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Can a SM ban OA elections?


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#1 Oldscout448

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:55 PM

Without going into a blow by blow history of the last three years, where OA elections were "next year, then if the PLC votes for them, then next year again, now the SM has decided no elections this year or ever on his watch. seems the Order is "a popularity contest, something that will take the older scouts away from the troop, a clique, all the old excuses ( sigh) I have tried to convince him there fears are unfounded, asked him to talk with the chapter adviser ( who is more than happy to meet with him ) offered to work with the elected scouts to insure they place the troop first. to no avail. Some of the older scouts don't care, some are downright irked, and some are so angry I'm afraid they will just quit or start some sort of low level rebellion. I just don't understand how a SM who refuses to do his job (deliver the scouting program to the scouts) can expect any junior leader to do his. The CC is new and thinks the SM is his "boss" and has no intention of rocking the boat. I really feel for some of the oldest scouts, 16 or 17 years old, if they change troops now they won't be in a POR long enough to advance, for them is now a case of OA or Eagle. Dammed hard call to make. any advice?
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#2 Oldscout448

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:05 PM

PS. I think a rebellion would be somewhat justified in this case,not wise but justified. On one hand some of the best PLs we have would get fired, ( I guess the SM can do that?) on the other hand I believe the scouts to be in the right. and do we not want them to stand up for what they believe in?
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#3 jpstodwftexas

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:18 PM

POR does not have to be in Same Troop, it can carry over to New Troop
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#4 DuctTape

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:08 AM

While I would not say SM is correct in his decision as I defer to the youth leadership to make the decisions, I would also not say the SM fears are unfounded either. In my experience, and likely the SM, there are many cases where the OA is a popularity contest and the arrowmen do not live up to nor fulfill the purpose of the OA. This is not the SM, nor the boys fault as it is the fault of the individual odge who does not do a good job of promoting and ensuring the purpose of the OA is being met. The same is true at the troop level if a troop is not fulfilling the mission of the BSA. Many discussions on here already about Eagle mills and non-camping troops already. if it happens at the troop level, of course it happens at other levels. Thus the SM fears are not unfounded. They may be inaccurate for a specific lodge, but they do have a foundation in reality. I would invite the SM to visit with boys from the lodge and learn how they are fulfilling the mission of the OA in their own respective troops. Perhaps these boys would be willing to present to and help your troop with their own elections to ensure it isn't a popularity content and also so that the candidate understands the honor and the expectations of the order.
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#5 Basementdweller

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:32 AM

All lodges are not created equal, My sons chapter stinks, so he attends another chapter and attends the lodge level events. Is the Lodge just slave labor for the councils camps???? Is there any program to speak of.???? While it is the Brotherhood of cheerful service, Many councils abuse this. This may be the case. Has anyone actually sat down and asked the SM why? Not try to change his mind but just why??? As an SM I have a hard time sending my guys to set up and tear down camps and work the for profit council events. But honestly the OA is nothing more than a lodge flap to 90% of the OA members.
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#6 JoeBob

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:11 AM

All lodges are not created equal, My sons chapter stinks, so he attends another chapter and attends the lodge level events.

Is the Lodge just slave labor for the councils camps???? Is there any program to speak of.???? While it is the Brotherhood of cheerful service, Many councils abuse this. This may be the case.

Has anyone actually sat down and asked the SM why? Not try to change his mind but just why???


As an SM I have a hard time sending my guys to set up and tear down camps and work the for profit council events.


But honestly the OA is nothing more than a lodge flap to 90% of the OA members.

