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Hazing

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Quixote says:

 

NJ - when i read the first line of your post, i thought you and rooster were going to agree on something (thought the 2nd coming was right around the corner on that one )

 

Nope, it was just me being slightly facetious for the first few words of my post.

 

I suspect that somewhere, at some point, Rooster and I must have agreed on something, though it certainly

hasn't happened many times. After all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

 

By the way, my people are still waiting for the first coming. :)

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Quixote writes:

 

Sctmom - when your son comes home and you make him pay for that tube of toothpaste he lost, don't complain when he calls child protective services to report you for abuse

He only wishes that was the worst thing he has to complain to me about. ;)

And I only wish that was the WORST thing he did!! :-O

 

We're talking about singing here folks, not public flogging.

For some people standing up in front of a group, no matter what size, and even speaking their name is enough to make them faint. There is just NO POINT in making them sing to get something back. Nothing will be gained from it. If the boys just joke about it, then is it changing their behavior?

 

 

 

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Gotta go with Rooster, with a few wrinkles.

 

The current leadership decided to continue the singing tradition over my suggestion to substitute a good deed on the honor system.

 

Thanks to Mr. Murphy, the first incident following this decision involved our most "deer in the headlights" scout. At the end of the loadout, his PL came to me with an appeal on how to deal with it and be fair to all concerned. Our solution, following a little strategic forgetfullness, was a nice rendition of Yankee Doodle for Trios, arranged for scout, PL and SM. Fun, supportive, instructive, fair.

 

The new rules for forgetfullness call for patrols to sing together, solos optional. Works on a bunch of levels: Patrol mates looking out for each other, policing campsites, peer presure not to forget stuff, "we band of brothers...", etc. etc. Patrol choice of song. The Geezer Patrol, taking turns being human, also performs as needed.

 

Leadership often means standing out front, all alone, and doing what has to be done. Boys need the opportunity to learn this, and Scouting is the perfect place to do it. It's also a SM's first duty. Life is full of unpleasantness, we owe it to the boys to teach them how to deal with it early - could save a lot of heartache down the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SCTMOM writes There is just NO POINT in making them sing to get something back. Nothing will be gained from it. If the boys just joke about it, then is it changing their behavior?

 

The point is supposed to be a reinforcement to not leave their stuff laying about, but to take care of their equipment. The only thing gained is a boy who knows there are sometimes consequences to his actions / inactions. If the boys joke about it in a good natured way, it is most likely their way of dealing with real life (i understand some adults do that as well :)). If the boys are flippant about it or laughing in a ridiculing way then the leaders need to instruct the boys in courtesy.

 

Taken to extremes a policy like this could result in hazing, but if there are accountable adults around who know, recognize and use good judgement, it shouldn't go to extremes.

 

We can't protect the boys from life (that's what happens between scouting events), but we can prepare them a little for it.

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Ozemu,

 

My point is that we must be humane in our dealings with people and that as personalities mix in different ways we should use our best judgment on all occasions. Relying on a policy, be it on hazing or on singing is a mechanical approach to a human issue.

 

Amen. I agree. While I feel "singing for lost possessions" is normally acceptable, each circumstance needs to be examined. As I have alluded to before, I would not force the issue with a boy. There are always alternatives. However, it has been my experience that this tradition has not been the source of discomfort for most boys.

 

Dan,

 

Now he goes home and tells his guardians, no I did not lose my watch, the scoutmaster has it. Someone took it out of my tent, and said they found it, and the leaders wanted me to get down and sing for it! Would you have a leg to stand on?

 

No. You wouldn't have a leg to stand on. However, your scenario doesn't give the SM credit for having a brain. Ozemu's statements reflect my position well. First, a "stolen" watch (i.e., taken from someone's tent) is not a lost item. The SM and/or the PLC should be smart enough to know the differenceor the boy should be smart of enough to make this information known. Second, even if the watch was not stolen, the SM and/or the PLC should be flexible. They could easily find an alternative for this boy. Also, let's give the parents some credit as well. That is to say, isn't it more likely that the parents and the SM would have a polite conservation about the incident and come to some sort of friendly agreement? Regardless, an intelligent and thoughtful SM is not going hold the kid's watch ransom.

