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Chippewa29

Left Handed Smoke Shifter

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Hey, lets not confuse labels with reality and invectives with the truth, its just more emotion-based indictment and it only strengthens my argument. Ones feelings shouldnt dictate a standard of decorum in debate because the facts and logic are quickly lost in the perception of reality.

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Sctmom,

 

I guess my point was not taken in the light that I had wished. But if you want to pose it this way, "What does a woman know about being a boy?" - it is succinct and for the most part, accurate. Frankly, I don't see how that is arguable. It does NOT MEAN you don't know how to raise your son or how to relate to boys. It simply means you may not know or understand exactly how a boy thinks.

 

As to, "This is not just a 'boy' thing". I never said practical jokes were exclusive to boys. However, very often how a boy reacts to a situation is very different from the way a girl reacts. As a group, boys do view themselves and the world around them differently than girls do.

 

OGE,

 

I realized you did not view it as a man/woman thing. I brought this out in an attempt to demonstrate to you that this is exactly the kind of situation that a Scout leader could use to teach a young boy about how to deal with others properly from a male perspective.

 

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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. I too think some good things have happened in the past 40 years, but forced diversity will never be good for our society when applied as solution for wrong conduct. But again, this subject belongs in the P&I forum.

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Rooster

 

And just how does a boy learn to deal properly with being debased and humiliated? He either has to accept it, retaliate, or take out his frustration on those smaller, weaker and younger than he. These are not admired attributes of a man.

 

Ok, Self-disclosure time. I was an innocent, naive scout. I went on a snipe hunt. Yes, I knew about "snipe hunts" but I also knew that a snipe is a real bird and the older scouts and adults lead me to beleive we were in an area where they actually lived. And yes, I stayed out until dawn. Humiliation and despair are not strong enough words to describe my feelings. I was madder at myself for falling for it than anything else. Then at the very next campout, the SPL sent me out for the Cannon Report, theoretically the camp newspaper, actually just the sound the cannon made. I spent 2 hours going camp to camp before some kindly scoutmaster replied when I told him what I was looking for, son, have you ever been on a snipe hunt? I nearly fainted. I didnt want to go back to the troop. I waited until 1am. In the morning I was asked if I saw any Snipe while looking for the cannon report. That was the end of that, I refused any request to do anything. I never trusted another older scout for as long as I was in the troop and I made Eagle, not because of the harrassment, but despite it. It didnt teach me a thing except I was a stupid naive child in the company of wolves. I told my dad and mother what had happened and they said what do want us to do. I knew having Mommy and Daddy complain would make the situation worse, so I said, dont do anything. But I resolved that I would prevent any kid from going through what I did. I would talk to the new scouts, tell them the tricks that would be pulled. They saw "jokes" attempted and because I had warned them, they werent caught. I eventually made SPL because the kids knew I wouldnt abuse them and looked out for them. I do the same thing now,

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In an earlier post I wrote:

 

"...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."

 

And

 

"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'."

 

Given your story, I feel you were a victim for three reasons. One, the adults betrayed your trust (it wasn't limited to the boys). Two, I believe an all night Snipe Hunt is excessive (it crosses the line of "being reasonable"). Three, after the first incident, the adults and the SPL did not respect your feelings (which I presume you made known). And of course, given these facts, your feelings were very appropriate and justifiable.

 

I understand why you feel so strongly about this issue, but I still disagree. Certainly not all troops behave in the manner, which you described. Leaders should be alert and sensitive to the potential affects of a practical joke and deal with it swiftly (from either end of the situation, depending on the appropriateness of the joke and a given reaction), but I don't believe a ban is right.

 

Anything can be abused, even a good cause. If we created bans every time there was a potential for abuse, then we wouldn't have much left to do except watch the campfire (strike thatNo Scout ever just watches a campfireIt's physically impossible). Not that a practical joke is noble, but it can create positive results (such as bonding), and when done right, there doesn't have to be a victim (in the true sense of the word). I don't suspect we'll agree on this one. As a baseline definition, you refer to all practical jokes as "humiliation and debasement" with no other qualifying statements. I can't help but believe that your past history will not allow you to ever see my viewpoint.

 

I think I will bow out at this time. I can't define and defend my perspective beyond what has already been stated. I liked to end on this noteI respectfully disagree, but find your writings to reflect a thoughtful and caring person, I hope you see the same.

 

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Snipe hunts and sending people for cannon reports and keys to oar locks are tricks, not practical jokes. These are tricks intended to humiliate. Kids are human, and humans are complicated with many sides to their nature. The idea of scouting is to help mold young people. Adults should not be setting an example that encourages intentional humiliation.

 

Even so, people survive. I submit that OGE survived the experience he has recounted for us, and is probably better for it. This is not to say that there aren't better ways for youth to acquire these lessons.

