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Humiliation as Fundraising?

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  • Humiliation as Fundraising?

    A incident recently occurred in my troop that's somewhat related to the ongoing "hazing" discussion, but different enough that I thought I'd make a new thread.

    First, a little background. My troop has operated a dunk tank fundraiser for the past several years. Our PLC sets it up as a patrol competition - each patrol is given a time slot to operate the dunk tank, and there are some prizes given to the patrol that pulls in the most money, the patrol with the most "dunks," patrol with the goofiest costumes - stuff like that.

    Like I said, we've done this for several years, and it always seems to be an enjoyable event. Doesn't really make a tremendous amount of money, but the kids always look forward to it as a fun day. I've always helped out on the adult side for the past couple years, and we've never had any major problems. We also recently did our dunk tank fundraiser this year at a carnival last week.

    So at our committee meeting the other day, it was reported that we completed the dunk tank fundraiser, made a certain amount of money, and discussed whether to do it again next year. One newer committee member raised a point that maybe we shouldn't continue to do it as a fundraiser, since "there's better ways to make money than humiliating our kids." She left it at that, and I was surprised to hear it phrased like that. Her son had participated in the fundraiser last week, and from what I could see, had a great time. I tried to talk to the committee member after the meeting to see if something had happened to upset someone, but she said no, but just felt like there were better ways to make money for the troop.

    To my knowledge, we've never had a problem with a scout feeling "humiliated" by this fundraiser - participation is completely voluntary, so if you don't want to go in the dunk tank, you don't have to. Also the kids all seem pretty eager to take a turn in the dunk tank. So no issues that I know of.

    But, philosophically anyway, what the committee member said makes sense on some level. I could see how it might look like "humiliation," and I guess to some extent the idea of humiliation is why people would pay money to throw at a dunk tank. There's also an issue that some patrols (including the one her son is in) chose to wear their full uniforms in the dunk tank.

    So would anyone like to share any input here - is there any merit to this lady's concerns?

  • #2
    Parents often "know" their children feel a certain way despite the kids not realizing -- ever -- that they have those feelings.

    Ask the Scout in a manner most likely to get an honest answer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Good grief. No.

      But as we saw in da other thread, be a bit mindful of lads afraid to swim, overweight boys with body image fears, and especially young lads who might not know or be comfortable with folks yet, and respond poorly to peer pressure to participate.

      Selling mediocre overprice popcorn in goofy clothes, now that's humiliating.

      B

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      • #4
        Selling the popcorn at the price it is - is humiliating never mind what you are wearing!


        I don't know what to say. Really, I cannot imagine how volunteerin g to be in a dunk tank would be humiliating. I mean, especially since the dunkee usually is the one hecking the thrower and ragging the thrower about his wimp arm, not being able to hit the the ground if he tried, or tossing like a girl.

        And of course, dunking the smart mouth dunkee settles the score.

        I can see where the thrower could be humiliated if he threw worse and worse every time he tried or even got frustrated by not dunking the antagonizer...but while it's not major league pitching, it's not garanteed you will hit the arm, or hit it hard enough if you do hit it.

        The only thing I can imagine would be humiliating to the dunkee is if he had a less manly physique than the older boys. WHat is it called? A bird chest... I think.

        I used to be a bean pole and if I did not eat on a regular basis...my belly button could just might possibly scratch my backbone and I had an Adam'r apple that was very pronounced. Wasn't exactly my ideal situation to wlk around topless especially if you didn't have some sun coloring oin your body....but the thread makes it sould like it wasn' an issue with boys wearingf shirts or even full uniforms. WOW! Bet that was comfortable!

        But the thing is..it's voluntary, and you know from the start that you are gonna get wet soon or later - that's the whole point!

        I would not call it a humiliating event due to one person. They can always step down or not step up to start with.

        AS for hazing, I wouldn't even think to call it that unless it was a mandatory initiation thing or if only select people were forced to be the dunke while the rest laughed endlessly.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't think I'm so worried about one kid or another feeling humiliated - I would hope that if someone had feel that way, that I or another leader would have found out about it directly so that it could be handled. I don't think that this committee member's comment was triggered based on one specific kid.

          I think her concern might have to do with how the wider community would perceive our fundraiser - as in, passers-by may conclude that we're making money by setting our scouts up to be humiliated, and that's not the kind of "image" we would want the troop to have.

          I can kind of understand this thought process, but I don't think it's a big enough concern to cause us to cancel and event. I think Scoutfish is right - the kid on the seat ends up having more fun than the kids throwing the balls. Just wondering if anyone else felt differently :-)

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm going to ring in on this one because of the comments about the popcorn. One of our Pack Incentives the past two years has been that the top seller gets to toss a whipped-cream pie into the Committee Chair's face (Cubmaster was mostly non-existent and the youths and parents saw the CC more frequently).

            Anyway, she doesn't mind - it was her idea - and the boys love it.

            This year we ask the boys for ideas to mix up or change around the incentives, and what do they come up with? The top seller should be the one to GET the pie in the face. The boys are in love with the idea and already wanting to know if they can pick the filling for "their" pie.

            Try and call that "humiliation". Cubs are FUN.

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