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#101 TAHAWK

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 09:42 PM

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy.
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#102 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 12:01 PM

There's nothing quantitative for the SM to deny someone OA candidacy. The litmus test becomes to what extent a Scout lives up to the Oath and Law. For me, if you claim to have an "honor society" then you should have some quantitative measure of what "honor" means. ANY Scout that goes for an SMC or BOR for rank in any given year has to live up to the Oath and Law. So by extension, since ranks are also rarely held back, ANY Scout that advances in a year is living up to the Oath and Law. This is EXPECTED of Scouts, not something special.

 

If OA is supposed to be the elite of the elite, then making adherence to the Oath and Law grounds for entrance (along with a paltry number of camping days) does nothing to prevent an SM from allowing EVERYONE who qualifies to sit for election. It is also nothing special. Living the Oath and Law is a requirement for rank advancement, if not membership. And the very election process is nothing more than a popularity contest. So in the end the OA is not elite, for just about everyone qualifies. The OA is not fair, because it rewards popular kids and punishes the geeky kids. OA does not service, because after you are elected and go through ordeal, it is nothing more than a club with a patch that does little.

 

OA, like my district, is of little value. Sure they have cool patches, but what else? I can make cool patches too....and I won't just give them to the cool kids.

 

P.S. I have had DOZENS of kids who were not elite campers make OA. But the OA's "purpose" is not reflected in their requirements, so I had no ground to deny those Scouts membership in the OA. They met the paltry requirements and were in good standing. They were not trouble-makers, but they were not Norman Rockwell kids either. To deny them without quantitative cause (backed up by an actual policy or requirement) would have been harsh. Hence why the whole organization is a laugh. They need to change their requirements or stop taking themselves so seriously.

Our old SM did this to 1/3rd of the eligible slate last year--struck them off the ballot because he thought they were not worthy enough. I was very proud of son#2 who was an OA member intervening with the adults and having a Chapter Rep call and set the SM straight (In general trust the boys in the election). Our Troop is more careful now. IMHO the paltry campers might make nomination but are scared off by the sound of the words 'Ordeal" or 'Service' to follow through anyway. Quite a few others are "Sash and Dash" but as more boys are becoming active in OA they are being encouraged/shamed to increase their activities.


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#103 sst3rd

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 02:42 PM

Tampa,

 

    I'm so glad you folks "set the SM straight." So there shouldn't be a "Scoutmaster's approval" requirement on the nomination form?

 

    Wow. "Paltry campers" being "scared off" by the words "Ordeal" and "Service" and " and won't "follow through anyway." This is what the "Scoutmaster's approval" requirement is about. In the old days, votes for candidates were limited, and you really had to make good choices. You couldn't waste your vote. And now for years, the newer procedures allow you to vote for all of the scouts on the nomination list if you want to.

    I always sat down and talked to each potential nominee (before each annual OA Election) and had an OA Scoutmaster's Conference. I discussed what the Order does, and the importance of qualifying for nomination into the Order. Some outstanding scouts didn't want to be nominated. They usually have good reasons and I respect them, and encourage them to think about maybe standing for the election next year. So, their name is dropped from the nomination list. I think scouts that get "scared off" ought not to be considered for the OA Election either.

    Sash and dash scouts are a problem for all the reasons we've been discussing for years. The Order is a commitment in addition to a scout's responsibilities towards their troop/patrol. That's what the "Scoutmaster's approval" is for. Evidently, that doesn't work for you.

 

 

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#104 Krampus

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:10 PM

The Order is a commitment in addition to a scout's responsibilities towards their troop/patrol.


Commitment to what? In my area they wear sashes, they clear brush a few weekends a year, they have boring meetings with PowerPoint. That's about it.

Not sure what we think these guys are joining. It's not the OA of yesteryear. It's a vote, a sash and a flap. Haven't seen much more than that.
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#105 sst3rd

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:15 PM

Krampus,

 

Sorry it ain't working for you. I'm sure our lodge and chapters aren't perfect, but in my opinion we're delivering a good program.