 

There was also a picture of a chicken and a mori ell also, I could not quite figure out what that was about.

 

Are you sure? I heard the chicken picture can be found next to the word perfect.

 

NJ,

 

When human beings make mistakes, especially those that don't actually hurt anybody or anything, they don't expect the Spanish Inquisition -- nor do they expect to be hauled on stage to be made an object of ridicule.

 

This is not exactly what happens in my troop. Typically, it happens like this:

 

SPL - "Okay, at the last campout someone left his sleeping bag behind. Does anyone recognize it?"

 

Scout - "Hey, that's mine!"

 

SPL - "Okay Scout, you know the drill. Come up front and sing a song for us!"

 

Scout sheepishly goes up front and sings song (sometimes accompanied by spontaneous dancing) - usually "Bushy, Bushy, Grey Squirrel" or "I'm a Little Tea Pot." If the Scout refuses, its no big dealThe SPL gives him some small task to do as a consequence for his carelessness (like stay behind and help clean up today).

 

The Scout is not, nor would he ever be, "hauled on stage". The Scout is not, nor would he ever be, "forced to be an object of ridicule." If a Scout protests, he's given something else as an alternative. This "singing for lost possessions" has been a tradition in our troop for years (10+). Because the SM and the PLC are not mindless, it has never become an issue for anyone.

 

And if in a particular unit, they have come to expect such treatment, the expectation needs to be changed. Scouting is not about punishment.

 

1) The Scouts in my troop expect that they will be treated as individuals by a SM and a PLC that know more about life than just what a few troop policies and traditions have taught them. You seem to be of the opinion that troop traditions and policies mandate that every person and situation be treated the same. This is simply not true.

 

2) No, it's not about punishment. However, Scouting is a great place to learn. Learning that there are consequences for certain behaviors is not such a bad thing. Especially when its being mentored and monitored by well trained leaders.

 

Bigbeard,

 

Gotta go with Rooster

 

You don't have to make it sound so painful. ;)

 

Our solution, following a little strategic forgetfulness, was a nice rendition of Yankee Doodle for Trios, arranged for scout, PL and SM. Fun, supportive, instructive, fair.

 

Great ideathat was a nice alternative and it reflects an intelligent and thoughtful SM. I like the Patrol idea too. Hmmm. Like I said, if we give people credit for having a brain, if we exercise a little common sense, these kinds of traditions will cause no harm to anyone. No one, at least not me, is suggesting that we force a kid to do something that he is strongly objecting to do.

(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Others have written,

"Scouting should be a safe haven, but NOT a glass bubble. This protection, whether inspired by love or ignorance, would hinder their ability to grow and be successful in life. This kind of protection today will only cause them greater trials tomorrow."

 

"We can't protect the boys from life (that's what happens between scouting events), but we can prepare them a little for it."

 

"Life is full of unpleasantness, we owe it to the boys to teach them how to deal with it early - could save a lot of heartache down the road." ....and a few other similar thoughts.

 

 

The "safe haven" of scouting is indeed intended to be a glass bubble. Name calling, bullying, harrasment, abuses which are common place in American schools and homes are forbidden in scouting. It is the leaders' responsibility to make sure they do not take place in the program.

 

There are 3 million reported cases of child abuse each year in America. 1/2 million of those are child sexual abuse. That's life in our country, and YES we can protect our scouts from that. Our program trains them not to be victims not how to be accustomed to being made a victim. If you want to desensitize scouts about the uncomfortable parts of life by giving them doses of that reality then you are in the wrong program.

 

Leadership is about communicating, knowing and understanding the group, planning, setting the example, sharing leadership, evaluating, conflict resoulution NOT about how to sing for you lost pocket knife.

 

As it was mentioned before the Guide to Safe Scouting is very clear on what actions are forbidden and the intent that makes such "stunts" forbidden. If you violate that policy you have earned your removal from the program.

