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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.


  1. Western Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

  2. NOAC

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

  3. Central Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

  4. Northeast Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

  5. Southern Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussion


575 topics in this forum

  1. O.A. 1 2

    • 23 replies
    • 15 replies
  2. camping and the OA

    • 6 replies
    • 0 replies
  3. OA Advice Sought 1 2

    • 28 replies
    • 22 replies
    • 45 replies
    • 16 replies
    • 1 reply
    • 45 replies
  4. OA Question 1 2

    • 18 replies
    • 2 replies
  5. OA query

    • 5 replies
  6. OA Tapout & Ordeal 1 2 3

    • 32 replies
    • 5 replies

    • Our unit welcomes ALL parents to come to outings AS LEADERS, not parents.  If a new parent wants to come, great.  You must take YPT, we make clear the scouts camp in one area and we as leaders camp in another.  This is not a parent kid campout that the troop happens to be at.  If said kid comes over to the adult area for X or Y, one of the leaders will likely speak with them and guide them to their PL or SPL. We take very seriously the Scout areas and the leader areas.  Yes we stroll through, usually in groups of 2 or 3 to converse and observe, but they need to work as a group and they are handling and working all activities. The adults main responsibilities are to drive Scouts there, make sure no gross safety violations occur, occasional headcount confirmation with SPL, remind youth leadership what time it may be at points during the day, bandage as needed, BOR as warranted, conflict resolution if needed, judge the cooking contest, show the Scouts how to pack the car / trailer, and drive them home.
    • Child safety is a shared concern. My implication is that Millennial mothers drive household decision-making. (Including having final say on their child's participation in Cub Scouts). I always get a chuckle when I hear a story about a well-meaning girl who writes to a detergent company to complain about sexist advertising. She's assuming that women are often featured in detergent commercials because the company believes wives do more laundry than their husbands. While this may be true in some households, the company is featuring women in their ads because women are more likely to BUY THE DETERGENT (or at least choose the brand). Laundry in my household is split 50/50 (my wife would say 60/40), but she's the one who looks forward to the weekly Target run. In any case, I appreciate the dialogue. Rather than risk debating at nauseum, I'll concede my opinion on the matter is in the minority (but please understand it's not unique to me). All else equal, suburban moms would probably prefer that suburban dads are the ones to take their children camping.
    • I would really love to know what the incremental cost to council/national is to add another adult.  There's the background check - do they repeat that annually?  I doubt it.   Insurance - Insurance to cover physical harm to the adults makes sense to be per-adult, but if it's to protect against abuse lawsuits, more adults doesn't mean more opportunity for abuse to happen.  Training - more adults does mean more training, but it seems like most of the cost of that would be development and that doubling the number of people who access it would be a relatively small increase in cost.  Yes, there may be royalty/licensing fees that have to be paid per user, but at the numbers we're talking about, I would hope they've negotiated a low per-user rate.  Actually scratch that - the only training required to register is YPT and all parents are already encouraged to create an account and complete that course, so any expenses there are already being covered.  In-person training generally has a cost associated with it, at least in my council.  Again, we had to pay someone to develop the curriculum, but delivering it to more people is just using our resources well. What other costs need to be covered to justify the registration fee?  When my scout was a cub, I envisioned MBCs as being experts in the field who generously agreed to mentor scouts.  Covering the fee to get them set up to help us with no benefit to them or their family seemed like the least we could do.  But it seems like most MBC are just parents who say "sure - I can read up on that and figure it out."  Even if they do really serve as MBC for kids in other troops, it's not clear to me why that merits a free registration but managing the district popcorn or leading the cub breakout session at the monthly district roundtable doesn't. I think we need to get back to a $20ish adult fee and get all the adults registered. Give council a budget for waiving the $20 fee for MBCs they specifically want to recruit.  If that relationship goes well, the MBC will likely be agreeable to a FoS gift that will more than cover that.
    • I don't think those two are mutually exclusive, and I think that if we could entice parents into signing their kids up for a character building opportunity by offering it as an afterschool program, that would be worthwhile in its own way.  Everyone benefits when we build character among the next generation.  With the exception of urban Scoutreach programs, though, that's not something that can happen under the BSA name.  That's actually one of the big reasons that we see families choosing girl scouts for their daughters.  The girls just stay after school one day a week and get picked up when they're done, or if they're enrolled in wraparound care at school, then they head back there at the end of the meeting.  One side effect of this that benefits us is that those girls who do join our pack typically have parents who want to be involved and don't need their arms twisted to help out - if they didn't want to be involved, they had an option that didn't require it. Note that I'm not advocating for cub scouts to be run this way.  I personally need the connection to other parents that participating in the pack has provided me.  Getting the whole family camping is amazing.  Just saying that there's nothing wrong with some parents wanting a different option .  I wonder if the BSA has ever considered licensing their program to after school care providers.  So many working parents just don't feel they have enough time to add cub scouts to their schedule, but if den meetings were at school and they just had to plan on one evening pack meeting and one weekend activity a month, they could probably do that.  And the after-school team has already been vetted by the school and covered under their own insurance.  Hmm.  An untapped revenue stream maybe?   
    • With all the expenses facing parents to have to come up with a local and national registration fee that can in some councils be north of $80 a year just to be the 2nd adult at a meeting or activity can be a real burden. I all in favor of anything that gives young families a break. and if you are talking both parents we are now over $160. If a parent can get the background check and YPT done via the MB registration and improve opportunities for Scouts to have access to a counselor then that is a win/win in my book.   
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