to say this, but most humor involves pain and ridicule. There's always a line that shouldn't be crossed. Rather than rule out anything that could be anywhere close to that line maybe a better approach is to start showing scouts how to find that line. And if they go too far it's an opportunity for them to learn how to apologize. Skits are fun. Be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water (that's both death and toilet humor :) )


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#7 NJCubScouter

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:56 PM

  • toilet humor

Aw, does that include the "important papers" skit?
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#8 mashmaster

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:57 PM

All good feedback, what would you think of this?  (sadly funny stuff sometimes just isn't scout appropriate, I recently watched the Bad News Bears and forgot what it was really like)  It was funny to me still but my teenagers didn't think it was funny at all.

 

No:

  • coarse language  (dab nabbit isn't course but the D-word is highly offensive to some scouts in my experience, let alone the much more coarse words)
  • disparage a certain demographic group  (yes referring to minorities, disabilities, or gender)
  • inappropriate costumes (cross dressing, nudity, underwear) This is actually directly from BSA, no cross dressing.
  • inside jokes
  • alcohol/drunkenness

Grey Areas:

  • violence/death  (is violence the point of the skit? like the skit I've seen done where boy come up to a camper and pretend kick him then run away over and over again)
  • toilet humor (the Wee joke ok, but depicting someone going to the bathroom?  this feels like a slipper slope)

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#9 mashmaster

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:58 PM

Aw, does that include the "important papers" skit?

I don't know that one...  We need a thread of great skits!


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#10 mashmaster

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:01 PM

Is it ...

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, or Reverent?

 

And not the striking opposite of any of those?

 

Most of your limiting cases might fall under not being kind.

But not always. Some really good skits might get precluded by your tight boundaries.

Agreed, but this is a really hard problem to define.  I get tired of the consistent rejection of skits "Do you really think it is funny because he got run over?"


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#11 frankpalazzi

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:31 PM

Can't we just let kids be kids? Seriously.


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#12 Col. Flagg

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:59 PM

Can't we just let kids be kids? Seriously.

 

Sadly, Frank, those days are gone. Someone will get offended and someone else will feel the need to check one's "privilege".


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#13 frankpalazzi

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:05 PM

Sadly, Frank, those days are gone. Someone will get offended and someone else will feel the need to check one's "privilege".

And Mr. Orwell continues to smile down upon us.


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#14 4CouncilsScouter

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:06 PM

Hey Mashmaster,

 

I'm a volunteer for my council's outdoor adventures committee, and these are the requirements we use from the Summer Camp Staff Training Guide 430-037.

 

"The list of don’ts include:

• Toilet humor—anything that involves bodily functions, toilet paper, etc.
• Water—where the audience or participants get wet
• Embarrassing an audience member
• Racial put-downs, making fun of mental or physical disabilities, religious groups,
and others
• Portraying violent behavior
• Anything with sexual overtones
• Anything that is not in keeping with the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America"
 
Hope this helps!

Edited by 4CouncilsScouter, 22 February 2017 - 05:06 PM.

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#15 frankpalazzi

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:18 PM

 

Hey Mashmaster,

 

I'm a volunteer for my council's outdoor adventures committee, and these are the requirements we use from the Summer Camp Staff Training Guide 430-037.

 

"The list of don’ts include:

• Toilet humor—anything that involves bodily functions, toilet paper, etc.
• Water—where the audience or participants get wet
• Embarrassing an audience member
• Racial put-downs, making fun of mental or physical disabilities, religious groups,
and others
• Portraying violent behavior
• Anything with sexual overtones
• Anything that is not in keeping with the ideals of the Boy Scouts of America"
 
Hope this helps!

 

Would have been a very short campfire when I was a Scout.  Truly amazing that we all turned out OK.


Edited by frankpalazzi, 22 February 2017 - 05:18 PM.