 

The goal of the BSA is character, citizenship and mental, physical and emotional fitness. We have hundreds of resources that give specific activities we can do with scouts to reach this goal. Can you find one of those resources that has any mention of allowing singing to reclaim personal property? NO? Then it doesn't belong in the troop's program.

 

Let's stop trying to infuse the program with our personal take on what life is or isn't, and stick to presenting the "scouting " program as determined by the BSA and the handbooks you should be reading.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob White,

 

Let's stop trying to infuse the program with our personal take on what life is or isn't, and stick to presenting the "scouting " program as determined by the BSA and the handbooks you should be reading.

 

Your arrogance is insufferable. We (those who disagree with you) are all doing exactly what you're suggesting. The fact that we all may not agree with your interpretation of the text in the G2SS or your understanding of the Scouting program in general, does not mean we disagree with BSA. Our disagreement is with you. So, please, please...stop claiming that you have exclusive and complete knowledge of BSA policies and guidelines. We're all reading the same material.

 

I have an opinion. You have an opinion. The difference isI'm not insulting you intelligence, by restating the issue in such a way that it is no longer a difference of opinion, but whether or not one chooses to earnestly follow the program. You must realize that your lectures are pious and bombastic. Really I can quote all the same BSA materials that you do. I AM following BSA policies and guidelines. That's my opinion. If you believe differently, that's fine. But please STOP lecturing us. It may be difficult for you to believe, but yours is not the only opinion that counts. It just may be that you're the one that has "infused the program" with your own "personal take on what life is or isn't".

 

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Bob, Where in the GTSS does it say BSA stands for Bubbleboy Scouts of America? ;)

 

While i wouldn't want to play a game of scout jeopardy against you, i have read some of the books and gone to some of the training and I don't see where this is hazing as defined in them.

 

per BW

 

The goal of the BSA is character, citizenship and mental, physical and emotional fitness. We have hundreds of resources that give specific activities we can do with scouts to reach this goal. Can you find one of those resources that has any mention of allowing singing to reclaim personal property? NO? Then it doesn't belong in the troop's program.

 

I guess if it isn't specifically allowed then it is against BSA policy - sorry, that's ridiculous when you consider that POLICY as you like to point out is only in BOLD CAPS in the books - i guess only breathing is allowed - wait, it isn't because it doesn't say you can breath...

 

BW says:

Let's stop trying to infuse the program with our personal take on what life is or isn't, and stick to presenting the "scouting " program as determined by the BSA and the handbooks you should be reading.

 

I assume you are directing this comment my way, and i find that you seem to be condensending towards me by making this statement - i feel harrassed - where can i go to have my feelings made better? I am reading the books (just got through with the new SM training last night as a matter of fact). BTW, better stop those SM minutes where you try to infuse your program with your personal take on what life is.

 

I'm sorry Bob if I sound a little annoyed, but i find myself agreeing with Rooster on this one regarding your attitude (at least how it comes across in this forum). I have a lot of respect for you and the knowledge of scouting you posess, but please don't discount others' contributions in the process of delivering yours.

 

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Quixote,

I was not singling out any individual when I wrote "Let's stop trying to infuse the program with our personal take on what life is or isn't, and stick to presenting the "scouting " program"

it was a general recommendation to us all.

 

As far as Rooster7's opinion of me I could not care less. His writings are largely on how much he disagrees with the BSA program and on what his opinion is of what it should be. In between those he comments on what he does in spite of what the program teaches, because he likes his way better.

 

As far as my interprtations of policies... In nearly every instance I give the scout resource where the information is provided. If Rooster wants to twist this into MY interpretation that is his right. We see scouting in a totally different way.

 

I will continue to answer the questions posed on this post using the resources of the BSA. Rooster can continue to write what he wants the program to be. The other readers will need investigate and choose what they believe is the programs purpose, just as families need to investigate local units to determine which one will do the most for their boys. There will always be good leaders and bad leaders in scouting we have the choice to accept or refuse whichever we wish.

 

I make no apologies for my support of the official scouting program. It puts positive youth development first and the authority and egos of leaders last.

 

If my posts seem pious and bombastic that is not the intention, they are confident, because I have confidence in the BSA program.

