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madmike

Would this be "corporal punishment" in scouting today?

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I was reading another forum in which it was discussed that making scouts do push ups for corrective / disciplinary action is not permitted by BSA.

 

This made me think about something that was the "rule" when I was a kid in scouting (80's) at least in our troop.

 

If you were caught using the bathroom anywhere other than the designated "latrine" area (i.e. say you were caught urinating on a tree late in the night because you were too undisciplined to walk to the latrine)

 

the punishment was (if you were caught) that you had to dig up a stump from the camping area (The stump was selected by the Scoutmaster) generally your first offense you got a small stump, and then so on and so on..

 

I myself had to dig up a stump once, and that was the last time I beleive I used an unofficial latrine. So I would say the punishment was fair and worked.

 

It also served to remove stumps, which are in general a safety hazard while you are walking to the latrin late at night :)

 

So would this "stump patrol" be considered hazing today?

 

 

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Madmike, I think we need to distingish between "hazing" and corporal punishment. Hazing tends to be activities or humiliations foisted on new members of a group to prove their "worthiness" of belonging to a group. Corporal punishment, such as doing push-ups or the "front lean rest position" is not hazing, its corporal punishment both of which are prohibited in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

 

So, while you were not "hazed" by digging up the stump, you were punished. Now, were you corporally punished? Depends...

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In my opinion, I dont really think a "few" push ups is corporal punishment, Corporal Punishment defined:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporal_punishment

 

But if a SM did this today would he be against the "Guide to Safe Scouting"?

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I guess the question then becomes what point is being made by the scoutmaster?(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

 

Ok I was the one who said

 

that any amount of push-ups was corporal punishment, then I thought better of it and said it depends on what point the scoutmaster was trying to make.

 

Beavah made a comment on what I had entered before I removed it.

 

I guess in my mind this is what I see when I think of using push-ups as movivation/punishment/whatever:

 

I see a scoutmaster and a scout, the scout does not meet the expectations of the scoutmaster so the scoutmaster says, "give me 20" as in pushups. Or "give me 10" as in pushups. There isnt any attempt to explain the reason for the rule that was transgressed or to elicit an reason why the transgression was made, just "give me X". Its easy to say that pushups are great because it motivtes the scout. its harder to work with the scout and reach each scout on a level that works for them. Pushups may work, but its the easy way out and no one said being a scouter would be easy (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Giving push ups as punishment is corporal punishment, doesnt matter how many

 

This would not be accurate in most states, eh? The most commonly accepted definition of corporal punishment is inflicting pain by physical contact. Only a few states take stabs at extendin' corporal punishment to the realm of doin' pushups or runnin' laps, and even then it tends to apply only to abusive excess in such things, like runnin' to exhaustion. Otherwise, most "service projects" at camp would be corporal punishment, eh?

 

Still, yeh should be cautious about this approach, and mindful of your state and community ethics in the matter. The legal environment gets weirder every year. Long and short of it is "would mom and dad be upset about junior doin' 20 pushups?"

 

As far as diggin' up stumps goes, not hazin' or corporal punishment, but poor Leave No Trace practice.;) Personally, havin' blundered into an occasional pricker bush or cactus while goin' for the late-night constitutional, I figure that's corporal punishment for me bein' dumber than a toad.:( Don't take it out on da pricker bush for bein' a pricker bush.

 

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The point would be that while it might appear to be a shortcut to "use a tree" in the middle of the night, you can save yourself several hours removing a stump the next day, if you take the extra steps to the designated latrine....

 

If you had to remove a stump, you received a "yellow stump" award at a ceremony, it wasnt hazing, it was all in good fun/learning consequences. I still have mine at home, if this forum wasnt a few years behind(technology wise) I would post a picture of it.

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Actually in some places peeing on a tree is considered to be acceptable behavior. As far as punishment for such behavior, I would say it depends on where you stand. (Joke intended, so laugh if you have 'em.)

 

Push-ups as corporal punishment? As a SM, I got angry with some behaviors but speaking to the Scout was my first line defense. Push-ups are for physical fitness not for fixing behaviors, unless you are in the military. Digging up tree stumps for punishment? The only time we did that was for service, so I wouldn't use something that special for correction.

 

Should a Scout walk to the latrine to urinate at night or when it is cold? Yes, Scouts should go to the latrine for sanitary reasons. I doubt that anyone will get 100% participation on it though. What should be done when the Scout doesn't get there? Counsel with the individual because fear may be an overriding issue, unless he has a small bladder or he is timing out before going. So helping the Scout figure out a strategy may be the key.

 

Talking works real well. FB

 

 

 

 

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Push-ups are not corporal punishment. Makes no difference the amount of push-ups.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Not sure where I picked this up, but I learned somewhere that you should not pee on a tree (day or night). The reason is that the salts left behind after the urine evaporates or is absorbed by the bark attracts animals (think deer) that then lick and chew on the tree, causing damage to it. Instead of a tree, use a rock. It spatters the urine so there's not as much concentration, and a rock won't be hurt by being licked.

