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Sdriddle

Hazing

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Ah gee, OGE, I made you bite your tongue. Did that hurt? :-)

 

Why do I call it all crap? Because it is. With few exceptions Scouting has become the refuge for the kids who lack athletic ability or social skills. We have to mollycoddle them or they might quit and then the parents would have to actually deal with their children.

 

 

 

 

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Yaworsky;

 

While I appreciate your point about mollycoddling, I pretty much disagree with the premises you make in your last two posts.

 

First, the scenarios you use as examples include other Scouts teasing (latrine), a Scout-initiated act (skunk), and an unintentional, unplanned minor hardship (runny eggs). None of those are institutional, condoned, leader-driven behavior -- that's what I think we're talking about here. Second, your assertion that this is an indicator that Scouting is a refuge for non-athletes and the socially impaired just doesn't hold water, at least in the troop I serve. I've got all-star football players, varsity basketball stars, martial artists, etc. Our Scouts have many friends, in and out of Scouting, and as a group, are highly regarded by their teachers, their coaches, our chartered organization (VFW), and the community at large.

 

If the Scouts in the troop you serve are not athletic or have impaired social skills, may I be so bold as to offer some advice? First, introduce more physical games into your troop meetings, at the preopening and interpatrol activities. Encourage your Scouts to earn the Sports, Athletics, Communications, Public Speaking, and Personal Fitness merit badges. Second, encourage your Scouts to perform community service in settings where they must interact with people other than their patrol buddies. Every summer, a number of our Scouts serve as community volunteers at hospital clinics, the USO, the family support center, and other locations. It works for us; it may work for you too.

 

...not trying to teach them to be women, just real men.

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Yaworski, I'm wondering a few things.

 

First, do you think your use of vulgar language helps you make your points more effectively? Do you think it impresses people? Is this how you teach your Scouts (if any) to communicate? Or is it something that only grownups do?

 

(By the way, I do not claim to be a candidate for sainthood, and the stray epithet does escape my lips now and then, more often than it should. However, the written word is different. I assume your keyboard has a backspace key, something that my mouth lacks.)

 

Second, as I said earlier in either this or one of the related threads: What is this, the Marines? Boot camp? Are we trying to break down the individuality of our boys, as they do in the military? That is not what Scouting is about. Are we trying to make them "tougher"? In a way, yes. But not by humiliating them or putting random annoyances in their way that they have to bear or get around. Scouting makes boys grow, and "toughens" them if you will, by giving them specific challenges that have been established as part of the program, based on study and experience, and changed when appropriate. Some of the challenges are discrete -- learn to tie a knot, pitch a tent, follow a compass course -- and then at a camporee or other such event, apply your skills in a timed competition. Other challenges are more open-ended and multifaceted: lead a patrol, lead a troop, plan a program, maintain the equipment, maintain the records, 50 miles afoot/afloat, and so on.

 

Now, mixed in with these challenges are things that are supposed to be fun: Sing a song, do a skit, tell a joke. But the songs, skits and jokes are not supposed to be challenges, they are supposed to be fun. If they are used as punishment, or used to make someone feel badly, they are not fun -- at least not fun for the target. They then become challenges, and are not the type of challenges Scouting is all about.

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Hi everyone,

Ok I am new year just signed up today for the Scouter Network, but I was looking for ideas on what to do next year for my son's pack. I was on the committee this past year and next year going to be or maybe I already am an Asst. Webelos leader. However this string was so interesting that I have read thru every post and just wanted to add my two cents.

 

Personally I believe that we as a society have come down to "protecting" everyone's feelings against this and that. Yes the BSA program is to teach our boys how to be many things and to be understanding and compassionate is one of those things. However I also believe that they need to be able to laugh at themselves as well. To give you an example on how we all see things differently, I have a disability that makes me fall quite often (more when camping). When I fall I laugh for I usually fall over the dumbest things. Now should I call it harassment or hazing when the cubs and/or parents are concerned over my fall because it puts me on the spot? That is basically what we are talking about is people (adults and kids alike) being put on the spot in front of friends and such. It sounds like to me that there is a common ground here among everyone that we need to treat the kids as people and understand their faults and strengths. It seems to me that the kids who are just too embarrassed to sing to get something back there is another way to do it. It doesn't sound like there is anyone who is support of singing (myself included) saying that every single kid regardless of their feelings must sing. It seems to me that the alt. ways of getting the lost items back can be looked as harassing or hazing it just depends on your point of view. Getting up to claim your forgotten/misplaced/lost items at a troop meeting seems to be just as bad as singing but yet it is not looked from that point of view. That is just a point of view. Having to be singled out to speak with the Scoutmaster can also be viewed as harassing or hazing; again the scout is being singled out. And then there is the, the scout that found the property of so and so getting the praise, just this time two scouts are being singled out.

Is there anyway that the kid could get his stuff back with out being singled out, I cant think of any way. I mean if a kid lost something and another Scouter found it and merely gave it back with nothing more, is it a fair assumption that it will be end of that? I doubt it for kids are just as likely to talk about it behind the other Scouters back after all so and so just lost this or that again. Now what is more demeaning to a kid having a bit of fun publicly or doing something to get an item back or being talked about, behind their back.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that this seems to be a point of view that they will be people who look at this as a big NO NO and some people who look at this as well what is wrong with it.

Nothing in life is black and white just colors of gray and in my opinion this a multi color gray subject.

 

Sorry for the long post

 

JaRae

Pack 37

 

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I will try to claify my position. To me hazing is any artificial obstacle placed in the way intended to tease or torment.(I am waiting for an example of appropriate teasing.)

 

I understand wanting the scout to recognize the consequence of his actions. If he loses something he must learn to get along without it. If its found and he must walk through the other scouts to reclaim it, he may be embarrassed, but he lost it, reclaiming it is the normal consequence of his behavior. Now, if when he gets to the person holding the "found" object and that person holds it over the scouts head and makes him jump for it, thats wrong. If the scout holding the property tosses it to another scout to play "keep away" thats wrong.

 

Scouts learn very quickly the consequence of their actions within the program. Goof around on campouts and miss advancement opportunities and your buddies are soon first class while you struggle with tenderfoot requirements. Loaf around summercamp and at Court of Honor time when tent mate Bob gets 6 merit badges because he worked and you get none you learn that actions or even inactions have consquences.

 

Now, if on the last day of summercamp the loafing scout came to me and said he was upset because he just realized Bob got the last of 6 merit badges done and he had none and that meant Bob was getting 6 merit badges at the Sept COH and he would get none and his mother would be upset and what could he do.

 

First I would ask him if he knew what the merit badge schedule was, he would have to say yes as its been posted, given to every scout, on our website etc. I would ask him if he had an opportunity to attend the merit badge classes, he again would have to say yes. I would ask him what he wanted me to do, and that I couldnt give him merit badges he didnt earn or intercede on his behalf to counselors when he didnt do the work. I would then tell him he would know better next year.

 

Now, this experience may "upset" the scout, it may traumatize him for life, but it was a choice he made, no obstacles were artficially placed in his way. Actually adults in the camp would be encouraging the scout to go to classes. Hazing is when obstacles or additional requirements are placed in the way

 

I have no problem teaching scouts that acions have consequences, I think that doing it in the context of the BSA program is the best method.

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I am not going to add to my previous thoughts on this subject. However, I must recognize NJ for this comment:

 

I assume your keyboard has a backspace key, something that my mouth lacks.

 

:) :) :) Good one...there's been an occasion or two when I wish had one of those "backspace keys" for my mouth ;) ;) ;)

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