 

Bob White

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If the G2SS or another BSA publication defines "singing for lost possessions" as hazing, then I will yield to your supposition. Nevertheless, you are making a huge presumption. IMHO, it is a presumption that not only mislabels the activity, but it impugns the individuals who support it. As to how you present your arguments, one merely has to read your previous posts to see where you're coming from. Apparently it is from way upon high, too far for us mere mortals to reach. Sorry if I refuse to bow, but until I hear thunder and/or see lightning when your words come forth, I have to assume you're one of usjust another volunteer. Sharing the confidence, but not your opinions

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Bob,

 

There is no question in my mind you are seated at the right hand of Scout Knowledge; me 'ats off to ya, Gov. By the same token, after a couple of years and every training short of Wood Badge I could get, (and WB this fall, fingers crossed), I'm no ignoramoooose, either. Please don't insinuate that I can't/don't/haven't done my homework. I try. I try real darn hard. Deal?

 

I'd like to submit the following:

 

Seems to me that hazing requires both hazers and hazees. With our policy, there is not a single soul who has not graced us with a rendition of his favorite ditty, adults included. In our small troop, nearly every family has an adult as ASM or CM, (and position-trained at last!!), most all veterans of a performance or two, and they support the tradition. The PLC set the current policy, and accepts its consequences. Where is the abuse?

 

One of the leadership skills you mentioned was communication. The "abuse" sessions have proved a valuable tool for overcomming the shyness and fear of public presentaion. What better forum than among friends, doing something you've seen them all do, with smiles and laughter all around, and you parents approving of your courage? Even my "deer in the headlights" scout is far more comfortable speaking his mind in meetings, "desensitized" to his fear. Maybe the singing isn't the only reason for his improvement, but I submit it has played a large role.

 

Each session is dripping with Patrol Method. No scout faces his fear alone, his brothers are right there, where they want to be. To be honest, there isn't much fear left in any of them. Does it count as humiliation if they like it?

 

If I abolish the practice, override the troop will, I tell them its their troop, except when I say different. Now THAT smells like ego.

 

Spin is spin. Until the day that a SM's role is scripted word for word, everybody is presenting the program as they see it; you, me, every adult. We are not automata.

 

If I believed as you do that Scouting should take place in a "glass bubble", impervious to the real world, molded only by bold face type, they wouldn't have to throw me out, I'd be gone.

 

Bob, in this place at this time, singing for forgotten stuff is not hazing. Far from it; its like that boot camp haircut that helps forge a unit, a tool to be used for the betterment of the program. The potential for abuse exists in every phase of Scouting, here included. That's why were here, to keep that from happening.

 

If I have earned my removal from Scouting for standing with the Troop, so be it. Who do I call?

 

Sorry. Love the forum. Rant over.

(This message has been edited by bigbeard)

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From the GTSS from the BSA website.

 

 

Constructive discipline. Discipline used in Scouting should be constructive and reflect Scouting's values. Corporal punishment is never permitted.

Hazing prohibited. Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any Scouting activity.

All members of the Boy Scouts of America are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law. Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, and drugs and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout's membership in the unit.

 

If confronted by threats of violence or other forms of bullying from other youth members, Scouts should seek help from their unit leaders or parents.

 

Member Responsibilities

All members of the Boy Scouts of America are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law. Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, and drugs and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout's membership in the unit.

 

If confronted by threats of violence or other forms of bullying from other youth members, Scouts should seek help from their unit leaders or parents

 

 

 

For those of you who believe that making a scout sing for a lost item is Constructive discipline and not bullying. You need to call your DE and get their input.

 

 

Rooster comment

No. You wouldn't have a leg to stand on. However, your scenario doesn't give the SM credit for having a brain. Ozemu's statements reflect my position well. First, a "stolen" watch (i.e., taken from someone's tent) is not a lost item. The SM and/or the PLC should be smart enough to know the differenceor the boy should be smart of enough to make this information known. Second, even if the watch was not stolen, the SM and/or the PLC should be flexible. They could easily find an alternative for this boy. Also, let's give the parents some credit as well. That is to say, isn't it more likely that the parents and the SM would have a polite conservation about the incident and come to some sort of friendly agreement? Regardless, an intelligent and thoughtful SM is not going hold the kid's watch ransom.

