Re: Re: hazing
John A. Clow (HAYICU2@AOL.COM)
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 23:19:00 -0400
In a message dated 9/17/97 3:44:52 PM, you wrote:
<<Our pack continues, rightly I believe, to turn boys upside down, with the
consent of their parents and themselves. I'm guessing about 10% don't want
Of these about half change their mind after they see others enjoy it.
Charles Dobbs in another post stated:
>If there is even 1 chance in 1000000 to injure a boy either
>physically or emotionally for the sake of "fun" for the other 999,999 >boys,
should we take the chance?
This suggests the risk of injury or even death must be below .000001% before
attempt to have fun. So a few questions come to my mind. How many people go
through Philmont in a year and is the injury rate below .000001? I know the
time I was there in 1970 I meet a crew whose leader died of a heart attack.
hours after we left camp they closed the whole camp down because one boy died
there of what they thought at the time was bubonic plague (yes we had an
interesting reception when we got home).
What about local camps? I've personally witnessed one person get heat
exhaustion. We've also had one of our Boy Scouts injured in a fall. I've even
heard tell of other boys cutting themselves with knives and axes and having
be taken to medical facilities.
What about transportation in general? A couple years ago our council had an
adult leader killed driving scouts to an activity because (as I may wrongly
recall) someone crossed the center line (thank goodness no scouts were
All this and yet I've not heard of any cub being injured being turned upside
down for a pinning. All this admittedly anecdotal evidence would indicate we
should shut down our summer camps, stop driving, stop using knives and axes
before we go on to the lesser problem of a pinning ceremony, but to
an old commercial, show me your risk statistics!
The bottom line seems clear to me on risk: we accept much more risk than a
in a million for the sake of fun in scouting.
The above post also stated that:
>I recognize that camping has a purpose in the program, and that being held
>upside down doesn't.
I would beg to disagree. The purpose is to have fun and make it memorable
an unusual ceremony. The purpose is no different than dressing up like Native
Americans for OA. To make a memorable and fun ceremony.
Ultimately the question is an age old one, "Is it worth it?" that is, it the
benefit received worth the price to be paid. And the ways to deal with this
just as old. Try to increase the benefits and reduce the costs. In the
particular case of Bobcat pinnings, our packs solution has been to increase
fun for boys by making it they and their parents decision. We do this before
ceremony to give them some time to think about this. We also reduce the risk
having two of our largest people hold up a boy in such a way either one could
let go without dropping the boy.
An awlful lot of excuses for one who should have read the numerous responses
to this list that have given the official BSA policy that this is NOT Okay.
Cease and change. Do you have good personal insurance? Start another
tradition by formulating another ceremony. Many have been offered here.
Your opinion is respected, but as leaders, we must adhere to the BSA
policies as we promised to do when we became leaders. BSA says "no". The
way to change rules is to petition for what you feel is right. We cannot
change policy on our own.
Committee Chair Pack 468
Committee Troop 468
District Vice Chairman for Cub Scout Leader Training
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City