Robert Losee (rlosee@UNLINFO.UNL.EDU)
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 13:30:32 -0500
> >> 3. It makes a frivoulous occasion of what should be a solemn,
> >> dignified ceremony.
> >> 4. It carries a real potential for injury. I wonder what
> >> explanation a leader could give to the parents (and possibly,
> >> the attorney) of a boy who was dropped on his head as to what
> >> was going on and why it was important.
> >> 5. There is no Cub Scout basis to the ceremony. "Do a good turn
> >> daily" is the Boy Scout motto. There is no point to pinning a
> >> Bobcat pin upside down until a boy does his "first good turn",
> >> because the daily good turn is not a Cub Scout concept.
> Seems pretty clear to me. DON'T DO IT!
> > Next thing you know, someone will tell me we can't paint faces either
> > (we paint the faces of all new bobcat, bear, wolf, and webelos at the
> > earliest pack meeting after the achievement). Course, I can see where
> > the use of a paint roller on a boy's face would upset some folks
> > <hahahahahaha>
> I see no reason for this either. The statements (1, 2, & 3) in the
> letter I quoted seem to apply to this "tradition" as well. There are
> many ceremonies in the literature that are meaningful, fun, and
> appropriate, that don't involve such actions as you have listed. I'd
> suggest you use them. Start a NEW tradition, of following the
> guidelines BSA has developed.
The principal enunciated by #3 seems pretty clear to me. Getting into Cub
Scouts must be solemn and dignified. This eliminates fun. So while many
ceremonies in the literature may be fun they can't be used if we follow the
prinicipals set forth by national. DON'T DO IT! (have fun that is)
Now I disagree with this. I believe boys want in scouting because from their
perspective it's fun! If they wanted solemn and dignified they'd be
clamoring to go to church or opera. So I see no problem with fun ceremonies
but this is not approved (at least for the Bob Cat ceremony).
Prinicipal #5 I found very informative--that is it is pointless to do things
that have no basis in Cub Scouts even though they have a basis in Boy
Scouts. It had been my impression before I had seen this letter that Cub
Scouts in some measure was to prepare a boy for boy scouts. It has become
clear to me after reading this that I was wrong and must encourage Cub
leaders, whenever I meet them, that they should avoid such associations.
Good lord, when I was Cubmaster I even had Webelos reciting the Boy Scout
oath and law at pack meetings. For this I am now sorry.
One other thing I'd like to understand. Before I became SM, I was at our
troop's JLT training. At that meeting they had boys falling from a raised
platform into the arms of waiting boys and a couple adults. We only nearly
dropped one or two and they called it a trust fall (I think).
Now I have participated in turning Bobcats upside down. Two adult males each
weighing more than twice the weight of the boy would firmly grab the boy and
do the deed. I'd call this a static situation in that the boy was never ever
falling to start with. Have done this and this "trust fall" its very clear
to me that the later was clearly much more dangerous--a dynamic fall was
already in progress and boys were asked to arrest it. Yet I understood from
the troop leaders at the time that this was in the BSA program (I have yet
to read the JLT manuals). Clearly this can not be.
*Where on Earth could they have gotten this mistaken impression?*
Was there ever a time such a risky behavior was condoned? I can only imagine
talking to parents about having injured a boy doing this "trust fall". At
least with the Bob Cats their parents were there (not 30 miles away), had
assessed the risk themselves, participated with us, and where told if they
or their sons didn't want to we wouldn't (which was interesting because on a
number of occasions we'd stop the parents from telling Johnny to go ahead
and do it when Johnny didn't want to-but that's another story).
YiS, Bob Losee, SM of T25 Lincoln NE
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City