Re: Excess Scout Energy
Charles Cowan (cowan@BEASTIE.CS.UND.AC.ZA)
Tue, 2 Apr 1996 08:51:23 +0200
I am a varsity student at the University of Natal Durban, in South Africa,
and also a trained ASM (Assistant Scout Master).
I have been involved in scouting for about 8 years, in that time i have seen
and experienced all the kinds of initiation and pranks discussed.
I have been following this discussion for the last few days and feel i must
add my 2 cents worth.
The reason for the occurence of such behaviour is partly because boys - and
not only boys - have great delight in playing a prank on someone, who better
to play it on than the new recruit. At times we even played pranks on our
Scout Master! Sometimes, however outright 'bullying' occurs, it happened to
me on one of my first camps, this is totally unacceptable.
I agree that the 'tying' up, etc. that started this thread is also
unacceptable... but there's no reason why the so called 'excess scout
energy' can't be directed in a more possitive way.
Harmless tricks can and almost allways are played on scouts, esp.new recruits,
Putting toothpaste on his face and tickling him, so he smears it all over.
Moving the entire tent, while he is sleeping, so he wakes up in the open.
Planting something, a frog/cooldrink can,etc in his sleeping bag.
Just last month while i was sleeping, one of the older scouts let off a
firework, in the scouters shelter, while we were sleeping, (naturally i
retaliated, by waking everyone at 06:00 the next morning for a long run.)
Pranks and tricks are usu fine and in the end everyone can have a good
laugh, BUT anything that results in physical violence or torture (such as
tying someone up) is STRICTLY NOT tolerated, and must be followed up with a
special Court of Honour, and taken further if neccesary. A few years back
one of the older scouts in my troop was stripped of his rank because of
such an incident.
Just one last thing... As far as scouters keeping watch all night...
Perhaps in a cub pack, or a troop which is VERY new or has boys with known
behaviour problems, it might be best to keep vigil. However I feel that
one should be able to trust the scouts or one is wasting ones time, and not
achieving much as a scouter...
The scout laws: A Scouts Honour is to be trusted,
A Scout is loyal
come to mind.
At the beginning of a camp it should be made clear that the scout law is the
law of the camp, and no bad behaviour will go unpunished, and hopefully left
Thanx for reading my opinions
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City