How we handle our lives and scouting post-pandemic will be an ongoing process. What do we do with simple things like the old fashion handshake? The “elbow bump” is awkward and strange. How many times should we bump elbows before it becomes part of a “chicken dance”? Do you move them up and down or side to side? What if you bang your elbow into someone who’s not ready? After all, isn’t the elbow where we teach everyone to sneeze and cough? It looks silly and I don’t think it’s much better than a handshake with regards to cleanliness. Should this be replaced with a bow? I think most Americans would be confused as there are many different types of bows. If not performed correctly and appropriately it could easily be misunderstood. Not to mention the strained political relationships between the East and West. A traditional Indian form of greeting is the Añjali Mudrā gesture or namaste. This would be good most of the time without a full-on bow. Again this may prove to be confusing for the general American public. Currently, we are left with a “weird mime” type of wave jester or worse. We Americans must work things out with a new greeting that’s healthier, dignified, and geopolitical. Don’t worry you have until your next job interview or client meeting to figure it out.
In scouting, we have a greeting taught to every new Scout; the scout salute. I’m in favor of a scout salute when in uniform. This might be perceived as militaristic in nature as we normally only salute the flag. But we all know how to give a scout salute and it can be done at a distance. B-P saluted scouts and scouts saluted him in return. It’s respectful and meaningful. If we use this for greetings and to properly replace scout handshakes then I think the problem is solved. Now, what do we do for the times when we’re not in uniform?
Your In Scouting, ScouterStan