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Gwaihir

New YPT declares corner ripping for Totin Chip/Whittlin Chip as Hazing?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

 

I fail to see why corporal punishment of card is deemed an effective means of education. 

 

Corporal punishment of a card? :confused:

I once saw an egregious example of corporal punishment of a rope. They gave it a real lashing. 

 

Edited by David CO
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19 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

What about taking the card and holding it until the Scout re-qualifies for the card by doing all the requirements again?  Why does there have to be any form of hazing at all?  

why hold it at all?  It's just petty and silly, and the scouts would see that too, me thinks....   no different that any of the requirements for a rank, in a way.

Let's pick a Scout rank requirement as an example...tie a taught line hitch

I walk up to a scout rank or higher and ask them to help this young new scout work on his Scout badge.  "he needs help with his taught line hitch"

(this was a bad example for me...I keep wanting to write midshipman's hitch)

Anyway, so he forgot..... what to do...rip that patch off his shirt till he relearns the knot?    no way.  That would be silly, right?

Instead you'd just give the guy a bit of help, coaching him to remind him how to do the knot.... or perhaps pointing him to another scout to do it.  Nobody would pull his rank.

So....he 'forgets' some element of proper 'tote n chipmanship'..... coach the guy and move on with the rest of a great day....

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51 minutes ago, blw2 said:

 

That would be silly, right?

 

Right. That's the whole idea. It's supposed to be silly.

When scout units clip the corners or sing for lost items, they are being silly. They are turning an otherwise tense disciplinary/learning moment into a fun and silly moment. It is intended to diffuse anxiety, not create it.

Unfortunately, some people have no sense of humor. They take themselves too seriously. They just don't get fun and silly. They want too make a Supreme Court case out of everything. That sort of person would not do well in my unit. We like fun and silly. I would suggest that those people look elsewhere for their scouting.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, blw2 said:

 

Anyway, so he forgot..... what to do...rip that patch off his shirt till he relearns the knot? 

 

That would be great! Do if with a drum role and all the ceremony. Make a big joke about it. Very funny. :D

 

Edited by David CO

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17 hours ago, David CO said:

Corporal punishment of a card? :confused:

I once saw an egregious example of corporal punishment of a rope. They gave it a real lashing. 

 

We tend to whip our ropes

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18 hours ago, cyphertext said:

Never had a parent complain.

I don't think lack of complaints means it is correct.

Some of the arguments for cutting the corner reminds me of another topic being discussed these days - privilege and bias. I read a recent comment from a person that stated that they never felt privilege for their skin color in the same way that many argue that they never felt that cutting a corner is hazing. In both cases, the wrong person is being asked.

I've personally been involved in both receiving hazing and giving it to others. When I gave it to others (and I've done some mean things), you can be sure I didn't think at the time that I was doing anything wrong. I thought I was educating, continuing tradition, building espirit de corps. The person I was hazing certainly didn't tell me that I was hazing them and that I should stop. In many cases, they acted like they enjoyed it. My perspective on this situation was wrong. Even in cases where I was being hazed (Army and college frats), I usually lacked the maturity to both recognize it was wrong and to say anything about it.

Near the end of my college days, I was elected President of my fraternity. By then, I finally had the maturity and the confidence to put an end to the hazing activities my frat was perpetrating. Even then, I had massive opposition (over 70%) from the members of my own chapter. They didn't want it to end. This was coed frat and a few women, privately, supported my stance on ending the hazing. Some of them (both men and women) even tried to "physically" overrule me. They could not see it as wrong because it was the way we had done things for 60 years and it was done to them and it didn't bother them so why should it bother anyone else? No one ever complained about it. This was a right of passage that must be continued.*

Some scouters would rather stick so hard to this action being right (no one ever complains) that they don't seem to be willing to accept the possibility that their scouts lack the maturity and confidence to recognize that they don't like it and to say anything about it. Perhaps cutting the corner is more about what a scouter want to continue and less about what scouts need to grow.

