settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Sat, 13 Sep 1997 18:49:21 -0500
Paul Brown wrote:
>I haven't seen the missive from "national" that forbids turning the
>Bobcat upside down
Here's a copy of it, furnished by Sage Backstrom (email@example.com ||
> SageofAges wrote:
> I spoke with a Gene Stone at the BSA National office about this very issue
> during April. He very kindly sent me a letter (and faxed it as well so I
> could have it quickly) about exactly the policy regarding this.
> It did little good in my council....but I am not done with this yet.
> Here is the text of the fax. I did delete my name, but I am willing to
> share that via email with anyone who would like it. Here it
> is...definitive evidence (they will fax to anyone requesting it) that the
> turning of boys is not permitted.
> April 14, 1997
> Ms. B**
> somewhere in Iowa
> Dear Ms. B**:
> For several years, the Cub Scout Division has been trying to discourage
> the use of the Bobcat cermony in which boys are physically turned upside
> down. There are several reasons for this:
> 1. It has a strong possibility of being frightening to some boys.
> 2. It smacks of adult harrassment of kids.
> 3. It makes a frivoulous occasion of what should be a solemn, dignified
> 4. It carries a real potential for injury. I wonder what explanation a
> leader could give to the parents (and possibly, the attorney) of a boy who
> was dropped on his head as to what was going on and why it was important.
> 5. There is no Cub Scout basis to the ceremony. "Do a good turn daily"
> is the Boy Scout motto. There is no point to pinning a Bobcat pin upside
> down until a boy does his "first good turn", because the daily good turn
> is not a Cub Scout concept.
> In summary, there is no point to this type of "ceremony" and it contains
> significant potential for harm. As such, it has no place in Cub Scouting
> and should not be used.
> Ernest R. Thomas, Jr.
> Associate National Director
> Cub Scout Division
> cc: Gene Stone, National Director
> <name deleted>, Scout Executive of Mid-Iowa Council
I've verified the note by contacting Gene Stone, and those interested in getting
a copy of the letter, can contact the Council Scout Executive of the Mid-Iowa
Council and requesting a copy of the letter. What you'll get is a "clean" copy
of the statement, along with a letter affirming the Mid-Iowa Counci's policy
(which mirrors National policy) on hazing (at least that's what I've received).
Again, as the letter states, that word "should not" comes up a couple of
places in the letter. Mr. Stone explained to me that "we cannot dictate to what
extent each and every local Council will do with respect to this particular
ceremony. We can express National policy, but it is up to each and every
local Council to enforce it".
Indeed. Every local Council has the power to enforce to various degrees
various BSA national policies and procedures, because each and every local
Council works within their own "territories" and there's more to be concerned
about within that area than just "national says".
For instance, National says that every trip 500 miles or more requires a
Tour Permit; however, 500 miles in Alaska, Europe, the Far East, Montana, or the
Dakotas, for instance, is STILL within their local Council; so those Councils
ignore the National Tour Permit requirement and still require a *local* tour
permit. It's those "make sense to me!" exceptions that keep most of National's
professional leadership from yanking the local Council Executive and replacing
him or her with someone that "speaks our talk, does what we write".
Hope that clarifies the "Bobcat Hazing" policy. Thanks, Sage, for posting
the policy to this forum back in the spring!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
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