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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

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  2. NOAC

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

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  3. Central Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

    136
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  4. Northeast Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

    50
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  5. Southern Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussion

    154
    posts

571 topics in this forum

  1. Changing the Order 1 2 3 4 6

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  2. Lodge Flaps

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  3. Kudo on OA....

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  4. arrowman

    • 7 replies
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  5. Lodge event patches

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    • 48 replies
    • 4.9k views
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  • LATEST POSTS

    • @Jmatt0613, to answer your original question about encouraging scouts to talk to the SM, maybe the SM is part of the problem. You said the scouts don't really like the SM. If there's no trust between the scouts and SM then I wouldn't expect that many scouts will bring up problems with him. Then there's a blur of bullying, bad behavior, the SM not listening to adults, swastikas on arms (!?), .... Any moral code, whether the Scout Law or the Bible, can be, how to say this kindly, superceded by people's emotions, biases and desires. Without humility it's just a lot of words. I'm sure the SM is trying to do what he thinks is right. The same goes for the parents. I give you the most credit for recognizing a problem and asking for help. But I don't have much of an answer for you. When I was an SM I knew I intimidated young scouts. I'm tall, have a low voice and am not shy of using it where needed. I didn't take unscout like behaviorvery well. So, I spent a lot of time creating what I called silver bullets. Essentially it was good will so when things got bad we had a relationship to lean on to facilitate solving problems. I enjoyed laughing with the scouts, I asked lots of questions and really tried to listen to their struggles, whether it was perceived unfair elections, problems with other scouts or problems with parents. I tried to develop some trust. I also encouraged ASMs to do the same. If a scout found another adult easier to talk to I'd still hear about issues. I'm humble enough to realize my limits. But you're not the SM. Maybe you can still help develop that trust.
    • Thanks for the welcome, @qwazse!   Thanks for the information re: suspended BoR.  I've not had experience with these, but they seem to be a great idea....suspended sounds much better than failed. A quick turn-around time seems like the proper thing to do in these cases.  I also believe the adults on the BoR may not have been coached properly on how to elicit responses from unresponsive youth.  That should be part of the get-well plan for the Troop going forward. Related to whether the SM discussed this event with the Scout’s Troop CC, I believe the CC at the time (due to other life issues) was essentially unavailable to complete the duties of the position at that time, so there was a void of leadership in the Troop that led to this event.  A new CC has been put in place since then who is trying to work the issues left in the aftermath of the event.  The previous CM's that my friend and the SM have some trust issues with, remain active in the Troop, so repairing those relationships will be an important task for the new CC.
    • Thanks for your responses, especially @fred8033.   I believe there were some trust issues between SM and various committee members prior to the failed BoR event, but that event brought distrust up another level.   The Scout in question will soon be appearing before his unit Committee, looking for approval on his Eagle Project.  It has been requested by my friend, through the SM that certain committee members should not be allowed to participate in this meeting.  (For unit Committee approval, this Troop normally has the Eagle Project presented at a regular Committee meeting, which normally has many MC's and parents in attendance).  Going down this road (excluding various committee members from BoR's or Eagle project approvals) seems to be a recipe for long term mistrust. I believe the Troop needs to examine the underlying reasons for this event, especially #2 from @fred8033, before the Scout comes before the unit Committee for his project approval, and addresses them prior to that event.
    • @mtgavin, welcome to the forums! Fred answered your two questions (in four parts). His and other replies were making assumptions in the negative. I’d like to frame things positively. As a crew advisor I had been put in similar situations. So, to help bring clarity for scouts, scouters and parents, this is how I describe how to proceed … A BoR can be suspended to give a scout time to rectify deficiencies. In this case, the board should promptly write a letter regarding the perceived deficiencies (i.e., reticence in answering questions) and give the scout an opportunity to complete the review (i.e., as soon as next week). If time is of the essence, a handwritten letter will do. Done is better than perfect. An SM or ASM would then be able to listen to the scout, and coach him/her in how to overcome the problem. What’s not clear is if the SM discussed this with the scout’s troop CC. Working between multiple units, I’ve found that communication on all fronts is necessary. So, in a case like this when different people constitute the reconvened board, I would want the chair of the reconvened board to have the letter that the suspended board sent to the scout. Let’s not assume there’s something interpersonal between MCs and scouts. Sometimes scouts have a bad day. Sometimes that day falls at exactly the wrong time for adults in one party to help in short order. Given multi-way communication between all parties, this is a great model to the scout on how thoughtful and caring adults can work together and provide opportunities for growth.
    • @Jmatt0613, I hope the code of conduct that you propose passes muster. But, the important thing for you to communicate is that beyond oath and law, you shouldn’t need a code of conduct but scouts’ and scouters’ recent behavior betrays that need. Even if the committee doesn’t pass it, you want them to understand that you’re seeing courteous, kind, and cheerful being left behind in the trail. That’s not a recipe for growth.
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