Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Answers, ideas, and suggestions on the stuff troops need.

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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby tonkatim » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:36 pm

I cannot believe that the camping department was not successful. J** and M*** are expert campers. Maybe the dry camping that they live in the Kalahari did not transfer over to the mountains.

Try the veal and tip your waiters.
Exit stage :arrow:
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Re: Ear Rings

Postby Guerillero » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:18 pm

I know several scouts with piercings and they are the coolest-most chill guys to hang out with.

wagionvigil wrote:When I walk into an outdoor shop I expect to see long hair, beards, ear rings etc. these are usually the people in the know.

Especially in backpacking, climbing, and extreme sports world.
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Re: Ear Rings

Postby wagionvigil » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:00 am

Guerillero wrote:I know several scouts with piercings and they are the coolest-most chill guys to hang out with.

wagionvigil wrote:When I walk into an outdoor shop I expect to see long hair, beards, ear rings etc. these are usually the people in the know.

Especially in backpacking, climbing, and extreme sports world.

:D
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:33 am

I would not let my sons be in a troop where the SM wore or tolerated earrings -- piercings are historically a sign of submission. If it's an issue for this troop, then the boy in question should simply remove them for meetings or find another troop.

Scouts is NOT for every boy. Trying to pretend that it is weakens it. We don't WANT every boy.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby RWSmith » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:21 pm

[ADMIN NOTE: This is 'preemptive strike'.]

WARNING! Do not retaliate to AquilaNerga2's post. While he stated his position (and that of his Troop), he attacked no one. (I have my own position on this matter; but, have withheld it thus far in order to see if something like this would occur... more on that later.)

At any rate, I will not allow this (important) issue to degenerate into a counter-productive argument. So, keep it civil so that this thread may continue to move forward.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby lambeausam » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:46 am

AquilaNegra2 wrote:I would not let my sons be in a troop where the SM wore or tolerated earrings -- piercings are historically a sign of submission. If it's an issue for this troop, then the boy in question should simply remove them for meetings or find another troop.



This is why I am glad BSA allows the scout and his parents determine which unit in the scout wishes to join. If there is an issue with a troop that the scout does not align with, such as earrings or anything else, the scout has the ability to find a unit that matches him better. I would hate to see a boy lose the opportunity to be in scouting.

I'm a female leader. If I have one earrings, they are usually conservative ones that I forgot to take off while changing from my work attire to my uniform. I don't wear them during outdoor activities. I think the only time I would ask a scout to remove jewelry is if it was offensive to others or created a risk to the activity.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby jr56 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:20 pm

I see it as an non-issue. If some-one with piercings etc wants to be in scouting, fine. No requirements against it.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby razor_strop » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:42 am

AquilaNegra2 wrote:I would not let my sons be in a troop where the SM wore or tolerated earrings -- piercings are historically a sign of submission.


Perfectly acceptable--one has full control over the troop they wish to join.

If it's an issue for this troop, then the boy in question should simply remove them for meetings or find another troop.


On this part I disagree. While one has the choice to join or leave a troop freely, the same does not apply to the troop. As there is no BSA policy against the practice, the troop leadership would be ethically wrong and acting against the Scout Law (helpful, friendly, courteous, kind) to discriminate against the Scout based on their personal preferences. This viewpoint would, to me, be akin to a SM that adds non-BSA, artificial obstacles to rank advancement to exert his control over the Scouts in his troop. Until BSA creates a policy banning piercings, tattoos or other body modification, a troop that uses this as criteria for membership would be practicing unsanctioned discrimination.

Scouts is NOT for every boy. Trying to pretend that it is weakens it. We don't WANT every boy.


Who decides what boy "deserves" to be a Scout? BSA seems to feel that any boy that wants to be a Scout and follows the rules its prescribes for members is eligible. Ironically, oftentimes the boy that doesn't appear to some as being "right" for Scouting is exactly the boy that needs the influences of Scouting moreso than the boy that appears to be the model Scout. The highly successful Scout would likely be successful with or without Scouting, whereas the boy that struggles, who strays from the ideal now and then is in true need of the positive influence his Scouting peers and adult leaders provide. So long as they follow the rules BSA has laid out, I DO want every boy.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby Nuts4Scouts » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:15 pm

razor_strop wrote:
If it's an issue for this troop, then the boy in question should simply remove them for meetings or find another troop.


On this part I disagree. While one has the choice to join or leave a troop freely, the same does not apply to the troop. As there is no BSA policy against the practice, the troop leadership would be ethically wrong and acting against the Scout Law (helpful, friendly, courteous, kind) to discriminate against the Scout based on their personal preferences. This viewpoint would, to me, be akin to a SM that adds non-BSA, artificial obstacles to rank advancement to exert his control over the Scouts in his troop. Until BSA creates a policy banning piercings, tattoos or other body modification, a troop that uses this as criteria for membership would be practicing unsanctioned discrimination.


Actually, BSA does have a policy -
The chartered organization agrees to - Conduct the Scouting program according to it's own policies and guidelines as well as those of the Boy Scouts of America.

