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Gwaihir

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

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22 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

Pain? Let's use a bit of hyperbole. Would it be OK to cut off the top of their socks as a means of keeping him from slicing their hand open? Would it be OK to make a scout cut off their shirt tail (the tucked in portion) as a means to keep them from slicing their hand open? Why stop at a corner? Why not cut up the card entirely into tiny pieces while everyone watches? What's a little pain between scouters if it keeps them safe?

If you and others can agree that there some actions that cause emotional pain and that would take things to far, then you have to ask yourself if any "pain" is appropriate in this situation. We should not be in the business of trying to cause pain. We should be in the business of trying to teach. I don't want to ever be a bully to a scout if cutting a corner when it doesn't teach anything feels like me being a bully.

Big difference between a $0.19 patch and a $30 shirt or $8 socks.  

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On 4/18/2018 at 12:11 PM, 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.

 

imo, it comes down to are we teaching them to be prepared or aren't we?  the real world has real consequences and sometimes those consequences aren't going to make you feel good.  imo, learning to overcome and deal with a corner coming off your totin chip because you weren't obedient, and thriving beyond that seems like a very valuable be prepared kind of lesson.  

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On 4/19/2018 at 12:17 PM, qwazse said:

How do I know how many times the TF was warned?

  • I might have seen him once passing by my hammock whittling recklessly ... told him to behave. He says "yes sir" ... and puts on his best behavior ... while he thinks I'm watching.
  • On the way from his patrol site, the SPL may have seen him horsing around with his buddy, knife in hand ... told him to behave. He said "yes sir" ... waited till SPL continued rounds to next patrol.
  • At his patrol campfire, the PL may seen him ... told him to behave. He said "yes sir" ... then took his buddy on a walk away from his patrol site.
  • By his tent, an APL might have seen him ... told him to behave. He said "yes sir" then  ... went to his patrol campfire.

So, do the PL, SPL, or I

  • Confiscate the knives of every single scout after every single infarction that I see? That would be a lot of knives/saws/axes confiscated.
  • Assume this was a one-off until confirmed otherwise at after-action review with the PLC at cracker barrel, thereby allowing a day to pass with this kid likely to nick the hide of a young @CalicoPenn?
  • Or do I ask to see the Totin' Chip cards of any fey scout to determine if this would be his first or his final warning? And, if first, clip and counsel appropriately. If final, ask if I should secure his blades until he and I can set aside time for an SMC to review knife safety.

Common sense tells me leaders should communicate. If you see something say something. The nicks in the card are simply a discrete way of saying it.

As always ...

Your mileage may vary.

Well said @qwazse

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Apologies if this is already covered, I admit I mostly skimmed this thread...

If the issue is stealing or damaging a scout's property by clipping a corner, or "hazing" by damaging property, is it not stealing or damaging it to just mark the card some other way? An "X" marked on a corner instead, or something similar. 

Surely a pen mark can't be considered "damage" when we sign off things in books and on cards all the time. 

Edited by FireStone

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On 4/19/2018 at 3:17 PM, Hawkwin said:

Agreed.

So, can anyone tell me how cutting up a card (in and of itself) in any way creates discipline? Does a scout learn to properly use a knife the moment you cut the card? Are they automatically cured of their lack of discipline? Are they a safer scout now that they have a cut card? If not, then might there be more effective ways to teach discipline? If there are more effective ways to teach a scout discipline (if you still have to educate the scout after you cut the card), then perhaps the cutting of a card is more about the scouter and less about the scout. YMMV of course.

 

Cutting a corner is a warning. I've never cut a corner (boys were careful with knives in my presence), but if I did. I would cut it as part of a conversation on what particular knife safety rule they had broken.  It's just a visual way for the Scouts to remember, and a way for a leader to instantly find out if the Scout had been unsafe with a knive/axe/saw before.  Why are you so against the idea of cutting a $.19 card as a warning?  

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28 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

Why are you so against the idea of cutting a $.19 card as a warning?  

The cost of the card is a Red Herring. Would you change your position if the card cost $200? If you would, then you have to admit that cutting a corner is still not proper, regardless of the cost.

As stated up thread, cutting a corner is unnecessary and does not accomplishing anything on its own. As you illustrate, you still have to have a conversation. Can you cut the card and walk away, assuming you did your job? Could you have a conversation without cutting the card and have a different result? Perhaps cutting the card doesn't accomplish what you think it does if you can't do only that and get the same result.

I also don't see any relevance to knowing whether or not a scout, now 17, may have used a knife in an unsafe manner when they were 11. We don't care if a scout, at age 17, violated some aspect of safe swim defense when they were 11 as long as they behave correctly now. I can't think of any other practice in BSA that results in the damage - even as something as minor as cutting a corner - of a scouts personal property. Confiscation, yes. Damage, no.

Flip the question around, why are you so for it? What do you think would happen if you still had the same conversation but without cutting a corner? And why stop at a corner? If minor damage of scout property is such an effective means of corrective action and re-education, why not patches? Toss trash on the ground, get the bottom quarter of your Outdoor Ethics patch cut off. Get caught not being Reverent, cut off the left quarter of your religious emblem.

