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“S-C-O,” a common phrase heard around the Lake Forest community, often followed by an energetic “U-T-S”, is something that every student knows, and for the most part loves. But why do we partake in this seemingly rudimentary spelling exercise? We all know how to spell “Scouts” without breaking it down, so we’re led to wonder what exactly is the point? Aside from being a fantastic opportunity to yell as loud as you want, this act of spirit, at its core, is a way to bring people together.
Nicknames, in their barest form, are a way to generally identify a group of people, but especially in American education and athletics, nicknames have become a major way for people to define themselves. This raises the question of how such a broad term can come to not only be accepted, but embraced by a group of people? Usually people like to be anything but labelled, but in the case of school and team nicknames, people welcome them with open arms; this can be attributed to a singular force: community. Wanting to create or join a community is a feeling that almost everyone experiences, and schools are a natural way for people to jump into a group identity. By combining location with a common set of values and expectations, schools are the perfect place for a community to develop. Especially in groups that have a wide range of backgrounds, a common nickname is an efficient and strong way of bonding people together. This bond makes people feel welcome and provides a sense of belonging. Additionally, community travels with someone for the rest of their lives, wherever they go. Transcending time and place, being a Scout is something that can be said with pride, uniting every past, present, and future member of our community. These feelings of security and family make people even more invested into the the success of the community. When everyone is engaged and active, we are able to achieve more than what we dream is possible. We are lucky at LFHS to have such a tight knit community where we want to celebrate our togetherness and share it with others. Whether it’s supporting our sports teams or any other group representing LFHS, we make sure to unite behind the Scout name and shout it loud and proud.
What about that Scout name is so appealing to us? I can’t speak for the rest of the student body, but I personally have not done any true “scouting” in my life, as the most uncharted land I’ve discovered was when I took the wrong exit on the way to a football game. A lot of times nicknames are very specific to the community, like the Seminoles of Florida State, but then again, there are also cases like Princeton, who are the Tigers even though there are none in this hemisphere, much less in New Jersey. In addition to uniting a community, a nickname is meant to be a source of outward pride for those who wear it, and often times a source of fear for those who face it. Imagine a Scout, boldly venturing into unknown territory, risking life and limb in order to benefit the greater community. I think the qualities of bravery, courage, and selflessness are definitely worth putting our name behind, not only to represent us, but to intimidate our opponents. Ever since modern, organized team competition has been around, teams have tried to convey a notion of toughness and ferocity through their nickname and its depiction. After all, would you rather compete against a wildcat or a duck? However, the presence of nicknames like the Ducks, or Cornhuskers, or Buckeyes shows that community is the true inspiration when it comes to nicknames.
Another quality of the Scout name is its singularity. This individualism separates us from the rest of the pack, giving us a clear identifier that nobody else can claim. When we distinguish ourselves, a responsibility is put on our shoulders to uphold the Scout name, but we as Scouts welcome that challenge and face it head on. It comes down to what the people can truly rally behind, regardless of how intimidating their nickname is. The nickname of Scouts captures our pioneering spirit and steady toughness, ready for any obstacle thrown our way. Collectively as Scouts we are able to support each other as we grow as individuals and as a community. Our school does a great job of banding together behind our identity, always representing our exceptional community with an enthusiastic S-C-O!