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Sdriddle

Hazing

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It's not that singing is the worse thing you can make a scout do. It's just that, as the original post mentioned, it is no longer an acceptable

practice in the BSA.

 

Bob,

Where does it say that singing for a lost item is no longer acceptable? Not the part of the G2SS that deals with harassment & hazing either.

 

You are right, singinf isn't the worst thing one can make a Scout do. But, if this helps the Scout to learn to be responsible for his things then I don't see the harm.

 

sctmom,

Having a Scout sing for a lost item is not ridiculing him. It is an immediate consequence for his irresponsible behavior in front of his peers. And believe me, the Scout will look forward to the time when one of the other Scouts in his unit looses something so that Scout will have to sing. If done in the proper manner, it can actually be fun!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Fun for who? The only purpose in having the scout sing for the return of his property is to embarrass the scout so that he won't repeat his action. It is not the singing that makes it a violation of youth protection, it is the intent behind the act. It's hazing. Sugar coat it any way you want, it is still hazing, and it is distressing that any leader would continue to endorse it.

 

Bob White

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Bob,

Wrong. It is not intended to embarass. It is intended to remind the Scout he is responsible for his belongings. And yes it can be fun! There have been times at summer camp where we have had 3 or 4 Scouts put together a song & dance on parents night because they lost something. They loved performing & the parents enjoyed the entertainment!

 

I agree if the intent is to embarass then it shouldn't be done but it is still not hazing! In my Troop, there is no hazing. There is singing for lost items for Scouts & Scouters alike. And it works!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1(This message has been edited by evmori)

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I wish I could go back and edit my statement from a couple of days ago, because I can see this in a new light, but not because of what has been said here.

If a bully had a boys hat and was making him jump for it to get it back, it would be considered harassment, right? Well making someone do something out of the ordinary whether jumping or singing, its still harassment. You might say, as I did, but the boy can refuse to sing and he will still get his possession back. Well I learned as a kid if you refused to play the bully's game he would normally throw the hat back also. It's just a kinder, gentler bully that makes the boy sing for his possessions.

 

Why do I see this in a whole new light? Well today I noticed where Sheila was posting from and immediately knew what troop it is (I knew about their singing, but not about the "fry like bacon"). This caused an additional realization because as FScouter said "I can see where some kids would fail to claim their lost item." I happened to have found a very nice, brand new, never been sharpened pocket knife a while back where that troop loads and unloads for caming trips, and that knife was identified over the phone by a Patrol Leader of this troop. I was supposed to give the knife to one of the adult troop leaders a while back so it could be given back to the boy, but kept forgetting to pick it up on the way out of the house. I have been told to not worry about being so forgetful, since the boy has not asked for it anyway. Now why do you think a boy wouldn't be asking about this knife every chance he got?

Now I have to figure out how to chase down this scout and give him his knife back, and how to approach this matter with the Scoutmaster!

Sheila, if you happen to see Daniel, let him know I still have his knife and I won't make him sing.

 

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I'm just concerned where this policy could be taken.

 

"No, I'm embarrassed when the other boys see me cleaning out the latrine." etc.

 

How can we make the Scouts do anything? If they claim to be embarrassed by it, they have a carte blanche to get out of duty.

 

Where does punishment or discipline end and hazing begin?

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Okay, I figured out a compromise about this last night.

If a boy loses something he must listen to ME sing before he gets the item back. Wanna talk about punishment!

 

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sctmom I think I would rather clean the latrine than listen to you sing - just kidding I'm sure you have a wonderful singing voice.

 

I like what FScouter Troop does by turning over all lost items to the Scoutmaster who then lectures the boy when he retrieves the lost article. I don't know about your Scouts but ours would probably rather sing than get another "responsibility" lecture.

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I was responding to Slont's comment here when I decided to start a new thread based on his question that I felt was very thought provoking, leastwise, it provoked me

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"All forms of hazing, initiations, ridicule, or inappropriate teasing are prohibited and should not be allowed."

