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  • #46

    The only "committment" an SM really has is to say yes to letting an election team come do an election and provide a list of elligible candidates. If you use TroopMaster, you can push a button and produce a list without any effort. The election will take about 10 minutes away from the troop meeting once a year and a few more minutes while the ballots are counted. But he can have another adult take part in the ballot count if he wants to assign it to someone else. Beyond that, yes, we would like them to pass on information in the way of announcements or emails to their troop members just like they would a camporee or summer camp. All in all, the bottom line would be an hours worth of work per year for someone who doesn't have any desire to get personally involved.

    I just don't get the huge time committment that some claim. Do we "want" them to be active? Well sure we do. Don't you want the boys or adults you go recruit to join your troop to be active? We realize not everyone will be an active member of OA just like you understand that not every boy will sign up to be a Cub Scout or crossover to a Troop. But does that stop you from trying? No. Why? Because you think it is worthwhile? So do we.


    • #47
      That's not true.

      We are supposed to send two-deep leadship to all overnight activities. Scouts attending lodge functions are responsible to their troop leaders, not the OA leaders. Granted, we can pair up in the campsites with other troops to get to the two deep requirement and when I've had only one or two boys, I've had other troops offer to take them. And don't think this is your chance to head off to camp for a quiet hike or a good book. The press gangs jump on you faster than the deer flies. "We really need an Elangomat for the adult clan -- Cheerful Service, you know." I cheerfully served the prior three weekends, thank you very much.

      When I've asked to send non-OA adults, I get a "Well..... if you have to but they can't go to any of the activities." Heck, I'd be more inclined to go if I didn't have to participate in the activities.

      I understand none of this may be official policy (which I have asked to have clarified a couple times) but it is very clearly the culture and expectation of the local lodge. Everyone is expected to be a gung-ho Arrowman. Just sending your Scouts really isn't enough. I always feel like I'm at an Amway convention walking around saying, "No, really, I just want to buy a box of detergent...."

      And yes, I've recruited other adults from the troop to join OA. It's not an easy sell. Most adults who volunteer a full week at summer camp (one of the joining requirments) may very well feel they are giving enough time to Scouting without biting off another commitment. Two of the three of our adult nominees were mis-fires. But after about three years of carrying the troop's OA program myself, I finally have an ASM who has really taken over as troop advisor. Of course, OA is now his full-time commitment, so I'm now down one ASM

      So please, don't tell me it only takes 10 minutes to schedule an election.

      (This message has been edited by Twocubdad)


      • #48

        Your situation is not the norm. It could be your council or lodge that is doing the choke hold or it might be state laws. I don't know. I know from having attended the NYLT Course Director's Conference recently, that things we can do in Oklahoma are forbidden by Texas state law. Off the top of my head, I don't recall what the issue was, just that both sides were amazed at the difference. You won't find any such requirements as you describe in any of the OA national literature or rules. Of course, two deep leadership applies in every case, but having troops responsible for their scouts at OA events, never heard of it in my region. I'm sorry you have to deal with it, but it isn't the norm that most people on here experience.

        In fact, me and another CA are exploring the idea of renting a school bus to get candidates to camp 2.5 hours away for Ordeal so parents and/or unit adults don't have to make the trip twice in one weekend. Members camp by Chapter.


        • #49
          Have to echo what SR540Beaver. there is no requirement for 2-deep leaders from the troops for OA events in my section to my knowledge.


          • #50
            Ditto what the others have said. In the lodge I joined as a youth, and still belong to, OA is an individual activity, not a unit activity. For things like chapter meetings, Ordeals, Conclaves, and Fellowships, Arrowmen are expected to make their own arrangements for travel and adult supervision required, other than the adult Arrowmen who are attending the function as advisors. If our lodge had requirements like Twocub's, I wouldn't join, either.


            • #51
              I have to third what others have said: there is no requirement for 2 deep leadership FROM A UNIT (caps for emphasis) by the OA.

              What my chapter has done in the past is meet at a convenient McDonald's buy dinner there, and drive as a chapter to OA events. This is especially good when we have candidates.


              • #52
                I have to concur, I have only seen two-deep required at the Chapter level. At Lodge events we camp by Chapter and sometimes a couple of Chapters will camp together.


                • #53
                  Now, all of that being I as CA want unit adult Arrowmen involved? Absolutely. I'm one person with one vehicle. I can't transport 30 or 40 candidates to an Ordeal by myself. Hopefully their parents will. But since an adult is nominated and not elected and they are nominated on the basis of what resources they bring to the table, there is a hope that they will support and encourage their candidates by attending Ordeals and providing transportation. We spell out in detail the difference between an adult nomination and a youth election, but most troops still nominate adults as an honorary thing instead of for it's intended purpose of support.


                  • #54
                    I'm not really a OA purist. Entered the program as an adult. I like it a lot. I'm not an expert at what has gone on in the past.
                    I do think one change in my local council in the last 10+ years is significant. The Order used to be an exclusive summer camp thing. We're a little weird here. Since a merger the 70's we've had one camp OA and the other Mic-O-Say. The OA camp is much smaller and not heavily used. So maybe that was the reason to start up Fall and Spring inductions to build up membership AND involvement in the Lodge. I have a feeling that if not for that, our Lodge would have withered. Now we boast in the fact of being one of the top 3 (I think? John-in-KC could probably clarify) lodges in the country.
                    Having said all that, I do think that pushing 300+ through the Ordeal on one weekend is a bit crazy and sort of waters down the meaning. Again, not sure if the Lodge would have grown much without it. Mic-O-Say is very stiff competition. I think the "specialness" can get lost with the mass induction process. We seem to suffer from the "mile wide, but inch deep" syndrome.


