With OA membership in my lodge approaching 50/50 youth and adult, the adults want to take on more items. We have formed an adult committee were we assign advisors to all committees and events. Adults help advise every aspect of the lodge but thats not enough for some. The committee now has brought up having adult committee work days and adult committee picnics. It is slowing becoming like an Elks Lodge or Lions Club but interest is growing as adults now have functions, focuses, and are active. I know in other councils Woodbadge seems to be the social club of the council but OA is much stronger here. The adults are always there when the OA youth need it but only a handful of adults are ever asked by the youth to assist well short of the amount of active adult members. Is there anything wrong with this? Are we as a lodge sliding down a slippery slope?
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- Aug 2005
How does having "adult committee" work days and "adult committee" picnics help the adults fulfill their role in assisting the Youth leaders and members of the Lodge?
What, exactly, is an "adult committee" anyway?
My council had a separate adult only service group that operated in much the same way as I suspect your "adult committee" would work for about 4 years - and it was started for much the same reasoning. The first two years they had separate work weekends up at camp - the third year, many of the folks complained about the burden of driving 7 hours round trip two weekends in a row so they could do their work and then bring folks up to do the OA work weekend the next week so the work weekend dates were combined. That led to a different set of problems as the Ordeal candidates ended up mostly being gophers for the adult projects. In the 4th year, the Lodge refused to mingle the work projects and made sure that no one served as gophers for the service club's projects and that led to some hard feelings, particularly when the Lodge Chief, backed 100% by both Lodge Advisers, wouldn't allow the service club to use the banquet as a forum for their own announcements and awards, rightfully stating that the banquet is, first and foremost, a celebration of the achievements of the Ordeal and Brotherhood candidates and the new Vigil Honor members.
It was decided that while the intentions were good, the execution just wasn't going to work so the service club folded back into the OA - who now made a point of keeping lists of adults by skill so they could be called on if their particular skill (electrician, carpenter, welder, plumber, etc.) was especially needed for a project.
My district had an inactive OA unit for several years --- no adult interested in supporting it.
The past three or four years, an effective district leader has done an excellent job of reviving it, but he has found no one else to help him and he may drop it when it becomes more burdensome.
In short, we need quality volunteers to make Scouting work. I would think that there ought to be ways to utilize adult volunteers in useful ways. There is EVERY reason why Scouting should be fun and attractive for adults too.
You don't want adults messing with or interfering with the youth program of course. But I should think that motivated adults willing to work on community and Scouting projects, and invite OA youth participation as well sounds like a great program to me.
It sounds like a fine thing to me that needs good leadership to keep it directed towards carrying out the OA program.
Just to throw out an idea, how about asking the lodge adult committee to organize a district Friends of Scouting breakfast to which business people and community leaders could be invited to learn more about Scouting and make FOS contributions?
Thanks for the responses. To clarify this is a group of adult arrowman who were tired of coming to meetings and events with nothing to do. They approached the LEC and asked if they could form a committee to organize themselves to better serve the youth like rotating kitchen duty, being advisers for events and committees, things of that nature. We are a small lodge and about 15 adults could handle that but with 30 active adults and growing, that is why they took on more tasks... with the approval of the LEC.
Seattle - to your comment, most of these guys are district and executive board members who love the OA and use this to "get their hands dirty" and do front line community service and helping the youth... something they don't get to do much when you are a board member. I think they would stay away from FOS and things of that nature cause they already deal with that on a larger scale.
I'm just wondering what other lodges with large active adults use them for other than trade skills.
Appointing advisers for events and committees is the job of the Lodge Adviser. If they want to help with a specific job, they volunteer to the youth in charge of that job. It's really pretty simple. No adult committee needed.
In my youth lodge, adults helped out with service projects like clearing trails and setting fences - no trade skills required (those adult with those skills worked on specific projects). They were elangomats and inmate. They hauled gear, drove trucks, set up ceremony sites, cooked food and processed registration paperwork, all alongside and generally under the direction of youth.
Not sure why these board members need a committee to do that.(This message has been edited by Shortridge)
- May 2008
This adult committee sounds like a horrible idea. Why do they need to become a special group with a name and prupose? What is wrong with attending the weekend and volunteering to be the adult adviser for a work project? Once those adults are assigned projects, then we'll lump the others into small groups to go do other menial projects like fixing tents, cleaning the window glass and screens, etc.
My Lodge membership is about 50-50 youth-adult. Thankfully, none of our adults have this horrible idea. As a Lodge Adviser, I would disband this "adult committee" immediately.
- Nov 2004
I would love it if a group of adults came to me and said that they were volunteering to do some extra work. I'd find them things to do that supported the program without taking away from the youth leadership. It seems like there are always tons of projects around that could be taken on.
Sure, it has to be managed right, but I want the adults to have fun too.
- Oct 2002
Given BSA's new safety regulations (being discussed in other threads), adult OA members may be the only ones capable of providing service while the youth Arrowmen watch and wait to become adults and use those cool tools.
This committee is specifically disallowed as all Committee Chairmen must be youth members of the OA.
Oak Tree - Sure, that'd be great, but there's a system for doing that already - go see the youth in charge of a given area. It doesn't sound like the adults in this case are doing extra work, but just the normal things Arrowmen should be doing already. They just want to organize themselves rather than be told what to do by some kid who'll just screw it up and then quit or graduate.
This is the exact reason that adults should not form committees. That kid "who'll just screw it up and then quit or graduate" is in charge at the OA function, and not the adults. It is up to the "kid" to delegate the tasks and get it done and the adults should serve as advisers only.
That is the program. We (as adults) are here to develop the kid's leadership skills so in the future he does not "screw it up." I enjoyed being in charge when I was in the OA as a youth (many years ago), but being in charge is not my role as an adult.