"OA is nothing more than a lodge flap to 90% of the OA members."
Yep.
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#7 sst3rd

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:10 PM

448, This subject comes up occasionally. There's no written rule addressing this. With 40 years as a Scoutmaster with two different troops but the same council/lodge, I felt comfortable in leading this effort of an annual OA Election. Paperwork needs Scoutmaster's signature. The last requirement for a Scout to stand in an OA Election, is the Scoutmaster's approval. This allowed me to talk with current youth OA members about each upcoming election. I even talk to the potential nominees, as some turned the opportunity down that year. We never missed one, however, we did have an election (under the old rules) where none of the nominees had enough votes. We had a great Tap-Out Ceremony on a camping trip down by a lake, where the Team tapped no one. The OA Scouts wanted to make a point. They did. I still value the OA. For us, it's not free labor. Evidently our lodge has a "balanced" experience. Scoutmaster's should weed out the sash and dash Scouts. It looks bad for the Troop. sst3rd
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#8 Basementdweller

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:31 PM

448,

This subject comes up occasionally. There's no written rule addressing this. With 40 years as a Scoutmaster with two different troops but the same council/lodge, I felt comfortable in leading this effort of an annual OA Election. Paperwork needs Scoutmaster's signature. The last requirement for a Scout to stand in an OA Election, is the Scoutmaster's approval. This allowed me to talk with current youth OA members about each upcoming election. I even talk to the potential nominees, as some turned the opportunity down that year. We never missed one, however, we did have an election (under the old rules) where none of the nominees had enough votes. We had a great Tap-Out Ceremony on a camping trip down by a lake, where the Team tapped no one. The OA Scouts wanted to make a point. They did. I still value the OA. For us, it's not free labor. Evidently our lodge has a "balanced" experience. Scoutmaster's should weed out the sash and dash Scouts. It looks bad for the Troop.

sst3rd

I don't think he is talking about SM picking and choosing boys..

But the SM saying no to the OA period.
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#9 Oldscout448

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:17 PM

thanks for the responses guys, I need some help to stay balanced here. One of the scouts who would be up for election is my son #4. Sons #1 and 2 spent some time on the ceremonies tram, as I was the coach all the bonnets, pipes, bows etc were stored at my house for years. so he has wanted to be a member since he was 5 or so. and it really burns me to have some one who has never been in the OA deny him this. based on what some SMs at summer camp told him (his words) The camp was in a different council by the way. BD, I sadly agree that for most the Order is only a flap and sash. But some of us foolish idealists took/ take the obligation seriously. Perhaps because I had to recite it over 100 times a year at rehearsals all through my teenage years. I want to let the new 10% get their shot at it. The lodge is just huge has about 22 chapters. Most of 'em are in VA, as are the summer camps. So very few of us MD chapters send many scouts to pack tents for free. Mostly the OA serves as camporee staff, helps new troops out, local stuff. I once saw them serve as parking crew at a scout's funeral, a lighting strike at Philmont and yeah I talked with him, I talked (and listened) for an hour he gave the reasons listed in the op and finished up with these words to my son " If you want to be in the OA, you will have to join another troop" D-Tape I offered to set up a meeting such as you suggested, SM indicated he had zero interest and would not attend. Rarely have I met such a closed mind. Funny thing is I like the guy, I think he is doing what he thinks is best for his troop. but there's the rub between us, he thinks its HIS troop, I insist its the scouts troop, and if they want it let them have at it Oldscout
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#10 Oldscout448

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:27 PM

thanks for the responses guys, I need some help to stay balanced here. One of the scouts who would be up for election is my son #4. Sons #1 and 2 spent some time on the ceremonies tram, as I was the coach all the bonnets, pipes, bows etc were stored at my house for years. so he has wanted to be a member since he was 5 or so. and it really burns me to have some one who has never been in the OA deny him this. based on what some SMs at summer camp told him (his words) The camp was in a different council by the way. BD, I sadly agree that for most the Order is only a flap and sash. But some of us foolish idealists took/ take the obligation seriously. Perhaps because I had to recite it over 100 times a year at rehearsals all through my teenage years. I want to let the new 10% get their shot at it. The lodge is just huge has about 22 chapters. Most of 'em are in VA, as are the summer camps. So very few of us MD chapters send many scouts to pack tents for free. Mostly the OA serves as camporee staff, helps new troops out, local stuff. I once saw them serve as parking crew at a scout's funeral, a lighting strike at Philmont and yeah I talked with him, I talked (and listened) for an hour he gave the reasons listed in the op and finished up with these words to my son " If you want to be in the OA, you will have to join another troop" D-Tape I offered to set up a meeting such as you suggested, SM indicated he had zero interest and would not attend. Rarely have I met such a closed mind. Funny thing is I like the guy, I think he is doing what he thinks is best for his troop. but there's the rub between us, he thinks its HIS troop, I insist its the scouts troop, and if they want it let them have at it Oldscout
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#11 sst3rd

