Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I hear often from some of my family or friends who have been minimally involved in Scouts that they think all the little songs, skits, and cheers are ultra-lame. Whenever I try to explain their purpose, the response is just, "Oh, well there's the big Scouter, blah, blah, blah." That, my friends, is called an ad hominem logical fallacy, which means that they don't take my argument seriously because it comes from me instead of analyzing the actual merits of the argument.

The thing is, I don't particularly get that excited about all the cheers and cheesy songs myself. However, when you go to camp and the staff teaches the Scouts a bunch of new silly songs, you will inevitably catch the boys singing the songs later, whether the next day or even months later. They stick, because the boys enjoy them. Scouters don't do silly cheers and songs because they enjoy them but because the boys enjoy them. It's all about the boys.

I was thinking about this tonight because I just got home from a high school football game. The game was a good one, other than being a little bit cold. As I listened to some of the cheers that the cheerleaders performed, I began asking myself who in the world makes up these stupid cheers. I've been to a lot of college games recently, but it's been a long time since I went to a high school game.

Suddenly, the connection was made. I could clearly feel the uncomfortable feeling that many people have doing or watching some silly song and dance. I also watched the student section during several of the little ditties as the whole student body joined in dancing, chanting, and singing with them. It wasn't much different than the cheesy stuff we sing at Scouts, and it was for kids about the same age as my Scouts, yet to most people there it didn't seem weird. In the context, both make sense, but it can be hard to commit yourself to the context.