Hazing and Safe Haven
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET)
Wed, 22 Jul 1998 12:20:10 -0500
Does sing in front of the group make a young man feel unwelcome,
uncomfortable or make him the target of ridicule? If it does, then I would
suggest that it is not in keeping with the safe haven policy, the follow-up
to BSA's no hazing policy. Unfortunately, not every council has chosen to
pick up on "safe haven" as a useful tool. It is not nearly as "negative" as
the hazing policy ("thou shalt not..."), but is more positive ("thou
There are many, many things that would be in a gray area of this policy.
The gist, however, is put simply: there are too many places in the lives of
young men and women that are unsafe, home included in some instances. Den,
Pack, Troop, Crew, and post meetings and activities should not be part of
these. We should make all of our meetings and activities a place where
youth want to be, because they are safe from the rest of world.
Obviously, this does not mean that every boy or girl who joins scouting or
exploring should like everything, or we're doing something wrong. Rather,
it means that no youth should ever come away from an activity or meeting
feeling unliked, unloved, like no one cares about him or her or is
interested in him or her as a person.
In this context, can singing for retrieval be a part of "safe haven"?
Certainly, if handled the right way. But should a young man be *forced* to
sing, even if he asks not to? Certainly not (in my opinion). This is not a
safe haven. Fun is safe; coercion and embarassment is not.
My opinions only, of course.
Jason A. Cruse
Cruse Consulting Services, Inc.
FAX (573) 406-0632
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City