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mattman578

Singing? For Your Stuff (Edited By Packsaddle)

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It would not be, as I have clearly said twice.

 

If it clearly is not, then it is not whether it suits the party line or not.

 

You and I are in total agreement.  By reiterating it, then it's not just you speaking out against such "acceptable" actions by adults and youth alike.

 

After I build up a rapport with a scout, I have been known to do a bit of teasing, but I also allow those boys to offer up their own teasings as well.  I had one boy, nice kid, that when he came into the troop was quite shy and quiet.  Did what was expected but didn't really socialize.  Whenever I was around him, I would always "forget" his name and have to ask him.  To which he would smile and say his name.  After a while it was obvious to him that I was never going to learn his name so finally when I asked him, "...and you are whom?", he said, "Your Favorite Scout."  To this day, I still refer to him as My Favorite Scout, and I always get the same shy smile out of him.

 

One can have a teasing (not bullying) rapport with the boys, but first of all they all have to know that they are respected by you and once that trust is there, one can ease off the "professionalism" that one has to start with.

Edited by Stosh
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I have to tell a story first to show how much things have changed.

 

My first campout with the boy scouts was called an initiation campout. We were told there would be some challenges. When we got to camp scouts would slowly give out more details. It would be Saturday night, we would be blindfolded and have to make our way around camp, there was a rope bridge we had to cross, they thought someone had tightened it, it was 60 feet above the ground, it was 60 feet above a raging river, not many scouts fell off, very few died .... It was a ghost story made to scare us. I was scared. I was scared so much that some older scout took notice, pulled me aside and told me to not tell anyone else but in fact it was all a story to scare us. That older scout will forever be in my memory as a great scout that was looking out for me. But, he didn't tell me everything. We did go out on the requisite snipe hunt that, honestly, was simple fun given that there were no bridges or rivers to deal with. Then they let us into the cabin one at a time after we banged on the door and asked to be let into the troop. I was the last one. Still blindfolded, I was set down on my knees before a bench. They took off my blind fold just as someone with a glowing red hot branding iron walked in front of me. He walked around behind me, someone lifted up my shirt, and just as this guy stuck this branding iron into a bucket of water someone else put an ice cube on my back. I jumped and screamed for the first 100ms. I then figured out what happened and the biggest smile ever came across my face. Everyone in the troop cheered. The rest of the night involved retelling stories of how scared everyone was. Yes, I was scared. I was not humiliated. Humiliation requires people that are degrading, belittling, and shaming someone. Nobody was doing that to me. Sure, they were making up a huge lie, but they were also looking out for me and I never once felt that anyone was laughing at me. Some people pay to go to haunted houses or watch scary movies and I got scared for free. I will never forget that story. It's a good memory. I'm sure some of you are aghast but it was a good time had by all. My point is that some things are not so simple.

 

While, qualitatively, people think all embarrassment is evil, maybe it's not. First of all, there are different levels of embarrassment. Humiliation and mortification are just higher levels of the same thing. I'm not interested in humiliating or mortifying any scouts over anything. Next, there are different responses to other people's embarrassment. It turns out that embarrassment is a good indication that a person is a good team player and interested in the well being of others. People also respond to the embarrassment of others based on their level of compassion. A kind person will have empathy for the embarrassed person and will likely help them in the future. All people tend to trust those that are easily embarrassed. Those that don't easily get embarrassed don't care much for social norms. Finally, learning to deal with embarrassment is an important skill for the shy. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is to get embarrassed. So, in my view, a little bit of embarrassment for a truly minor transgression can help the social dynamics all the way around and can be a teachable moment if controlled. Some scouts learn compassion and some learn to just let it go. I'm sure many of you disagree but we may have to agree to disagree on this.

 

I'll admit that I'm talking to all of you a lot more about this than my PLC so I'll change that. Thanks for listening.

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I'm sure many of you disagree but we may have to agree to disagree on this.

 

Yeah, no.  This is not an "agree to disagree" opportunity.  This is about right and wrong.  It's about following a program instead of going rogue.

