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  • Tap Out Question

    Not being in OA and only being involved as an ASM for that past year, I have a question about the sequence of events concerning OA. Our election was held at the end of November. The Tap Out occurs at Camporee in April. Our one boy (new troop) who was eligible for the election was elected. He did Ordeal this past weekend and was recognized at the COH this week. What specifically is the purpose of Tap Out? Isn't it where those who were elected get Tapped Out and later complete Ordeal? Can you do Ordeal before being Tapped Out. I'm not trying to accuse anyone in the troop of doing anything wrong.....simply because I don't know how it is supposed to work. If anyone can educate me, it would be appreciated.

  • #2
    The Tap Out (Or "Call Out" as it is now callled since "tapping" is no longer allowed) is a ceremony where boys are recognized for being elected by their peers to become ordeal members. In most cases, the boys do not know they are being "tapped" or "called" until the ceremony. This provides for a little mystery and intrigue. But, the ceremony is just that, a ceremony, it's not required for membership. If a boy misses the camporee, he can still go on and do his ordeal. Or, if he - as in your case - goes through the ordeal before the ceremony, that's fine too. Your guy didn't break any rules, he just didn't do things in the order that they usually take place.

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    • #3
      Kentucky Eagle got it right. A Scout becomes eligible for election (1st Class rank or higher, met camping requirement), if elected is considered an Ordeal Candidate (and usually publicly only after the call-out), if the Scout completes his Ordeal he becomes an Ordeal Member of the OA (first real membership in the OA which will continue as long as he pays his dues), may seal his membership if he fulfills certain requirements and therefore becomes a brotherhood member and then, if elected, may become a Vigil member.

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      • #4
        Agree with E-KY and Acco. We still do the tapping, although it is more of a "laying on of hands" that won't break any clavicles.

        For complicated scheduling reasons, our troop won't be able to make our district camporee this year for the first time since Noah. Since we'll be missing the regular OA tapout, we have arranged to have our own ceremony at our spring family campout. The chapter is assisting, but the ceremony will be handled largely by brothers in our own troop. And, because it's a family camp, moms and dads will have the opportunity to be at the campfire and witness their son's ceremony. I am looking forward to this one!

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        • #5
          I believe the OAs new policy is that tapping should be done with the scout sign. It will break the tappers hand before it hurts the person being tapped (would that be tapee?)

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          • #6
            One of the proudest I have been in Scouting so far was the night Kevin was tapped out. They had someone sit behind the scout and the OA member would put their hand on the scouts shoulder and say
            "you come now" in a very indian tone. It was really nice.

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            • #7
              In the distant past I had the honor to tap out my Father and Brother. Ours was an elaborate ceremony held on family night at summer camp (Weds) and the candidates were immediately taken away to perform the Ordeal. They were inducted the following evening at a private ceremony and introduced en masse at a campwide crackerbarrell Thursday evening. The entire camp could see them being led away by Brothers in full regalia and watch as their Ordeal projects ( real projects not just setting up tents or picking up trash ) were completed. The next time the campers saw them they wore the OA sash and an aura of mystery and honor was maintained. Sadly this is not the case in my current lodge but I and some other old timers are trying to get it back.

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              • #8
                dodaddy wrote "Sadly this is not the case in my current lodge but I and some other old timers are trying to get it back."

                Each lodge is unique when it comes to the tap out. If the youth like what they are doing now then let them be. Don't forget that the OA is a youth led organization, and old timers like me are suppose to sit back and watch these young men grow.

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                • #9
                  Purcelce,
                  Thanks for that thought. And on that note, perhaps I should give a brief update on the tapout I mentioned above. The youth brothers in our troop did the entire ceremony - not a stitch of adult involvement - and I was extremely impressed. From a spectacular fire lighting to blazing torches to the intense solemnity of the principals, it was one of the best Ordeal tapouts I have witnessed. And the intimacy of having only 40 campers around the fire heightened the impact.

                  I am still learning this SM stuff, and my lesson here was, "Let the boys lead!"

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                  • #10
                    Our ceremonies are done at summer camp, not a camporee. The numbers are fairly large and this is a problem but the ceremony is done at the waterfront and it is spectacular. The only sound, even with the huge audience of boys, is thousands of frogs, almost deafening. Really impressive, I can hear all those frogs as I write. Wait a minute...that's the phone..gotta go.

