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Singing for forgotten items

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Hazing, not hazing. Embarrassing, not embarrassing. All beside the point, in my opinion. Look again at the BSA mission, the aims, and the methods. How does such a practice reinforce them? Given the same circumstance (lost/found flashlight), is there a better practice that does reinforce them?

 

When I first hired on as SM in my last Troop, they sang to reclaim lost items. I stopped it, and asked that any Scout who found something that belonged to someone else return it to it's owner immediately, and let me know he did so. If he couldn't identify the owner, give it to me and I'll hang onto it until I get an inquiry or we have our next assembly. At that next assembly, I make a fuss over who found and returned it, not who lost it. Lessee, what was that Boy Scout slogan again?

 

How do we want them to turn out as adults? How are we imprinting that now? I would never think of asking someone to sing a song to retrieve lost personal property at home, at church, at work, in sports, in a shopping mall parking lot with a total stranger. Why in the world would I do that to someone who's character I've been entrusted to shape? The fact that some people still do this is just more evidence that dinosaurs still roam the earth.

 

KS

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It is international.

 

In this council it is girls and boys begging on hands and knees out front of parade and at the feet of the middle aged, silly grinning, sarcastic male who perpetuates the 'tradition'. Does the picture make you cringe?

 

And there is more than one fool around as well.

 

To some extent Ed is correct. Some don't mind the exhibitionism and lose things deliberately. From my observations they are outnumbered by the Scouts who never ever claim their lost property, either on parade or after.

 

I intend to beat this thing to death around here.

 

Any suitable quotes will be used in an article I will be writing for use in Australia. Pls PM contributions remembering that both 'hazing' and OA are not words in use here.

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OGE

 

the History section thread was not the one I remember from a couple of years back. Do you know the title or can you give me a pointer to it? You wrote in that discussion too.

 

 

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Just completed another weekend in the boonies...

Anarchist (and the trailer)was the last 'leader/parent leaving...not the campsite but the return rally point (school parking lot)...two water bottles, sleeping bag (nice REI bag), jacket (by Columbia) and a mess kit with dunking bag and toiletries...

 

Sleeping bag belongs to the same boy as the jacket and this is the third time this year (since Sept 5th) he has "lost" it...can't sing for it...cause of the hazing thing, hasn't sunk in with the "pat on the head" please get you gear in order before you head for home, nor has Mom and Dad stepped up to double check...

 

darn temping to leave it on the parking lot...new bag would only cost Mom and Dad a hundred-thirty-nine bucks or so and the jacket another sixty-seventy five dollars....but the 'helpful, friendly and thrifty' thing causes this old QM heartburn...so I pick it up and del;iver to the next meeting...

 

Is it fair that we have to pick up after this boy?.... time and time again....Second year scout, been to Summer camp twice...and he knows we will continue to look out for him...and there is no price to be paid....

gosh I miss the singing...

 

oh by the way...since the singing stopped our 'lost and found' went from years and years of...'0' items ...to a whole box of jackets, sweaters, hammock (that many leaders covet)mess kits, cheap plyer tool, three hats and a neckerchief...wonder what gives????

anarchist

 

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anarchist,

 

No one said you had to return it at the next meeting. Make one of the adult leaders the keeper of lost and found articles and let it be known that people looking for lost items must go to that person to retrieve it.....if it is there. You could put a one month limit on lost and found and give the items to charity. That might light a fire under them.

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What drudgery it is to be helpfull, friendly, courteous, and kind to others. To think that we should have to care enough about our brother scouts that we would return their misplaced possessions with nothing more than a smile, and a reminder that to "be prepared" you need to keep track of your tools.

 

Oh how hearts do long for "the good old days" when an adult could tease, humiliate and embarrass other people's children at will.

 

Alas where has society gone wrong that our fun should be spoiled for the sake of setting an example of doing a good turn for others.

 

 

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And what drudgery it is to have to keep cleaning up after irresponsible Scouts who are not friendly, courteous or kind.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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anarchist - Are you saying that boys lost fewer items when you used the singing routine, and now, without singing, they lose more items?

 

With singing (good old days): find item, hunt down kid, make him sing, return the item. Lost & found box remains empty.

 

No singing: find item, put in lost & found box. Get bigger box as necessary.

 

Try this: find item, hunt down kid, return item, remind boy to be courteous by saying thank you (if necessary). Lost & found box remains empty.

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Try this: find item, hunt down kid, return item, remind boy to be courteous by saying thank you (if necessary). Lost & found box remains empty.

 

Sounds like that is what anarchist has been doing! And the results are the Scouts continue to forget/lose items! Apparently this isn't working! At least they are being taught manners!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Dateline - USA: "Most adolescent boys would forget their heads if they weren't attached". Stop the presses! Is this a newsflash for anyone, especially anyone who has a teenage boy in the house?

 

I'll concede that in the short run, dealing with this can be very frustrating. We have to take the long view here. This absent-mindedness is something that almost all of them will grow out of. I'd like all of them to ougrow it in the next five minutes of course, but that's just not to be. You have to be stoic about this, and be patient until it happens, seven years if it takes that long.

 

Look, regardless of what we do, they will still lose, misplace, and forget things. In the units that make boys sing or perform trained-monkey stunts for their return, was it a one-time event? Of course not! What does that tell you?

 

Almost every meeting or outing, something gets left behind; a hat, a neckerchief, what have you. If it's not marked with a name, I either put it in my truck (to Mrs. KS's chagrin), or in our equipment shed until the lad asks about it; then we return it to him. I just can't get worked up enough over a dropped pencil to resort to public humiliation. Maybe I'm missing something.

 

KS

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Is this hazing?

 

Maybe.

 

But that is probably not the important point. Will it possibly cause the scout embarressment? Will it make him enjoy scouts less? Will it make him not want to reclaim lost items? Will it make him not want to go to meetings?

 

Might you ultimately loose a scout over this?

 

If the answer to any of these even might be yes, then you do not want to do it no matter whether it is hazing or not.

 

If the answer to all of these is no, then the scout apparently does not feel harassed and it is not hazing, but just another enjoyable tradition, so long as every scout in the unit feels the same way.

 

In a small unit where you have known every scout for years, *perhaps* you could claim to know how each scout feels, but I expect that, after thinking about it carefully, you would have to admit you don't really know how the scout feels and therefore should not demand singing, no matter what. I certainly wouldn't - even from my own son who I really *think* I know.

 

How to handle it then?

 

Discussions about the size of the lost and found are unimportant. The right way is always harder, at least at first. My suggestion would be to fall back on the old standby - "boy led organization". Its not your job to give the goods back to the scout. It is the job of the SPL, quartermaster, or someone else that the PLC decides will be responsible.

 

No scout cares if they have to apologize to an adult for forgetting something. No scout wants to apologize to a three year older boy for forgetting something. A few sessions with one or more older scouts who take several minutes to emphasize the importance of miding ones own belongings and request the scout do better in the future will do more than years of an adult doing the same.

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...taking a break from trying to remember where I left my keys....

"Dateline - USA: "Most adolescent boys would forget their heads if they weren't attached". Stop the presses! Is this a newsflash for anyone, especially anyone who has a teenage boy in the house?"

So, KoreaScouter, you're limiting this to the boys?

...oops, there they are still in the doorlock...now where are those glasses?

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Pack,

 

Have you looked on top of your head......or did you lose that too? :)

 

I used to have this quote scrolling across my screensaver, "I'll be back shortly, I've lost my mind and I'm out looking for it."

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