 

 

*We had many cases of hazing in the frat but one in particular I eventually refused to participate in and tried to end it - even though I had done it to others as a member. At the end of our terms of elected office, the members would grab the officers and give them a shower party - physically carry them into the shower. This often resulted in a struggle. Everyone laughed and had a great time with it (alcohol was usually involved) but I eventually came to see it as a problem as someone could easily feel sexually assaulted during the activity and when dealing with showers and water, someone could get seriously hurt - so I said no more. A few of the members still tried to carry me in even after I refused and it resulted in quite a serious confrontation that thankfully did not cross over into battery for myself or those involved. This was in the 90s.

About 10 years ago, that same chapter was shut down for a year and they were forced to sell their chapter house over a serious but undisclosed violation related to inappropriate conduct. Unfortunately, my stance against improper behavior did not outlast my term as President.

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17 hours ago, blw2 said:

why hold it at all?  It's just petty and silly, and the scouts would see that too, me thinks....   no different that any of the requirements for a rank, in a way.

Let's pick a Scout rank requirement as an example...tie a taught line hitch

I walk up to a scout rank or higher and ask them to help this young new scout work on his Scout badge.  "he needs help with his taught line hitch"

(this was a bad example for me...I keep wanting to write midshipman's hitch)

Anyway, so he forgot..... what to do...rip that patch off his shirt till he relearns the knot?    no way.  That would be silly, right?

Instead you'd just give the guy a bit of help, coaching him to remind him how to do the knot.... or perhaps pointing him to another scout to do it.  Nobody would pull his rank.

So....he 'forgets' some element of proper 'tote n chipmanship'..... coach the guy and move on with the rest of a great day....

I had a hunch someone would try to compare pulling a Totin Chip until it could be re-earned with pulling rank.  There is a major difference - Totin Chip is not a rank.  The policies about once its earned it remains earned does not apply.  Totin Chip confers a privilege - though I like your idea of just coaching them and moving on.   I'd even suggest that Troops treat the Totin Chip like the Cyber Chip - let them expire every year - and have the Scouts re-earn them.  Someone who earns it at 11 could surely use a refresher at 16.  I also think that adults that are going to use knives, axes and saws in camp should earn the Totin Chip.  It shouldn't be all that difficult and the adults will know the same "rules" as the Scouts - I've seen more adults than youth violate the "rules" taught in Totin Chip.

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7 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

I don't think lack of complaints means it is correct.

...

Some scouters would rather stick so hard to this action being right (no one ever complains) that they don't seem to be willing to accept the possibility that their scouts lack the maturity and confidence to recognize that they don't like it and to say anything about it. Perhaps cutting the corner is more about what a scouter want to continue and less about what scouts need to grow.

And some scouters seem to perversely think that robbing a boy of his or his patrol's cutting tool -- even for a small infarction -- puts one on some moral high ground. I'm sorry, thievery, albeit temporary, does not make a scout/scouter some holier than another scout/scouter who tags a card.

Don't want me to call your suggested practice thievery? Don't call the practice implied by the totin' guidelines hazing.:mad:

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14 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

I don't think lack of complaints means it is correct.

....

Some scouters would rather stick so hard to this action being right (no one ever complains) that they don't seem to be willing to accept the possibility that their scouts lack the maturity and confidence to recognize that they don't like it and to say anything about it. Perhaps cutting the corner is more about what a scouter want to continue and less about what scouts need to grow.

 

Thank you - you've demonstrated in your post what I've felt about this for a long time now.  I was the victim of hazing in a Troop that went very wrong and ended up with me in the hospital being treated for a serious cut on my leg when the idiot adult used the sharp side of the knife to "pretend" to cut me instead of the dull side.  I almost left Scouts right then and there - but my parents helped me find a new unit - a good unit.

To those folks saying its all harmless fun, or people are taking away their fun, or the boys don't mind, or it builds character - think about how many Scouts have left your units after campouts where they may have been hazed (even "micro-hazed - screw that concept - hazing is hazing - whether its a big production or just something little).  How many of your Scouts have just quietly stopped showing up - have you ever reached out to ask what was up?   I believe that we lose a lot more boys to hazing and bullying that we think we do.  When you have a Scout who has been gung ho about Scouts and is advancing along at a good pace and they suddenly stop showing up - most of the time it means something has happened at the unit level to make the Scout just decide to stop going.  Its up to us as the adults in the room to know and understand what is going on and to put a stop to negative behaviors.   When you're evaluating whether something is hazing or not, consider it under the lens of the Scout Law.