 

I like the ideas put forward by Chippewa29 as guidance for what is acceptable and what is not. I strongly agree that harmless humor can build an organization. A troop or a school without laughter is a dreary place to be. But humor does not have to be crude, cruel, or offensive.

 

Now let me bore you with another story on myself.

 

As a teenager I worked on staff at Camp Pa He Tsi on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. As is common at most resident camps, we offered a mid week overnight outing, in our case, an overnight canoe trip ten miles up the arm of the lake. We would leave after lunch on Wednesday and return Thursday morning. One of my normal duties was to act as guide for this. We always went to the same destination. (As an aside, there normally were NO adults along and we did not have any PFDs in camp at all. My how times change.)

 

On one of these trips I left all the food behind. We did not realize this until we got to the destination. The food was discovered and delivered to us by motorboat just in time for dinner. At Thursday lunch, in the dining hall, in front of the entire camp, I was awarded with a string to put around my finger by none other than the camp director. Was I embarrased and humiliated? Yes. Did I quit? No. I also never forgot the food again.

 

What about tall tales? I sometimes spin these for my own entertainment and the entertainment of the scouts. The success of a tall tale depends in part on the gullibility of the listener. Sooner or later the listener catches on. Are tall tales to be construed as hazing?

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Eisely,

 

I am not sure how I am better for the experience but I will leave it at that. If you draw a distinction between a trick and a practical joke, I can see that as well. The snipe hunt is a trick, running your shorts up the flag pole is a practical joke. I can see the difference and appreciate it.

 

I am not sure how the topic of PC came up, but listen to this. Long ago I was the manager of a dept in a hospital. A male and female employee was always flirting with each other. I was down right amazed the first time i saw it but then was told, oh, thats just how they are... A few years later the entire hospital had to attend a sexual harassment seminar. Within a week I was called to Personnel. Some one had complained about the behavior of my two employees. It was explained to me that it wasnt either of the two who complained, but that some one observing the situation was "made to feel uncomfortable" by their actions. So I got to tell the two to "knock it off". Was it right? I dont think so, was the complaint legitimate? Again I dont think so, but I had to enforce these two not "flirting" or it was my job. We managed but it was not easy. The way the personal manager explained it, anything that makes you feel uncomfortable is harrasment. I beleive that was already mentioned. If I had the nervous tic of always licking my lips and some one was offended by it, and I couldnt stop, I could be fired. Now, for the record, I am not for that kind of PC.

 

Now, Tall tales? When told around the campfire and no one is sure who is sucked in and who is not, thats not hazing. There is no public humiliation(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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The success of a tall tale depends in part on the gullibility of the listener. Sooner or later the listener catches on. Are tall tales to be construed as hazing? Nope, it doesnt quite meet the standard now does it? At what point does gullibility become irresponsibility, if my kid stayed out alone till dawn, because of a tall tale or not, I think Id be equally as cross with him as with the boys who let him go out of camp past 11pm.

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Dad, perhaps you have always had great self-confidence, perhaps you never felt weak and in danger of physical abuse. But when I was told to stay at my post until relieved, I had more resolve than Horatio at the Bridge. So now me trying to fit in was wrong?

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Last night I suddenly remembered a story about a snipe hunt I read online. The adults heard about the planned hunt before the campout. They put a chicken (can't remember if it was alive or dead) in a bag and hid it at camp. They told the intended "victims" what was going on and to play along. The "victims" were then to go retrieve the chicken and return to camp with their "snipe" to eat for dinner. Sure surprised the planners of the snipe hunt! :)

 

Okay, now let's all give OGE a big group hug to help him heal.....

WAIT, I forget there is NO hugging in BOY Scouts!

 

(it's a joke guys, just picking on you)

 

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Sctmom, you are wrong

 

 

 

Of course there is hugging in Boy Scouts, even a group hug is permissible, you just need permission from all participants ahead of time to receive physical contact and after the "event" merely document that the hug was carried out in the above manner and was done in a purely Platonic and non-threatening manner. Have all sign and you are good to go.

 

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Depends on what your council policy is

 

usually it is always a good idea to have a notary along. But with the tents and patrol boxes, oarlocks and keys, right and left handed smoke shifters, sky hooks, shoreline, and egos normally we cant fit one in.

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So now me trying to fit in was wrong? With all due respect OGE and no dig intended but; yes of course, and Im glad they didnt offer you drugs. If you were my kid and you gave me that excuse you just got grounded for a week with no TV (with the usual reprieve on Friday after school) and additionally you would have had the if your friends jumped off a bridge lecture At some point, and I believe you definitely crossed that line staying out all night, the Scout needs to take responsibility for his own actions.

 

 

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Okay, now I understand, it was up to me then, and it is up to younger scouts now to know when to trust older scouts and adults and when not to.

 

I beleive the drug analogy is lame, as I was enagaged in a Scouting activity and had adult complicity, I thought I was safe.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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