I understand where ya coming from onthe singing matter. heck I sang a time or two, both b/c I forgot something and to help a shy scout out. I also do not see it as hazing.
But national sees it otherwise.
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- Feb 2008
In my old Troop lost items were a signing event - Happy Birthday to whoever had a birthday coming up. This was taught to the SPL at NYLT.
- Oct 2007
I made a joke about singing while giving some announcements at a Cub Scout camp. A few minutes later, some do-gooder-senior-know-it-all-bitter-old-man in a scout uniform actually had the nerve to accuse me of child abuse. I politely told him where he could put his opinion.
It's OK to say something was not appropriate. You never accuse someone of child abuse unless it's really child abuse.
Believe it or not, singing could be considered child abuse in some jurisdictions. You'd be surprised at what is considered "child abuse" that was just part of growing up back in the day.
I know one lady who had the police called out b/c she let her daughter walk to school by herself.
I read an article a few years back about a breastfeeding mom who had her child taken away because of some comments she said about breastfeeding.
And I can go on. It's like people have no common sense anymore.
- Nov 2007
Since I missed the festivities the first time around, I'll chime in to agree with Twocub. I wouldn't call singing child abuse, but I do think it's terribly unscoutlike. It's also a slippery slope and sets a bad example if adults are willing to be cruel to Scouts as a way of teaching them a lesson. Kids can easily mis-interpret that and implement their own "lessons" and may not know where to draw the line.
We collect gear and have a lost and found tub, or occasionally a table, where Scouts can look for their lost gear. If they don't have their name on something, we'll suggest they do that, perhaps even pointedly asking "why isn't your name on it?" and offering up a sharpie.
I don't see the big deal about singing for your stuff. I've done it myself as an adult leader. That said, we live in a kindler, gentler world than just 5 yrs ago (when I did it), and I think we are probably being oversensitive towards trivial matters.
- Nov 2011
Singing, dancing, duck walks: embarrassing, humiliating, disrespectful, and inappropriate. It is considered hazing even if it does not rise to the level of fraternity hazing. At the very least, it is bullying, something we are trying to teach the scouts is wrong.
Please do not use the worn out answer - I remember that happening when I was a kid, I don't think I was negatively affected, so it must be ok. This thinking has been behind the continuation of a number of questionable/inappropriate traditions in society. To me, singing for items and snipe hunts fall into this category.
Lost items? Like some have mentioned here:
Encourage families to label all clothing and equipment.
Have an end of campout lost and found check.
Asking the parents and at the following troop meeting are good ideas.
After a period of time - toss, donate, or put into a troop free equipment box.
I just think it's being oversensitive. That said, it was a Pack thing, not a Troop thing. I don't do it anymore. The thing is, a bit of humiliation, embarassment and shame is not always a bad thing, provided it's not overdone. They are human emotions, and have a purpose. That purpose is to stop us from doing the same behavior in the future.
Our campsite has a LOT of weeds, if we find something where it shouldnt be, you get a square of weeds to eradicate, or one of my favorites singing "im a little tea pot" complete with the little dance.
today in the 100 degree heat our green bar got together and re organized our scout trailers and we noticed our big tandem axle needs a good waxing, so at camp, ive come up with a new way to get your stuff back.
I dont find this to be hazing, its in good spirit, im the SPL, and ill sing with them or help a lot, and explain about doing it next time, normally they only lose one item.(This message has been edited by Jkaufman_95)
Jkaufman_95, welcome to the forums, and thank you for also helping your scouts who lose things learn from the experience of performing what may be humiliating tasks.
In that spirit, let me tell you what you lost. You seem to have misplaced your apostrophe. Before anyone thinks I am picking on a poor scout, let me say I am frequently reviewing resumes for positions on my team. Those with the sloppy text speak and disregard for at least an honest attempt at proper English are quickly removed from consideration.
While this may pass if one desires a career in "big tandem axle" waxing, it doesn't fly too far in the real world.
Now, according to those that feel a little shame is a good teaching method, I hope the lesson taught here proves valuable. That feeling you have about me right now? Some 11 year-old singing the teapot song may just feel the same way.
