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  • OA Questions restarting in troop

    Hello all,
    I am the advancemetn chair for our troop. I was speaking with some committee members about the OA and getting back into it. Our SM doesn't push the OA because mostly all our lodge does is cleanup campsite and seem more like slaves. He saids it not like it use to be, and I agree to a point. But I think it should be the choice of the boys not the choice of the SM if they want to be in or not.

    Anyway, I want to know if there are some basic steps we would need to do because I know if I bring it up and push it forward it is going to be my responsibility to get this going.

    I been looking online and everywhere I read it mentions and adult adviser arrowman. Do I need join the local lodge or something like that.

    Hopefully someone can let me know what the startup process is.



  • #2
    All you (or someone in your troop) needs to do is contact your local lodge to get an election team to come and do an elections.

    Not sure when your lodge does its elections & call out cycle. I can tell you in our lodge its too late for this year. We had those earlier in the year, and our Ordeal was a couple of months ago.

    To be eligible to be in the OA, youth must be First Class, have completed 15 days and nights of camping, including a week-long camping experience (usually summer camp), and be approved by his Scoutmaster. ALL boys in the troop elect those they feel are worthy from those eligible. In the OA, youth are those under 21, so this includes any under 21 ASMs.

    If your troop elects youth, your troop leadership can select ONE adult to join as well. This is usually the SM at first, then ASMs.


    • #3
      Hello cmarrero,

      If your OA Chapter has a program that lacks interest, perhaps your troop can help to improve that.

      How 'bout partnering with the OA chapter to have a fun activity for new OA members?

      Have a weekend outing aimed at attracting Webelos dens that would go through one of the Webelos requirements and introduce those dens to your troop and OA as part of the program, just to throw out an idea.


      • #4
        To answer your question ... yes, you'd join the local lodge.
        We're all advisors (some wear a patch, as that's their official capacity). I've found it successful if each troop has an OA advisor (somebody who's the go-to guy for OA questions). That would be you. You can be as active as you wish to be.


        • #5
          First things first. If you have no Arrowmen in your troop, call the Lodge or Chapter Chief and request an election, if you have eligible scouts. If at least one youth is elected, you can nominate one adult. Once both complete their Ordeal, the youth can become the "OA Troop Representative" which counts as a Position of Responsibility (POR) and you can be his "advisor" (assuming you are a registered leader in your unit). I agree with the sentiment that OA is not a troop activity and the SM or Committee does not have to authority to decide that "we don't do OA". OA is an individual decision, not a unit decision. One of the basic tenets of the OA is that your OA activities should in no way interfere with your responsibility to or active participation in your unit.


          • #6
            Careful Papa, I got hammered here in the past when I complained about troops who "don't do OA" and wouldn't allow our team to come do an election. I tried explaining that it is an individual honor and how it opens up many other opportunities to those who choose to do it, but there are those who will defend their "right" to decide for the boys in their troop whether or not they "do OA".


            • #7

              Is that really the FIRST thing to do?

              Usually when I introduce a new activity, I'm looking for ways to create an appetite and interest in the activity before it's introduced, so there is interest in it and demand for it when the opportunity comes along.

              Any examples of how that interest can be cultivated in troops?


              • #8
                "I know if I bring it up and push it forward it is going to be my responsibility to get this going."

                Technically correct in terms of your unit dynamics, but you should look to pass the organizational aspects on to the troop representative ASAP. OA is youth-led; adults have no vote.

                Also, consider that the SM heads the program department. As advancement chair, you're a committee member, responsible for the paperwork and the like. Your role really should not extend into the program side of advancement unless that's the SM's and CC's wish. (Setting aside the point that OA is not advancement-related ...)(This message has been edited by Shortridge)


                • #9
                  You say that some people in your troop believe that the OA is just slave labor. They must remember that the Order is service oriented. We believe in giving back to our local scouting communities, keeping up the ideals of scouting, and having fun together. Give it a chance in your troop because it is a very rewarding program.


                  • #10
                    I'd be careful contacting the Chapter or Lodge and requesting an election. That is the Scoutmaster's responsibility. Your SM sounds cranky about the OA already and that might make it worse. I am a Lodge Adviser, and if election requests come from a Troop from someone other than the SM, they are denied until the SM files to paperwork.

                    I'd suggest getting the youth and adults that have already been inducted to get involved and then show up at Troop meetings and talk about how much fun they had. Once the kids that aren't in the OA get wind of something that is fun, they're going to be pestering the SM to hold and election.


                    • #11
                      SP: "Usually when I introduce a new activity, I'm looking for ways to create an appetite and interest in the activity before it's introduced, so there is interest in it and demand for it when the opportunity comes along."

                      Your in luck, part of the Lodge and Chapter Chief's job is to explain what OA is and does. Have them come speak as suggested and you've accomplished your task. I mean, how better to entice boys than have other boys who've "been there, done that" tell them about it. I know that the adult leaders for Jambo in my council look for previous Jambo youth to come along with them to talk about their experience as a participant when they are recruiting.


                      • #12
                        I agree with Tokala: Scheduling OA elections is the Scoutmaster's domain; he is the adult head of program. Committee members are there to support the program. I've gotten calls as CC by the Chapter election team in the past, and politely referred them to the Scoutmaster for further action.