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Folks who judge others in Black or White amuse me.

 

Embarrassment is part of life.  We seek to put our boys into challenging situations so that they will grow.  If we have to avoid all embarrassment, than we better not challenge them.

 

If that's your standard, consider me a proud rogue.

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There are many who are creating a straw man position that anti singers are trying to remove embarrassment from life. This is not accurate. Again, there is a distinction between the non-swimmer who is embarrassed about the swim test, and a troop forcing Scouts to go through initiation activities, snipe hunts or singling them out for ridicule. 

When going rogue gets your unit in the paper for all the wrong reasons, I won't say I told you so. 

Sentinel947 

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MattR and Mozart: You are both conflating the issue of inflicting humiliation on people as punishment vs humiliation that comes from failure. They are not the same. 

 

 

Actually, if you read my OA example it has noting to do with punishment, it has to do with institutionally sponsored embarrassment sanction by district or council or a lodge. If its wrong for one it is wrong for the other.

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Pardon me, Fred, but I think the rules of Scouting allow one to disagree with a rule. That result clearly seems to be expressly provided for in A Scout is Obedient.

 

In fact, it seems to me that purporting to deny others the opportunity to even disagree is fairly far off the track we are committed to following.

 

 

Compliance is another thing entirely.  I do my best to follow BSA's rules to the extent that one can determine what they are.

 

 

What is confusing to some is that, while citing Dr. King as an icon, BSA says we are to comply with rules we find wrong.  Dr. King, famously, refused to comply and won the Nobel Prize for Peace for leading a massive campaign of civil disobedience.  One of those proud rogues, I guess.

Edited by TAHAWK

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Actually, if you read my OA example it has noting to do with punishment, it has to do with institutionally sponsored embarrassment sanction by district or council or a lodge. If its wrong for one it is wrong for the other.

Perhaps I mispoke. It's the difference between institutionally sponsored harrassment vs the embarrassment of failing at something. 

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So some people are arguing that if done right, having kids sing or dance for items or other transgressions is all fun and games. That everyone has fun, and no one gets hurt. OK, but then why does it “work� How is it a deterrent? If the kids just love dancing and or singing, why is it that it deters the desired behavior? Maybe because they don’t like singing or dancing in front of the group?

Look, if we had a problem with swearing in my cub pack, and we told the kids: “We don’t want you to swear. So if you do, we will give you an ice cream cone that you will have to eat!â€. I guarantee that within 30 seconds one of the cubs would come up to me and say “Excuse me but #%#@&!. Can I have my ice cream cone now please?â€

I don’t see how “it’s all in fun, everyone loves it and has a good time†equates to “it solved the problem, they stopped doing X� And I think if you believe both are true, you are deluding yourself.

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Folks who judge others in Black or White amuse me.

 

Embarrassment is part of life.  We seek to put our boys into challenging situations so that they will grow.  If we have to avoid all embarrassment, than we better not challenge them.

 

If that's your standard, consider me a proud rogue.

I think you are deliberately misunderstanding the whole point.

 

No one is arguing that we need to eliminate all embarrassment or challenges from the scouts lives, and to claim that we are is being disingenuous.

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I think you are deliberately misunderstanding the whole point.

 

No one is arguing that we need to eliminate all embarrassment or challenges from the scouts lives, and to claim that we are is being disingenuous.

 

Yeah, no.  This is not an "agree to disagree" opportunity.  This is about right and wrong.  It's about following a program instead of going rogue.

 

Does it help to see the statements side by side?
 
I'd rather have teasing out in the open where it can be monitored and kept friendly, rather than out of leaders' sight where teasing becomes bullying.
 
If you think that doing 5 push-ups for talking out of turn is going to leave an emotionally scar, then I think that you're toeing the PC line instead of dealing with the realities of leading boys.   Not so much 'disingenuous' as 'head in the sand'.

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In the grand scheme of the universe, this isn't something which keeps me up nights.

