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  • OA adult nominations not happening

    Is the adult nomination process for OA meant to be as secretive for adults as it is for youth? Or as secretive as it is for District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver and other honors?

    Ive read a lot about how adults may be nominated to OA, but what if the process is simply not working or used in a unit? It sounds like the process for adults is a little more transparent in other troops than in mine. The situation in my troop is a little different.

    We have just under 100 scouts and this year 6 were elected in January. That is about average for the last 4 years with which I am familiar, but in those 4 years no adults have been nominated.

    A large percentage of our adults who would meet the eligibility criteria are already Arrowmen from their youth. So far as I know no more than one or two take any active role in the local chapter or lodge. Most still wear their pocket flap from their youth lodge.

    The only adult to have become a member of the OA as an adult is the Scoutmaster, who has been in the role 7-8 years and who was not a scout as a youth. (Are there any Scoutmasters who are not OA?)

    So far as I can tell neither the SM nor the CC ever give any thought to nominating adults and I have never heard it mentioned or discussed. It may be that the SM and CC do not believe any of us are worthy candidates but if that is so their standards would appear to be far, far more stringent than most other troops in our district and council.

    There are a handful of us (including me, admittedly) who are not in the OA but who are stalwarts in the troops camping program, going to summer camp all week every year and going on most of our monthly campouts.

    We would all meet the requirement that we have the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, the camping requirement, and the requirement that we would provide a positive role model for youth.

    I clearly understand that Scoutmaster Award of Merit, District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver and other adult awards are not to be sought and that the prospective recipient is not to be told they are being considered, but is that also the case with prospective adult OA members? Would it be inappropriate to express an interest?

  • #2
    Rayburn,
    A couple thoughts on your question.

    The Chapter election team should have asked the SM if he had any adult nominations. It is part their job to educate and inform the adult leadership (thing change) as well as your scouts about the OA when they come and hold your Troop's elections. If they don't/didn't ask, they are sherking their responsibilities.

    Maybe the SM and CC never gave it a thought that any of the Troop's adults have the time or interest in joining the OA. Maybe all it would take is asking "Is the Troop nominating any adults this year for OA?" The response may be, " Didn't know you were interested or had the time. Here's the form. Fill it out and knock yourself out."

    The adult nomination forms are turned ito the Lodge. The Lodge then looks at see if this adult has any specific skills sets that the Lodge is in need of. These can range from simple bodies available to drive the scouts to the Lodge /Chapetr events, to people with artistic or craft or historical backgrounds that can teach native traditions to the ceremony teams and other interested scouts, to professionals that can advise the LEC on finances, logistics, and other management skills it takes to run a Lodge. The Lodge Executive Committee ultimately decides which adults continue on to Ordeal. In our Lodge, It is unusual that an adult is not sent on to Ordeal. There are always plenty of positions that need filled, and boys needing advised.

    God luck.

    YIS
    Eric Prather
    Bicentennial Eagle
    ASM Troop 915
    Canal Fulton, Ohio
    Westark Chapter Advisor
    Buckeye Council

    Comment


    • #3
      "A large percentage of our adults who would meet the eligibility criteria are already Arrowmen from their youth. So far as I know no more than one or two take any active role in the local chapter or lodge. Most still wear their pocket flap from their youth lodge."

      Just for the record, we all know this is inappropriate, right? Arrowmen should only wear the lodge flap of the lodge they are CURRENTLY dues-paying members of. Now with the Uniform Cop comment out of the way...

      Does your troop have an OA Representative (youth POR)and an adult counterpart/advisor (ASM)? Sounds like these guys need to do a better job of promoting OA within the unit. During the PLC annual planning conference, are OA events planned into the Troop calendar (or at least planned around to avoid conflict)?

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd suggest a quiet chat with the Scoutmaster and Committee Chair - ask about the process for an adult to become a member of the Order of the Arrow. With just under 100 Scouts, as long as there is a Scout elected each year, your unit would be eligible to nominate two adults for membership.

        I'd give the other leaders the benefit of the doubt that they just hadn't thought of it - by asking about the process, you'll be telegraphing your interest and it might wake them up to the opportunities they are missing.

        Comment


        • #5
          It never hurts to ask and also check your lodge bylaws. Ours say adults are elected by secret ballot at a regular troop committee meeting. There is no election team sent out by the lodge for the adult election. The unit leader runs the election and turns in the citation at summer camp along with the boys citation forms. Therefore, the lodge is trusting the adults in the unit to choose well. Yes, I know this is different from most other lodges.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd like to echo Calico's message.Talk to SM.Let people know your interested.The process of selection is different in each unit(our lodge does not prescribe a process for units to use),some do secret ballot of committee some give SM option of choosing or some variation.
            The problem in our troop is that we don't always have a non-member willing to make the commitment.
            There are times when I wish some units would not select adults because they just pick people on grounds of longevity and they never become involved.It sounds like this is different.It's a shame to not allow qualified adults entry when they want to be active members.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is a timely post. I have wanted to be an adult volunteer in the OA since the early 90's. In panama, the adults had to meet the same requirements (camping nights, ect) as the boy (just not the 1st class req). Then the boys voted for the adult. The SM was always voted in.

              This year, not being involved with a Troop (I am DAC), the District nominated me and I received my letter.

              Now I wonder if I should go. I am not as young as I used to be. I can no longer camp long term (I have sleep apnia) withought getting extremely tired. I am not sure how much service I can give to the Lodge (as I still do NOT know the intracasies of the OA).

