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Vote by peers the only way in?


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#21 Pack18Alex

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:57 AM

The most important thing (and hardest for us to remember as Scout Parents) is that the GOAL of Scouting isn't to amass recognition, that's a method. The goal is boys growing into self sufficient, self reliant men. As parents, we are always torn between our desire for the best for our children and our need to help them grow to make their own decisions. As one gets older, the responsibilities get harder, and more lasting. So if you meddle in the OA elections with the SM, you MAY get your son into the OA, which will get him some bling and an opportunity to do some OA activities, but you'll deny him the opportunity to earn his way in. That's not to say you shouldn't help, but you should help YOUR son do it on his own. That will mean more to him than anything else. Self advocacy does NOT come natural to many people, but it's an important life skill. Helping your son learn this is more important than an OA election. If he can't promote himself to win an OA election without you, what's going to happen at College/University when he needs to self advocate for leadership opportunities. What's going to happen in his career. If self promotion is uncomfortable, you can learn it for OA Elections, which are VERY low stakes, learn it for summer internships (where it affects first jobs), higher stakes, learn it when it comes to jobs/promotions, with MUCH higher stakes. At some point he'll need to learn to promote himself. He can learn it at 14 when the issue involved is OA membership, or he can learn it at 35 when his career has suffered for 15 years because he won't self promote, when would you rather your son learn this. College Decisions (100k+ decision), First homes (200k+ decisions), Career Track (1M + decisions), Spousal Selection (nearly infinite decisions) all have serious consequences. Scouting prepares you for life if your first decision is "Camp Out Menu" instead of "which college to I attend." It doesn't prepare you for life if you rack up awards that your parents pushed you through.
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#22 perdidochas

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:49 PM

Shakin my head here.....
Just as I said in the other thread a mom pushing her cub scout to the front of the line.
You using the excuse of schools, my boys come from 4 different middle schools and two different high schools....so your argument isn't valid
If he was the only one on the ballot and still not elected you have to ask why? I have had a solo scout not get 100% of the vote but still have enough to get in....
Remove the mom glasses an look at your son honestly...........He has really made some boys angry to not elect him when he is the only choice. Or could he be a wimp, slacker, no skill, book smart no practical skills, brown nose, bully or Low Drag high speed Eagle sort. Bottom line is I think your view of your son is jaded.
No idea how the election was held, did OA reps come in and hold the election or did the troop leadership. How was it presented???? National Honor Society for scouting???? Maybe his peers don't view him as a high quality of scout.
As Scoutmaster, before I recommend a lad for election I will hold an SMC with him and ask him if he is interested and if he is going to commit more than a Sash and Dash to the OA. The OA is about more than just a lodge Flap.
Your not gonna listen, but you really need to butt out of the troop. you have no business meddling in position of responsibility or troop OA elections.


I pretty much agree. He's had to irritate most of the boys voting (most meaning one more than 1/2). Our troop similarly has a lot of schools--
two middle public, two Catholic K-8, one Catholic high school, three public high schools, and a couple of homeschoolers thrown in.

I think he's not as diligent/perfect when Mom's not watching, and boys know it. The boy needs to figure out how to fix his problem with the other scouts or find another troop if he wants to be in OA.
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#23 Basementdweller

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:17 PM

Just say No Alex, Unless I missed something........ So your promoting yourself to enter an organization whose base principle is Selfless service????????? If I caught a boy lobbying for votes I would immediately remove his name from the ballot......... .If your that unsure about getting elected, then I guess you shouldn't have hid in the outhouse during camp tear down, or put a way the dishes dirty, or failed to get the grub right......
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#24 Basementdweller

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:20 PM

Bottom line here, If the lad has been in the troop for 4 years.....the other boys know him and have a very valid reason why he was not elected. The boys aren't stupid and despite my reservations on some of their decisions they do a really good job overall.
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#25 MattR

