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Beavah

What is hazing?

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Yep, definantly loaded terms. I completely agree with Beavah here.

 

In another thread, willful disobedience was brought up, and it was stated that scout doesn't disobey just because he doesn't l;ike somethiung, but instead sees to get that changed.

 

No, not an exact quote, but you know what I mean.

 

So suppose a ASM or Sm decides to have a scout who lost...whatever..to stand up and sing. Does the SPL be obedient to the SM or ASM and go along with it..which is also showing loyalty to not only the SM/ASM, but to the rest of the troop because "forgetful scout" causes delays in what the troop schedule.

 

Is thst being loyal and obediant? Heck, that is also being trustworthy to the adult leadership too.

 

But what if the SPL stands up to the SM/ASM and says that this is not acceptable. What then? That scout is willfully being disobediant in the name of scout law and spirit. KInda like Civil disobediance. Being loyal and obediant to the scout law and spirit...but still not going through the proper channels to see that things and or rules change rule.

 

Then suppose "that" scout is not hazed under the guise of being a unruly or disobediant scout.

 

And you that is only cracking open Pandora's scouting box!

 

Yeah, just following the scout oath, spirit, law, promise, etc,,, ought to be enough...but the problem here is that it leave plenty of room for interpretation!

 

But we all already know that don't we!

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OGE wrote: "What is more important here, the correct use of the word Hazing or an attitude of how scouts and scouters are to be treated?"

 

Terms be darned.

 

The important thing in life is how we treat each other. Our actions affect other people and are a lesson how to treat the next guy. Humiliation (song punishment, etc.) and tricks (snipe hunts, etc.) are just yet another form of teasing and making someone the brunt of a joke. It breaks trust and damages the victim.

 

And, yes. It's abuse. Proper terms are important to clearly define the discussion. Too often people mince words and hide behind tradition. Heck, the MX missle was the called "peacekeeper" to avoid discussing that it's sole purpose was to kill 100 million people. I'm not saying singing songs or snipe hunts are criminal, unaccepted or that big of an issue to everyone. I'm not saying those youth and adult leaders are evil. They may be the nicest people otherwise. But, the action is abuse. Using the proper terms helps us make decisions.

 

...

 

I mostly made my mind on this topic, before researching it, when I saw a SPL (who had a bit of a mean streak) do the song bit to another scout. There was nothing constructive in it and SPL enjoyed the victim's uncomfort way too much. Listening in the car on the way home from camp I heard the discussions about doing it to someone else as a reprisal. That's how 11 year olds think. Later when I learned more on teaching and emotional development and BSA GTSS rules (constructive discipline), I became verbal on it in my unit.

 

When it later happened to my oldest son at the 2010 Jamboree. He knew our troop was against it and I was also personally against it but he did not know how to respond. I felt bad. We had prepared our scouts how to treat others. We had not though prepared them how to respond if they do not think they are being treated properly by authority. I felt bad for him. It was just a long uncomfortable moment for everyone there.

 

...

 

Scoutfish: Obedient. I think that is where a discussion of obedient is important. Too often leaders think obedient is snapping to attention and doing what the adults say. I think that's horse hockey. They are upset because the youth did not feed their own egos. "Obedient" is a much more complex discussion than this thread has size for. I wish more leaders actually reflected more on "obedient". It's a very important topic.

 

...

 

Spanking is yet another debate. It can be good or bad. I'm not 100% decided either way. It might be effective in that it directly ties the bad behavior to the punishment and gets it done then and there. But I doubt spanking publicly, in-front of a large group with people laughing at you would ever be healthy. It changes the action from a painful consequence to a public humiliation.

 

 

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Dear God, I truly fear for future generations, for we have now succeeded in bubble-wrapping our children to the point of ridiculousness...

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And, yes. It's abuse.

 

No, it's not. Proper terms are important, and it's just as wrong to call a water balloon a Weapon of Mass Destruction as it is to call a nuke a "peacemaker.". You are making the first mistake, because yeh want other people to feel da issue is a Big Deal. But that's just not being honest or courteous, eh? It might be harder work to convince 'em without using WMD language like child abuse, but that just means yeh have to do more work to convince people.

 

Making a lad sing is not abuse, and claiming it is is just bearing false witness against your neighbor. Yeh need to learn how to disagree with somethin' without makin' it a felony offense, eh? That would also be a good gift to give your son. Some things only deserve a $5 ticket or a "hey, why don't we try somethin' different?"

 

Beavah

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I've never seen pages pile onto a topic this quickly before...wow.

I agree with and sympathize with OGE. You can call the behavior whatever you like but the hurt and humiliation that he felt and which I have seen others in his situation feel...was not necessary. If it was a positive addition to their scouting experience I'd like someone to explain how.

