Scout Camp Announcements Tradition

“Every morning and every night, we do these announcements at the flag ceremony for the day. Where there’s a person who’s like the officer of the day, who’s in charge of running things for the day, stands at the front and calls out any of the staff members who have announcements for the day, and they like jump forward and do their little bits, where they say jokes and do their little announcements. After the last dinner before everyone heads out of camp, we head out to the flag area again,and we line up and usually the program director will pretend they’re like the fake officer of the day and do a full flag ceremony, even when there are no scouts, and everyone is allowed to give a parting message. And so we’ll make references and say silly stuff. Like last year, there was one moment where this younger staff member yelled very loudly at me, ‘[Teller’s name] you have diarrhea on your hands!’ and so I made an announcement where I said I had diarrhea on my hands. 

Context: This tradition was gathered from a conversation I had with the teller, where I asked if there were any significant traditions or festivals he remembered from his life. As previously mentioned, this tradition is from a summer scout camp that the teller worked at. The camp operated on a weekly basis across a month or so, where a new batch of scouts were brought in each week. The teller told me of three traditions, of which this is the third. 

Analysis: Performed by and for the staff of this scout camp, this particular tradition is a transformation of a standardized daily routine, done during a specific liminal time (the end of the weekly program). In contrast to the more structured nature of the daily announcements, this tradition takes on a more humorous note, deriving hilarity from the contrast between the absurd statements and the supposed formality of the usual traditions. Happening at the end of the weekly program, before a new cycle of scouts come through, this tradition seems to reinforce and celebrate the connections built amongst the staff and between the staff and the scouts during the weekly period, almost making sure that some part of the prior experience stays with them as they face another change in the coming week.