 

Singing for a lost item, does not, in my opinion, violate this policy. Ridicule is a strong word and must include dissaprobation in it's usage. Singing for an item does not constitute disapprobation. Nor do I think it follows under the veil of hazing after looking that word up in the dictionary. While I don't necessarily endorse this practice, if we asked the scouts, they would probably have less problem with this practice then any of the parents posting on this board. I also think it is important to note that the policy says all forms of "INAPPROPRIATE TEASING ARE PROHIBITED". It does not say teasing is prohibited. Ridicule and teasing are very different. Singing for one's lost items is more closely akin to teasing than to ridicule.

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To get back to Slont's call for where does discipline stop and hazing start I offer this,

 

Discipline is intended to keep order, Hazing is intended to humiliate/embarrass or otherwise make a "spectacle" of the victim. Having the person sing for lost items or fry like bacon or some other stunt in front of assembly I beleieve is hazing. Having them go to the SM/ASM to retrieve lost items and get a responsibiltiy lecture is not as long as the lecture is not held publicly.

 

Now to go further, Latrine cleaning is a popular example. If the troop has a tradition that all new comers on their first campout must clean the latrine thats all right with me as long as there is no audience cheering on with derision and all are equal and all must do it.

 

To me things done in private as a response to a specific transgression is tends to be dicispline while actions performed for the troop at large for transgerssions or "just because" is hazing

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Scoutparent,

Thanks for applying common sense to the subject. I agree entirely with you post!

 

sctmom,

Sing away!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I think some of this discussion amounts to splitting hairs, such as whether or not singing for a lost item is actually "hazing" or just "teasing". I say, who cares?

 

My concern is not so much with the book definition as it is with the question "Is there a better way to achieve your goal?" The troop I serve sang for lost items when I came on board, and I've moved us away from that...

 

-Lost items were handed over to a leader, who scheduled the singing at a troop formation before dinner or whatever. Could have been hours before the Scout was reunited with his flashlight, canteen, first aid kit, whatever. Not optimal, even if he was careless to lose it.

 

-The joy of watching another Scout squirm to get his compass back encouraged what I call a "gotcha" mentality..."It's Bill's canteen, grab it so he'll have to sing!" Lessee, "...help other people at all times...A Scout is helpful". It didn't seem to me we were reinforcing those values.

 

So, what to do instead? I encourage Scouts who find something that belongs to someone else to return it to him as quickly as possible, and let me know. At the next troop formation, I mention the act as a good turn, calling forward the Scout who found/returned the item. Does the troop know who lost his whistle? Sure. But, there's no question over hazing, since we don't put him through a performance. He's reunited with his item as quickly as possible, and the Scout who found it is publicly praised.

 

This seems to do the right things for us...

 

KS

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Kudos Korea Scouter,

A mature, responsible and scoutlike attitude. Given the choice of possibly humiliating the scout or treating the scout with respect, you chose respect.

 

Bob

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"At the next troop formation, I mention the

act as a good turn, calling forward the Scout who found/returned the item. Does the troop know who

lost his whistle? Sure. But, there's no question over hazing"

 

Sure that's hazing. The boy who did the find could be embarassed and the boy who lost the item is now embarassed because everyone knows that he lost something.

 

Wot a bunch of old wimmen. Hell, that's an insult to old wimmen. You sound like the fat kids who got picked last to play on a team. Anything can be construed as hazing or embarassing.

 

Latrine duty was pointed out. What if the other boys say, "Sucker! You got latrine duty on the first day!" How damaging could that be to the poor boy.

 

What about the poor boy who is embarassed because his eggs are runny? What about the kid who irritates the skunk and everyone laughs at him?

 

Let's ban skits, songs, Courts of Honor, Boards of Review and any other place that a child may feel embarassed.

 

Thank God I only have to deal with this crap for a few more years.

 

 

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