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  • #16
    Yeah! I've seen some positive input in the last few readings, and this is what I like to see... Scouters who are still involved in all things Scouting, with good experiences to share. These are the things that novice Scouters search out for in forums such as this to see. Its a downer when we see the folks in the Honor Society of Scouting downing the program. It makes those of us who are looking to advance in our Scouting endeavors wonder "why bother." I am new to being a Scoutmaster and I speak with my young Scouts regularly about Scout Spirit. I believe that Scout Spirit is about making the best of whatever is put before us. I also believe that Scout Spirit is not just for the Scouts, but for us as Scouters as well... I hope that I haven't offended anyone here with my comments.

    Comment


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      The quality of the scouting program across the country ranges from barely existent to vibrant and full of life.

      What you read on the forums, is like many on line reviews, the people with issues post up and the ones with programs that are fine go along with their business.

      My local OA program stinks as does my districts program.

  • #17
    We plumbed a propane line into the pit and had a spark ignition
    Sometimes We also had a thin wire line on which a Lit weighted Arrow would shot from a Tree during the Winter Months. We used this in the Winter because of early darkness obviously

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    • #18
      Originally posted by bokris View Post
      Its a downer when we see the folks in the Honor Society of Scouting downing the program. It makes those of us who are looking to advance in our Scouting endeavors wonder "why bother."
      Sadly Some of Us have a Reason to put down the program. As Several People have already stated..Lodges Vary Greatly...Not All Lodges can Count the Memberships in the Hundreds instead of the 10's. Very Few can count memberships in the 1000's

      Not Every Lodge has countless activities. You can't always be asking people just to pay to work

      Scouting is Like a Sport...Which team do you want to play for...The One who wins or the One who loses? The Ones who Plays games win or lose or for One who Forfeits every game and only Practices?

      There is a Reason we have what is Called Sash and Dash..For Many the Flap is just a $15 Yearly Trinket. You pay to wear the Flap and Sash because Your Lodge Does Nothing..
      My Lodge went from having Routine Campouts, Philmont Trips, Regular Dinners and Ordeals which started on Friday Night for with a Cracker Barrel with a Spades and Dominoes Tournaments while Vigils were Selected..Saturday Morning Vigil Steak Breakfast...Saturday Candidates came out and Started their Ordeal...Saturday Night Brotherhood did their Ceremony while Candidates were staked out Saturday Night and Sunday Evening Candidates did Ordeal Ceremonies...Now We start Friday Night..just a Cracker barrel while Vigils do their things.Saturday Night The Ordeal have their Ceremony and then have to go back to chow hall While Brotherhood get their Ceremony. We don't do steak for Vigils anymore, we don't do Steaks any More for Ordeal...If We are Lucky it is Spaghetti now.

      Our Numbers are limited to only a few who can go to NOAC, not everyone who wants to go and will pay.
      Our lodge is either doing 8 youth 3 adults or 9-10 youth and 4-5 adults in 2015 for 100th Anniversary. And the Same ones always go..Why Should I pay to be a Member if I can't Participate in everything I want to.

      We Routinely attended and put on Dance Shows for Scouters at Events, now Nothing.

      There are several larger More Active Lodges about 150 Miles away..I can not simply join their Lodge and Live where I do. I can not pay them my Dues and Be a Registered Scouter where I live. Although those Lodges have repeatedly asked me to attend Events and I do. I Volunteered to Work after the Oklahoma Tornadoes as a Disaster Relief Member with their Lodge..Mine did nothing. Although we are in the Same region.

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      • #19
        thanks all for the information. they were all helpful.

        Comment


        • #20
          Yeah... jpstodwftexas...I understand... Its just hard to motivate the Scouts/ leaders to become involved, as I am a new (1 year old) Scoutmaster, with a Troop that I have been working to revitalize (a top age of 12, with 4 brand new 1st class/ 20 night in the woods this past year Scouts). My Scouts have hiked, camped, whitewater rafted, climbed, sailboated, been caving, and backpacked over the past year. They have had a ball, and have bee aiming towards the goal of OA, as their next short-term endeavor. I believe in the promise that Scouting provides, and I cheer them on in their endeavors. I search out information to help back my advocating for Scouting, and have, on occasion, come here to review, as this site has a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.