 

Singing for lost items was a common practice in our troop when I took over as SM. My official position was to discourage it. A Scout is Courteous. The courteous thing to do is to help someone find a lost item and to politely return it to him when located.

 

Still, this happens from time to time, usually from someone from outside the troop, like a camp staffer. Once in the past year the SPL held up some lost item at the close of the meeting. As the Scout walked forward to claim it, someone yelled "GREY SQUIRREL! GREY SQUIRREL!" (the preferred song in our troop because the choreography includes "shaking one's bushy tail"). Since we really don't do this anymore, the Scout was more confused than embarrassed. But four of the older Scouts jumped in, surrounded the Scout and did Grey Squirrel for him. After the meeting, as I walked toward the Scout who yelled for the kid to sing Grey Squirrel, the SPL was already explaining why we no longer do it. I kept walking.

 

Teaching moments come in a lot of different forms. Several lessons were taught that night, including keeping up with your stuff and why our troop doesn't cotton to such things. The more important lesson was the older Scouts have your back. Yeah, there may been a few seconds of discomfort for the young fellow, but at the end of the day, it was a positive. Had I jumped in yelling "HAZING! HAZING!" we would have missed those learning opportunities, and some of the boys may have thought less of the young fellow because he was being coddled by the adults. Controlled failure is an important learning tool. Our job is to ensure it is controlled.

 

Regarding the tradition of snatching hats off heads in the dining hall -- I'm proud to claim credit for ending it here. For several years during camp orientation I would tell both the program director and the dining hall steward that our troop always wears our troop hat as part of our uniform. With everyone wearing a hat, we have a higher chance of forgetting to remove them. I would explain I found it to be inconsistent that we were trying to teach Scouts courtesy (by removing their hats) by being much more discourteous (aggressively taking and keeping someone's property). I asked the steward that if he saw any of our Scouts with their hat on in the building to please ask them to remove it. If they gave him any guff at all, I also ask him to please let our SPL or myself know so that we could handle the problem for him. It took four years, but they got tired of hearing from me. When the program director moved up to camp director, they changed how they handled it. I couldn't be more pleased when the dining hall steward basically recited my speech in explaining the now M.O.

Edited by Twocubdad
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To those who think that bullying "isn't a big deal", a new study shows it can be more damaging then physical or sexual abuse.

Being bullied in childhood has a greater negative impact on teenager's mental health than being maltreated [1], according to new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

 

The findings show that individuals who are bullied in childhood are around five times more likely to experience anxiety (odds ratio 4.9) and are nearly twice as likely to report more depression and self-harm at age 18 (odds ratio 1.7) than children who are maltreated.

...

[1] Child maltreatment is defined as any physical or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, or negligent treatment resulting in actual or potential harm to the child's health, survival, or dignity.

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To those who think that bullying "isn't a big deal", a new study shows it can be more damaging then physical or sexual abuse.

To link two threads: We should probably wait until science has peer reviewed this study or there have been many more such studies in order to corroborate the findings. ;)

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Well I am not convinced that all singing is bullying, just that it could easily fall into that category..

 

But, I do agree that bullying can at least be as damaging as physical abuse (not sure if I would say worse then sexual abuse).. I hope today's BSA is more attentive to bullying then they were about 13 or 14 years back.. They would jump for any mention of physical or sexual abuse, but when I went to the DE about bullying in the troop that we were now moving our son out of in a hope to prevent the continuing of it with other scouts, I was surprised by the rule that the DE would need complaints from 3 different parents before they could act on it.. And from what the DE started muttering about the man in question, he was no fan of him, but he was tied by this rule..  Reason for it was one or two complaints could be just over-protective helicopter parents not understanding the BSA program..  By the time they investigated this man had created such a program of mental abuse of those considered "unworthy" they had to permanently remove him and bar him from ever being a BSA member again.. I think he would have just gotten a severe discussion in order to correct his behavior had they acted sooner.. 

 

Strangely they did invite him to do a class for University of Scouting twice and he accepted, so I learned he had moved to some other youth group.. I just hope he learned something and isn't doing the same over there.

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