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Chippewa29

Left Handed Smoke Shifter

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I cant see a the comment boys will be boys as a reason that hazing is ok. Just because it was done in the past does not make it ok now. You are right, Tap Outs have been changed, why? because of the abuses of the past. How did we get to where we are? Because those in charge, those who were supposed to be sure things dont get out of hand could not control the situation.

 

Can todays leaders be better than those in the past?

 

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Maybe it is an arrogant comment, but i think that today's leaders can be, or can become, better than in the past. Isnt that what its all about? We all grew up in the era of political correctness, and there is a place for that sometimes. There is also a place for tradition and good clean fun. My generation of leadership faces the challenge of melding those concepts together. I know it works pretty well in my troop, and i know the boys that I have trained handle it pretty well, I imagine that this is probably not an isolated incedent.

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BTW, I know this is getting pretty far off topic, so i would invide the list moderator to move it to a different thread if he feels it appropriate. Sorry for going off on a tangent, but its a good discussion isnt it?

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All of the skits of our Troop's past cannot be used in today's environment of Scouting. All of the pranks previously mentioned, no longer have a place in Scouting. I will say that my training, Basic and Woodbadge, brought most of these to my attention. They were presented in a positive way (adult leaders to adult leaders), but again, can no longer be used in Scouting on any level. It's sad, but times have changed. It is a matter of opinion as to what degree any of these activities can be hazing. I still remember a phrase hammered into me by my company's Diversity Training program. Any possible negative behavior from one party to another is "victim defined." If the receiver of said action in ANYWAY feels he/she is a victim, said action is WRONG. Thus, Scouting's past has caught up with itself, and like all older traditions and programs, is constantly being reviewed and critiqued for possibilities of inappropriateness. Current common sense prevails, and like the old saying about what to sell at a backyard sale, "when in doubt, throw it out."

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sst3rd, you said -

 

"I still remember a phrase hammered into me by my company's Diversity Training program. Any possible negative behavior from one party to another is 'victim defined.' If the receiver of said action in ANYWAY feels he/she is a victim, said action is WRONG."

 

With all due respect, this statement is what's wrong with our country today! This is the kind of logic that leads to nonsense like people being reprimanded for handing out Christmas cards or hanging an American flag. I'll never buy this logic. I don't believe it for a moment, not in the workplacenot in Scouts.

 

OGE, you said -

 

"Sorry, Humiliation and debasement, making fun and being the butt of another's joke is not fun and can never be."

 

I understand where you're coming from, but I really believe you're going overboard on this issue. Limits and common sense should be applied. This will protect the vast majority of the boys. It's not a perfect system, but we don't live in a perfect world. Hopefully, the Scoutmaster or troop leadership is monitoring the boys well enough to consult the occasional boy who feels slighted. In fact, this is an opportunity for leadership to teach a life lesson and prepare the boy for "real life". To ban all practical jokes because one or two boys may take offense goes too far.

 

Here's an analogy. Every year, due to fluke injuries, two or three boys die in little league baseball. I grieve for those familiesI truly do. It's a horrible thing. However, because of these rare occurrences, should we ban little league baseball and deny hundreds of thousands of boys the opportunity to play?

 

Everything in life contains some degree of risk, which generates potential gains or losses. You can't protect every boy 100% of the time. If a boy believes that all practical jokes are meant to be hurtful, then it's not the "joker" that has the problem. You're better off building his character and teaching him skills that will prepare him for life (as oppose to hiding from it). Yes, Scouts should be a safe-haven of sorts. But it shouldn't be a fantasy world in which good-natured fun is extracted (i.e., ban practical jokes) because a small minority might not understand.

 

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Sorry again,

 

Being Humiliated is not something that grows charactor, it feeds anger and distrust. I thought that sticking up for the oppressed and picked on was a good thing, apparently there are scouters who think its a growing experience. So, what if your kid has a problem with a bully? is the answer to tell the kid to punch his lights out? Maybe the bully backs down, maybe the kid gets the stuffing kicked out of him, what was accomplished? That the kid knows he is weak and denfenseless, not a good thing no matter how it works out. What do you do when the jokee reacts with violence, tell him it was only a joke and nobody meant anything by it? Then why do it if it meant nothing.

 

Scoutmom and Sctmom, what do you think? Am I being too sensitive, normally we have similar opinions, what is yours?

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Hi OGE! I was thinking about this subject as I drove in to work this morning!

 

I was surprised to find out that snipe hunts catch 11 year old boys by surprise. I knew by the time I was 8 what a snipe was, and I'm a girl. Maybe because by that time I had learned not to trust my older brother and sister whenever they said "oh, this will be fun" LOL

 

I agree that humiliation is never a good thing. Unbelievable that any adult would let a snipe hunt go on all night or let scouts embarrass themselves in front of others looking for a left handed smoke shifter. I have read many skits that I thought were cruel and hazing. It isn't about political correctness, it is about being friendly, kind and courteous (those words ring a bell?).

