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Order of the Arrow

Discussions for OA Members and those interested in Scouting's Honor Society. Also includes a private sub-forum for OA Members only.

Subforums

  1. Western Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

    30
    posts
  2. NOAC

    Been to NOAC? Heading there? Chat about the Order's bi-annual gathering

    151
    posts
  3. Central Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

    136
    posts
  4. Northeast Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

    39
    posts
  5. Southern Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussion

    141
    posts

531 topics in this forum

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  1. OA ordeal question

    • 16 replies
    • 691 views
  2. another pay check

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  3. ORDEAL CAMPING

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • "BSA doesn't have a mechanism for enforcing quality standards in units.  For all of its hand-wringing about membership numbers, BSA seems to ignore the direct relationship between unit quality on the one hand and member recruitment and retention on the other.  All recruitment is by local units. All retention is by local units.  Membership numbers could be improved substantially if the vast majority of those units met quality standards of the kind found in the Commissioner Helps book."   👍
    • BSA used to have a manual called Commissioner Helps for Packs, Troops, and Crews, no. 33618.  The last version I have was updated in January 2011.  It is organized as a number of unit operational elements, with each element having one or more standards to be used by Commissioners in assessing a unit.  It also includes a number of suggested actions Commissioners can take to help the unit achieve each standard.  The standards for "Top Unit Leader" are:      1.  The unit leader is fully trained, is respected by youth and other adults, and has a keen interest in youth.      2.  [Troops and Crews] Youth have a major role in leadership.      3.  The unit leader has a trained assistant leader for two-deep leadership and shares the leadership responsibilities.      4.  [Crews] The crew Advisor is strictly an adviser and coach; Venturers run meetings and activities whenever possible. The listed "Commissioner Actions" are mostly what you would expect (take the leader to training and roundtable, for example), but no. 9 states:  "Work closely with the head of the chartered organization to see that leaders are the type of persons you would choose to lead your own children." Useful feedback would be a checklist of specific standards that shows whether the unit is in compliance.  The problem, as @SSF has noted, is that BSA isn't doing enough to ensure that units are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  BSA doesn't have a mechanism for enforcing quality standards in units.  For all of its hand-wringing about membership numbers, BSA seems to ignore the direct relationship between unit quality on the one hand and member recruitment and retention on the other.  All recruitment is by local units. All retention is by local units.  Membership numbers could be improved substantially if the vast majority of those units met quality standards of the kind found in the Commissioner Helps book.
    • All these years of training classes gives these folks who want to be commissioners something to do...instead of you know....commissioner stuff The commissioner program is great in the abstract.  The actual process of a commissioner doing some action to support youth programming at the unit level is often not there. I have worked with 6 different units in 2 different councils.  In my 30 plus years on adult leadership I think I have seen a commissioner twice actually in the wild (you know at a unit).  I have seen many of them at council events, camps, etc hanging out...commissioning (I guess that is a verb) Sort of like with fundraising...Do we have commissioners so we have good Scout Troops OR do we have Scout troops so we have commissioners
    • In my neck of the woods, there is an extreme shortage of unit commissioners. Is this complicated (and overly pretentious, IMO) training system supposed to make it easier to get people to volunteer?
    • The best feedback? Roundtable, camporees, and jamborees. Be honest to other scouters about how you operate and compare notes. Look for the scouts with the biggest smiles on their faces and say, "Take me to your leader."
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