 

sst3rd


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#106 Krampus

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:41 PM

Krampus,
 
Sorry it ain't working for you. I'm sure our lodge and chapters aren't perfect, but in my opinion we're delivering a good program.
 
sst3rd


Like what? What do you do that the units don't?
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#107 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 09:10 AM

I guess I am lucky--we have a pretty good lodge here.

 

I was real proud of my son for going to bat for the boys with the Scoutmaster. The SM wasn't a bad sort just overstepped the bounds on this one IMHO. I have noticed some of the lazy but popular boys never get around to doing the Ordeal (especially when they hear rumors of work and doing service) and the rest are Sash and Dash (I love that term). But we have a core of boys 'that get it' and bring back youth-led experience and new ideas to the Troop.


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#108 Stosh

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 09:14 AM

I think our OA Lodge is improving.  I got a newsletter from them after 15 years of asking to be put on their mailing list.  It was addressed to SM - GUEST, so we still have a ways to go.  :)


Edited by Stosh, 13 May 2016 - 09:14 AM.

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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#109 JosephMD

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 11:29 AM

I was approached the other day by the SM of my son's troop about whether my son and I would be going to summer camp in the spring.  The reason being that my son will be the only scout eligible for OA and it is traditional with the troop that the boys father be inducted into OA as the same time if the father is active and in good standing.  I said we would both would be a camp if at all possible, it was my son's decision about him being in OA, but I had no real interest in belonging.  Thinking I was joking, the SM had a chuckle until I said I serious and didn't see that OA really did anything other than a few extra meetings and campouts each year. 

 

I asked what does OA really do?  I am not talking about ceremonies and such.  I mean what does it offer to me that makes me better able to do for the scouts?  The only answer that the SM was able to give is that OA is supposed to be about service, but what I have understood that in the past few years OA service and the "ordeal" has been straightening rocks on a trail and racking leaves. 

 

Maybe I don't understand, but why?

 

Eventually, I'll read this whole thread too.  But for now, I'll give my thoughts on the OPs initial questions.

 

I'll start with, that is a really strange tradition, the father son thing.  Every lodge is different, but what we look for in adults is adults that can help us deliver the OA program.  Can you act as an adviser in some capacity or fill some other adult rule like, health and safety?  Can you spare those extra camping weekends and drive scouts from your chapter / area to and from camp?   I suppose it is our lodge's way of limiting the sash and dash on the adult side of things.  Yes, for those who are active, it is extra meetings, activities, and camp outs.  Any additional program would have that.

 

What the OA does really depends on your lodge and / or chapter.  Service is the big thing.  Exactly what service depends on some factors, what projects are available, what the youth want to do, and that may be, raking leaves.  My son's first year in the OA went like this (off the top of my head)

 

Ordeal - the built a new trail in a national park

Section Centennial Conclave - a lot of fun was had, awesome shows, awesome food, over 600 of his fellow arrowmen and he started a new hobby, patch collecting & trading

Lodge Spring Fellowship - more fun, service to camp, set up a lot of tents and cots

Camp Bus Loading (our council's main camp is over 3 hours away, so they have a bus)

National Order of the Arrow Conference - he really lucked into this one picking up a late drop out spot from a neighboring lodge

County summer camp dance demonstration (our county hosts a week of camp locally, geared toward first year and merit badges)

Lodge Fall Fellowship - more fun, his first time on water skis, and service, not sure what he did, might have been making A frames

Webelos Mountain Staff - our chapter runs an annual weekend where Webelos and Patrols camp together (he's actually running that this fall)

Lodge Banquet

They had the Carolinas Indian Seminar on their schedule, but snow cancelled it

Arrow of Light Ceremonies for the cub scouts

Lodge Spring Fellowship (they moved it before the ordeal this year) - service, setting up camp cots

Call Out Ceremony

Ordeal again - Ceremonies team

 

I'm sure there were a few things I missed.  Maybe this sort of thing wouldn't interest a scout, but it did for me when I was a youth, and my son can't get enough of it! 

 

The why for a scout I think really comes down to, do they want to do more?  If yes, that's why.

