Re: Push-ups and Hazing, etc.
James H. Brown (jbrown@BURGOYNE.COM)
Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:34:46 -0600
> They don't specifically prohibit water torture either, but many of us
> feel that it would be demeaning (at the very least) and a violation of
> the "safe haven" policy, so we wouldn't do it. Many of us feel the
> same way about push-ups.
So are 3 hour time outs and abuse a lot of other "legal" things. I'm not
trying to suggest that everyone should be forced (or even encouraged) to use
push-ups. I'm simply questioning the "right" of people to forbid them. So
far no one has offered a compelling argument to make me think that I should
not use them or that they are against policy.
> You did say that this was a contrived example, so maybe you meant it to
> be ludicrous. What bothers me here is not so much the form of
> punishment to be administered, but the fact that you think that
> forgetting how to tie a knot deserves punishment at all. Thank goodness
> I never had you for a teacher! Or maybe you didn't do a very good job
> of teaching, James, drop and give me 10!
It was meant to be ludicrous. I would never "punish" a boy for not being
able to do a skill, whether a new skill just being learned or an old skill
that has been forgotten. I would, and do encourage boys to learn/relearn
those skills that they have not mastered.
> It may be clear to you, it isn't at all to me. Have you been through
> the OA ordeal? The OA has changed quite a few things in recent years
> (including some things that us old fogeys didn't think needed changing)
> to make sure that their induction process does not include hazing.
Yes, I have. I'm an active Brotherhood member. The ordeal, no matter which
way you slice it is very clearly an initiation. Don't get me wrong, I don't
think we should change it, I think it is fine just the way it is, but it is
still an initiation. I feel this way because, at least in the ordeals I
have been associated with, it is handled in an appropriate, non-threatening
> You point out at least one of the distinctions in your post: The ordeal
> candidates *do* have an idea of what's going on. Another is that ordeal
> candidates are surrounded by Brothers who care about them and want them
> to succeed. In fact, they have Brothers who go through the ordeal
> alongside them. I assure you, the ordeal is *nothing* like a snipe
> hunt. As purely anecdotal evidence, I have witnessed quite a few
> ordeals, and have never seen a Scout driven to tears by one. I can't
> say the same for many activities which I would classify as hazing.
I'm sure there are lodges out there that do drive kids to tears at OA
ordeals, I'm equally sure that there are rogue SMs out there that drive kids
to tears with all manner of discipline (push-ups, laps, time outs, staying
after the meeting, etc.)
That doesn't mean that the rest of us should be prohibited from doing these
things just because there are out-of-control idiots in the world. Some
people drive like maniacs, should we take cars away from everyone?
> Nothing personal, James...
Thank you, and likewise.
I used to be a beaver ...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City