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Vote by peers the only way in?

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  • #46
    @JCM, If I were SM and heard about such shenanigans I would be spitting nails. I would ask my COR to dismiss that ASM. (Chances are he would talk me off of that ledge.) I would call the lodge advisor ashamed and embarrassed by what happened. I would follow his and the chiefs lead about what should be done after that.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by JC'sMom View Post
      My son was elected to OA recently and attended Ordeal this past weekend. Another boy in his Troop was not elected and his mother was VERY upset about it. So she had one of the ASM sign an Ordeal registration form for her son. She took him to Ordeal on Friday with the signed form and registration money and the OA staff allowed him to stay and complete Ordeal. So I can tell you that I know being voted in by your peers is not the only way in...at least at this lodge.

      I would not recommend this route as it has caused a conflict in the Troop and the boys who were honestly voted in feel like they have been slighted. And I feel like it took something away from their experience.

      I have considered contacting OA staff for the lodge and discuss my concerns but at this point I can't decide. What do you all think?
      Your Right...""at least at this Lodge"" is Correct..
      Again Only Voted in By Your Peers is the Correct and Should be Only way in.
      First the Lodge Should have received a Notice from all the troops in the Council on Whom they Elected
      Second Those Elected should have been notified by being "Called Out" at a Call Out Ceremony..
      Third Lodge Screwed up Royally..They should have had a List of the Candidates who were Elected and Called Out

      Plus I have never heard of Any Lodge having a Registration Form for Ordeal.

      What Lodge is this?
      Your Right it does take away from Those who Followed the Rules and were elected into the Lodge instead of just registering and buying their way into the Lodge....If I was Still a Youth I would Bring it before the Lodge Leadership and ask for the Youth to be removed and Banned from Membership. Which Can and Should Happen....The Scout had to have known he was not elected..Does this Lodge Hold Call out Ceremonies?

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      • #48
        Yes there was a Call Out Ceremony at Camporee a couple weeks ago. After that is when this mom realized that her son was not voted in. She was told that the documentation from the election had been turned in and her son was not voted in and therefore he could not attend Ordeal. I was there for this conversation when she was told he could not go. The form said "pre-registration" and to be returned with medical releases, identifying information, date attending Ordeal, etc. There was a place at the bottom for "Unit Leader's Signature". I have not seen the ASM that signed this form for her. He was not at the Troop meeting this week.

        And when I say it has caused a conflict in the Troop, I mean a HUGE conflict. I do not know what the SM has done or who he has talked with. I feel like the Lodge needs to understand what they have done... the trouble this has caused.

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        • #49
          JC's mom - It's sad that this has happened. I would talk to the SM and the CC about my issues. Then I would walk away from it. Your son went through the ordeal and probably is better for it. The other scouts knows his helicopter mom got him in. I am guessing he is feeling pretty ashamed of this due to the reaction of his fellow scouts. The boys went through their ordeals they are both in. Going forward the SM will now have to clean house and deal with the parents side of the troop. I know you feel betrayed but try to keep the parent issues away from your son. The scouts in the troop need to deal this out on there own.

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          • #50
            How can this happen? We had our election last week, and I, as Scoutmaster, had to sign the election form and certify the election. Then the form had to be signed by an additional adult OA member AND a scout OA member to make the form valid.

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            • #51
              Clearly the ASM should not have gotten involved and signed the registration form for this boy and his mother should not have acted the way she did. But I feel like the Lodge is responsible for some of this mess as well. The SM was told on Friday that she was on the way to Ordeal with her son and he at that point said that the Lodge would turn her away. But that did not happen.

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              • #52
                Okay, aside from being aggrieved adults, what can we scouters do? Let me give a gentle suggestion based on personal experience from outside of scouting.

                When I was in high school, my friends did me the biggest favor in the world by calling me out on something offensive that I did. The guys who really weren't my friends gave me "high fives" for being cool and not getting caught. In the grand scheme of things, the offense really wasn't that great, and there was not much that I could do to change things. But the fact that good people who I cared about told me in no uncertain terms what they thought of my actions helped me to be a better person in the long run.

                So, the very least you could do is encourage your son and his buddies to tell that other scout how they felt about him getting a 'free pass" on something that was really important to them. They can tell him he doesn't have to do anything to make it right. He probably can't. But that first point of the scout law? It's down at the bottom of the latrine at the moment.

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                • #53
                  qwazse,

                  Good advice. Thanks. I just hope that this situation is not the standard or will become the standard with Lodge 560. If so, it is a sad day for the OA.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    In a strange way I feel sorry for the scout who got in without being elected. He cheated (or his Mom shoved him into cheating ) and thus cheapened the Order to the point of meaninglessness.
                    I guess all he can do now is refuse to wear the sash or flap if he wishes to retain an iota of honour or honesty
                    This was a screw up on so many levels

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                    • #55
                      We scouters know how this happened. An adult bullied scouts into getting their way. As a SM or ASM scouts listen and respect us. If a mom came up to a OA member and showed a signed form by a unit leader they would not questions it. The adult members of the lodge should take heed of this situation and provide some oversight in the future. The adult OA members should be in the shadows of the checkin area to make sure stuff like does not happen. The number of outraged responses shows that this is not normal. My own lodge has two OA scouts check in all ordeal candidates. Behind them sits an adult quietly monitoring the process.