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                    • #11
                      Caoming from the era of Tap-outs, I will tell you that our lodge did not divulge the results until our camporee. (This helped to boost camporee attendance) The new Ordeal Candidates were grabbed at the campfire, escorted (roughly) to Chief, pounded out-I mean tapped out, given a token to wear around their neck and put under a night of silence. It was quite an honor, really. I waited three long years to be "tapped out."

                      This past weekend our District Camporee had about 30% of the units represented and only 2 of the units had not told the boys about their election immediately (ours being one of them). The boys were picked up at their troop sites and taken to a location for a short explanation of what was to come. I'm not really sure why we even had them.

                      I know we need to eliminate the harsh stuff, the hazing and "secret order" ideas. But in this lodge (not the one I grew up in) we have taken some of the anticipation, mystery and ceremony out that could have easily been left in.

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                      • #12
                        A lot of the mystery and drama has gone out of the "tap" due to a few who have complained. Call-outs are the preference in the new "Guide to Inductions". However, this is a guide, it has not been made mandatory, yet.
                        Our district will be having a tap at our Spring Camporee this weekend. I know of one troop that has told the boys they were selected. Most like to leave at least a little mystery for the youth and adults selected.
                        Several districts in our Lodge now do Call-outs. Whenever the OA Chapter in our district is given the choice, they choose to do the tap.
                        We will continue to tap until we are forced to change. Too much of the past has been changed to be "correct". Maybe we're just stubborn.

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                        • #13
                          Lets be fair and balanced, the "tap out" was stopped not because a few people "complained", but because shouders were separated and clavicles broken and the adults supervising the youth couldnt or didnt control the situation.

                          The practice of turning a bobcat upside down "used" to be a pack tradition too and was prohibited after a number of injuries and lawsuits. It wasnt politial correctness that changed things, it was the results of BSA members who didnt consider the consequences of their actions

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                          • #14
                            I couldn't agree more OGE, acts of physical and emotional violence should be erradicated from any BSA practice. The only reason that I should be sore after a campout is from the hiking, not the ceremony where I was honored.

                            I wanted to be an OA member so badly, I would have put up with anything. That doesn't make it right. Appropriate and desired physical contact is good; a handshake, a hand on the shoulder. We can maintain the TAP part of the Tap Out, we can maintain the mystery without hazing without hurting. I really like Meamemg's suggestion on using the Scout Sign - I have not seen it writtten anywhere as policy, but I'm not on a ceremony team, and Trevorum's "laying on of hands."

                            Srisom, I don't think that it was only a few who complained. However many there were, they spoke for hundreds or thousands more who just put up with it in silence.

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                            • #15
                              I know this is an old thread, but still being unable to create a new one this seemed like the right place to post.

                              We have a few Scouts who could not make our District's tap out this year (mandatory band thing). They are not going to summer camp this year because they are doing NT and it is too expensive for them to do both. District is not doing any unit-based tap outs but the boys really don't want to miss out on the tap out ceremony.

                              Is there any written policy that would preclude trained OA members in our unit from doing our own tap out? We have a Scouter who as a youth was the lead for his District's tap out team for 5 years. He knows all the current do/don'ts and has trained out guys in the ceremony. Other than ticking off someone at the Lodge who might want total control over what goes on in the District, would be break any rules doing this at the unit level?

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                              • qwazse
                                qwazse commented
                                Editing a comment
                                MB, what bothers me about your lodge is that you haven't mentioned the *lodge chief*. Your young arrowmen need to give him a call and let him know that they would like to provide this service for your troop an any others as time allows.

                                Frankly, this whole conversation should be between the youth, and you, your "expert scouter", and the advisor need to take a step back, encourage communication on the youth level, and support whatever decision the Chief and his officers approve. Chances are, your boys will like the results, and they don't, they can suck it up for now and run for office next year.

                                If either you or the advisor find yourselves getting in the way of this, you both need to find a half-hour at a nice coffee shop and sit and chill for awhile.
                                Last edited by qwazse; 05-07-2013, 07:37 AM.
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