Re: Baden-Powell, Hunter of Snipe
Jim Carter (hci@CS.USASK.CA)
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 10:04:13 -0600
I am glad to see a scholarly defence of "snipe hunting". I am getting quite
tired of the ongoing (over a number of years) condemnation of snipe hunting
as hazing. Any activity, when used improperly (including excessively:
repeating the pledge of allegiance until it is "perfect" and condemming
"snipe hunting") can become abusive.
In our local (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA) experience, "snipe hunting"
is a FUN activity, thoroughly enjoyed by all the youth new and old. Noeone
is hazed or otherwise abused by it.
The way we do it is:
It is usually done near or after sunset.
One leader sneaks off unnoticed and will act as the "snipe".
A little later the other leaders tell a far fetched story about a big bird
called a "snipe" that inhabits the woods near the camp. They incite the
groups of Cubs (8-10 years old is the most common age for snipe hunters
around here) to try and find this special bird.
Then all of a sudden a strange bird-like call is heard from somewhere in the
woods and one of the leaders in camp identifies it as a snipe.
The chase is on.
The snipe tries to just mannage to evade capture for 10 - 20 minutes and
eventually leads the kids back to camp. Of course when he is back at camp,
he's just one of the leaders and so the snipe has flown the coop for another
time. While the kids didn't catch the snipe, they must have for sure chased
him away (so no one need fear an attack from him at a later time).
Occasionally the snipe is caught (either visually identified as the snipe or
really caught). But that doesn't spoil the fun.
The kids often ask for another snipe huntthe next night, but we usually
limit it to one per camp.
So, PLEASE don't condem everything that's called "snipe hunting".
Instead, find a way to turn your version of this old Scouting activity back
into something we can all approve of.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City