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 04:39 PM

I don't know much about this boy or the rest of his troop. It may be that the boys have a clique and he's not in it, or it might be that this boy is just shy or that he's difficult when adults aren't around, or, who knows. I currently have a scout that is 13, Star, went to jambo, goes to multiple places to get merit badges, goes on every campout he can, is very enthusiastic, always says hi to me, and still, is not in OA. When I asked some scouts why, they rolled their eyes and explained that this boy is a very different kid when the adults aren't around. I don't think he's a bad kid, he just doesn't know how to control himself. Some good leaders start off real obnoxious. I'd suggest the boy in the OP start by asking his PL why he wasn't elected. If his PL replies, "you're a dork" then maybe the boy doesn't want to be in the OA with that group. But if the PL says, "you never help clean and always have an excuse to not help out" then maybe it's time to listen. P18Alex, advocacy is a solution to a problem, but if the problem is not the one that needs to be solved then it might not be any different then the mom meddling.
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#26 Momleader

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 05:31 PM

To those that had constructive comments -thank you. You answered the question that I asked about how youth are selected and provided some insight on how my son could do better fir next round of elections - some if it was what we tell him such as offer to help before being asked. The Scoutmaster in our troop makes a point of talking to each boy and their parents individually about the outcome of the election - must be the teacher in him. After our son left the conversation HE shared the observations I shared here. My son is learning to self advocate for himself in all kinds of situations (he has permanent hearing loss) and usually does quite well with it for a young teen. As a Mom I didn't have the opportunity to live through the OA process and gain any first hand knowledge. Which is why I asked questions about it. When I'm on Woodbadge staff next year that might be a good ticket item if there is a patrol member that is stuck for a diversity item. "The Mom's book of Boy Scouts - all the things you should be afraid to ask"
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#27 IM_Kathy

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 04:28 AM

as SM here is what I do for OA elections. I get the list of who is eligible. I sit down with each of these for a little SMC focused on what they've done for the troop, what they see doing for OA, what they see continuing to do for the troop. I give them just the basics of the ordeal that they already know like sleeping out alone, minimal food, physical labor, day of silence and ask if they feel they are capable of this. If I feel they are ready I let them know that and wish them luck. If I don't feel like they are ready then I let them know why, but normally I've done this a few times throughout the year as it pertains to regular troop stuff too. So if I still don't think they are ready we talk about it and what things they need to work even more on. For those boys I talk again one or two times before elections. If we together don't think they are ready than they are not put up for election. At troop elections boys running get to give a little speech, but not for OA. For OA I give a little speech. I let the troop know that I have talked with the boys up for election and find that they are ready for such a task. I will let the troop know some of the qualities that I see in the boys. And I let them know that to me that makes them great candidates for OA, but that it is up to them. If they see something else than they should vote what they feel. I think doing this helps boys that aren't always at everything know more about the boys that are at things especially if you have new crossovers. And since taking on the position of SM and doing this I'd say the boys up for election are willing and able and have been voted in. There's only been one boy that together decided to wait a year. Before I was SM and was just CM it wasn't done like this. All boys who were eligible were up for elections and some that weren't ready were voted in, and some that were weren't. And it was more of a popularity thing. Our troop is also mixed schools. Mostly from 2 school districts, and then have 1 boy who is home schooled, and one boy at a totally different school. While at scouts you would have no clue who went where for school unless one school just beat the other in a big football game LOL
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#28 dedkad

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 12:11 PM



At troop elections boys running get to give a little speech, but not for OA. For OA I give a little speech. I let the troop know that I have talked with the boys up for election and find that they are ready for such a task. I will let the troop know some of the qualities that I see in the boys. And I let them know that to me that makes them great candidates for OA, but that it is up to them. If they see something else than they should vote what they feel.

I think doing this helps boys that aren't always at everything know more about the boys that are at things especially if you have new crossovers.


In our troop, the boys who just crossed over or ones who aren't as involved were encouraged not to submit a ballot if they didn't know the boy and his capabilities well enough to vote. That makes more sense to me than blindly voting on someone based on what another person says rather than what they have observed with their own eyes.
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#29 Basementdweller

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 01:43 PM

awwweee you didn't like my post. So I reread your posts all of them..... So your boy is 4 years into the troop, he has every merit badge but one to get his eagle, he attended Jamboree. He will help anyone do anything when he is asked. That is the problem. At 4 years into the troop a lad should know how the troop operates, especially one that has attended all of the outings but one and most of the meeting. So As SM my expectation of a 4 year scout is understanding how we setup our camp, how we tear down our camp and how the stuff gets loaded into the van. So if your scout is standing around waiting to be asked, sure the boys are mad at him for not pulling his weight. Far as the boys making speeches before the vote....why would you do that????? A flowery speech isn't gonna change a bad scout to a good scout....A statement of fact, some of the worst scouts I have met could BS the pope out of his rosary. Serves no purpose in my book.
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#30 perdidochas