 

You theory does not hold water, the scout did not know it was missing until the SM found it lying on the ground, where the person who took it out of the tent dropped it, the SM has only one recourse in you scenario, the scout lost it! There are to many ifs and shoulds in your story for it to every come out good!

 

I am an ASM and if my son where to come home and tell me that he had to sing in front of the troop because someone thought he lost something (thought, you noticed I said) (not that he would every do that) I would call the SM and ask him what in the blue blazes he was doing, it would not be a calm polite discussion unless he apologized to my son and said he was going to change this bad policy, if not I would hang up call the DE and than the COR. And than your buddy newjersy!

 

 

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Rooster7,

You rock, dude! I agree with everything you have posted. I only wish I would have said it!

 

For those of you who think singing is hazing, I feel you Scouts are missing a valuable lesson. There are consequences for you actions. sctmom suggest that her son would have to explain to her why he lost the item then pay for it. Why? Was it yours? You didn't loose it! Your son did. He is the on responsible for his stuff not you!

 

Other have said the Scoutmaster would be in trouble by not returning the lost item. While this is true, I think once again the point was missed. If a Scout looses something & doesn't realize it is even gone, then maybe this Scout needs taught a lesson about being responsible for his onw things. I would give tell the parents I have their son's watch & where I found it. I would also tell them he hasn't asked for it yet. There, I'm off the hook for theft. If it was taken from his tent by another Scout then I have a complete other problem!

 

Bob,

Time to get the head out of the books & get back in the real Scouting world! Scouting isn't meant to be a "glass house". Scouting is to teach boys good values. By caving into the politically correct crowd you do the boy no good. Your Scouting book knowledge is second to none, but when it comes to common sense, I feel you just don't have any.

 

Someone also stated that a Scout just getting up in front of a crowd to say his name would embarass him. Well, this Scout is going to have a tought time completing the Communication merit badge & won't get to far in life unless he learns to speak up for himself. The intention is not to embarass. And by no means is the intention to haze.

 

On one camping trip, I forgot my sleeping bag. In a hurry to get the truck packed & hit the road, I left my sleeping bag in my basement on a stool. I could picture it after the trucks were unloaded & my bag was nowhere to be found. I didn't loose it, I just forgot it! Well, when the Scouts in my Troop heard this, they were chanting "sing, sing, sing, sing". And sing I did. I had fun with it. And I have never forgot my sleeping bag again! Did I learn my lesson? You bet!

 

I would never ask a Scout in my Troop to so something that was illegal, against BSA rules or someting I wouldn't do. And they all know this.

 

Singing for lost items isn't hazing.

 

Rooster7, I would love to meet you some day.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I am an ASM and if my son where to come home and tell me that he had to sing in front of the troop because someone thought he lost something (thought, you noticed I said) (not that he would every do that) I would call the SM and ask him what in the blue blazes he was doing, it would not be a calm polite discussion unless he apologized to my son and said he was going to change this bad policy, if not I would hang up call the DE and than the COR. And than your buddy newjersy!

 

I am sorry, I find this hard understand. If your son had to sing a song for a lost item you would give your scoutmaster he**! I really can't believe this is such a huge deal. I mean come on now, even if he had to sing for an item that was "stolen" what's the big deal? Dan, please tell me exactly why this upsets you so much! Singing is not an punishment. I agree that no scout should be forced to sing but encouraged to do so. Like Rooster said earlier, In our troop if a scout doesn't sing he is given some other small task to complete. If a scout is truly too embarassed to sing then fine yet him do something else. Even if a scout who does sing is slightly embarassed atleast he is overcoming that fear of humilation. After all scouts is about building character! In our troop ANYBODY who loses something has to go through the same requirements to get it back. Meaning even when our scoutmaster loses something he is brought up to sing! As you can imagine the boys love to get an adult up there singing!Hmmmmmmmm....something just came to me! I can't support this singing for lost items anymore! This is clearly punishment! It is punishment to those listening to the Scoutmaster sing!:-)

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