 

The why for an adult is really is, do I want to help them do more?  If yes, that's why!  And by help, I'm being more general, maybe it is just driving to that camp out, maybe it is helping a scout that rushed through the personal management merit badge handle an actual budget, for an event, events larger than one would expect at the troop level.  Maybe you are a certified Range Safety Officer and help facilitate shooting sports at a fellowship!


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#110 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 09:56 AM

I think I was nominated for OA as much because my son was nominated as for my years of service. I suspect the practicality of trying to make sure a father member is more likely to ferry his son and other OA members to OA events.


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#111 SWScouter

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 06:20 PM

Our council camps could use a ton of upkeep, yet our Lodge "clears brush"...and in areas that really don't matter. It is not like they are clear-cutting or removing scrub brush to reduce flash fire risks. It is busy work. We've got a ton of Oa members, yet the projects getting done are small, simple and less than most Eagle projects I've seen done.

 

Would love to see them do more. I suspect OA is just seen as just one more thing to take up peoples' time.

 

Take that up with the camp ranger. The camp ranger should be supplying meaningful projects for the ordeal candidates to perform.


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#112 King Ding Dong

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:02 PM

I think I was nominated for OA as much because my son was nominated as for my years of service. I suspect the practicality of trying to make sure a father member is more likely to ferry his son and other OA members to OA events.

. Precisely. It is a youth organization and that is all adults should be in OA, chauffeurs and maybe a little advising. It is a great honor being selected because you have a car and money for gas, you are helping to fulfill the purpose of the OA.
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#113 John-in-KC

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 01:19 PM

In fact, in my OA handbook (given me in 1970), it said something about adult nominations were not to be construed an honor, rather to be in support of furtherance of the Order's youth objectives.


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#114 sst3rd

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 02:32 PM

KC,

 

    That's what I remember. Don't know if it's the same today. I will admit over the years, that I applied the same requirements for the adults as the youth candidates. I also ask them if they're interested in serving in the OA as I do the youth candidates. Some say no, some say yes. I think it's a courtesy.

 

sst3rd


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#115 Hedgehog

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 03:34 PM

Was nominated to OA this year.  As it was explained to me at the Ordeal, "you have been nominated not because of what you have done, but what we hope you will do in the future."

 

My son was also elected this year.  I'm actually surprised at his level of excitement.  He signed up for Conclave, he wants to go to the monthly chapter meetings (which are at the same time as the Roundtable).  He loves the idea of doing OA high adventure for Philmont.  Best of all, last week he was commenting on how other guys didn't help out with a project.  He acknowledged that he used to be that way and then said, "but OA taught me that the service part of servant leadership means actually doing something to be helpful."  Priceless.

 

I'll let my role be determined by my son's level of activities.  At the very least, I can provide transportation for him and some other guys and promote OA within the troop. I suspect I'll also be a resource at the chapter level to beging with -- but that will have to be balanced with my changing role in the troop.


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#116 SR540Beaver

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 02:39 PM

Like what? What do you do that the units don't?


Provide opportunities at the council, regional and national level. Our lodge chief and adviser sit on the council board. The chief does a state of scouting address each year to the state legislature. We've had boys in the last few years be elected to section and regional leadership positions. A good number have become trail crew foreman at Philmont and Northern Tier. One young man from our lodge runs the entire Philmont trail crew operation. All opportunities that they would never have at the troop level.

Edited by SR540Beaver, 01 June 2016 - 02:41 PM.

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#117 SWScouter

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 01:28 PM

Provide opportunities at the council, regional and national level. Our lodge chief and adviser sit on the council board. The chief does a state of scouting address each year to the state legislature. We've had boys in the last few years be elected to section and regional leadership positions. A good number have become trail crew foreman at Philmont and Northern Tier. One young man from our lodge runs the entire Philmont trail crew operation. All opportunities that they would never have at the troop level.

 

To me, this is why. The OA enlarges a scout's scouting world and provides opportunities for the scout to grow that world, not only as a participant, but as a leader.


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