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 02:03 PM

BD, I pretty much agree about the work part. Most boys will do things when asked. Those who are OA material are the ones that are looking for things to do, or that see what is to be done, and do it. By age 14 and Life, he should know what's going on--not just in terms of OA, but in what the troop does.
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#31 jpstodwftexas

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:23 PM

I would say...after 4 years as a Scout I would move to a New troop and see how things go there. Especially if I wanted to be in OA.. Sadly even Scouts play Favoritism Games
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#32 qwazse

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:12 AM

To restate JP's advice: if at first you don't succeed, bail.

I'm sorry, 4 years in a troop entitles you to NOTHING.

One half year being an honorable camper. Making sure everyone's pack is in order, making sure all other tents are up before pitching your own, polishing those grills, being obsessive about litter pick-up, whipping the ends of every frayed rope, coiling every loose rope, being THE GUY scouts can go to when they can't figure out a skill, cleaning windows and mirrors during the fuel stop, being first gathering kindling to start the fire. And doing all of it with a cheerful and friendly disposition ... THAT entitles you to other boy's votes.

That, and sharing an imported chocolate bar that you pull out at the end of a long day hiking. ;)
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#33 Basementdweller

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 04:36 PM

That is perfect advice for woodbadge mom and reject scout..... the boys don't like me so I am going to find a new troop I am going to bet that hands in pockets scout will not find the grass any greener with new troop
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#34 perdidochas

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:17 AM

Base, we've got a Scout in our Troop that is on his third troop. Good thing for him he got OA in his last troop. He resembles your above remark.
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#35 Stosh

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:35 AM

If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, it means you're going to have to mow it more often. Stosh
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#36 skeptic

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

This is another reason to reinstate the old previous BOR through 1st Class the responsibility of the TLC, done with a "non-voting" adult supervisor. Not only was it really a leadership development tool, but you saw better results because peers are much harder to fool. Apparently some of our local schools think peer review is a good idea, as they have selected students that sit on some cases and give recommendations. Most of the time, some version of their decision is used by the administrations.
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#37 Basementdweller

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:10 PM

A shame woodbadge mom hasn't learned a darn thing in all of those training courses she sat in. Boy led, It is actually more than just a noble idea
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#38 boomerscout

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:07 PM

"One half year being an honorable camper. Making sure everyone's pack is in order, making sure all other tents are up before pitching your own, polishing those grills, being obsessive about litter pick-up, whipping the ends of every frayed rope, coiling every loose rope, being THE GUY scouts can go to when they can't figure out a skill, cleaning windows and mirrors during the fuel stop, being first gathering kindling to start the fire. And doing all of it with a cheerful and friendly disposition ... THAT entitles you to other boy's votes."

Well, yes and no. A lot of OA is about brotherhood and leadership. To me, brotherhood implies team effort. If your potential OA candidate led agroup in gathering kindling while telling them which wood made good kindling and which did not, organized a race to see which could clean their half of the van windows quickest, initiates teaching a skill... then he would be the ideal candidate.

When I was elected to undergo the OA ordeal, I was the only one from my school in my troop
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#39 jpstodwftexas

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 03:47 PM

From What I read..Scout has been in The Same Troop for 4 Years...Has Achieved First Class Requirement (Life)...Has been Very Active (Missed about 4 Things in 4 Years)...Active in Community Service. Assists Younger Scouts..Etc Yet Everyone Says he Needs to Politic...A Scouts Politics by Doing Actions, not by Asking and Talking.. Obviously something is wrong so where...Something we don't Know about..
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#40 qwazse

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 04:11 PM

..Scout has been in The Same Troop for 4 Years...Has Achieved First Class Requirement (Life)...Has been Very Active (Missed about 4 Things in 4 Years)...Active in Community Service. Assists Younger Scouts..Etc

...Something we don't Know about..


The two scouts I knew who were just like that and didn't get elected on first (sometimes 2nd, 3rd) round:

One had a penchant for practical jokes.

The other was foul-mouthed.

Parents were clueless. We just told them that we identified with the boys things they could work on, and we'll see if that changes things next year.
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