Re: Hazing or just fun?!
Ed Darrell (EDarr1776@AOL.COM)
Tue, 19 Mar 1996 21:15:39 -0500
In a message dated 96-03-19 05:17:11 EST, Tim McCormick asks:
>My question is, whether or not asking a new scout, or an older one for that
>matter, to retrieve the things listed such as "smoke shifter," "tent
>stretcher," "plaid paint," or other things like a "Spaghetti bender" is
>considered undr BSA policy to be hazing.
> I realize that any of these things can be taken too far, but are we to
>the point that any good natured fun is outlawed, or should I say "in
>violation of policy?"
Gee, I hope not. I recall the week at Maple Dell near Payson Utah, (Utah
Nat'l. Parks Council) when we had an entire troop of raw Tenderfeet (is that
the right plural?). They managed to set fire to whatever their dinner was
the first night. The second night at the staff lodge we got the cook, sent
down to borrow our "skyhook" to get the ice into the icebox. The third night
the cook came for smoke shifter, and I got assigned to tell the SM to knock
it off. He invited me to eat with his troop and we had one of the finest
meals I've ever had out of doors. The SM was a great cook, and by sending
the assigned cook on a pointless mission he was able to get the cooking done
unencumbered, while saving some face for the cook.
Well, maybe it would have been better to give careful instructions (which I
understood he did later), but at the time it seemed a reasonable solution.
The kids ganged up on him by the end of the week, having passed their
new-found knowledge along in the tents. It was a joy to see the SM come down
for the "SM's Backfire Meeting" after a campfire -- a meeting that was as
real as a smoke shifter.
I hope that's not considered hazing, and I hope the BSA policy is clear
whatever the issues are.
Ed Darrell, Duncanville, Texas
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City