Thank you for the welcome, and i do see the point you are attempting to make. However, I have been in scouting since Tiger cubs. I, myself,have sang for my items more then once. I am not emotionally scarred from doing it. I learned to not leave my stuff and be neat and tidy, at camp or at home. After breakfast every morning we "police the area" and the older scouts and adults patrol behind them, and the line backs up if we find something they miss, yes its embarrassing to the young scout who has to face his comrades, but i do not think hes going to be hurt for life because of it. also since you are making an example of my grammar (which sorry i do not use the best grammar on an online forum) the correct use of (Your vs You're) would be You're. I do recognize you were attempting to make a point however. Also, the Marine Corps yell and scream explicit language into young men's ears for 9 weeks and at the end you have some of the most respectful and well mannered men at the end of their time at basic training, so i do not believe that a little song is going to hurt my 11 year olds whom all know i am VERY strict when it comes to pranks and ill behavior, but still consider me their friend and respect me. I also pointed out if the child does not feel comfortable singing, i will sing with him or not make him do it if he really does not want to, its always in good fun. They even try to trip me up and make me sing, and even though they haven't yet, if they happened to, you can bet that i would get right up there and show you my handle and my spout.
- Apr 2013
So what do you do with the kid who willingly and with malice of forethought "loses" things because he wants to perform, because he wants to be the center of attention and will do anything to have the spotlight on him? Feed his ego? WHat does singing teach him?
First of all, let me thank you for a rather mature response from someone that can be no more than 17 years-old. And before I say anything else, I don't doubt that you are a fine young man and great SPL. The fact that you will get up with a scared or nervous scout and sing with him tells me that. Also the note about how they try to catch you (unsuccessfully) gives me a glimpse of the camaraderie in your troop. Being SPL, you play a huge part in that.
I actually would probably subscribe to something close to Beavah's point of view on this matter. It can work for some troops, not so for others. But my biggest fear for any troop using the singing method is the scout that does leave due to embarrassment. I have to question if it is worth it to lose any scout over this sort of practice. But I still find myself coming around to the thought that nobody knows their unit like the people in the room, so to me this is a difficult subject to gather around an anonymous forum and say, "You're right!" and "You're wrong!"
Now as far as the grammar thing goes, I have just a couple of points to make if you don't mind. First, I did not attempt to make a point, I did make it. If you don't agree it still does not mean I did not make my point. In certain circles, saying someone "attempted" to make a point can be seen as insulting or condescending.
Second, concerning the fact that you choose to not use proper grammar on an online forum is a choice. And true, you are not applying for a job and nobody here knows who you are. But you are still representing yourself, and it kind of feels like the "character is what you do when no one is looking", doesn't it?
Third, you're going to have to provide the example where I used the improper word (you're vs. your). Take the sentence, replace "your" with "you are" and see if it still makes sense. And if I am incorrect, I will own it gladly. The difference would be I made a mistake, while you made a choice.
While I love these forums and have learned a great deal from them, I hate the impersonal way words come across when written. I could so easily see this as a great campfire discussion with both of us sharing our ideas in a respectful and enjoyable manner. You would play the part of the "teenager who thinks he knows everything" and I would be the "old man who just doesn't get what it's like today". Somewhere in the middle is what we call Scouting. Hopefully I will never stop teaching AND learning.
P.S. Thank you from the depths of everything I hold dear in Scouting that you are "VERY STRICT in terms of pranks and ill behavior". As an older youth leader, not to mention SPL, you have a responsibility to those boys that is completely separate and in some ways greater than any adult in your troop will ever have. I think any troop would benefit from your membership and leadership.
- Feb 2011
Well we stopped the consequences for lost stuff and sure enough the lost stuff is getting left behind. I get so tired of picking up old water bottles, etc from the same kids over and over. Webelos 3 indeeed. And some of them are going for Life.
Thank you for the Thank you, i am 17, but have held a steady job since i was 10, so i am very mature in dealing with people, I did error in saying "attempted", you did make your point. "But my biggest fear for any troop using the singing method is the scout that does leave due to embarrassment" I agree with this point totally, and like you said it what works for troop 1 doesn't exactly work for troop 2, but I have never personally had a scout leave out of embarrassment, I had one young scout pass out at a Mem day service the other day, and we initiated all the care he needed we determined he was more embarrassed then anything, we took him home, still embarrassed. i stopped by the next day to make sure he was okay and to assure he wasn't to embarrassed to come back, he told me he wouldn't miss scouting for the world, i know its not exactly the same situation but it gives you a little insight to how things like that are handled personally by me and by our troop, I could be mistaken on your use of grammar, I apologize, I do have to say, i am stubborn, but i do not believe i "know it all", i am simply disappointed in a few of the new rules and reqs we have to live by, when i was a greenhorn in our troop i was picked on something terrible by the senior scouts, and i stuck around. and i just dislike the horseplay, that does cause some serious hard feelings between the boys from what I've noticed, and I've had pranks played on me and played pranks on some kids, but i stay up to about 1 am at camp to make sure everyone is in their tent and asleep.