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Can a SM ban OA elections?

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  • #31
    I have posted on this topic several times. The Chartered Organization owns the unit, lock, stock, and barrel.

    The issue our Chartered Organization was most concerned about, when deciding whether or not to participate in OA, was cultural appropriation. A decision was made to not participate in OA, and that decision is final.

    In fairness to our prospective Scouts, parents, and leaders, this policy is clearly stated.

    To answer the question, yes, the Scoutmaster can ban OA elections if that is the policy of the Chartered Organization.
    Last edited by David CO; 06-21-2014, 11:26 PM.

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    • #32
      The simple answer is, "Yes, the SM can ban the election". I don't agree with him, but that wasn't the question.

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      • #33
        With OA being a council organization, how does the CO have the right to ban participation in it? They may own the unit and can dictate what happens within the troop, but except for the election, OA doesn't participate in unit activities. OA elections will be held this coming Saturday in the City Park. All the boys wishing to participate are invited to come. End of discussion.

        If one were to carry this logic further, one would have the CO dictating what summer camp to attend and whether or not the unit can participate in such things as Popcorn sales, camporees, NYLT, and any other disctrict/council activities.

        Stosh

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        • #34
          Stosh ... Your "carry this logic further" are exactly right and very real. A CO can, through directing the unit leaders, choose the summer camp, popcorn sales, camporeees and other activities. Only when the scout can directly sign up (council high adventure for example) can the scout avoid CO dictates. The other option a scout has is to switch troops.

          You said it yourself. A CO could direct the troop leaders to not hold OA elections. Without unit level elections, scouts can't get into OA. Effectively, the CO banned OA for their scouts.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
            With OA being a council organization, how does the CO have the right to ban participation in it? They may own the unit and can dictate what happens within the troop, but except for the election, OA doesn't participate in unit activities. OA elections will be held this coming Saturday in the City Park. All the boys wishing to participate are invited to come. End of discussion.

            If one were to carry this logic further, one would have the CO dictating what summer camp to attend and whether or not the unit can participate in such things as Popcorn sales, camporees, NYLT, and any other disctrict/council activities.

            Stosh
            We don't hold OA elections in the park where everyone is invited to come participate. OA has very specific rules and regulations for OA elections. They are held at the unit level by an OA election team who are not members of the unit and the boys in the unit vote on their peers on the ballot. If the unit does not allow an OA election, the boys of their unit will never become members without switching units. The SM serves at the pleasure of the CO. They are within their rights to determine policy for the unit.

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            • #36
              So how did this discussion go from a SM banning elections to the CO banning elections? What's the sense of having district and council events if the CO bans them? Sounds like it may be time to pull the charter, which BSA can do as well. It used to be the CO and BSA worked together FOR THE BOYS. Obviously in this day and age, it seems to be suggested here that that may no longer hold true.

              Stosh

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              • #37
                Stosh, if there are no accusations of adult gayness or athiestness, council is not going to touch them.

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                • #38
                  Stosh is not the first person from OA to suggest that our charter be pulled.

                  I would have no objection if OA conducted elections without involvement from the unit, but I wouldn't consider it my place to suggest OA rule changes.

                  I really don't feel that I have gone too far afield with this topic.

                  Last edited by David CO; 06-24-2014, 01:28 AM.

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                  • #39
                    As much as I'd live to see this Chapter get it's act together, and this unit step up to help make the program better, those are things I can't change. I understand the OP very much wants to change these two things, and believe me I'm cheering him on. However, with that being said ...

                    There's a few very key things that need remembered as we discuss this:

                    1. The OA's original, and continuing purpose, is to recognize scouts who are model campers and scouts, and by honoring them, inspire other scouts to master the same skills, and exhibit the same behaviors. - This program is Troop Based, originating in the troop, helping shape better leaders, that return to the Troop, where their first duty lies, to strengthen the troop.