If the chartered organization does not wish it's members to have piercings, or tattoos, or even be female, it is their right to "conduct the Scouting program according to it's own policies and guidelines."

You don't have to like their policies and guidelines. You are free to join a Troop owned by a charter organization whose policies and guidelines more closely match your own.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby razor_strop » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:00 pm

True, but I'm guessing the moment a discrimination lawsuit was filed the CO would either modify its policies or their charter would be pulled rather quickly. I'm thinking "Scout ejected from troop for wearing nosering" isn't a headline BSA wants to be published.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:16 pm

Just my view but any Scout or parent who would file a discrimination suit over being told they couldn't wear an earring, or have tattoos, or piercings, is going to try to upset the apple cart one way or another. What next file suit because of the height/weight requirements for high adventure trips?

The Scouts are still a private organization, and thus the charters and the troops/teams/packs organized there under.

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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby RWSmith » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:22 pm

Ah... somebody finally cited the relevant reference. (I've been hoping for this one, in particular, to come up before I posted.)

Nuts4Scouts wrote:Actually, BSA does have a policy -
The chartered organization agrees to - Conduct the Scouting program according to it's own policies and guidelines as well as those of the Boy Scouts of America.

If the chartered organization does not wish it's members to have piercings, or tattoos, or even be female, it is their right to "conduct the Scouting program according to it's own policies and guidelines."

You don't have to like their policies and guidelines. You are free to join a Troop owned by a charter organization whose policies and guidelines more closely match your own.

razor_strop wrote:True, but I'm guessing the moment a discrimination lawsuit was filed the CO would either modify its policies or their charter would be pulled rather quickly. I'm thinking "Scout ejected from troop for wearing nosering" isn't a headline BSA wants to be published.

Actually, BSA Legal has already used a boilerplate response to such "appearances" of conflict between 'BSA' and 'CO' policy, which says (and, yes, I'm paraphrasing):

    "As long as the CO does not contravene the BSA charter, by laws and policies, then BSA will not pull the unit's charter. It's a mutually beneficial operation; it must be. And every CO that operates its BSA unit(s) within the constraints set forth in the BSA charter, by laws and policies has the right --in all other aspects-- to set it's own policies and guidelines."

IMHO...

If your beliefs (religious, or otherwise) are such that ear rings/plugs, spikes/studs, and/or tattoos are "wrong", then that is certainly your right.

But, the converse is also true; if your beliefs are such that ear rings/plugs, spikes/studs, and/or tattoos are not only "acceptable", maybe even expected (e.g., religious), then that is also your right. And nobody in the BSA has any right to dictate otherwise... one way or the other.

Individual Scouter's (as well as unit) policies should leave this issue where it belongs... between the Scout and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) and, if applicable, the laws of the state... see NCLS: Tattoos and Body Piercings for Minors.

However, with that being said, I see two possible exceptions, and only two...

  1. "God and/or county" principles of the BSA and/or Chartered Organization (CO): Membership in a particular unit is not a right. The CO has the right to use its sponsoring of a BSA unit (within the parameters of the BSA charter) as a community outreach measure to further its ideals... be it a religious organization, an American Legion post, or whatever. And, while it may not seem fair to some --I mean, it is kinda hard to do "community outreach" if your CO is so intolerant-- the CO does have the right to deem what is and is not acceptable in this area.

    What am I saying here? While I personally would never wear an ear ring--not for religious reasons; I just don't think it's "socially" appropriate... maybe that's just a sign of the generation gap, which is just one example of what drives threads like this one.

    At any rate, I do have a very visible tattoo. So, let's say I filed an adult appl. w/ a local unit that is sponsored by
    <insert CO name here>:

    • While the UL may not "personally" approve of my tattoo; s/he doesn't sign my appl.; so, s/he should let it go;
       
    • The same goes for the CC, UNLESS... s/he can tell it's somehow contrary to BSA policy. I.e., it represents anarchy, or depicts something that would be inappropriate for young children. (If the UL notices this problem, s/he should, of course, note it to the CC.) Either way, the CC may justifiably refuse to sign an appl. based on BSA policy (but, not CO policy); However...
       
    • If the CO has some sort of policy in place forbidding all adults (Sunday School teachers, Scout leaders, Baseball coaches, Bus drivers, whatever) who interact with the youth from displaying tattoos, ear rings, whatever, then the COR (who represents the CO and speaks for the IH) may reject my appl. for their CO (maybe not another BSA unit... just theirs), and I'd have to find another unit. Remember, the COR signs adult appls. on behalf of the CO (not BSA) and, even though I may think it's intolerant, I should respect their policy.


  2. Safety: Any Scouter in charge of a Scouting activity has every right to require other Scout(er)s to comply with common sense safety measures. This part, of course, has nothing to do with tattoos, but I think it's relevant to the discussion; and, here are some examples that come to mind:

    • Archery MB -- Twang! There goes your dangling ear ring (and your precious ear lobe along with it).
       
    • Electricity, Electronics, Radio (and Robitics) MBs -- Want to die? Then remove all conductive jewelry... watch, rings (incl. wedding band), necklaces and earings. Small, post-type ear rings (if they do not extend beyond the earlobe) or a necklace if worn (and stays) under the shirt are usually considered okay. If your ear lobes are stretched and your plugs are conductive, then the plugs must come out. Period.
       
