Frequently Asked Questions

"If you don't know what a New Boot is... you are one!" To sign up to be a part of the NVHHH online community follow the instructions here: Get Connected

Frequently Asked Questions

What would you tell people hashing is all about?

Hashing is a social activity where people meet on a regular basis, in a relaxed atmosphere outside of the normal course of life. The original goals and philosophy of the founders of the hash continue to hold true today. An excellent hashing documentary can be seen here (Part 1 and Part 2), featuring our own Nittany Valley HHH!

The philosophy of the original Hash House Harriers from the 1938 charter include:

  • To promote physical fitness among our members
  • To get rid of weekend hangovers
  • To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
  • To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

Do you find it is difficult to explain to friends, family, etc?


What comments do you hear from non-hashers?

Most people look at you funny and think you're doing something illegal. I usually just smile at them and let them believe what they want. It's just easier than explaining.

I was hashing at the DC Red Dress event in Washington, DC a few years ago with 600 other hashers. We were all running through DC in red dresses. "Civilians" would come up to us, asking what cause we were protesting and/or marching for. We answered: "Beer."

What drew you to it?

A friend of mine who had heard of hashing suggested I check it out, because I liked to run and drink beer. He said this group sounded like a perfect fit.

What do you enjoy about it?

The people you get to meet, the places you get go, the combination of exercise and beer, and the social atmosphere of the group.

Who might consider trying it?

Anyone who isn't afraid to let his or her guard down and have a little bit of fun. This activity is not for the faint of heart, or those who are overly sensitive about life. It also is not for those people who are intolerant, bigoted, racist, sexist, prejudiced and any other freak who doesn't like people and animals. But most of all, it is NOT for children!!

Can almost anyone take it up?

Yes. We have many different types of hashers. There are those "Type A" hashers who delight in running 5-mile trails on Sunday afternoon after having run their half marathon training earlier in the morning. Then, there are those hashers who are members of the FBAC (Fat Boy Athletic Club) who delight in scamming the hare into revealing the site of the beerchecks, and then jumping in the car and "auto-hashing" to the beer.

What degree of fitness is needed to be a hasher?

You need to have a working arm and elbow, enough so that you can drink a beer.

How many members does your kennel have?

30+ members, 15-20 regular hashers on trail each week.

What is the age range of members?

21 to 65

What are some occupations of your kennel members?

Professors, researchers, bankers, salespeople, teachers, bricklayers, engineers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, retail, etc.

Does your kennel hash every week at a different location?

The Nittany Valley hash generally meets weekly (6:30pm Mondays in Summer and 3pm Sundays in Winter as well as 8pm on full moons whenever they land). Runs start at the location chosen by the hare and are usually at a different locations week to week. We run in similar areas, however, no trail is ever the same.

What are some of the more interesting places your kennel has hashed?

Through a waist high swamp, drainage tunnels and through 2 feet of freshly fallen snow in the winter in the woods.

Does your kennel host special event hashes, such as hashes on the night of a full moon?

Yes. Typically, these trails are usually a pub crawl, where the hare chooses 3-4 bars and the pack follows close behind. We also host an event the first Saturday of August, where we invite hashers from other kennels in the region.

What would you tell people the après, or on-after parties are all about? What takes place?

The après are held following the run and are like a small party. During the après, the Religious Advisor conducts the Ceremonies, where significant offenses that occurred on trail are recognized. The offenders must drink a "Down-Down" of beer from the ceremonial vessel, a bedpan, while the group sings a bawdy song to them.

What are bawdy songs?

RIBALD, BAWDY OR GAMEY songs are a traditional form of humorous entertainment which ranges from bordering on indelicacy to vulgar they are mostly sexually related. This form of sexual entertainment should no be confused with pornography or erotica, which play sexual intercourse or sexual fetishes, "straight" ribaldry aims at humor. Sexual situations and titillation that poke fun at the foibles and weaknesses of human sexuality, are a common theme, rather than to present sexual stimulation either excitingly or artistically.

Some kennels assess penalties for anyone showing up at a hash with a running shirt or new shoes. Anything like that in your kennel?

Yes. Those with running shirts are duly charged and must drink. The hash is a non-competitive event, and anyone who thinks otherwise is nuts. As a matter of fact, our group has developed a way to discourage our FRB's (Front Running Bastards) from running at the front of the pack. Each week's FRB is awarded the "Log", which is a 5 pound block of wood with a piece of rope bored through it. The FRB must carry the "Log" with them on trail the following week. Funny thing is, it usually works!

Those who wear new shoes are punished in one of two ways. First, their shoes probably don't look new by the end of the trail, considering some of the shiggy we run through. Second, they will usually have to drink a down-down from their shoe in the circle at ceremonies.

Do you generally have your parties at the same location? If not, where do you hold them?

The après may be held in any number of places, including bars, homes of hashers, and the woods.

What are some nick names for your kennel members?

Eat Me, Wankerman, Fart, Deja Goo, Forrest Hump, Duh?, Down On Beaver, Sux2Blow, Circle Jerkinator, Pork Screw, TuTu Fairy, Tickle Me Homo

How is a person assigned a nickname in your kennel? In one kennel I know of, a person does not have a choice. He or she is assigned one and if they complain they are given one they will like even less!

The pack decides what someone gets named. In our kennel, it may take a few months, as we typically wait for the new hasher to do and/or say something stupid that we can extrapolate into a funny and silly name. The entire process of naming someone can actually be pretty entertaining, as the first name proposed is usually bastardized until it no longer resembles the initial thought, but is much more apropos. Typically, however, the more the unnamed hasher hates their name, the more we like it!

What are some of your favorite hashing courses?

Cross-country woods trails are always great. Trails with lots of shiggy (mud, briars, rocks, water, etc.) are a must. If you don't get dirty, wet, sweaty and bloody, it's not really that much fun.

Other comments:

Honestly, the attitude of the hash is very "tongue in cheek." Anyone who takes personally anything we do and/or say has identity issues, and probably has an inferiority complex. Our intentions are not malicious in any way, shape or form. Anyone who believes otherwise has never stopped to talk to us, and does not understand what we do.