Thu, 10 Oct 1991 09:02:04 CDT
From: Troye Kauffman Bitnet: AEZTROY@UICVMC
(217) 244-6322 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
This note addresses 3 different issues:
(I'm sorry for the length of this. Please think of it as 3 one-screen
notes in one email packet.)
1. Are pranks like sending a new scout for a "skyhook", hazing?
Put yourself in this scenario: Suppose you joined a group with bigger and
older kids. You are trying to learn new skills, make new friends, and learn
the troop rules. You are fed mis-information, and for believing it the
group laughs at you.
a. How will you feel about accepting information from them in the future?
b. Do you think it's funny?
We need to remember that young people have a much more fragile ego than
us, and what we think is harmless fun, they might feel is the whole world
turning against them. Besides, sometimes kids have trouble knowing when
"enough is enough". Be careful not to allow exceptions that blur the rules
not to haze.
2. Shouldn't we think of the policies and program of BSA, Inc. just as
guidelines, and not as hard-and-fast rules?
No! When the chartered organization signs the charter, it is (among
other things) an agreement to use the program (which is OWNED by BSA)
as specified by BSA. We have no more right to modify the program than
a McDonald's has to put Grey Poupon on a Big Mac. Like McDonald's, BSA
wants to make sure that anything that has it's name on it is really the
product that it designed. Anything else could potentially give the
franchiser and franchisee a black eye.
That's the legal reasoning. I'll save the "good citizen" and logical
reasonings for another scouter or note.
By the way, BSA does leave room for a LOT of customization. It's true
that one does not have to follow program helps or Wood's Wisdom by the
letter, or at all. If you can come up with something better (that
fulfills the function of the program, and violates no policies) do it!
However, why write all of your programs from scratch, when you have a
library chock-full of subroutines?
3. Shouldn't we mix older and younger scouts for the purpose of sharing
Yes, in the same way that teachers and students are mixed.
Consider this however: patrols are designed to share a common experience
as a group. If the experience to be shared is to learn a skill (which new
scouts do a lot of) why make the older scouts go through that all again?
Research and my own observation has shown that after the olders scouts
see these skills presented over and over again, they get VERY bored with it.
They want a new program, and new skills to learn. It's not necessary to
have a teacher/learner ratio of one-to-one for effective teaching; 1 to 4
or 5 is sufficient. Also, the kids need interaction with other age
groups, but the majority of the time they will want (and need) to hang out
with kids their own age. Tenting with a younger kid can get old for the
older kid very fast.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City