Camp Skit -- This is worth complaining about, right? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 9 YO DD was a a Girl Scout day camp last week.  On the last day a skit was performed for a large group of girls from ages 7 to 14 that has my upset.  Would this have upset you enough to call and raise a concern with the camp executive director?

 

Basic summary: A succession of girls is placed in front of a firing squad.  The first yells "Earthquake" and runs away in the result confusion.  Repeat with several more disaster based distractions.  Final girl yells "fire" and is promptly shot.

 

To me this is horridly inappropriate.  While this was done on the last day of camp, I know that skits tend to be performed again and again as they are shared from group to group.  So I would like to make sure this isn't done again and if the leader who thought this was OK is leading again this week that she knows to discourage this next time it comes up.  If it matters, the individual group leaders are volunteers (mostly moms) and can change from week to week.  Lots of other skits were performed that were maybe a little off color but nothing nearly so violent.  And there is a considerable emphasis on "girl lead" activities, especially for the older girls.  But still, shouldn't someone have said "Hey girls, lets do something else."?

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#2 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 05:25 PM
 
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That skit has been around since I was a Girl Scout 30 years ago. It was funny then... little play on words and we've seen the skit done at jamborees when I used to take my troop. It's always well-received. Certainly no worse than any loony tunes episode or Disney movie. I've never heard of it offending or disturbing anyone.

 

You absolutely have the right to monitor your own child... maybe not send her, attend with her and walk her out during those activities, talk to her about real and make-believe.... I think it's a little much to demand that a classic skit it be banned. Not to mention, pretty impossible to regulate. My kids are vegetarian. We find eating meat horribly disturbing but we aren't going to demand the Girl Scouts stop serving it. We just talk to our kids about it, ask if a veggie option is available and if not, provide them with their own food.


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#3 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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The girls in the skit most likely chose it from several options, in which case, no, I don't think it's appropriate to complain.

Was your child forced or pressured to participate in something she found objectionable?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 18 Old 08-06-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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I think maybe it's a little insensitive with the shootings that have been in the news recently, Aurora and the Sikhs. I don't know that I would have been horribly offended, though. IME kids that age love the word play and zaniness that you're describing, but I can see why you would feel that this one was in poor taste. It wouldn't have upset me enough to call the camp director, but YMMV and if it makes you feel better to say something about it then they might think twice before they do it next time.


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#5 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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I think the argument that it is a classic skit is feable. If the skit was a classic involving racism, sexism, or some other topic where change has occurred, should it still be done? Maybe it's time to question a classic.
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#6 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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I remember this skit too, and I think it is funny. Humor is a time honored way to deal with adversity.
 

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#7 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I think the argument that it is a classic skit is feable. If the skit was a classic involving racism, sexism, or some other topic where change has occurred, should it still be done? Maybe it's time to question a classic.

 

 

You don't think that's going a bit far on the "politically correct" front? I always marvel at how we stress over things like a Girl Scout skit and ignore all the other, more real, more influential problems like the media and how they manipulate and control how we see events. Kids around the world grow up with so much exposure to REAL danger and yet are less stressed and frightened than our own children who we shield from even make-believe violence. Do we want to teach our kids that even their imaginations are dangerous? Our kids are smart and strong. We don't give them NEARLY enough credit for being thinking creatures. It's a little skit that hundreds of thousands of girls have done and seen over the years, giggled over and amazingly enough... did NOT turn into mass murderers. Let's be rational here.

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#8 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 08:54 AM
 
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I've been involved with Girl Scouts for several decades, and I don't know this skit. I have some very vague memory of it from when I was a girl, perhaps... but I couldn't say that I've definitely seen it before. Personally, I don't think my 8 year old would "get" it or find it funny, but 12 year olds I know would. But it doesn't matter if I disapprove of it or not, because clearly you do. That's good feedback to give. 

 

I think it's fine to tell the leader that you felt it was inappropriate. I wouldn't get overly emotional about it, because you won't be taken as seriously if you are overly dramatic about it. Just tell her that you felt it was out of step with what you expect from scout day camp, particularly with recent shooting incidents like the one in CO. Leaders take all that under consideration and chances are she'll think about it a bit before including it again. I'll certainly take your opposition under consideration if my troop ever suggests it as a skit idea!


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#9 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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I remember this skit, and I think it's silly. As a child, I never felt violent or had any associations with death because of it. To me, its no different than playing with imaginary guns.


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#10 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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interesting -- I was expecting a different reaction. 