At some point, most scouters would likely object to the damage or destruction of such property and if you object to one, how can you allow another - on such subjective grounds as cost? If $0.19 is OK, what amount isn't? At what cost does something become hazing or bullying?

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25 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Would you change your position if the card cost $200? 

There wouldn't be any issue if the cards cost $200. We wouldn't be handing them out.

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37 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

The cost of the card is a Red Herring. Would you change your position if the card cost $200? If you would, then you have to admit that cutting a corner is still not proper, regardless of the cost.

Let's apply your logic to paper napkins. Would you throw away paper napkins if they cost $200 each? If you wouldn't, then you have to admit that you shouldn't discard a paper napkin, regardless of the cost.

 

Edited by David CO
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Sigh, it doesn't look like questions from one who wants to be converted, but on the outside chance ...

1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

Flip the question around, why are you so for it?

 

Discipline. Which is not usually acquired after merely one conversation.

1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

What do you think would happen if you still had the same conversation but without cutting a corner?

An undisciplined scout will risk life and limb of himself or his fellows in the presence of a different leader (youth or adult), that leader will correct the scout. This could repeat itself any number of times with different leaders. None of them aware that this scout has been "rolling the dice", and in that ignorance, each will allow the scout to continue this game of Totin' roulette. 

1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

And why stop at a corner?

Because stopping at a corner is itself an act of discipline sufficient to communicate one's estimate of a scouts' hazardous behavior.

1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

If minor damage of scout property is such an effective means of corrective action and re-education, why not patches?

Did the scout give the troop two dimes for the card? Accurately communicating risk is improving, not damaging.

1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

Toss trash on the ground, get the bottom quarter of your Outdoor Ethics patch cut off. Get caught not being Reverent, cut off the left quarter of your religious emblem.

Firstly, scale does matter. The cost of an award often determines how it should be treated. We don't deface or rip off Totin' Chip or Firem'n Chit patches.

Secondly, risk matters. Although it's a disgrace to your troop, your country, and your mamma, the risk that life or limb would be compromised to a wrapper (corner of a card :eek:) on the ground is negligible. Likewise regarding reverence, the Almighty's graces are such that the brunt of irreverence is carried far from the camp. Such as scout is better served by tales of scapegoats.

Thirdly, although we don't deface patches, we do demand that scouts live up to their uniform, and - for heinous infractions - will suspend him. That suspension includes being denied the privilege of uniforming during suspension.

Edited by qwazse

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

 

As stated up thread, cutting a corner is unnecessary and does not accomplishing anything on its own. As you illustrate, you still have to have a conversation. Can you cut the card and walk away, assuming you did your job? Could you have a conversation without cutting the card and have a different result? Perhaps cutting the card doesn't accomplish what you think it does if you can't do only that and get the same result.

I also don't see any relevance to knowing whether or not a scout, now 17, may have used a knife in an unsafe manner when they were 11. We don't care if a scout, at age 17, violated some aspect of safe swim defense when they were 11 as long as they behave correctly now. I can't think of any other practice in BSA that results in the damage - even as something as minor as cutting a corner - of a scouts personal property. Confiscation, yes. Damage, no.

 

It is simply a visual warning system to the Scout...  Like I said before, three strikes and you are out.  We have a conversation and a little remedial training when the corner is cut.  I guess I could do it your way and just take the card and make the Scout redo the class for every infraction.

As far as knowing that a 17 yr old Scout had an infraction when he was 11, I agree with you...  but knowing that the 11 year old Scout had an infraction just last campout is pretty good info to know when it comes to knife safety.  I've never had to ask a 17 yr old to see his totin' chip.  They typically know how to handle a knife in a safe manner by that age, so I wouldn't be aware of their minor infraction.  Funny thing is though, if you ask my son (who is aged out now) why he is missing a corner on his chip, he can tell you exactly what he was doing...  He remembers it.  Seems to be a pretty well rounded individual with no negative trauma from losing a corner on his card.

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45 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Sigh, it doesn't look like questions from one who wants to be converted, but on the outside chance ...

Of course not, I am attempting to do the converting, after all. :)

 

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I'm getting nervous. Not for being "converted" anytime soon, but that this thread might get more posts than a far more general one ...

 

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In every troop I've been involved in, you could re-earn your Totin' Chip (or Whittlin' Chip for Cubs) and get a fresh, four-cornered card by taking the class again. Obviously, losing all four corners meant you were required to "re-certify" but none of us ever waited until that last hour. The ignominy of missing a single corner was enough to make us boys take the class at the next available opportunity. Do other troops not do this?

If not, I can see why people would get upset about their award being defaced. For us, it was merely a punch card. 

 

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Boy Scout Handbook, Seventh Edition, Seventh Printing, January 1971, page 39:

"A Scout is TRUSTWORTHY"

"A Scout's honor is to be trusted.  If he were to violate his honor by telling a lie or by cheating or by not doing exactly a given task, when trusted on his honor, he may be directed to hand over his Scout badge."

Well, you can imagine how society would react today if a scout was directed to turn in his scout badge.  For any reason. 

For some, lectures and encouraging words don't have much impact.  Stronger consequences are sometimes needed to change behavior.  Cutting off that corner, or, back in the day, turning in a badge--that might be the day the scout reconsiders his actions.  And changes his life for the better.

 

Edited by desertrat77
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