                    2. The OA program only has a handful of adult positions, as it's intended that the leaders of the troops involved participate, and provide the additional supervision, and direction.

                    3. The OA program is a camp based program, designed around a summer camp program ... which is a unit based program.

                    I Could go on all day, but the point's made. The OA program exists to serve the units, requires unit support to succeed; and relies on the manpower, connections, and resources of the units it serves. Any attempt to separate the OA program from the Troops, or Camp, will destroy the program, and harm the troops and camp. There's a symbiotic relationship between Troop, Camp, and OA, each is dependent on the others. Every time changes have been made that impact this balance, or attempt to modify these relationships, all three programs suffer and the OA sustains the most damage.

                    The answer is to repair the relationship, and get the unit onboard with strengthening the OA program. Remember the OA program is ran by youth from the troops, they have control.

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                    • #40
                      David do you have local Native American tribes/groups/individuals that feel the OA is guilty of cultural appropriation or is it a bunch of white people telling the locals how they should be offended by the OA? I think there is a big difference. My understanding is OA has worked with the NA community and have come to an understanding, but there could certainly still be local groups that are not happy about the OA.

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                      • #41
                        In the late 1980's and early 1990's, when the policy was decided, a unit Committee Member owned an island campground and made it available to the unit. On a remote corner of the island, there was a nest of bald eagles.

                        It was illegal for us to touch the eagle feathers, but Native Americans from the reservation across the lake were allowed to collect them for NA ceremonies. In gratitude for allowing them access to the island property, the tribe would occasionally invite our unit to authentic NA ceremonies.

                        Yes, there was some NA involvement in the decision.

                        I think, as a political issue, cultural appropriation should be discussed under politics, not OA. The question on this thread is whether or not OA elections can be banned from a unit.
                        Last edited by David CO; 06-24-2014, 02:35 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Ox, I am whole hearted agreement with what you said about the OA members returning to serve in their respective troops.
                          Could you go into a bit more detail how camp fits into the Order? Our council camp is a 4 -5 hour drive away and plays very little role in anything the chapter does.
                          and yes this is off topic, I don't mind.
                          Oldscout

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Oldscout448 View Post
                            Ox, I am whole hearted agreement with what you said about the OA members returning to serve in their respective troops.
                            Could you go into a bit more detail how camp fits into the Order? Our council camp is a 4 -5 hour drive away and plays very little role in anything the chapter does.
                            and yes this is off topic, I don't mind.
                            Oldscout
                            Part of the OA's purpose is to promote camping, especially summer camp. While OA has taken a more visible role in community service, part of their purpose is to provide service to the council's camp properties. In our council, our lodge holds a service weekend once a year where we go to one of our six properties and spends the weekend doing projects. That is besides the service provided during Ordeals. Many chapters will provide some sort of service to a camp. Stop and think about it. Consider the following taken from OA literature.

                            One of the requirements states, "In the past two years, have completed fifteen days and nights of camping under the Boy Scouts of America. The fifteen days and nights of camping must include one long-term camp of six days and five nights, and the balance of the camping must be short-term camps."

                            The Purpose of the OA is:

                            ◦Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.

                            ◦Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.

                            ◦Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.

                            ◦Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

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                            • #44
                              Thank you SR540 Beaver, good answer.

                              Also remember the OA was originally known as BSA's Honor Camper Society, and was born at Treasure Island Scout Camp, as a summer camp program.

                              There are those who have forgotten that " ... the Order of the Arrow is a thing of the Outdoors and camping". The OA isn't a thing of dormitories and fun games; one of the crisis we face is loosing sight of our purpose.

                              "The Order of the Arrow is a thing of the spirit rather than of mechanics. Organization, operational procedure, and paraphernalia are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what count in the end. The things of the spirit count"
                              Dr. E Earner Goodman

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                              • #45
                                I still doesn't make any sense to me. If the purpose of OA is for members to return to serve their troop, why would OA encourage a boy to leave his troop in order to join OA?

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