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  1. One mentor of mine never had children of his own. He came back from WWII, and the troop he grew up in needed a SM, and he filled the role. He served as SM of the troop until Uncle Sam called him to Korea. Came back from Korea, and resumed SM job because everyone wanted 'Sarge" back. Stayed on for over 20 years. Even then he worked summer camp until health started failing him. Man who made the biggest impact on me, more than may father, was my SM. He was the role model for me growing up, and my role model now as SM. He also never had children of his own. HIs nephew's troop needed an SM,
    8 points
  2. This is an opportunity to make OA relevant while bringing BSA back to the experience that most of us Scouters want for our kids. It's not hard to imagine... The arrow flies true, just as the order remains true to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Reinforce the basics... The arrow on a compass points north, just as the Order of the Arrow always points its members back toward service to others. Service at camps, service to Troops, service to Packs... The arrow represents excellence in scout skills. Archery is a scout skill taught from Cub Scouts up through
    7 points
  3. Most Ivy League schools and top employers, including the upper-echelon law firms and wealth management services, won't even consider you if you don't have Arrow of Light on your resume.
    6 points
  4. Welp I guess this is the comment to finally bring me out from the lurker caves. Besides just being straight-up sexist (this is 2023, we should be beyond this), barring men without kids wouldn't just (unjustly) exclude plenty of terrific volunteers, including myself, it would simply kill scouting. I recently took a job as a DE in my council, and after going around meeting all the units and leaders, let me tell you 95% of units are surviving off the veteran volunteers that have been around for a while. They all say the same thing. They'd love to have some parent volunteers, but the fac
    5 points
  5. So, in your mind, an adult male, registered leader, 4 Eagle Scout sons, all of whom aged out, wants to go on a campout. What is your rule?
    5 points
  6. And supporters of Survivors are always checking. Truly said, "Silence is not absence." One eye is always open… No matter how long the trail, or how high the passes, or how heavy the pack, we will be there.
    5 points
  7. I am sure that all of us could find some group of people that we have never met, that does not mean that they do not exist. I was a part of our ceremonial team for 6 years as a youth, well over half a century ago. I am still very much active in the OA, and yes, I also cringe both when I see some of the pictures that show lodges in the northeast and southeast whose ceremonialists are decked out in plains regalia, complete with double trail head dresses; as well as when I think back to what we wore and the gallons of red body paint we used more than half a century ago. I also came bac
    5 points
  8. Plaques aren't essential. They are a "want" versus a "need." If they aren't in the existing budget, then this is a Committee issue, if there is a push to fund this from the AOL parents. IF the Committee votes to fund this, then they have to solve the problem of how to fund it or come up with plaques. There's a million ways to skin that cat. But, if you are the CM (??) then this really isn't your issue. If you are CM, then you don't have a vote 😜 Past history is just that... past history. That they were funded in the past is irrelevant to the issue. We did plaques s
    5 points
  9. STICK. TO. YOUR. BUDGET! (yes that is me yelling, not at you but the situation). You had a budget meeting, it was open and they didn't show up. If needed produce the emails with the proposed budget, invitation to attedn the meeting, and the minutes from the meeting with approval from those there. $45 per plaque is expensive IMHO. IDEAS FOR THE FUTURE (caps to note edit) Now, some options I have seen. One pack I was with had a guy with a woodshop, and he made AOL shaped plaques. Arrows were purchased and made by the OA chapter. Only thing they paid for was the arrows, as that was
    5 points
  10. "Insta-palms" are not an issue to me one way or another. IMHO, reward the scout for doing the extra MBs. But, it's not a big issue to me and definitely does not affect the scouts much. Big issues are kids / families getting burnt out in cub scouts. The program is way too long with too little value. Should have remained as a program that starts in 3rd grade or 2nd grade. 1st grade is way too early. Kindergarten is ridiculously early.
    4 points
  11. I talked to the dad today. We discussed both sides of the issue and I think he's in agreement that it's better to start with the troop on March 1st rather than holding his son back. It would be different if we had a Webelos Den behind him, but we don't. Better that he start progressing toward Eagle with kids his own age than hang out with 9 year olds.
    4 points
  12. Hmmm ... @Cburkhardt --> Cup half full @Eagle1993 --> Cup half empty ... and cup is broken ... while house is on fire ... during a massive flood.
    4 points
  13. In my area, to get into the selective private middle schools you just need to ensure your $25,000 check doesn't bounce.