 

Now I do understand that some of us have taken this kind of thing in a different way. I'm glad for them. I'm glad that they didn't feel that shame or humiliation and I'm really glad they didn't entertain thoughts of quitting scouts because of it. But not all of us react the same way. Some of us do not have the innate ability to deceive or to accept deception as something that is normal or expected, even good and fun. Some of us are truly sincere persons. We must learn how to humiliate from others, how funny it is to do it. Perhaps scouting is not the place for us? I am saddened if scouting is the place where we learn these deceptive ways...and also learn the moral that deception is a good skill to acquire, good and harmless fun.

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Oh for heaven's sake. Deception is it now? That's da big humiliating evil?

 

So when a lad playing Capture the Flag deceives the opposing team and sneaks in to steal the flag, we are to believe the poor, traumatized members of the opposing team have been humiliated because they didn't expect deception or understand it was part of the fun?

 

Let's just hope da lads never play poker or their poor psyches and moral compasses will be damaged for life. ;)

 

B

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Yes, OGE was told something by persons who were supposed to be friends and then they betrayed him and left him in the woods. Then they laughed at him. That is not a trivial deception for a sensitive person. It is a terrible betrayal. I get that you minimize this and I am having difficulty reconciling it with your usual approach to interactions with other persons with what often seems to be a sense of humanity. I'd like you to help me with that.

But OGE learned that he could not trust persons who otherwise claimed to be 'Trustworthy'. I call that deception.

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It's possible to sympathize with OGE's experience without condemning others or reaching strained conclusions. Deception isn't always a terrible moral thing. Sometimes it's a feature of a game, a part of entertainment, or an aspect of fun, social relationships. A surprise birthday party is deception, and might be taken as an awful, terrible, life-changing embarrassing thing that teaches someone never to trust their friends again. Or it can be a surprise birthday party.

 

By OGE's own telling, they "cheered, laughed, and hooted". I'd certainly cheer for such a lad, and laugh with him. In a lot of troops, what he did would be a badge of honor talked about for years (even as the perpetrators felt embarrassed and sheepish about the buddy system oversight).

 

The failure was puttin' a lad in over his head to a situation he wasn't prepared for. But that's an easy mistake to make, eh? I remember once teachin' a lad how to ski. I'm a long-time instructor and do quite well with kids, but this one fellow I misread the signs on. He was good at hidin' his feelings and actually he was a lot more scared and worried about how he appeared to the other boys than I had figured. If I'd picked up on it, I would have arranged for some private lessons without other boys around and gone more slowly. But I blew it, eh? I bumped him up to da bigger bunny hill with his friends. So he had a poor experience, perhaps embarrassing or humiliating in his eyes, though I and his friends cheered, laughed and hooted encouragement. He never went back to skiing, and left scouting a short time afterward.

 

I still feel bad about it, eh? Been over 20 years. But sometimes mistakes and errors in judgment are just mistakes and errors in judgment. Before we talk about abuse and betrayal, we have to imagine da story rewritten from the other fellow's point of view, imputing to him all da characteristics of a good man.

 

I reckon it's far more likely that a scouter who makes a lad sing is just a fellow givin' his time and doin' his best, trying a technique he's seen before or that worked for other lads. Not an abuser.

 

Beavah(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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WEll, the biggest thing we want to be careful about is making a one size fits all statement or use a blanket word.

 

DEcieve for examople: Are we talking about the Japanese representatives who decieved us right up to the attacks on Pearl Harbor, or a wife who has been cheating on her husband for years, or mom and dad having their kids believe in Santa Claus, or when I arrange for my moter in law to drag my wife around the corner while I have all her freinds come over for a surprise birthday party?

 

In all of those, tere was some decepton, and technically, I lied when I told my wife I was going to do yard work when she left with her mom to go to a strore. Instead of yardwork, I was putting up party decorations in triple overtime speed, having a 200 pound hog brought in nthat had ben cooking at a neighbors house and shuffling 45 people inside and hiding them as well as treuir cars.

 

So when my wife gets home, not only did I ndecieve her, but so did her mom and all her friends.

 

But wouldn'y you consider that different than say...if I was cheating on her behind her back?

 

 

I am not saying that OGE didn't have a bad experience, or tha we should encourage people to have to sing whenever they forget something....heck..I'd have a signing career right now if we did! :)

 

I am just saying that everything is not simply bhazing, abuse, decieving, or lying.

 

Another case in point: You wife gets dressed for the council banquet. She goes over the top with her makeup and puts on - in your opinion - an ugly dress and shoes .

 

She asks you how does she look. I garantee 99% of you are going to lie and be decietful at that moment! :)

 

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Scoutfish,

 

I pray that she does not ask me in that situation. It's like the Geico commercial with Mr and Mrs Lincoln. The hesitation alone is what's going to get you.