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                      • #56

                        Originally posted by JC'sMom View Post
                        My son was elected to OA recently and attended Ordeal this past weekend. Another boy in his Troop was not elected and his mother was VERY upset about it. So she had one of the ASM sign an Ordeal registration form for her son. She took him to Ordeal on Friday with the signed form and registration money and the OA staff allowed him to stay and complete Ordeal. So I can tell you that I know being voted in by your peers is not the only way in...at least at this lodge.

                        I would not recommend this route as it has caused a conflict in the Troop and the boys who were honestly voted in feel like they have been slighted. And I feel like it took something away from their experience.

                        I have considered contacting OA staff for the lodge and discuss my concerns but at this point I can't decide. What do you all think?
                        To me, this is purely an issue with the lodge's ordeal registration process. Granted the ASM had no business signing a registration form, but the lodge should not have allowed the registration since the scout in question was not elected and the election form turned in by the election team would not have included the scout. So the big issue is how did the scout's registration get past the ordeal registrar's scrutiny. That is where the problem lies.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          How elections are officially supposed to be done has already been covered so:

                          To MomLeader I would respectfully say that no matter what the odds your son will get in when he deserves it. By that time...after gaining experience, skills, and maturity he will be the description of an OA member period, and that will be in its own time not yours.

                          To JCMom, I understand your son's disappointment in the situation as well as your own frustration and obviously consequences should occur and probably have already begun to happen. Most likely no one will really be happy with the end result. I do believe to be fair to the boy who's mom "cheated" his way in to the OA, he should be given the opportunity by the SM or the Lodge Chief if necessary to retract his membership and agree to go through the process again honestly. From that point if he's a scout he will do whats right.

                          NOW if he won't, and his mother is the pushy type with such a personality as has been attributed to her beyond your own description by many here (that pops-up in every troop sooner or later)... petty as it might be, you may feel some recompense when his Eagle BoR comes up. There is little doubt the boy will make it that far with such a mother. BoR's are supposed to be teaching moments and recognition of development but they can also be the place of honest comeuppances to teach and develop.

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                          • #58
                            If found this link interesting, which talks about the OA elections being run as popularity contest: http://www.oa-bsa.org/pages/content/...larity-contest

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                            • #59
                              There certainly is something rotten in the state of Denmark. I'm a Chapter adviser, An arrow man from youth. A veteran Scoutmaster and now working with the district committee. If a willing scout is not elected there is a problem.

                              A few years back a certain scout was not elected in our district. After a chat with the scoutmaster the reason was apparent. The Scout in question had introduces a smoke bomb into a snow cave rendering it uninhabitable. Now my question is this: "is this a popularity issue? or just a sign that this is not a good scout?" Both could be acceptable answers.

                              Another Troop recently elected half of their members. Something that was impossible under the old percentage rules. Precisely one of those boys made it to Ordeal. It wasn't the popular one. It wasn't the one with the pushiest parents. It wasn't the one who barely scraped 50% of the vote. It was the quiet kid from the struggling family. He has remained active up until this year. Not sure If I'll get him back until the end of soccer season. I just hope he limits it to one sport. By the way the popular kid with the pushy parents asked for a reelection this year but declined last week to attend ordeal.

                              Now back into the dusty history. I was that kid who moved into the troop and didn't make friends. How did I get elected. Organized hazing! it's the only way I can justify it in my mind. The fellow scouts must have thought it would be pretty funny to see me get tapped out. I don't care now nor did I then, I wanted in and I took whatever it took to get in. Ordeal was without a doubt the most influential scouting experiencing of my youth.

                              What I really think happened to this scout back in March was Organized hazing. The fellow scouts saw that this was what he wanted and conspired to deny it to him. For whatever reason. Perhaps the equivalent of a smoke bomb, or maybe just rank jealousy. If in deed there is hazing in the troop the scoutmaster is responsible to end it. I had to do it as a scoutmaster, it did not make me popular. Now I don't think the scoutmaster should tell then how to vote, I do think the scoutmaster should enforce the Scout law regarding kindness and courtesy.

                              As to what can be done about this. I don't like the idea of subverting the ASM. That leaves the option of finding a troop that does respect achievement. My son has been dual enrolled for 2 years as a camp staffer. He wears the numbers of the crew that supports him. I dislike this approach as well but it is a way around that is legitimate. I wonder if taking away an eagle scout from them would motivate the leaders to solve the problem. One thing is certain once he is elected and has earned his eagle he should move to a venturing crew.

                              Sorry for the long read -- Tam

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