    4 points
  14. Most of the conversation in these postings regards two questions: “Is what our lodges do with regard to the depiction of Native American culture ever going to be accepted by the larger Native American community?” And: “Is the continued engagement by youth members of the Order of the Arrow in the representation of Native American culture fundamental to the achievement of BSA goals? The answer to both questions is no. It is impossible to envision a time when Native American communities will broadly accept the depiction of their culture by our young people through costumed depictions o
    4 points
  15. In my opinion if the absentee ballot is delivered after the votes have been counted and the winner was declared, then the vote doesn't count. It wasn't timely and you can't hold the election results open indefinitely. But it's not my opinion that matters. We should be guiding the scouts to make the decision and certainly parents should not be involved. The PLC could do anything between accepting the original results to declaring a new election and specifying more stringent rules for timely absentee ballots. As for the SPL being a multiple repeat, that 's a program decision that should
    4 points
  16. Ahem. We are here, kind sir. Silence is not absence, avoidance or disinterest. (NAM and membership numbers and charging into the fall of 2023 just aren’t conversations we care to engage.)
    4 points
  17. Wow, with friends like this, who needs enemies. I’ve been active in scouting one way or another for almost 60:. In all those years, I have never seen AO show disrespect to the American Indian/idigenous/Native American culture. In fact OAs actions are typically respectful with the intention of showing honor. Now if the culture has changed how it looks at such things, fine, we change to continue showing respect. But done disparage the OA for living the scout law in their efforts. On the other hand, I’m not sure OA can get back to the honor and respect that the organization once had beca
    4 points
  18. I'm one. I've been called Reagan era republican. I cringe in hindsight that I'm now associated with about eight years ago bringing in a BSA scout Indian regalia dance team to our cub scout pack for our pack program. Was it wrong? Not explicitly. Do I want to be seen as the guy who brought them in? Absolutely not. It's similar to telling crude inappropriate jokes. I really don't have trouble with most and will defend a person's right to tell the jokes. I just don't want to be seen as the guy telling the joke or asking someone else to tell the joke. BSA's use of indian lore
    4 points
  19. You are correct... The system is not currently designed to keep track of Riding miles nor Aquatics hours, each of which are counted for the National Outdoor Achievement Award (NOAA). I helped my Eagle Scout keep track of his in Scoutbook. Specifically, under the basic award for each NOAA, there is a comment which contains a log of all activities related to that award. Sorta looks like this: - 150 miles Horseback riding and Cycling during Cub Scout activities ( from Cub Scout records kept) - 30 miles - ATV Program, Summer Camp - 17 Jul 2017 - 10 miles - Cycling - Be
    4 points
  20. On a positive note, I see that 4 youth members are on the committee of 36 members. That is a big improvement from a few years back when it was 3 youth members on the committee of 60+ members. However it is still too many adults, even if I personally know some of them, and in one case worked with one of them back in the day. I know decisions that National has made have ticked off the youth as well as long tenured Scouters. I have seen an entire lodge protest some of those decisions in the past. As for OA being the "All Stars" sadly that is no longer the case, and has not been in quit
    4 points
  21. Back in the Dark Ages, when B-P was a sub-leftenant, our AOL crossovers got that...the AOL patch, rank card and certificate. The receiving troop usually provided a troop necker and slide. Quite sufficient in my estimation. Wish them well and send them on their way. I guarantee the adults see this as way more important than the Scouts do.
    4 points
  22. ... for you. Experiences with Covid seem to be very individual. I think the key lesson with Covid is that what works for you, works for you, and not necessarily for someone else. I'm very glad you are doing well. For myself, I don't think I won that same genetic lottery and have been thankful that the vaccine and boosters have so far apparently done their job to keep me and the other high risk individuals in my sphere healthy.
    4 points
  23. We did CIS as a troop and I believe it was really good for the scouts and adults. One of the things I brought up was that people come from different economic backgrounds and that we help with scholarships for those families that need it. One scout stated that no one in our troop needed that. He is wrong. I also shared with them the story of my 91 year old father who came to the US (Arkansas) from China. When he was a child, he was not allowed to attend school in his town because of the Jim Crow Laws, i.e. my father was labeled "colored" and therefore wasn't allowed to attend scho
    4 points
  24. I regret that I have one Upvote to give for this post.
    3 points
  25. @curious_scouter, my only advice: don’t suffer fools. Training should be commensurate with the needs. For example, I don’t care how good my counselors are at shooting sports, their of no use to my scouts on land navigation challenges unless I know that they keep sharp in that skill. Regarding mentoring youth … like you said, I need adults who can take a step back. For example, I am a very good cook, as are a couple of other dads. But if the boys are doing their own meals, we make our own adult cooking area. If we aren’t cooking and will be guests of a patrol, we sit apart waiting for them
    3 points
  26. @Alec27 .... The related question is SHOULD they be camping with you AND what is their ROLE when camping? IMHO, rules are to cover guide to safe scouting. The "should" and "role" is always my main concern. Committee members are administrative; not scout-facing. Too often committee members work like ASMs. That's not "preferred". Sometimes it's necessary due to number of registered adults. So on camp outs ... just like troop meetings, etc ... scouts work with scouts first; then with SM and the ASMs. Ideally, scouts don't work with committee members.
