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Tap Out Ceremonies

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Here in Middle Tennessee we have the "Call out". Usally at our District events in spring and fall. For the most part you folks have already listed the same practices that we do.

 

As for the user name. I think the ploy is just to create contention or controversy within this forum. Your responses may or may not change this persons opinion. Which is why you should direct your opinions to the moderators.

 

Hello, Mods... you out there?

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My apologies to all, this has been my username for over six years and if I offended anyone it was not my intention to do so on this site. BSAs position on politics are The Boy Scouts of America allows youth to live as children and enjoy Scouting without immersing them in politics of the day, and in retrospect this tenant was overlooked. Im happy to change my username but on most BBs you are not allowed to unless you use a new email address, I will make my case to the administrator. Further, I have no problem with this thread being pulled if someone can tell me how to do it. Kindest regards to all.

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I was called out as are all members of our lodge. Chapters hold tap outs at spring camporees and those who could not attend are tapped at summer camp.

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In our lodge, you have three opportunities to be called out if you are duly elected to OA--OA Spring Conference, summer camp (if you go to one of our council's camps), and OA Fall Conference after the summer camp season.

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Rooster 7,

The tap out ceremony is not hazing! They made drastic changes to the tap out in my council. Now it is done in the parade field & the mystique is gone.

 

I had a summer camp staff member once tell me sending Scouts on a "left handed smoke shifter with the hickory handle" hunt was hazing. Makes you wonder, huh?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I know that our lodge had to switch from a tap out to a call out back in the early 90's due to the concern of hazing. When I was tapped out in 1984, we heard this loud sound when they tapped the shoulders of the people before us. Therefore, we braced ourselves when they came by us, just in case it happened to us. Then, when they actually tapped us out, we realized that the tap was actually more bark than bite and felt like the pat on the shoulder a coach gives you when you make a good play in a game. After getting tapped, two of the characters "dragged" (led) you up to the front where they did a couple of other quick things to you (my memory of that isn't clear, probably because I was so excited), then placed you in a lineup where you put your hand on the shoulder of the person in front of you and were told to keep quiet.

 

The leadership in our lodge always took good care to make sure that the candidates weren't hurt and avoided problems. Of course, when the occasional older Scout (who knew the ceremony characters) or camp staff member was tapped out, they put on more of a "show" for the crowd.

 

Also, someone mentioned that often, the number tapped out was larger than the number not tapped out and that could cause embarrassment. I find that ridiculous. It is wrong for someone not to get recognized for something they haven't earned? Its not like they painted the non-tappees with a big reg "L" on their forehead and paraded them around with everyone laughing at them. At our summer camp tap outs, the entire crowd was standing for the ceremony, so there were a couple hundred people (many parents came up for the Friday night campfire/ceremony) while about 2-3 dozen were recognized.

 

I believe that a lot of the recognition ceremony lost its prestige and honor (not to mention its mystique) when they went to the call out instead of the tap out. Many people feel the same way. These days, it isn't a real big deal for the kids to be called out and become OA members, because a lot of the mystique is gone (there are other issues adding to this, but I won't elaborate).

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National came out with a policy change about 8 or 9 years ago on this. In the Houston area, it was taken very seriously. The actual "tapping" was done away with, as was turning Bobcats upside down. I had seen smaller Scouts brought to tears when they were "tapped" too hard by an overzealous OA member. And I understand there had been a lawsuit when a Bobcat was dropped on his head during a pinning ceremony. Usually (not neccessarily always) when National make a major policy change, it's for a good reason. Tradition and "we did it that way when I was a Scout" aside, the emotional and physical safety of our youth must be considered. I don't agree with every rule, but I try to understand and follow them. Bottom line, CYA !!

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Scouts can get hurt when using fire and knives as well, but nobody's banned them.

 

You can't teach responsibility if you remove all opportunity for exercising good judgement. A good scout will use fire responsibly, just as a good scout will "tap out" without trying to hurt anyone. And those who behave poorly should be corrected.

 

If you adopt a policy of banning everything that could potentially be harmful, first you'll remove all the mystery and fun (as is happening with OA ceremonies) and next you'll have no scouting at all (afterall, kids are much safer in their homes than out on some campout in the mountains where any number of unpleasant injuries could occur.)

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I'm a new member here, but not a new Scouter. I have seen many of the ceremonies change so the many can please the few. As the ceremonies and other traditions of Scouting change I see the mystique and enthusiasm die off.

 

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I agree, as the ceremonies go away so does the interest. I can understand the concern for "hazing" and boys being tapped too hard. But thats where decent adult supervision should intervene. It shouldn't need a whole policy. My son was tapped out in the traditional manner and for him it was an awesome and memorable experience.

 

We live in Washington state. The boys in our area now are "called out" by OA members after election at a regular troop meeting. Very few of the troops hold the election and then wait for a ceremonies team to come do a special call out. Basically the OA reps that do the election pass on the "you were elected and this is when to show show up for ordeal" info and thats it.

 

I guess its no surprise that less than half the candidates show up to go through ordeal. Participating just doesn't hold much excitement for the youth here because the OA is not that visible to the majority of Scouts (or their parents)

 

Ceremonies certainly generated interest in the past. Seeing the OA in action at camporees and summer camp gave younger scouts something to strive for and be a part of. Now it seems like many of them just do it for the patch if at all.

 

Boys like the special recognition and its a shame that being PC means doing away with time honored tradtion.

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