                    • #55

                      Frankly, I'd consider this ample good reason for a troop to drop OA. You're handing adults a broom and a dustpan and asking them to smile.

                      I am decidedly unimpressed whenever I hear someone repeating this line.


                      • #56
                        Just wanted to throw out that in my lodge, the vigil nomination letter is read with the name omitted, so the peson is judged on their actions, not their popularity. However, the one year I was a member of the voting commitee, I recognized every person that came up based on what they had done. People who are known to the scouts are normally known for good reasons.


                        • #57
                          Seattle sez: "Frankly, I'd consider this ample good reason for a troop to drop OA. You're handing adults a broom and a dustpan and asking them to smile."

                          Frankly as an adult who was nominated and chosen to be in the Order, I'm delighted to take up a broom and dustpan or whatever tool the Lodge gives me. It's just pretty cool to be a part of building and maintaining some of the best Scout camps in the country. Our council is tops in all metrics and that is due to the adult and youth membership resources of the Order of the Arrow and the Tribe of Mic-O-Say.


                          • #58

                            The Order is a brotherhood of cheerful servive, the ones who not only strive to live the Scout Oath and Law, but serve their fellow Scouts by givign back to them, not only in the unit, but in the council, and beyond. One of the best ways of providing service is to maintain scout camps. The OA is one reason why the Boys Scout camps I've been to and worked at have been significantly cheaper than other, comparable camps. OA members provide their time, talents, and resources to maintaing camps.

                            As for picking up a broom and dustpan, heck that's easy and I'd do it in a heartbeat. I've busted butt clearing out a COPE area all day and got dehydrated from the fire we made. That was a birthday to remember. PLUS I got to run that course that summer as one fo the first two COPE directors. I've been wet from rain and covered in mud b/c of a project I was on at one Ordeal, and will forever be appreciative of it b/c that event was when, as a pro, I was really welcomed and accepted by the volunteers in attendance (and unknowingly ticked off a council exec board member in attendance when he commented on my dirty appearance, and I quoted Chilantakoba Lodge 397's unoffical motto "a clean Arrowman is a lazy Arrowman" at his immaculately clean uniform). And wore a tear or two down my face when I saw the destruction of my camp after a hurricane, and resolved to the best of my ability to do whatever I could to help fix it. And that included being knee deep in "quicksand" trying to dig out a busted up Zodiak that ran aground, was punctured in multiple places, and had to be dug up. Again using a dustpan and broom would be a snap.


                            While I wish that was the case, I know of folks who work a lot behind the scenes, putting in untold number of hours to get things done, and few folks know about it AND THEY WANT IT THAT WAY (caps for emphasis). I've met youth who put their time, talent, and resources into organizing and running events, taking months to plan things, and few people realize what is actually involved. They might be seen only when assignements and equipment are being passed out. They might be seen only when a problem arises and they fix it. And I have met a few who just see it as a job needing to be done.

                            In the best example of that, one adult (he had just turned 21 prior to the Vigil Committee)was constantly behind the scenes, making public appearances only at meal times in which he was passing out food, and at the campership patch auction in which he was trading, and donating a few patches for the auction. Outside of those times few people saw what he was doing.


                            • #59

                              "Frankly, I'd consider this ample good reason for a troop to drop OA. You're handing adults a broom and a dustpan and asking them to smile.

                              "I am decidedly unimpressed whenever I hear someone repeating this line. "

                              SP- wrong attitude.

                              The point of this is that Adults are NOT nominated to the OA as an award or recognition, which is something that happens too many times. We have awards and recognitions for adults (DAM, Silver critters, etc etc.). OA Membership is NOT.

                              As adults, we are there to help the OA and the youth to succeed. Most of the active and dedicated adults in the OA are among of the more hardworking and dedicated adults, and who do this cheerfully and without an expectation of recognition or honors. THAT is the kind of adults we want. NOT the ones who want another patch on their uniform or a notch on their belt or the like.


                              • #60

                                I saw your post last night, but didn't have time to respond. I see others have pretty much said what I wanted to say. I liken your situation to that one person who gets a lemon of a vehicle when everyone else loves the same vehicle. No matter what anyone says about how great of a vehicle it is, your personal experience is different. Looking at the big picture, it's a great vehicle over all, but your particular one is not.

                                I'm fine with a troop not nominating an adult each year. I'm not fine with a troop not having at least one adult who is in OA. That being said, we do our best to educate troops on the adult nomination process because we do want that person who is willing to sacrifice and go above and beyond. That is what the OA is as a brotherhood of cheerful service. While people keep suggesting things we can do to make ourselves more visible so that SM's will consider doing OA, that isn't what we are about. While we are not secretive about our service, we don't do it to be noticed or praised. We do it because it is the right thing to do.

                                An example.....and this isn't to pat myself on the Cub Resident Camp a couple of years back. The camp has a "limit" on the number of attendees that they can comfortably handle. The council not wanting to turn anyone away basically double booked one session to over 400 attendees. This meant that they would have to run two shifts per meal for that session. That meant they needed more people to staff. The kids who were staffing the kitchen were needed to help with program to accommodate the increase. I took a half week of vacation and came an helped in the kitchen. I was there each morning at 6:30, got about an hour to go back to my cabin and collapse on my bed in the afternoon and never got finished before 8:30 in the evening. In addition to all of our other duties in the dining hall, we had to fold all the table and sweep and hand mop the dining hall after each meal because it rained off and on and the floors were muddy. That's hard on a fat old man. There are non-OA members in scouting who step up and do that sort of thing too, but that is what is expected of an Arrowman.

                                Any adult nominated to the OA can choose not to complete his Ordeal just like a youth can make that choice. We hope that the boy's peers and that the troop who nominates an adult take the expectations into consideration and select the person who doesn't mind being handed a broom and dustpan.