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Has anyone ever run into this topic?


Someone in our troop recently brought up the suggestion that weekly dues could be a form of hazing, or at least be construed to enable hazing based on the public collection of dues each week and announcement of how much that scout owes. In other words if Johnny hasn't paid his dues and owes $7, then his scouting buddies could razz him about it... i.e. haze him.


I tend to look at weekly dues as being an exercise in personal responsibility, but clearly mine is not the only opinion, so I wanted to solicit some other opinions based on what other adult leaders might have encountered.




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The person in question probably also thinks that scoring in competitions & grades in schools

should be eliminated too. Can't have any hurt feelings now.


Ask this person if we should eliminate MB and ranks from Scouting too because Johnny would get razzed because he doesn't have as many MBs as Mike or because Johnny is just a First Class while Steve is Star.


You should tell the person in question to get a life.


Hopefully they get a clue before this affects the unit.

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If a Patrol Leader says "Hey, Johnny, I still need that money from you for dues" during a lull in a patrol meeting, that's simple communication. Nothing wrong with that.


If the SPL or Troop Scribe gets up in front of everyone at the opening or close and reads a list of names of people who haven't paid and the amounts they still owe, without having first approached them privately or semi-privately and given them more than one opportunity to pay, that strikes me as asinine. Public humiliation has no place in Scouting - especially when it involves money in this economy.


Talk to the Scout first and find out if there's a problem. Maybe his mom just got laid off and the money he makes from his part-time job at the grocery store now has to go to pay the rent. I hope no one's going to embarass the kid who just wants to hang out with his buddies,


But hazing? I don't think so. Just poor judgment.

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Thanks for the thoughts. Obviously we'd love the option of using the kneejerk reaction to tell them to get a life, and we've probably all felt like hanging up our hats at some point, but when measured against the goal of trying to keep the boys in scouts for the good it does them, we'll pass on those.


Tough to argue the point that there seem to be more and more people trying to convince us that scores/ranks/achievements don't matter, when most of us have gotten the rude awakening at some point that they do in fact matter. But although solving that problem is like boiling the ocean, we'll keep awarding rank advancements and merit badges until they tell us we can't anymore!


We will discuss the policy of announcing how much a scout owes however, and using that not as a matter of public knowledge but of an indication to have a private discussion about it with that scout and his parents, since for some reason a scout isn't meeting their obligations.

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Dialogue between scout (me) and committee chair (my dad) circa 1965:

Scout: Dad, at the camporee the troop next to us had matching tents. They were all new and they looked great. Why don't wee have gear like that?

CC: That troop charges their scouts weekly dues. They can afford new gear.

Scout: Why don't we charge dues?

CC: Because there are scouts in the troop who couldn't afford them. Even if it was only 25 cents a week they wouldn't be able to pay and they would quit.


My neighborhood was pretty affluent and I had no idea that we had poor boys in the troop. I have no idea who they were.


I am not using this to hijack the thread into a discussion of the rightness or wrongness of dues. There are other ways the troop could have handled the issue and we could probably have done a fund raiser to buy tents. My point is that because the scouts were never publicly asked for dues the rest of us never knew about their parents financial situation. The scouts were never subject to what might have amounted to public humiliation.


Given the state of joblessness and the economy, is it possible that you have a scout or scouts who can't afford the dues?



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I'm with shortridge.

It's not about the dues, it's more about the way things are being managed.

Boys and some really dumb adults can find a reason to tease just about anyone about just about anything. It's the teasing (Hazing? Seems like a strong word??) that is wrong.



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Two posters said "public humiliation."

Some imply that there's a line to cross somewhere before it's called hazing.

Not long ago we had postings about drinking urine.

I'd really like to know where that line is. I think that when it involves our Scouts, "public humiliation" has already crossed it. Drinking urine is public humiliation, too, but that's obviously crossed that line.

Is announcing delinquent dues public humiliation? I wasn't there, so I don't know, but it sounds like it might have been. Doesn't sound "Friendly" and "Courteous" to me.

Sorry to be such a wimp, but how does a little good-old-fashioned public humiliation become a good thing in Scouting?



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"There is nothing wrong with teasing."

Yes Ed you might be right?

Still I'm trying hard to see how teasing goes hand in hand with "A Scout is kind."

My point about the word Hazing was that for me and maybe it's just me? Hazing goes beyond teasing.

I'm not sure where the line is? But I do know it when I'm confronted with it.

How we react to being teased? Is really in the hands of the person who is on the receiving end and maybe is dependent on who is doing the teasing?

I have many good friends who when they bring up my less than smart deeds, do so in a way that really intends no harm. But were someone else to bring up the same deeds and try to make out I was really stupid and really dumb things might change.


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