 

Beavah, I had a similar situation with the swim test. Didn't quit but was terrified. Almost lost him. I used to be that kid so I try to search him out. But especially in a big troop things get missed.

 

Some of what attracts boys to scouts is the mystique of the ordeal; the idea that they individually will be tested, that they will overcome fears, maybe do something heroic, have adventures. Having to endure something, the ritual snipe hunt, can become that thing and is not always negative. The mean, vindictive scouter or scout can make anything a form of hazing, harassment, and bullying. I have seen this with always making the newbies do clean up or mockery. So like Calico said it should be measured by the Scout Law. Was the search for the Bacon Stretcher made in a friendly way or not? How does that boy interpret such things? My Asberger son views "pranks" as an invitation to all-out war "You hit me 10% I hit you back 140%" is his quote.

 

I think Beav has a point when he talks about throwing the hazing term around too lightly. It is highly charged and broad-brushes scouting in a bad light; might as well as throw in Jingoistic, Bigoted, and Zealots while we are out it.

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There's a whole lot of disrespect going on in this discussion. Here we have beavah and some others encouraging and defending "singing" and other treatment of boys that is clearly hurtful to them, and insisting over and over that it should't be hurtful and isn't hurtful. I find that attitude to be incredibly unfeeling, disrespectful, and selfish. Disgusting.

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Sorry. I guess it's that empathy thing in my personality. I have so much empathy and guilt potential I could make a great Catholic or Jew ;) (actually both present in family history). And probably why I failed so miserably at being a Presbyterian.

 

It's the thing that just kills me when I have to assign grades to students. My exams are 'grim reapers' and I feel it personally when a student, no matter how much they deserve it, makes a bad grade. I assign the grades nevertheless...and then anguish over them for months.

So I'm one of those people who seems to try to take up for the underdog, the bullied, the picked on. It may be why I went against the tide with respect to racial integration and why I defend gays and atheists today. And at this age, I guess I'm probably not going to change.

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And what of that boy who left his belongings? He who has no respect for his environs, who cares little who for the goods his parents paid dearly for, who expects his fellow scouts and scouters to clean up his leavings as though they were his chaimbermaids?

 

He has humilitated his own troop. No doubt at home he expects his mother to abase herself, and by his repeated or occasional action (or, rather, inaction) broken her to his slothfull will. It is the likes of him who make the self-appointed gaurdians of wilderness recreation areas cringe when they see a trailer with the fleur-de-lis pull up to a trailhead. That make them say, "Wonder what 'goodies' we'll find on the trail Sunday afternoon!"

 

Will I use harsh words toward this boy? Not at all. Will I cut him off from our unit? Nay! Beatings? Heaven forbid! A fine? Please, no more paperwork!

 

Rather, I will have him join in the humility that we all should should feel when we realise that our material wants, along with our inability to manage them, have rendered us less than perfect.

 

And that, my friends, is what singing has to do with leaving your site less ordered than when you found it.

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There's a whole lot of disrespect going on in this discussion. Here we have beavah and some others encouraging and defending "singing" and other treatment of boys that is clearly hurtful to them, and insisting over and over that it should't be hurtful and isn't hurtful.

 

Yeh must be readin' a different thread and a different Beavah then. :p

 

Da Beavah in this thread that I know hasn't encouraged or defending singing for things. In fact he was pretty clear that it's not an approach he finds effective. Nor has that Beavah defended actions that were hurtful to kids.

 

All that he's done over and over has been to say that 1) just because singing or whatever isn't right does not mean that it amounts to hazing or abuse. There are degrees of right and wrong, and not everything is a felony; 2) just because a scouter or an older scout makes a bad call and a boy feels hurt does not necessarily mean they are bad people, 3) falsely accusing a fellow scouter or a youth member of a serious infraction like "abuse" is reprehensible, and 4) just because a boy feels hurt and upset does not necessarily mean that a particular activity or action is inappropriate for other boys. Or even that it was necessarily inappropriate for him.

 

Da notion is to treat everyone with respect and understanding eh? Not just da side yeh sympathize with da most.

 

At least that's what I think da Beavah in this thread is sayin' if yeh read him carefully. His accent, though, is abominable. :)

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Really I feel I have been lumped in with "the haters" as well when I am not sure where the line is. I don't think singing is that big a deal but I am open to being convinced. Thus far I have not heard a convincing argument. OGE made a great case against lying and misleading newbies; I would be on guard to prevent that sort of thing more now. I was abused as a youth (both sexually and emotionally) so I am not naive to some of these things but I really think the debate over the singing the song is silly. I would agree that is probably not that effective though for most boys.

 

As to where to draw the line, of course we should use the Scout Law. We also should not coddle the boys like they are cub scouts. We are building men, kind, honest, courteous men, but still men in all its unpolished forms. If we must water down EVERY action because it MIGHT be hurtful to ANY boy we might as well scrap the program as it now exists.

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