golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Wed, 13 Sep 1995 17:12:27 -0500
I have seen camps where Scouts are required to sing for their lost
items. I also noticed many lost items were never claimed. I don't think
the "spirit of the thing" is what makes the difference, but more likely
the individual Scout. Some extraverted Scouts would enjoy the singing,
where intraverted Scouts might give up their property rather than feel
humiliated in front of a large group. For one boy it might not qualify
as hazing, where the other boy it certainly would. The negative impact on
the individual is what characterizes the problem of hazing.
Personally, I have gone to claim property for some of my Scouts, after
mealtime was over. I've never had a problem getting anything returned.
I don't think it's that big a deal. I will never allow the practice of
singing for lost items to occur in our troop. For some boys it is hazing.
On Wed, 13 Sep 1995, Jim Ficklin wrote:
> We too have had the "tradition" of having someone sing or perform in
> some other fashion in order to retrive a lost item. I suspect that it is
> the spirit of the thing that makes the difference in whether this is a
> positive or negative (or possibly neutral) experience for the scout. In
> our case, the thing is very much done in fun... the scout being asked to
> perform is cheered on by the other boys and the "performance" not only
> results in the return of the lost object, but in enthusiastic applause
> and congratulatory slaps on the back from those in attendance.
I believe an active well run Scouting program will involve positive
challenges that create a bond among members. Situations like rock
climbing, COPE, or other controlled situations express the appearance of
risk without any significant danger. The bonding process does involve
risk. Any social situation involves risk, if only the risk of rejection
by the group. Hopefully we can continue to provide a positive
environment where Scouts feel challenged and can prove themselves to the
group through acheivements of advancement, challenges of leadership,
mastery of Scouting skills, and the development of character and values.
Fortunately millions of boys in our country still respond to those things.
> On a related matter... In some recent discussions with local police
> (related to a TV program we are considering producing) and social services
> personnel related to gang activitiy, it has come out that there seems to
> be a lot of mounting evidence that one of the significant attractions to
> youth to join gangs is the existance of ritual and the requirment that
> gang members "prove themselves" to validate their belonging. This
> "validation" is viewed by the youngsters as their ticket to the "support"
> they perceive is there for them from their gang. Many of these "iniations"
> are not only anti-social and dangerous, but often embarassing and highly
> degrading, yet they persist in being an attractant to youth to join gangs.
> I wonder if in our zeal to be sensitive and to avoid "hazing" or other
> forms of abuse (all worthy and important considerations), we don't (to
> some degree) run the risk of "sanitizing" all organized, legitimate youth
> experience to the point that some of its appeal and strength of bonding is
> lost. I am inclined to believe that some amount of ritual and periodic
> challenges to youth (which, when met, serve to "validate" their bond to the
> group) may be valuable in organizations for youth such as those
> represented on this list.
> Humans seem to be driven to take certain amounts of risk. If society bans
> all legitimate risks, then many (especially youth) will take illegal or
> "illegitimate" risks. Could it be that if positive youth organizations
> become too "sanitized" and devoid of all risk, that they then might have
> to face the possibility that youth will turn instead to gangs and other
> counterproductive outlets to express this human need?
> Of course, care must be used in determining what is appropriate in this
> line. "First do no harm." Also the challenges should be entered into
> with peer support for individual success. However with these things in
> mind, it seems to me that this could, indeed, include challenges along the
> lines of singing for lost objects or some kinds of initiatory types of
> Just some thoughts.
> Jim Ficklin, Program Manager, KRWG-TV, New Mexico St. Univ., Las Cruces, NM
> List Owner: Media-L@nmsu.edu B.S.A. Troop/Team/Post 177
> firstname.lastname@example.org Chair: Southern New Mexico Media Literacy Coalition
YIS, Cliff Golden
Scoutmaster Troop 33
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City