 

My brother was a Boy Scout for a brief time in the 70's. I remember him coming home from a campout where the worst thing they did was put toothpaste in each other's shoes. It wasn't embarrasing, just annoying - mainly to the moms.

 

Some boys are easily embarrased especially at such a young age. You are very likely to end up losing boys or causing them to lash out in anger. I know one young boy who would very likely turn into a little anger machine if you pulled a joke on him that embarrased him. Boys roughhousing is "boys will be boys". Boys forgetting things is "boys will be boys". Boys getting dirty is "boys will be boys". Being mean is just plain old being mean no matter who you are.

 

I have to say I liked the way Chippewa's troop handled the left handed smoke shifter.

 

 

 

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For the record, I too think this tread should be moved to the politics and issues forum. And also for the record, I promised myself I would stay out of this one because I dont want to have to always come down on the opposite side of OGE. But this thread has taken a nasty left turn down the road of liberalism and towards the Cult of Political Correctness. Diversity for its own sake is subversive, lets not forget the lessons of forced bussing, social promotion and affirmative action. Any possible negative behavior from one party to another is "victim defined." Do we really want to teach our boys the insidiousness of social conditioning like the politics of victimization? This is just such utter nonsense I want to spit. Are we going convey to the boys that any unpleasant state of tension creates a victim? Tangible logic and facts have left this debate and replaced with the perception of feelings and emotion. How foolish are we to think that our boys BSA experience is going to be free of any kind disagreeable events and that were willing to micromanage every behavior that could possibly hurt someones feelings?

 

Words like hazing, humiliation, debasement, degradation and moron are factually and logically inconsistent with a snipe hunt and Im willing to argue each and every analogy as it would apply to the cognitive dissonance of the event. However, this would require jumping off my self-imposed seat on the fence and this is not my intention for commenting. It is the inconsistency of liberalism which puts emotion over substance that raises the hairs on the back of my neck. Trying to create utopia within an organization that stands for self reliance and fortitude is not only detrimental to that goal, it creates false sense of security and a worldview that is inconsistent with reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love a good practical joke as much as anyone, providing it is in good taste and it doesn't hurt anyone. While on staff at our council JLTC in the early 90's, we used to bring a bag of gear for the conference that week and another bag of stuff we used for practical jokes on each other. We had a few simple rules we followed:

1. The jokes couldn't interfere with the program or involve the participants;

2. The person you played the joke on better be able to take it (we had a few staff members, one older one, that we didn't get because they weren't mature enough to handle it); playing a joke on someone who couldn't take it or get you back was seen as a cowardly act;

3. If you dished it out, be prepared to get it back ten fold;

4. Nothing could get destroyed or damaged (shaving cream never hurt anyone as far as we knew);

5. If the jokes interfered with your ability to do your job, you cut out the jokes (staff being exhausted the next day after staying up late at night playing jokes on each other was probably our biggest "problem").

 

Basically, we were all equals getting each other and having some good clean fun without it interfering in our true purpose. We did have a staff wide joke we played on the SM one year and the participants knew about it (we played on it at every assembly), but they thought it was just part of the program and the SM loved it.

 

I think that is where the difference between fun and hazing becomes apparent. When the "victim" cannot defend himself or is embarrassed in front of his peers (he feels like a victim, as someone else stated earlier), then it is hazing. However, older Scouts or adults getting each other with good, clean jokes (ok, some weren't so clean, but the kids never knew) is part of the fun of having a group of friends. When I speak with my old friends who worked JLTC with me, our fondest memories are probably of the jokes we played on each other and the bonding they helped create between us.

 

Yes, we absolutely need to be sensitive to the needs of others and be careful not to push Scouts out of Scouting. I am very cognizant of that because my troop had some Scouts being threatened by other Scouts a couple of years back. Of course, as soon as we heard about it, we moved to stop it. However, it still cost us a couple of Scouts at that point and we realized that a couple of Scouts who quit a few months earlier probably had left for the same reason and couldn't be convinced to come back.

 

However, there needs to room for some good-natured humor in the program. I would never pick on my Scouts as much as the adults picked on me when I was a Scout (they did it in good taste and only because I deserved it and loved the attention), but I knew that they did it because they cared about me and knew I wouldn't be harmed by it. Joking with people can be a great bonding experience and show genuine trust and respect if done properly.

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"Being humiliated is not something that grows character, it feeds anger and distrust. I thought that sticking up for the oppressed and picked on was a good thing, apparently there are scouters who think it's a growing experience."

 

Because a boy feels something, doesn't mean it's reasonable or justifiable. His feelings may be real (or not), but that doesn't mean another boy did him a wrong. If a Scout crosses the line (while joking around), then yes, the Scoutmaster should reprimand that individual and take measures to console and reassure the "victim". However, when common sense dictates that there was no harm done or intended, then I'm suggesting that the "victim" needs to be consulted in a different way. He needs to "grow up"perhaps he even needs professional counseling. Just because someone claims to be a victim doesn't make it so. Isn't it better to prepare a boy for real life, then to try to create a world, which is void of any potential perception of unkindness and removes opportunities of expression and enjoyment for others?