 

I don't allow toy gun  play in my home (by either DS or DD).  And I think that I probably am reacting more strongly to this than I normally would because of the recent events around the county.  I don't think any of these girls are going to become mass murderers over a skit, but I do think that having it be "OK" at camp implies a certain acceptability of gun violence, which I would prefer not be part of my children's world.  And given the cultural diversity of our city, the chances of there being more than one child at camp who had parents or relatives killed by firing squad or something similar is pretty high -- we have a huge Sudanese refugee population for example. 

 

Anyway, I did speak with the camp director yesterday, who agreed that it may be time to put this skit on the "not appropriate" list, along with several other "classics" that are no longer encouraged, especially given the current events in the news.  I didn't demand that she do that, merely pointed out that it might not be such a good idea to give the appearance of condoning gun violence.

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#11 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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I think you handled it really well.

I suspect that part of the reason that the answers aren't what you expected is because you got answers from moms of teens, not children. I think there is a transition in parenting from trying to control our children's environment to trying to teach our teens to navigate the world they live in.
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#12 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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I think you should do whatever you feel is right (which you did). But, fwiw, you're the first person I've ever seen come away from that skit with the idea that it was condoning gun violence in any way. I also would have never made any connection between that skit and the violence in CO (or any other time there's been such a  shooting). I saw that skit (actually...think I may have been in that one once) when I was in Girl Guides, and saw it again about 10 years ago, when ds1 was in Cub Scouts. I don't ever remember anybody connecting it to gun violence at all. They see it totally in terms of wordplay and silliness.

 

Personally, if it were my child's troop, I'd be sad to see it moved to the "not appropriate" list, but life is like that.

 

Mind you, I've long been a misfit on MDC with respect to toy guns and such (I have no issue with them, and have always allowed play with toy guns). Maybe this is just one more example of that.


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#13 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I suspect that part of the reason that the answers aren't what you expected is because you got answers from moms of teens, not children. I think there is a transition in parenting from trying to control our children's environment to trying to teach our teens to navigate the world they live in.

 

There's probably some truth to this, too.


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#14 of 18 Old 08-07-2012, 07:52 PM
 
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I remember that skit from when I was in GS many many years ago. I remember it as being funny, and it still wouldn't bother me. My dd has a macabre sense of humorn (which I don't think is a bad thing, just a different taste.) She'd think it was hilarious.
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#15 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 08:30 AM
 
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At first I was a little horrified when I read the description but then it reminded me of Monty Python and now I don't see it as bad at all. If this was a preschool skit I would say complain but it isn't, the kids are older and it was a goofy skit for goofy older children. I don't think this skit is any worse than scenes in some of the action movies targeted and rated for children, it may even be better because humor makes it ridiculous.
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#16 of 18 Old 08-08-2012, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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At first I was a little horrified when I read the description but then it reminded me of Monty Python and now I don't see it as bad at all. If this was a preschool skit I would say complain but it isn't, the kids are older and it was a goofy skit for goofy older children. I don't think this skit is any worse than scenes in some of the action movies targeted and rated for children, it may even be better because humor makes it ridiculous.

 

Well - the youngest girls at camp were 5, so its not like this was just a group of older girls.  I guess my general reaction is that death by gun is never OK and I was surprised to hear about it being acted out and accepted.  And I do worry about the effect on girls who's families fled from brutal fighting -- there are several families in our church who saw such horrible things and I know there are lots of these families who participate in Girl Scouts.  But it seems like I may have been a bit over-sensitive to the whole thing.  I guess next time I'll just let it go.

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#17 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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Random shooting isn't funny anymore, because it actually happens.  I'm glad you spoke up.

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#18 of 18 Old 08-14-2012, 08:54 AM
 
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I'm the director of a summer camp and that skit would not be acceptable. I'm not totally anti-gun and don't think that skit condones gun violence or anything, but is certainly seems in bad taste. As a camp director, I'm fully aware that we can't make every kid/family happy 100% of the time but we can take measures to lower the chance that someone will be upset or offended by something that we do. Kids come from all different backgrounds and have many different experiences in their histories and jokes about shooting kids seems high on the list of possible offenders. Shooting kids is never something to joke about. That it's a "classic" skit doesn't make it any better. There are plenty of skits that are just silly and goofy and no one would find offensive. What about encouraging their own creativity and having them create something totally unique?

 

I'm glad you called the camp and it sounds like they had the perfect response. That skit should definitely be retired.


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