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:25 PM

BD, Hey, I was just trying to give 448 a little background. Don't bite my head off. You wonder why some folks don't participate here. In short, there are no rules to MAKE the Scoutmaster execute an OA Election. The Scoutmaster answers to the Committee Chairperson, Charter Organization Representative, and Institutional Head. They can ORDER him to do it. And when he still says NO, he quits or gets fired. How's that? So 448, find another Troop. sst3rd
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#12 Basementdweller

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:29 AM

BD,

Hey, I was just trying to give 448 a little background. Don't bite my head off. You wonder why some folks don't participate here. In short, there are no rules to MAKE the Scoutmaster execute an OA Election. The Scoutmaster answers to the Committee Chairperson, Charter Organization Representative, and Institutional Head. They can ORDER him to do it. And when he still says NO, he quits or gets fired. How's that?

So 448, find another Troop.

sst3rd

Wow mr. sensitive.....I didn't attack you......
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#13 JoeBob

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:28 AM

Just curious; what would this SM do if the PLC invited an election team to an event other than a troop meeting? Gotta have 50% attend and requirement #4, SM certification of Scout Spirit could be waived or delegated to an ASM. Summer camp free time? Camporee? If the boys really want an OA election, Indians can be sneaky. It is the BOYS troop, right? Maybe elect the SM, too.
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#14 Basementdweller

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:11 AM

Just curious; what would this SM do if the PLC invited an election team to an event other than a troop meeting? Gotta have 50% attend and requirement #4, SM certification of Scout Spirit could be waived or delegated to an ASM. Summer camp free time? Camporee?

If the boys really want an OA election, Indians can be sneaky. It is the BOYS troop, right? Maybe elect the SM, too.

Your assuming that the SM gives the PLC that much freedom.

I imaging a fellow like that would immediately remove the offending lad.
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#15 Brewmeister

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:13 PM

If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either. If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?
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#16 DuctTape

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:09 PM

If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either.

If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?

Is it just me, am I the only one who thinks if the committee over-rules the SM, it is over-stepping its bounds in this regard? The committee isn't supposed to micromanage the SM's decisions. The committee's responsibilities are to support the SM, not to over-ride (except in the case of safety or policy of which this does not appear to be). If the Chartering organization has an issue, they can find a new SM, but they also shouldn't be micromanaging the decisions. This seems like a slippery slope to me.
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#17 JoeBob

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:43 PM

If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either.

If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?

To forbid an OA election is a policy decision, something that is well within the committee's purview. This would be the same as banning out-of-council summer camps, or in-council summer camps, or participation in district training or events.
Can an SM forbid earning Hiking or Camping merit badges, because they place a boy in the woods?

The OA is part of BSA. An honor camping society that renders service to the district. This SM needs to brush up on his Scouter's Spirit, because he;s certainly NOT setting a good community example for his men.
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#18 Brewmeister

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 02:14 PM

If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either.

If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?

The issue as I see it is that this is not the SM's troop, it is the boys' troop, and the boys want the chance to participate in OA. The scoutmaster is not acting in the expressed desires and interests of the boys and is therefore not acting properly in his capacity as SM.
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#19 DuctTape

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 03:58 PM

If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either.

If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?

The SM should be deferring to the boys, to that I completely agree. However, the idea of going to the committee to over rule it appears to be a slippery slope. I disagree it is a BSA policy decision, unless someone can point to the BSA regs which require the SM to hold the OA election. What is the purpose of the SM signature on the blue card, or the SM signature on the OA election? It is BSA policy the decision is to be left to the SM. As I said, if the decisions he is making do not fit what the charteing organization desires, they can find a new SM.
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#20 Hueymungus

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:00 PM

I would leave the Troop and find another. Who knows whatelse is afoot within the Troop.
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