Acco (and I realize your post is several months old);
Please look back at the two questions I ask OA candidated -- nothing to do with scout spirit or First Class requirements. Rather, all I'm asking is if they understand the commitment of being and Ordeal member and are willing to give the OA a fair shot by attending a couple of the better events. In otherwords, do you really want to be in the OA or do you just think being voted into something sounds like a good ego boost?
Why do you have a problem with that? Seems to me to be a pretty minimalistic approach. I always assume when my approval/signature is required for something, it is asking for my judgement as well. If being a First Class scout automatically equals Scoutmaster approval, then First Class should be the only requirement. If you ask for my approval on something but really only want me to pencil whip a piece of paper for you, you've made a mistake in asking.
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- Jun 2002
- May 2005
SP, I have been pondering that question even before you posed it. To tell or not to tell the grading points.....
I think the second, not to tell. As long as I write it down, and am impartial in the determination, I think I can fully justify my actions to anyone.
I'm going to discuss this with an active OA adult in my troop first. I think he will be supportive.
For a start, I'd think that some minimum percentage attendence of troop service projects. We hold them nearly monthly or so. I'm thinking at least 40%.
We camp monthly. When we had 28 boys we had 70% or better. When we hit 45, the percentage dropped to less than 50%. I'm thinking that percentage for OA elegibility should be above 70%. This would be easy for newly minted First Class scouts, but pretty hard for a 16 year old Life scout.
(This message has been edited by second class)
SM appproval? Heck yes!
Now the why. There is suppose to be more to being an OA member than just being a 1st class scout, with 15 days of camping in the last two years. If that was all that was needed, then why hold an election in the first place. Just tell all 1st class scouts when the Ordeal is being held and let them show up (or not).
There is a difference from the Scoutmasters signing off in the handbook that a scout has shown "Scout Spirit". Most leaders I have spoken to over the years compare the scout to his fellow scouts when making this determination. If they are at average, they are passed.
The OA is suppose to be an honor. So now the Scoutmaster must ask himself, "Is this Scout's Spirit above the rest? Will he forfill the extra commitment that being an OA member entails, or will he squander that honor, becoming a sash and dash?"
This is a good time for the Scoutmaster to sit the Scout down and talk to him, feel him out about his true feelings toward the OA. It lets down those that elected him if he takes the honor lightly.
Troops only get one election a year, and it's a loss for a Scout to be elected by his troop only to not want to go to the Ordeal. It reflects back on a troop who's "OA members" are not seen outside of the ice cream social at summer camp.
So yes, the standard for OA membership is different from that used for advancement. Yes a higher standard is needed.(This message has been edited by cchoat)
cchoat, Welcome! Don't know that I've seen your name.
Your statements have me thinking. In the SM training, and the BOR training, they introduce the thought of "fair warning" if a scout is to not advance. That "fair warning" can't come at the SM conference, then it's too late. It (the warning) must come before that.
So, along that line of thought; I'll start discussing OA in each SM conference with each rank, Tenderfoot, 2nd, 1st, and let them know that to make it to the election roster, they have to be "above average".
- Aug 2008
I just now saw your post and will explain why I put the caps in my first post.
I had an SM, in fact it was the same one who rigged an election under the old rules, curse me out and say I know nothing about the OA, when the election team and I would not remove a candidate's name from the elected list, despite the SM approving the list.
SM said he didn't think the troop would elect the scout and thought it would be safe to leave him on the ballot. Then raises a very big scene when he wants the scout off.
Hello Second Class and thanks for the warm welcome. I've been a member for a while (2008) but don't post much.
It's not an official, sit down, but I'm always communicating with the Scouts in the troop, so I catch alot of these issues when it comes to advancement early, and do alot of nudging in the right direction. Seems the boys take advice better when they think it was their idea in the first place. Although I do more work now on the District level (Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner), I am active as an SA in my son's troop. We are blessed with a really outstanding Scoutmaster, who's been looking to retire for many years now,(That's his story, but although his son aged out years ago, he really enjoys his position and in addition to being really good at it, he's well respected among his peers, the parents and the Scouts.) so my role in the troop gives me time to work with the Scouts who are lagging behind their peers.
- Jul 2002
According to the OA, a candidate must have Scoutmasters certification as to:
o His Scouting Spirit
o Adherence to the Scout Oath and Law
o Participation in troop activities
Yeah, and the camping & rank requirements. Remember, the election is to provide OA candidates, not members.
My earlier point was that for 1st Class - the Scoutmaster signs off on Scout Spirit, adherence to the Oath and Law (req 12) and participation in troop activities (req 3 &4). So, again, how could one sign off on 1st Class and not for the OA election if the nights of camping reqs are met?
Easy! Some scouts have the minimum level of scout spirit and camping time, others have an overflowing amount of spirit.
Surely you,ve seen or have had that one or two scouts that are excited every week to be ath the meeting. The scout that never misses a camping event.
The cream of the troop, that visibly sets themselves apart from the rest.
- Feb 2007
My other criteria is to ask the candidates whether they will attempt the Ordeal if elected. We have had a problem with boys getting elected and not attempting the Ordeal. Even though it shouldn't effect the election under the current rules, it sometimes does.