"It's all just harmless fun", "It builds Character", "We've always done it this way", "the Boys don't seem to mind" - is the same kind of language that bullies use to justify their actions and treatment of others.   I'm not saying that the folks in here who are using these kinds of excuses are bullies - I'm just giving you something to think about - a perspective you may not want to hear.  If you do take offense and think I'm calling you a bully?  I can live with that.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

when dealing with showers and water, someone could get seriously hurt

I can agree with that. We have rules for dealing with wet surfaces like pool decks and shower rooms. As a coach and athletic director, I have done my fair share of pool and locker room supervision. I would have never allowed someone to be carried over a wet surface like that, regardless of consent.

I just don't think this has anything at all to do with corner clipping. 

 

Edited by David CO

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22 minutes ago, CalicoPenn said:

When you have a Scout who has been gung ho about Scouts and is advancing along at a good pace and they suddenly stop showing up - most of the time it means something has happened at the unit level to make the Scout just decide to stop going.

There's a lot said when things are quiet.  Sometimes you have to listen harder to what is being said in the silence. 

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23 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

This is the first time someone suggested a new card - and I would be more OK with that solution but cutting the corner cannot be repaired or replaced as you eluded to earlier.

 

You don't need a scar to have your card revoked or a corner cut, and if a scout did something bad enough that actually resulted in a cut/scar, cutting a corner after the fact would not have changed that - and again, it teaches nothing that would prohibit a scar in the future. It is a form of permanent punishment, it isn't education.

I fail to see why corporal punishment of card is deemed an effective means of education. The Guide to Safe Scouting states that, "Discipline used in Scouting must be constructive and reflect Scouting’s values. Corporal punishment is never permitted. Disciplinary activities involving isolation, humiliation, or ridicule are prohibited."

IMO, cutting a corner is not constructive nor does it reflect Scouting's values. YMMV.

 

Cutting a corner is the equivalent of getting a traffic ticket. It's a warning.  I don't see what's so wrong about it.  Are you also against taking away knife privileges from a Scout who demonstrates unsafe knife/axe/saw behavior after being warned, say 4 times?

 

A card can be easily replaced, a scar won't heal. I'd rather give the Scouts a visible reminder to be safe with knives in a benign form with a corner cut, than with a scar that either they or a fellow Scout gets from being unsafe with knives.  

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23 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

Not to derail the discussion, but I assume you are being "figurative" with the price there.  I don't believe that the BSA currently sells ANYTHING for 19 cents - or anything under a dollar, for that matter.  :D

No, a Totin' chit literally costs $.19.

 

https://www.scoutshop.org/totin-chip-pocket-certificate-single-34397.html

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22 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

Well, there's a surprise.  You sure that isn't the version of the web site from 1962 or something?  :D

Maybe it's what they call a "loss leader."  You get on the web site for that and end up paying $6 for some patch that it cost them 30 cents to make in Bangladesh.

No, I bought them a few years ago (when I was Advancement person), and they are $.19  The 8-count sheet is $1.24.  

 

Most rank type patches at the Scout Shop are about $2.  

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

And some scouters seem to perversely think that robbing a boy of his or his patrol's cutting tool -- even for a small infarction -- puts one on some moral high ground. I'm sorry, thievery, albeit temporary, does not make a scout/scouter some holier than another scout/scouter who tags a card.

Don't want me to call your suggested practice thievery? Don't call the practice implied by the totin' guidelines hazing.:mad:

So you are saying that if a Tenderfoot is running around the campsite with his open pocketknife, after being warned several times about it, should be able to retain his knife?  Common sense to me tells me he should get it confiscated, and have it returned to his parent at the end of the campout. Not saying the SM or SPL should keep the knife permanently, but that for the safety of all it should be temporarily taken away.  

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