              Maybe some of you Brotherhood members can help me decide.

              Thanks.

              YiS,

              Rick

              Comment


              • #8
                As an old commercial use to say, "Just Do It!" undergo the Ordeal, be active. and have fun.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rick,
                  We have a couple adults with OSA. They bring their cpap's with them, and either sleep in one of the buildings, or in the handicapped accessable campsite which has electricity for their machines. Go ahead and do it.

                  Our adults members are very willing to help the boys when and where needed. But we're usually scouting things out for new projects, drinking coffee, trading patches, drinking coffee, fighting over patch history, drinking coffee, playing Euchre, drinking coffee, helping in the kitchen, drinking coffee and nibbling, holding an impromptu advisors meeting, trying to find the restroom real fast because of drinking all that coffee.....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rick,

                    By all means join in the fun.
                    In the past few years my camping has been limited by extreme emphysema.
                    I stopped being chapter adviser because I thought they needed someone more able to be physically active.But there are still ways to contribute I attend 3 out of our lodges 5 ordeals I serve by working at registration.I'm an adviser in Lodge for the Lodge Leadership Development committee.I help as an adviser for the chapter's membership VC.
                    The fellowship is awesome and there is always a role for a willing scouter.Don't deny the order your experience and wisdom.You do not need to know a lot about the OA to start.
                    I was very reluctant when our DE called me in to offer me the Chapter Adviser job for the largest Chapter in our Lodge(300+)I had just become brotherhood and had been an arrowman for just over a year.
                    He convinced me that he wasn't joking and I served in that office for 8 years received Vigil honor and Founders Award.A willingness to serve to the best of your abilities is all that you truly need.There are brothers there who have been around and will be willing to answer your questions.
                    Welcome Brother.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks guys,

                      My application will be delivered to Council on Wednesday.

                      Hope I can live up to the ideals (I think are required).

                      YiS,

                      Rick

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ASM915 writes:The Lodge then looks at see if this adult has any specific skills sets that the Lodge is in need of. These can range from simple bodies available to drive the scouts to the Lodge /Chapetr events, to people with artistic or craft or historical backgrounds that can teach native traditions to the ceremony teams and other interested scouts, to professionals that can advise the LEC on finances, logistics, and other management skills it takes to run a Lodge.I thought the primary purpose of OA membership, whether youth or adult, was to provide service to the unit? If that's the case, I don't understand why a Lodge would consider how much an adult can help the Lodge as a criterion for membership? The question should be, does the adult serve as a role model for the Scouts in the unit, and can the adult provide service to the unit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rayburn - in answer to your question: I am SM for our Troop and I am not in the OA. It's a personal decision, I've been asked several times.
                          In our District, the election team just asks the SM if an adult member has been elected. Troop Committee elects the adult member. At least in our Troop it is not a secret election. This year, Committee asked two adults to consider joining the OA - me (SM) and my husband (ASM). Husband will go through the ordeal at summer camp in June.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            fg,
                            Point well taken. And in some respects I agree.

                            Maybe OA's NEC philosophy is to limit the adult membership even more then what they do now, to make sure us old geezers don't overrun the young ones. The 50:1 per Troop only works to a point.

                            Our District has 17 Troops, which means 17-20 adults per year, plus the District nomination. If the SM does his job correctly, and only places the scouts on the ballot who wish to become involved and participate, in time, the adults could catch up. I know we had 4 Troops sign off on elections this year, and a few others that only elected one candidate.

                            Then, how many adults are Ordealed, only to vanish with thier son, never to show up at Lodge and Chapter functions? They don't have to be in OA to support the troop. Yes it's nice for Lodge numbers, but can reek havoc on Brotherhood conversion numbers the next year for QL.

                            Also would you want the trash-man advising the treasurer on Lodge finances? Maybe, if he also doubles as a tax preparer on the side. I think the Lodge takes a look to make sure that they are getting an adult that can be a role model. I think that they may also know who in the Council are problem children at the Council and District levels, and are very careful when their consider whether this person will also be a problem for the Lodge, and should be allowed membership.

                            Maybe I'm way off base here. Unfortunately, not all those in Scouts are scoutlike.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Adult and youth criteria are different. On the adult Unit Adult Candidate Recommendation it carries the following statement: Selection and induction into the Order of an adult Scouter should take place only when the adult's job in Boy Scouting or Varsity Scouting will make Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership. It must not be for the purpose of adult recognition.

                              It also states:
                              1. Selection of the adult is based upon ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and position. The individual's abilities include:
                              __________________________________________________ _______________

                              2. This adult will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order, in the following manner:
                              __________________________________________________ _______________

                              3. The camping requirements that apply for youth candidates apply to adult candidates and must have been fulfilled within the most recent two years prior to recommendation for membership. The requirement, which is a minimum of fifteen days and nights of camping, which must include six days and five nights of resident camping approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America, was fulfilled as follows:
                              __________________________________________________ ______________

                              4. This adult leader's membership will provide a positive role model for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge because:
                              __________________________________________________ ______________

                              Traditionally, in our unit, when I was Scoutmaster I would consider nominating adults after (0ne year later) their son's became candidates. It guaranteed that the boy could go through the Ordeal with out mom or dad and gave the scout the opportunity to be "one up" on his parent(s). It was really neat having my son help me "study" for Brotherhood. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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