Scouting For A Job

| Friendly | November 16, 2016

(Even though my kids are older now, I still volunteer as a cub scout leader, because I enjoy it. Normally, I am at the meeting a half hour early, with everything all set up. This day my train was delayed by an hour getting home from work, so I was 10 minutes late for the meeting. I went straight to the meeting after quickly grabbing my materials, and was still dressed in my nice office clothes rather than my uniform.)

Me: “Boys, I am sorry I’m late. My train was delayed because the police had to arrest a bad guy.”

Scout: “Why were you on the train?”

Me: “I was coming home from work. That’s why I’m dressed in my professor clothes, not my uniform.”

Scout: *looking really confused* “But, wait… I thought THIS was your job!”

(He was totally adorable, but looked slightly disappointed that Scout Leader wasn’t the only thing I do. The cuteness – that’s why I lead!)

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The Darker Side To Scouts

| Learning | May 23, 2016

(I used to volunteer at my local Beaver Scout unit when I was 14, which is a weekly group for children aged 6-8 years. Where I lived in London was not the best of areas, and so a lot of people there are not particularly bright, though most of them are kind and decent people. This exchange happens with a six-year-old who is white, with blonde hair and blue eyes.)

Me: “Okay, [Kid], we’re finishing up the activity now, so if you could stick your painting on the step to dry and help tidy up that would be great.”

Kid: “No! I’m not finished!” *tries to continue painting*

Me: “You can finish the painting when you get home but we’re finishing up to play a game now.”

Kid: “You’re picking on me! This is unfair! You’re only saying that because I’m black!”

Me: *after staring at him for a second* “Yep… you got it.”

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Rabbiting On About Smoke

| Friendly | January 4, 2016

(I have recently moved and joined a local boy scout troop. It is the first morning of camping trip.)

Scout #1: “Hey, [My Name], do you hate little bunny rabbits?”

Me: “What?”

Scout #1: “You were talking in your sleep last night. You kept saying ‘I hate little bunny rabbits.'”

Me: “Ohhh. Yeah, in the town I moved from there’s a running joke that if you say ‘I hate little bunny rabbits’ three times that the campfire smoke won’t blow in your face.”

Scout #2: “Maybe I should try that. I’ve moved four times and it keeps following me. I hate little bunny rabbits. I hate little bunny rabbits. I hate little bunny rabbits.”

(The smoke doesn’t move.)

Scout #2: “Oh, well, you know what they say. Smoke follows beauty.”

(At that exact moment the smoke started blowing the opposite direction.)

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Scouting Around For The Truth

| Friendly | October 3, 2014

(I’m a Beavers Scout leader in Canada. Beavers is our youngest section – five-to-seven year old boys and girls. Our programs are, by necessity, not quite as rugged as those of the older sections, especially in the city. A number of our more ‘macho’ fathers have often complained that Scouting was so much more manly when they were youths. We’ve actually lost a few youth from the program because their fathers decided it wasn’t rugged enough. This particular father had attended nearly every meeting with his son all year long.)

Father: “It’s ridiculous how the lawyers have ruined Scouting. It’s not your fault, I know it’s just policy but Beavers was way better when I was a kid. We were camping every month, hikes almost every week. Now you just play games and do stupid crafts.”

Me: “I think that you’re likely misremembering your time. Things have changed a bit, of course, but the program standards are still pretty much the same.”

Father: “No, it’s not. We were always out camping and we used to have campfires in the school parking lot every week and we never did any of these stupid crafts or games or songs!”

Me: “Well, if you could have campfires in the parking lot back then, I think that change is more the result of city bylaws and not anything to do with Scouts Canada. As for the rest, it’s pretty common for people to remember the big stuff they did when they were kids and not really remember the more mundane meetings in between. Crafts, games, and songs have always been a part of Beavers.”

Father: “No way. It used to be way better than this; nowadays you just coddle all the kids.”

Me: “Honestly, the program really hasn’t changed that much, other than in the ways society has.”

Father: “What would you know about it? You’re too young to remember what it was like when I was a Beaver and girls weren’t allowed in back then, anyway! Like I said, I don’t blame you guys; it’s the lawyer’s faults!”

(When he came to the next week’s meeting I was ready. As soon as he sat down I dropped a large, heavy binder on the bench next to him.)

Father: “What the h*** is this?”

Me: “Meeting records for the 1979 [his Elementary] Beaver Colony, including attendance records with your name and meeting plans with craft instructions, game rules, and song lyrics. Would you care to point out all the camps in the schedule?”

Father: “Where the h*** did you get this?”

Me: “Dude, who was your Beaver leader? Do you really think our mother ever threw anything away? When I became a leader she dumped everything on me.”

(For the first time ever I got to win an argument with a parent and my brother doesn’t comment on the program any more!)

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The Big Cheese Is Immature

, | Friendly | February 7, 2014

(My Scout group and I are coming back from a camp. I am sitting in the second row from the back. Behind me at the back is one of the older Scouts, who is somewhat unpredictable. As it’s hot, the window is open.)

Older Scout: *out the window, at a passer-by* “Cheese!”

Me: “What?”

Older Scout: *at a second passer-by* “Cheese!”

Me: “What are you doing?”

Older Scout: “Shouting cheese.”

Me: “…sure, okay.”

(This continues until we get to a red light and stop. A rather angry-seeming man walks up to the bus.)

Man: “What did you just say to me?”

Older Scout: “…cheese?”

(Apparently satisfied, albeit confused, the man walks off.)

Me: “I think you should stop shouting ‘cheese.'”

Older Scout: “Yeah, probably.”

(The older scout stops looking out the window. A second man walks up. He doesn’t say anything. Rather, he spits in my face and walks away.)

Me: “Ugh!”

Older Scout: “Did that guy just spit at you?!”

Me: “Ew, I think he had chips in his mouth!”

(As far as we could work out, the second guy thought that I’d been the one shouting cheese. Since then, the older scout has stopped shouting things at random people, but it took a while for me to feel clean!)

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