Snipe Hunts, Bacon Stretchers, etc.
Pete Townsend (ptownsen@HYDRA.CS.GMR.COM)
Tue, 1 Apr 1997 13:50:12 -0500
This subject has been the base of discussion many times including
the old FIDO Scouting Echo. There is no right answer! It's sort
of like discussing religion; you won't convince me and I'll not
convince you. But here's my take on it.
There is hazing, which I absolutely don't condone. I define hazing
as a malicious intent to make someone feel inferior to the hazer(s)
by daring or requiring the initiate to perform something that is
obviously unsafe, dangerous, or against normal moral standards.
(No discussion necessary. As with any definition we could talk
for hours about interpretations).
Then there is the playful, done in fun, (call them "rites of
passage"), interactions of (usually) older boys tricks perpetrated
on (usually) newer boys. These, IMHO, are part of growing up,
learning to think, recognizing cons, evaluating situations, making
personal decisions, that make the boy ultimately better able to
recognize and evaluate situations he will encounter later in life.
Yes, the boy is "the victim". But never in a threatening way.
In this class I place sending a boy for a bacon stretcher, 100 ft
of shore line, and even some of the milder forms of snipe hunts.
I have always been a willing participant in these, I almost
always had something; a bent coat hanger, an oddly shaped piece
of metal or alum. foil; to give the kid that asked, with the
admonition that he return it when he was finished. (It usually
took the perpetrators by surprise when the victim returned with
an actual piece of hardware).
Keeping FUN in scOUTING, Pete Townsend ASM T188, Rochester Hls MI
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City