          It just saddens me to see those who have been around the Scouting world for longer than me being so critical. I thought that one of our roles as Scouters is to teach our youth how to problem-solve. That's a part of the reason I was drawn to Scouting, and encouraged my son to join. We need more problem-solvers in the world, and I have been of the belief that Scouting was the best extra-curricular activity to offer this skill.

          I come to the OA thread, thinking the best of the best hang out here, and the first post that I read is about all of the problems... That's discouraging. I thought Scouters, especially OA Scouters, were of the "Great!... We have a challenge! Let's figure out how we can overcome.... Not, "hey, we have a problem... Lets all complain about how bad it is." Voicing issues is healthy.. It gets the issue out on the table... but the next step is to brainstorm through the wealth of knowledge throughout this site, to work towards overcoming the challenges... That's kind of what I thought Scouting; and the OA was about.

          I look forward to when I am called out; when my son is called out, and when the other Scout 1st Class boys are called out. I look forward to Ordeal, and if the lodge is not the greatest; then I will do what I did when we entered Cub Scouts into a 6 boy Pack, that rose to 50 boys and well respected throughout the District and Council. I will do what I am working to do with the Troop that was about to fold; having 1 boy left at time to recharter last December, and now holds 17 active Scouts, recruited over the past year, with 100% retention. I will systematically work to strengthen the Lodge that we enter into one of the great lodges in the region.

          I just have to continue to learn what a lodge is supposed to do...

          Thank you all who serve in the OA... With hope, you are making a positive difference for our Scout youth.

          Comment


          • baggss
            baggss commented
            Editing a comment
            The hard truth is, You can only do what the committee allows you to do, sadly, if you are seen as a threat to the status quo, they'll shut you out.

        • #21
          There are many good posts here explaining what the Order is, has been, and should be. I don’t see the value in restating what the order is, or does. There is one thing I’d like to clarify:

          The Order of the Arrow is not now, nor has it ever been a secret society. The Order was by intention, knowing it would appeal to adolescent males, cloaked in a pretense of secrecy. Nothing about the Order has ever been concealed for any adult with a true desire to know and understand what the does and what it’s about. In recent years the illusion of secrecy has been watered down by the ease of accessing information on the internet, and by those who misunderstand why everything should be kept from scouts who may be inducted.

          Simply put, nothing make a young person what to do, or be part of, something then being told he isn’t allowed to. By trying to meet the criteria of membership the youth becomes a stronger scout, a leader in his unit. If you ask me that’s a whole lot of motivation for no effort, but not letting the youth learn about the order and its ceremonies until they are inducted … pure genius.

          Comment


          • #22
            Past: OA was a society of honor campers; it wasn't easy to be elected. It was also a service organization.

            Present: OA is neither.

            As some posts point out, there are active lodges. But not many.

            Most places, the OA is as dead as a door nail. Some operate their chapter/lodge like a private club, focused on their own social activities and designing an endless number of lodge flaps.

            The day-to-day activities of your troop are far more important.

            Comment


            • #23
              In our council the OA is simply slave labor to set up and tear down the Councils Summer camp.

              One of the 8 chapters has a ceremony team. They do not do AOL presentations out of their district. not much else other than ordeal weekends to set up the camps and fall ordeal tears them down.

              My son was excited about the NOAC. but has since lost interest.

              Comment


              • #24
                Desertrat77 posted:

                Past: OA was a society of honor campers; it wasn't easy to be elected. It was also a service organization.

                Present: OA is neither.

                Desert, those two things are cause and effect. The OA has lost much of its appeal due to ease of obtaining membership, and a rebranding as "A National Honor Society". A mere change in name caused a huge shift in perception, from an organization based on skills, and passing on that skills, to a group who is honoring inductees.

                Comment


                • desertrat77
                  desertrat77 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Good point--I concur.

                • Eagle92
                  Eagle92 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes, I've noticed a decline to the quality of OA involvement when they changed the election procedures int eh 1990s to make it easier to get it.