 

"So, what if your kid has a problem with a bully? Is the answer to tell the kid to punch his lights out? Maybe the bully backs down; maybe the kid gets the stuffing kicked out of him, what was accomplished? That the kid knows he is weak and defenseless, not a good thing no matter how it works out."

 

First, I think it is unfair and prejudicial to compare a practical joker to a bully. But to answer your questionsNo, I don't think it is necessarily reasonable to tell a boy to handle a bully on his own. However, no one (in particular myself) has suggested that bullying be accepted as normal behavior.

 

"What do you do when the jokee reacts with violence, tell him it was only a joke and nobody meant anything by it? Then why do it if it meant nothing."

 

Again, you're presuming the joker is some kind of bully. You've taken the stance that by definition; a practical joker is always wrong and worthy of contempt. I disagree. That being said, the answer to your questions depends on the specifics. If a Scout did something that was intended to be hurtful, then I would discipline the said Scout. However, if the Scout was good-natured, and his attempt at humor was likewise, then I have to say the "jokee" has the problem. He should be the one receiving the reprimand. Now, once it is known that a particular boy is sensitive to this kind of thing, then I believe it is reasonable to ask and expect the other members of the troop to respect his feelings (even if his feelings may be unreasonable) and refrain from joking around with him. Again, applying common sense is always key.

 

"Scoutmom and Sctmom, what do you think? Am I being too sensitive, normally we have similar opinions, what is yours?"

 

Okay. I might as well dive head first into this thing. As I have noted on other threads, I have the utmost respect for the women leaders in Boy Scouts. They have filled a much-needed void. And it is worth repeating (as common sense should dictate) - Men are no better or worse than women. Women and men are simply different. This is my precursor disclaimer for my next comment:

 

Men do offer different perspectives than women. I do not find sctmom's comments to be surprising or unusual. OldGreyEagle, surely you have been in situations in your life whereas a woman would not understand or react as you did. Personally, I'm convinced that teaching a boy how to handle himself when dealing with others, in particular other boys (i.e., a bully, a good-natured prankster, etc.), is something a man is more equipped to do, because he is a man. How many girls do you know "who would very likely turn into a little anger machine" if confronted with a practical joke. You may know some, but certainly boys far number girls in this area. I'm familiar with the reaction that sctmom described. However, I find the reaction to be inappropriate. If we punish the initiator of a practical joke, because a boy reacts this way, we are not dealing with the real problem and it justifies the behavior of the "anger machine". Conversely, I think we should teach the offended boy to view reality (he's not the focus of ridicule), to control his temper (it is never appropriate to lash out), and to view himself positively (very often boys pull practical jokes on one another as a way to bond). These problems are common to young boys. As men, we should help them cope with these things in a proper way (not avoid situations).

 

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Rooster,

 

I appealed to Scoutmom and Sctmom because I have noticed we often agree on the same topics, I didnt see it as a man/woman thing. I just wanted to know what they thought.

 

Boys have enough to learn in the program. I would ask Dad to read the thread on When to Advance, if I was as Liberal and Politically Correct as he posts, then I should have been all for advancing the boy in question. In fact, I beleive I said the scout should advance when he was able to accomplish the requirements. I guess that makes me a real liberal.

 

Boys learn it is a rough world when they try to start a fire for the first time, cook and clean up for their patrol, make do without kitchen untensils if they are forgotten. Scouts see other scouts who joined when they did or even after advance past them. Hopefully they get motivated, I wouldnt consider them victims. They already know its not a perfect world where no one gets hurt by the actions of others. I guess I thought that scouts was where they could go, be challenged and not have to worry about somebody messing around with their gear or their heads.

 

Chippewa, to be sure you understand my position, the situation you describe is great. When all the participants enter the event knowing anything is possible, and know the rules, then they are forewarned and take the risks and rewards. I am not talking about that. I am talking about torturing scouts who have no idea its comming. Thats just wrong.

 

 

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Girls do play practical jokes on each other and some are very cruel and embarrasing. This is not just a "boy" thing.

 

Practical jokes that are funny would be things like a whoopee cushion or a fake spider in the latrine. Most of the jokes I've seen as skits involved a "plant" in the audience as the butt of the joke. The boys get a kick out of it, and the plant plays it up big time.

 

Pulling a joke that is humilitating or puts a scout in physical danger is NOT funny.

 

The reason I had not responded is because I KNEW there would responses like Roosters -- "what does a woman know about being a boy."

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Well-said Chippewa29.

 

Dedicated Dad you wrote:

 

"But this thread has taken a nasty left turn down the road of liberalism and towards the Cult of Political Correctness. Diversity for its own sake is subversive, lets not forget the lessons of forced bussing, social promotion and affirmative action."

 

I personally think that our society and country are better because of the gains made during the previous 40 years. We live in the present and not the past.

 

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