 

Regarding corporal punishment: my daughter recently began teaching in North Carolina. She was shocked to learn that corporal punishment is still permitted (with a witness), and has had several parents encourage her not to hesitate to use it. Not sure what jurisdiction (county perhaps?) still permits this in a public school. What happened to political correctness? Just my $.02.(This message has been edited by oldsm)

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Im not sure the tree thing is a good example, but I like it. FB is right that fear could be the motivator of some actions. Ive had a couple instances with new scouts who didnt even get to the tree because they were afraid of the dark. Yes, they had to wash the tent. Not out of punishment, but for hygiene. Our SPLs solution was for the new scouts to get the older scout in the next tent to guide them until they were more confident. Or, at least get to the tree. I guess one persons environmentalism is another person's small step toward developing courage.

 

One thing Ive learned about adults is we all have different ideas toward managing behavior. In the big picture, our job is guiding boys to develop habits of making the right decisions. The motivations we use should never in anyway mentally or physically harm these boys. But in a world where some believe that singing happy birthday can be a form of hazing, well our choices are getting limited.

 

I once had a tent full of very excited new scouts keeping the whole troop up on our first night of summer camp. The SPL was frustrated after several attempts to quiet them and asked for my help. I guess there were several approaches that could have been taken, but I really didnt want to get down on these guys. They were after all just excited about the whole experience and who could blame for being boys. And I really didnt want the SPL to see that getting down on these guys was the only way to control such behavior. I choose to take the boys on an evening hike. No yelling, no lecture, no threatening, just put on your shoes and lets go for a 20 minute hike. So we hiked around camp stopping every few minutes to identify stars and talk about this and that. We gave a couple of minutes to being courteous and kind to the other folks in camp and we left it at that. It was pretty much a pleasant evening hike in the Colorado Mountains and the rest of the week went fine. The scouts were back in bed by 11:30 and the rest of the troop had a nice sleep.

 

I once passed this along on a forum and one adult replied that I acted inappropriatly because the hike bordered on physical punishment. He followed with his solution of just threatening to send them home. There you go: two different approaches to solving one problem. And each one thinking the others approach inappropriate for the situation. Pushups now seem kind of an easy answer to me, hmmm.

 

Barry

 

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Eagledad, I think your hike was fine. The push-ups are not corporal punishment but they do constitute hazing, same as making the boy sing out loud.

Once, in an organizational meeting, my colonel didn't give a good answer to my general and the guy with the little stars made the guy with the little bird 'give me 10' in front of the entire audience. This was not corporal punishment, but I think everyone in the room recognized 'hazing' and the humiliation that came with it.

Push-ups are great for physical fitness and all the boys need to do more of them. But not for peeing in the wrong place.

If stumps need to be removed then the boys should decide who and how to remove them (boy-led, after all).

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Corporal punishment, hazing, whatever. I'm always a bit wary of simple punishments such as pushups, and the value they are supposed to have in guiding boys. If this is so effective, I'd expect "pushup punishments" to be a part of the program.

 

Maybe Scouting is not so easy as we'd like it to be.

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The push-ups are not corporal punishment but they do constitute hazing, same as making the boy sing out loud.

 

Huh?????? Hazing??????? Having to do push-ups because you did something you were told not to do is hazing??????? In what state?

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To me, the problem here is the whole enterprise of thinking up appropriate "punishments." I like Eagledad's solution, because that wasn't a punishment but an opportunity to teach. I don't think adults in Scouting should be punishing scouts--sometimes there will need to be consequences for bad behavior, like being sent home, or not advancing, but those aren't punishments.

Side note: recently I was obligated to punish my son, because he did something for which I had promised punishment. I gave him three choices: to be grounded (I refused to say for how long), to perform an unpleasant task (I wouldn't say what it was), or to be spanked (I refused to say how many lashes). What do you think he chose?

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just to give some more insite into the stump removal, this was at summer camp, and the camp had asked troops to remove as many stumps as they could that were in the "general open area" so there were no environmental issues, since it was requested by the landowners, and I think our leaders developed a good way to get rid of some of them.

 

You also were not given a specific time frame of having to remove the stump, I think I worked on mine off and on for a few days.

 

Also to point out this was the kind of SM who rarely raised his voice, but I think it was a great idea. There wasnt any "hazing" where the rest of the troop stood in a circle , pointed and yelled "Tree Urinater!" or anything.

 

I like Eagle Dad's idea, I actually use that when my own kids wont go to sleep, after several attempts to get them to sleep, we take a walk around our neighborhood to get them tired..As a parent I certianly wouldnt object to that type of hike, but I think some folks have gotten a little soft.

 

I dont really recall a lot of push ups being given out, I think some were done, a lot of times in jest.

 

So whats the "limit" I recall we had things in place where if you failed to do a patrol task, such as clean the camp dishes, you would get double the share of dish duty to make up for slacking off. Anyone could construe that as harrasment / hazing these days..

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