Bob Nix (boomerang@MINDSPRING.COM)
Fri, 24 Jul 1998 21:23:39 -0400
Hazing happens. We are the Adults. WE are teaching, by everything we do,
proper behavior. You want to laugh about what a boy did, do it with him,
away from a large group, and include a story where you made a fool out of
yourself - NOT how someone made a fool of you. WE set the standard. WE
define what is tolerated.
Wear that boy's moccasins - but you must also put yourself inside his
personality. These boys are VERY self-conscious; their egos are FRAGILE!
To be laughed at in front of a group, and see the adults laughing also, can
end a Scout's career. Many of these boys are not tough enough, at age 10,
11, 12, 13, to deal with being laughed at. We are losing Scouts at a rate
of 38% per year, every year, year in, year out. Any idea why they are
We use three rules for all skits - no body functions, no sex, and make fun
of adults only, and with only prior permission. It is easy enough to expand
these guidelines for hazing - if you, the leader, had that boy's
personality, and remembered back to your youthful experiences, would a
public joke or public punishment have had a positive influence on your self
We all get angry, say something mean-spirited, something that hurts. we are
all fallible. Our job as adult leaders is to repair the damage to a Scout's
spirit and ego immediately and continuously, and give these Scouts the
positive experience of a lifetime. They have the rest of their lives, and
many opportunities outside Scouting right now, to learn that there are
vicious, mean-spirited, low-lifes in the world. Pray to God that no Scout
learns this fact of life from within Scouting. A goal of Scouting is, and
should be, to provide a safe haven from those people.
Intervene with your boys, and with your adults, when any one boy gets picked
on. Especially with the adults. Run off the adults who will not learn to
control their tongues. Surround the boys with good role models. Drive away
the adult bad role models; monitor the boys who are bad role models
continuously. Protect all these children.
Bob Nix, Chaplain, SA, Troop 316, Greensboro, NC ..ustababeaver..
If you have to think about whether an activity is hazing, think again, then
don't do it. Talk regularly with other adults about situations your are
uncomfortable with; study; practice; learn that they are only boys, and that
they have not learned to control their emotions - both when angry and when
overjoyed. That's our job; to remain in the middle, and to protect all of
them from the extreme behavior of a few.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City