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#16 The Latin Scot

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:30 PM

@mashmaster I think the guidelines you have established are perfectly fine. Any skit that has to resort to one of those items to be "funny" is in desperate need of a little more imagination. There are hundreds if not thousands of skits available online, the vast majority of which are perfectly acceptable even under your stipulations. If the boys "can't find anything," its not from the lack of material as much as from the lack of trying.

 

Side note, I always find it amusing when people say "I never did/always did such-and-such, and I turned out okay!" I can't help but find myself asking, "but did you really?"  ;)


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#17 MattR

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:49 PM

 


  • inappropriate costumes (cross dressing, nudity, underwear) This is actually directly from BSA, no cross dressing.

 

 

How about using squirt guns?

 

I know, the BSA says yada yada and I had a patrol get their skit pulled in the middle of the skit because they used a pillow but then the summer camp staff used a wig for a damsel in distress. How prudish are the people at National if they won't let a kid stuff a pillow under his shirt and act like a woman in labor? I can guarantee you that any woman that has been in labor would not consider it sexual. (This skit is writing itself. How about a skit where the scouts poke fun at National for not allowing them to portray pregnant women!)

 

I'm not making fun of you Mashmaster, I realize you're trying to follow the rules. It's just that there are lots of rules that just get going too far and start taking all the fun and purpose out of scouts. There are no simple rules for what is humor and what is crude. Funny things are about pain that didn't go too far. How many scouts laugh about things that went wrong on a campout? Those are the great stories. Things need to go wrong. Adventure is about going out towards the line and hoping you don't go over. Scouts is about letting kids make mistakes and then learning from them. Why not do that in the context of skits? If a skit is offensive then there's an opportunity for someone to learn how to apologize and for someone else to learn how to accept an apology.


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#18 Col. Flagg

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:58 PM

 

  • inappropriate costumes (cross dressing, nudity, underwear) This is actually directly from BSA, no cross dressing.

 

Looks like BSA hasn't updated their skit policies to reflect their membership policies. :rolleyes:  ;)

 

How could someone, with a straight face, stop some kids from doing a cross-dressing skit after the recent membership policy change? Hypocrisy thy name is Boy Scouts.


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#19 mashmaster

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 06:05 PM

How about using squirt guns?

 

I know, the BSA says yada yada and I had a patrol get their skit pulled in the middle of the skit because they used a pillow but then the summer camp staff used a wig for a damsel in distress. How prudish are the people at National if they won't let a kid stuff a pillow under his shirt and act like a woman in labor? I can guarantee you that any woman that has been in labor would not consider it sexual. (This skit is writing itself. How about a skit where the scouts poke fun at National for not allowing them to portray pregnant women!)

 

I'm not making fun of you Mashmaster, I realize you're trying to follow the rules. It's just that there are lots of rules that just get going too far and start taking all the fun and purpose out of scouts. There are no simple rules for what is humor and what is crude. Funny things are about pain that didn't go too far. How many scouts laugh about things that went wrong on a campout? Those are the great stories. Things need to go wrong. Adventure is about going out towards the line and hoping you don't go over. Scouts is about letting kids make mistakes and then learning from them. Why not do that in the context of skits? If a skit is offensive then there's an opportunity for someone to learn how to apologize and for someone else to learn how to accept an apology.

Agreed the cross-dressing thing is a little odd, I have never had a boy come to me wanting to do that yet.  And who doesn't like a good squirt gun battle?

 

Yes and no to the last point in my mind.  I have had times in my life that someone has said something to me and apologized and all is well.  I have also had others where what they said could never be undone, I'm not going into the details on that.


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#20 mashmaster

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 06:05 PM

Looks like BSA hasn't updated their skit policies to reflect their membership policies. :rolleyes:  ;)

 

How could someone, with a straight face, stop some kids from doing a cross-dressing skit after the recent membership policy change? Hypocrisy thy name is Boy Scouts.

interesting point.  But I'm not going deeper into that.


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