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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.


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569 topics in this forum

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  1. Camping Nights 1 2

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  2. Odd Year in OA

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  3. Ordeal Ceremony Sequence 1 2

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  4. OA Grace

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    • A few more details here: https://abc7ny.com/bear-attack-cooperstown-harriman-state-park-camping/11885251/   "I made a mistake," Ayers said. "I left some of my food in my bag and spilled some on my leg and it was also other people that left a lot of trash around."
    • Well, I think you have a valid point.  Some of what has been around forever just has to go. The issue is what traditions enhance participation in the program and which have lost their usefulness. I wouldn't categorize every aspect of the program as a "tradition," such as requiring camping merit badge for Eagle. There are (or at least were) good reasons to require camping merit badge for Eagle.  It taught valuable skills-even life-saving skills. And adopting modern business practices-that should always be a priority.  I was thinking along the lines of the little things, practices, that scouts see day-to-day. That teach important skills or moral lessons.  The little things that give the program its flavor. Not only the ones I mentioned, but things, like, back in the day: --Scout patrols at camporees were expected to have a patrol yell, to be robustly performed at each station of camporee activities. --Scout patrols were expected to have a patrol flag. Not any during my adult time. --At Philmont, crews were issued an American flag to be tied to a tent pole.  1968.  By the time I was an advisor, about 2005, no crew flag. --Summer camp staff would adopt a "personaa" and interact with scouts in their personna.  One memorable personaa was "Sparky" at my council's camp.  The scouts spoke of their interactions with Sparky and liked forward to seeing him next summer. --"Leave a Campsite in better condition than you found it."  A good idea. A scout it helpful.  Instills a sense of duty in a scout (and is a hint that if they trash a camp, they will be cleaning up-so don't trash it in the first place). In the early days with the troop with my son, I'd put out a Leatherman Micra for some lucky scout to find.  And when found, I'd use that as a teachable moment to the troop-and the lucky scout got to keep it. --Scouts used to prize attaining their Totin' Chip card, entitling them to carry a pocket knife.  That seems to be lost. "Violate a Totin' Chip rule and a corner will be clipped from your card.  Four corners clipped and you have to re-qualify."  No one wanted a single corner clipped. Just a representative sample of what I have seen disappear. Maybe they are useless now, but learning how to close a pocket knife without trapping a finger seems important to me.  A "tradition" which focuses the mind of a youth on a valuable life-skill, or leadership development skill, IF modern youth accept it as important, remains important. And THANK YOU for responding to my post. You raised a very important issue. And I will continue to consider the issue you raised. Just what needs to be retained and what dropped.
    • I am sorry for the bear but the scout and his unit are going to have incredible stories to tell as they get older. We had a scout get bitten by a copperhead once while on a camp out. Thankfully it was a dry bite but the scout is the hero of the unit now. Lol. 
    • I called national and spoke to them via their hotline. The Committee hand book doesn’t specify how to deal with YPT infractions since they are not really the group to investigate a report. The Charter Organization Rep handbook is the one really supposed to be involved with council and resolving diputes along side the organization exec. They are also the ones who are supposed to make sure that they appoint those in the committee and troop that will uphold the scout values since they indirectly represent the charter organization. In all my years they have never had an say as to who is picked for any position… it was just whomever stepped up to the plate. 
    • The story reminded me of our Philmont Ranger in 1979.  He had a nickname, Bear Bait.  He was sleeping outside while out with a couple other rangers, but he was first year and had been the target of a few jokes.  So, when he felt like someone was trying to roll him over in his bag, he reached up and smacked at who he thought it was, one of the others tormenting him.  The bear did not like getting slapped and proceeded to reciprocate.  Fortunately, the bag was thick enough, and the ranger able to curl up within it; and his screams woke the others nearby who ran the bear off.  But he ended up with some stitches, but otherwise no serious injuries.  And he did not let it send him home.  When we had him, it was his third or fourth summer.
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