              • #25
                Our Lodge has a lot of dash-n-sash arrowmen, but what is left is a great group of scouts who are mature and enjoy scouting on all levels. We have six yearly activities, two service days, and monthly chapter meetings. This is a good amount of activities so that it does not interfere with troop activities. We have a Native American Weekend - open to all scouts (Cub and Boy), Ordeal, Spring Fellowship, Conclave, Fall Pow Wow, and Winter Banquet. There are leadership training opportunities and good campouts. Most of my troop become arrowmen and love the activities as they seem to be even more "Boy-Led" because they scouts are a more mature lot and generally a little older. I agree that anything one participates in is what you make of it, but good programs require time and dedication. We have several adult leaders that provide a very consistent level of service to the program and keep it vibrant as the scouts pass through the program.

                Comment


                • #26
                  OA is like most things. It is what you make it.

                  The good view is that it's an alternative. When scouts are looking for something more, they can latch onto OA as a path to continue to grow inside of scouting. And it is more boy led. And more structured (from how I've seen scouts drill for ceremonies, etc). And a great way to grow skills and confidence.

                  The bad view is that OA exists to serve and promote OA. Of the scouts that I know that are active in OA, and it's few relative to those who received the sash, those scouts are on election teams and ceremony teams. That's all they know of OA. Activities to promote and support OA. The lock-ins and banquets seem to celebrate OA success in OA.

                  In our council, few scouts help on OA service weekends. Few scouts help in NOAC which should be an absolutely great event. NOAC is simply a cost factor. Parents have a hard time forking over hundreds to have their kid be a laborer. \

                  My apologies if my views are skewed. I'm not saying it's correct. It's just my view.

                  Comment


                  • #27
                    In My opinion, OA is basically a good old boy network run by adults trying to recapture some unrealized aspect from their youth, numbers is all that matters, which details they deligate to underlings who have little knowledge as to what is going on. my son was elected last year, never contacted by oa, somehow the other 4 boys were. He finally recieved a letter less than one week before the last callout, what a joke. At the top levels of oa, they're quick to get back to you, at lodge level, its hit or miss.

                    Comment


                    • Basementdweller
                      Basementdweller commented
                      Editing a comment
                      These sorts of things happen, The OA is boy led and boys let thing slip......

                      Blame your SM......he should receive this info at the roundtable and it is generally posted on your councils website.

                    • baggss
                      baggss commented
                      Editing a comment
                      the oa advisor says he sent emails to committee chair snd SM, both of whom said they never recieved them, but somehow THEIR sons found out in time. Somebody either dropped the ball and is now lying about it, or they are incapable of doing their job I don't know which is worse.

                  • #28
                    No Don't Blame the SM...
                    Your Correct in Blaming the OA Lodge...It is their Responsibility to ensure the Candidates get the Information.
                    Not everyone of us have the Perfect Scouting World. We don't have the ideal book scouting experience where nothing goes wrong.

                    My OA Experience in the Last two years
                    at Roundtable..
                    Not 1 OA Announcement..
                    No OA Announcements on Local Council's Website.
                    and I have more Horror Stories...
                    In My Lodge you definitely can get that "Good Ole Boy" feeling.
                    There is the Cook crew...
                    There is Camp Crew
                    There is ..You get the Idea
                    I have gave up on Volunteering to help on Projects, I have gave up on hope of being asked to assist on Projects. I simply just show up and whip out the Camera...Someday they might just share them, meanwhile I share them on my own Facebook page and on other Forums like on here. They get set to Public so people can also share them.
                    Ironically I have been asked By Section to Help, I have been asked by Other Lodges and I do help them.
                    I also am the Only Member in my Lodge to pay for a First Time attendee for a Youth to attend Conclave..Wish I could afford more.

                    Our Lodge Facebook page is set to secret...You can not find our Facebook page.
                    Our Lodge Website has nothing on it.

                    Although the Lodges should be Boy Lead. Why do the Boys fail in their Missions...Their Advisers fail in their responsibilities. An Adviser should step in to prevent Obvious failure, yes some things will fail..but some should never fail.. And Failing to send out Induction letters is an Obvious Failure.

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