Tuesday Talkback: Who should use the Scout handshake?

Bryan on Scouting

Tuesday-Talkback Save your right-handed handshakes for boardrooms and networking luncheons. Scouts do things a little differently.

The Scout handshake, offered around the world as a token of friendship, uses the left hand, which is the one closest to the heart.

Page 20 of the Boy Scout Handbook offers this two-sentence description: “Extend your left hand to another Scout and firmly grasp his left hand. Made with the hand nearest your heart, the Scout handshake signifies friendship.”

The Scout handshake uses no interlocking fingers; it’s just a normal left-handed handshake. Other programs within Scouting, including the Order of the Arrow and Cub Scouting, have handshake variants that you’ll learn about upon joining those programs.

But last week a Scout mom asked me whether the Scout handshake is for her. And it raised the question of who should use this left-handed clasp and who shouldn’t. Here’s her email:

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