    • Automotive Maintenance, Farm Mechanics, Lifesaving, Home Repairs, Pioneering and Sailing MBs -- Want to loose a finger? Then remove all jewelry... watch, rings (incl. wedding band), except small, post-type earings that do not extend beyond the earlobes. Bad, bad, bad opportunities for a necklace/pendant to pop out of your shirt and get caught in whatever's moving: the (rope, fan belt, whatever) catches and takes the pendant... which catches and takes your hair... which catches and takes a big, fat chunk of your scalp. And, if you're lucky, that's all you loose. It could just as easily be your arm, or even your life.

    If you can't remove the unsafe jewelry (e.g., extreme ear lobe stretching), you might (possibly) be justifiably prevented from participating in some BSA-sanctioned activities.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:44 am

razor_strop wrote:
AquilaNegra2 wrote:Scouts is NOT for every boy. Trying to pretend that it is weakens it. We don't WANT every boy.

Who decides what boy "deserves" to be a Scout? BSA seems to feel that any boy that wants to be a Scout and follows the rules its prescribes for members is eligible. Ironically, oftentimes the boy that doesn't appear to some as being "right" for Scouting is exactly the boy that needs the influences of Scouting moreso than the boy that appears to be the model Scout. The highly successful Scout would likely be successful with or without Scouting, whereas the boy that struggles, who strays from the ideal now and then is in true need of the positive influence his Scouting peers and adult leaders provide. So long as they follow the rules BSA has laid out, I DO want every boy.


It's not about "deserving" to be a Scout (your inflammatory word, not mine.) Does the boy abide by the principles of Scouting? BSA is not for boys who do not <snip>; it's not for boys who <snip>; it's not for boys who choose not to be morally straight; it's not for boys who disrupt the experience for others; it's not for boys who show disrespect for those in authority; it's not for boys who commit criminal acts, etc, etc, etc. Boy Scouts, and especially Eagle Scouts, are a unique group of young men whose behavior is BETTER than the general population of their peers. It's for those who CHOOSE to abide by the oath and law.

You have the freedom to choose with whom your son associates; I have the freedom to choose with whom mine does (or does not). I'm confident in our decisions. Your experience may vary.
Last edited by RWSmith on Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Snipped some "specific" comments in order to comply w/ our forum policies.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby razor_strop » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:20 am

AQ,

I think we're in violent agreement about membership in Scouting--like I said, so long as the Scout abides by BSA's rules, he should be allowed (and encouraged) to participate. Thanks for sharing your views with me; if we all agreed on everything every time, this wouldn't be a discussion forum that helps all of us become better Scouters.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby WeeWillie » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:26 pm

Every boy deserves the opportunity to be a Scout. I think every one would agree that disabliities or financial circumstance are not a reasons to deny a boy from joining Scouts. What a boy does with that opportunity is what defines him as a Scout. As a Scout grows older his interests become more defined. Not all those interests are compatable with Scouting. Most of the body art that I observe project themes that are inconsistent with Scout values. It is the themes such as drug use, not the art itself, that we find objectional. What would be the object be to an American flag or Marine Corps emblem tattoo?

When a Scout shows up with body art it is probably time for a SMC and a SMC with parents/guadians.

Body art might be a good topic for a SM Minute or discussion with troop.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby FieldSports » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:19 pm

Tattoos, earings etc. are only skin deep. Character is to the bone. Which are we concerned with?
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby jr56 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:17 pm

Exactly.
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:40 pm

FieldSports wrote:Tattoos, earrings etc. are only skin deep. Character is to the bone. Which are we concerned with?

It's my experience that what shows on the outside is generally a reflection of what is on the inside. They cannot, imho, be separated. But you, as his parent, have the opportunity to make choices for your family, and the responsibility for those choices. Choose the troop that works for you (plural).
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Re: Ear Rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos, Et al

Postby 9009scoutmaster » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:47 pm

I know that this is a old thread but I would like to but my two cents worth into the pot.

Ear rings/Plugs, Spikes/Studs, Tattoos we have not had to deal with inside our scout troop.

My own son has very short hair. 1 or 2 cut but with a 1 to 2 inch mohawk on the very top. Do I like his mohawk, not really, do I have a problem with it. No I do not and to my knowlege no one else in the troop does.

We only have a few rules that the adult leadership has but in place and we inform each and every boy and there parents of these rules.

There son will say yes sir/mam and no sir/mam.
Adults will be address as sir/mam.

Now I know that some units from other parts of the county will not have theses two rules, but our unit is in the south and this is just the way we do things to show respect.

The only others rules that we expect there son's to conduct themselfs by besides the scout law and oath are as following.

Pull your pants up because we do not want to see what color underware you have on under your pants. If your pant will not stay up we have rope to help them stay up for you to use as a belt to keep your pants up so that your underware does not show.

A baseball hat is made with a bill in the front for a reason therefore if you want to wear a baseball hat wear so that its bill does the job that it was designed to do.
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