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Order of the Arrow


  1. 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.


    • It's hard to know where to start, but I I want to look at two ideas that I see as somewhat related. 1) that today's scouts are being punished and 2) that somehow these crimes are being judged too harshly because things were different then. My council owns two camps, one is over 100 years old and the other is over 50.  Neither I nor my scouts are entitled to those camps by virtue of anything I or they have done.  I've invested some time, treasure, and talent towards them in the last 20 years, but that's certainly only a small part of them. If I and my scouts are going to benefit from those camps then we do so because we're joining ourselves to the organization that built them, and that legacy, we now know, comes with both benefits and liabilities.  If I'm cheerfully enjoying the former than I have to at least accept the latter, and understand that the legacy is not unencumbered.  If we lose one or even both those camps because the organization whose existence made building them possible also through its negligence  made possible far too many almost unimaginable crimes and injuries, then so be it.  If that's the case then I as a scouter am in the same position that scouters 50 or 100 years ago were in, and I need to do what they did and figure out how to build some camps. As to judging people by some supposed lesser standard 30-40 years ago --- I think that's balderdash.  The rape of children has always been a heinous crime punishable by decades in prison.  I was an adult 40 years ago so it certainly wasn't such a long ago time for me that I would claim that what would be morally wrong for me today would have been morally acceptable for me then.  I'm not quite so old that I would have been one of the decision makers at the scouting level so I wasn't confronted with this type of thing.  I'd like to think that if I had been I would have done the right thing as I understand it now and as I already understood it then.  Maybe I'm honest enough to know that I might not have, and maybe all those excuses we're making today would have been the excuses I would have told myself back then.  But if that's true than shame on me for failing to be Brave, and shame on those who did fail then.  Even if you can explain the failures, that shouldn't be the same as excusing them, and it shouldn't change the accountability for them. There are certainly other people that failed that moral test back then, but make no mistake scouters and the scouting organization were among them.  If some of the good those scouters and that organization accomplished needs to be undone to partially balance that failure with the one group of people who absolutely were not a part of that failure, the victims, then I can find no injustice in that however sad I may also find it.
    • I was sincerely asking him to whom he was referring there. I wasn't being snarky. Was it all people in society, as in the general consensus, or here or within the inner world of this case or what? If he only meant the majority on the forum, I get it. He seemed to be implying the reference was to the public at large. Sorry if I didn't get it. Did he answer?
    • Even if that were true, I would still argue that scouting is philosophically different from other organizations.  B-P founded scouting on the premise that a scout is to be trusted.  That premise was fundamentally different from other organizations of his time.  It is fundamentally different from other organizations of our time. We are being challenged by a legal system that believes that boys can not, and should not, be trusted.   BSA has failed us in that it is not arguing our main point.  Whether we say a scout is to be trusted, or a scout is trustworthy, this should be our main argument.  It goes to the core of our program.  Should BSA, or any scout association, now or in the future, be held liable for trusting boys? I am not a lawyer.  Maybe this is not a good legal argument.  But I would go with it anyway.  Scouting should live or die by its core beliefs.   
    • "Almost," I said. Taking the 100+/- year history and 85,000ish claims in this bankruptcy alone, not to mention all those not filed and the numbers of repeat and varied instances of abuse against one Scout (who comprises only one claim among them). I say with confidence almost 1000 and likely more. Take into consideration the repeat abuse, which I think must be considered, as it will be by the Settlement Trustee, and my point is made. We're not talking about any other organization. I know this is all about history, societal context and relative degrees of culpability for many of you, but this discussion is about the BSA Chapter 11. Right. Wrong. Indifferent. Hate me or hate me or don't. I ain't your problem.  
    • It really isn't fair for you to pose the question to us, and then criticize us when we attempt to answer your question.  
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