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    • One of the first times my SM volunteered to come to a crew event with me, he volunteered to transport ... thinking that he'd wind up with a car full of the boys ... since they basically knew the drill and he was, after all, their SM. (As you might guess already, I'm not to map out these details in advance.) Well, sure enough, come departure time (which involved the complexity of roof-top carriers, etc ...), the boys piled in my car and the girls in his! The terrified look on his face was one of those precious crew advisor moments that will stay with me forever. It wound up being one of his better four hour drives to camp. The young women were truly great, as I knew they would be. I would never let YPT hype rob us of what is right and good in the world.
    • Crossover dog-and-pony shows are nice, but what really will be net positives for O/A? I think most will involve broader troop issues ... Allow the use of sash-racks. (I.e., everyone stop griping at scouts folding sashes over their belts.) Make sure 1st Class means skill mastery. Only hold elections at camp. Usually by day 2 the younger scouts can pick the roses from the thorns. Do serious Indian Lore at camp. That includes inviting Native Americans to join the camp staff. Leverage the opening to female ordeals to talk about women, culture, and family. Look for your troop's O/A rep at roundtable (or wherever your chapter meets). If he's not there, let him know your troop isn't getting the representation it deserves.
    • @shortridge, Bring back the pre-1998 or so election requirements, i.e. only 1/2 of those eligible can be placed on the ballot.   Very similar wording was on the script when I was active as a chapter adviser. I had a SM come up to me after a troop election upset because  the camp promo/ election team said to vote only for those they feel worthy. He was expecting all of his eligible Scouts to get in because  they were always getting in. It was the first time in a long time the camp promo/election team was using the national script, and mentioning voting for who you think is worthy. Really sad thing is the SM was a past lodge chief and section officer.  And he was not the only one upset. We had parents and Scouts upset that year. It seemed as if everyone thought OA membership was a "gimme,"  and a unit election was a mere formality.  
    • I think the best way to keep your sanity is to do it for the kids you're working with. If you didn't have siblings tagging along with you when you were a scout then ask these new scouts if they, too, don't want siblings tagging along. Keep them away from the boys if that's what they want. Do it for them, not for anyone else. My council is a wreck, numbers are down, parents struggle to volunteer, there are all sorts of reasons to walk away. But there is one reason to keep at it. The scouts I work with. So have fun with these new scouts.
    • Double, maybe even triple the camping requirements and restrict the number of scouts elected to 1 for every 15 scouts in the troop.  Barry
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