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Boy Scout Troop 210
(Portsmouth, Virginia)
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Is there any hazing in Scouting?

Absolutely not. "Hazing" or similar types of degrading practical jokes are simply not tolerated.

While there is some truth to "boys will be boys" and there is some level of FRIENDLY "kidding around" that boys naturally do, the Troop is VERY tuned-in to the fact that these types of jokes/behavior can easily go from goodhearted fun to being "insulting" or "degrading" in nature.

Practical jokes and ANY type of physical contact among the boys or their personal property are TIGHTLY regulated and STRONGLY discouraged. Guys can kid around with each other without the need to resort to hurting feelings. We look for this type of behavior and act accordingly when we become aware that instances have occured.

"Boys will be boys" has some validity, but it is NOT justification for bad behavior.

Will my son be intimidated by the older boys?

We enforce a VERY STRICT policy for bullying or unruly behavior. By any and all measure, Scouting is (and should be) considered a "safe zone" where boys can come and GROW in a positive and supportive environment. If an incident takes place, adult leaders will intervene and investigate the specific facts and affect a resolution immediately.

Upon joining Boy Scouts, boys are placed into a smaller unit called a Patrol - we currently have 3 Patrols in our Troop. Per BSA guidelines, a Patrol is "a group of boys (no more than 10) of similiar age, interests, and abilities".

BY DESIGN, your son will be among boys "like him" for most of his Scouting events. However, he will BENEFIT from the guidance and leadership examples of the older/larger boys who serve as Senior Leaders, Troop Guides, and skill instructors. Even in mixed-patrol competitions, we have only observed caring and supportive interactions between older and younger scouts...and we DO watch (just in case).

Scouting is a PRIVATE organization. Should any member's behavior (adult or youth) become intolerable, it is well within our rights to "un-invite" him from being a Scout in this Troop.