    3 points
  27. Welcome to the forum, @Alec27. A committee member can go camping, unless your troop specifically forbids it. You do need to cover the YPT Rules. My impression is "2 registered adults" includes committee, assuming they're registered, especially if they're a former SM. Maybe some of these parents complaining should register and solve this problem. I know, but it is my first thought on this.
    3 points
  28. Yeah - that's probably a really good question. Agree that BSA pros have no idea on how to move the organization forward. I will put National Volunteers in that group. Challenge is that what made the BSA great was in fact the Boy Scout program (11 -17 year olds) and the experiences those Scouts had. Autonomy, adventure, self reliance. making mistakes and learning how to work through them, actual life skills like cooking, cleaning, taking responsibility, managing your patrols and troops, learning how to make things happen, etc. etc. These skills and effectively managing Scouts can
    3 points
  29. The scuttlebutt in the pro ranks is that Mosby will be stepping down this year, and announcement will come this spring. I feel this is credible. The other thing I am hearing is that they anticipate that his replacement will once again be from outside the pro ranks, in favor of another person that has experience from the volunteer side, but preferably much younger. The rumor mill is that a more planned phase in of the CO-less model will be coming by the time of 2025 re-charters. CO model still an option, but the IH/COR would be expected to also be the Committee Chair as requirement
    3 points
  30. Maybe it is time for the OA to die. First and foremost, it is no longer truly an honor organization. Prior to the 1995 when I became a chapter advisor, the election process limited the number of elected, i.e if you had 2 Scouts eligible, you could only vote for 1 Scout, 3-4 eligible = 2 names allowed, 5-6 eligible = 3 names on the ballot, etc. When the change was made, many of us thought it would degrade the significance of the OA over time. And IMHO it has. Since that time the quality of Arrowman had dropped. I have seen all eligible members of a troop get elected, about 8 of the
    3 points
  31. Ceremonies are important. I think there are many ways to do meaningful ceremonies. If nothing else, Lord Baden Powell would be the perfect fulcrum for ceremonies. Tell his story. Tell the vision. Tell the evolution of scouting. Tell the meaning. Tell what scouts have done for others for 100+ years. OA is about continuing the service and honor fundamental to scouting. I've participated in many ceremonies in and out of scouting. Ceremonies mark achievements and transitions. I fully 100% believe OA can have extremely meaningful ceremonies without the uncomfortable use of Ameri
    3 points
  32. At the pack level some years ago, one of the leaders excitedly brought in some OA dancers, thinking it would thrill the youth and inspire word of mouth recruitment. Instead, at least half the parents dragged their cubs out the door within minutes and pack leadership had to subsequently field some rather outraged questions from the school district since it was held in a gym, and issue assurances it would never happen again. At the troop level, interest in OA has been zero to minimal for the better part of a decade. Parents and youth here are heavily focused on pursuing Eagle and any other acco
    3 points
  33. Ok guys, I am a lodge advisor and my support of youth leadership is unwavering. If a national OA Committee made up of mostly youth members the decisions that they make would be more palatable. As it is that committee is made up of adults. These far reaching choices should be made by the kids who are affected by these choices. If the pieces keep getting chopped off, soon there will be nothing left, and to me, it looks like that may be the goal.
    3 points
  34. Tap out was always one of the fun parts of the process that scouts looked forward to. Especially at summer camp in front of hundreds of observers. Saying that, the Ordeal is where the scout finds out if he/she are ready and mature enough to be an Arrowmen. Rather that is how it used to be. Barry
    3 points
  35. The National Planning Meeting took place in December, where the new National Chief & Vice Chief, as well as the two Region Chiefs, were elected. The overall business of the Order is discussed at the NPM, and any changes that impact the coming year are announced. They held a FB Live "Fireside Chat" on the final night to give highlights. It's been anticipated that the end of regalia is not a question of if, but when, so many were waiting for this NPM. Today, they sent an email out with summary:: https://oa-bsa.org/article/order-arrow-national-updates-2023?utm_medium=email&utm_campai
    3 points
  36. To being the Scout Law into it - obedient. If the organization moves to strike regalia, going rogue is not exactly keeping to that point of the SL. At the end of the day, the AIA issue is one where we have to see it from the perspective of Native Americans, and Native Americans only. If we put a bunch of teens in clerical collars and had them start reciting a Mass, we'd have quite a few Catholics who would be up in arms. The breadth of what the OA was attempting with the "localized regalia" was a step in the right direction. Seeing just the comments in this thread make me recognize how necessa
    3 points
  37. Just 1 example here: Boy Scout OA Dance Teams - PowWows.com Forums - Native American Culture Just one of many negative quotes from various forum members from tribes about order of the arrow... Then there are articles about BSA and NA: Boy Scouts ‘have been one of the worst culprits’ of cultural appropriation - ICT News Order of the Arrow is a ‘secret’ scout society ‘in the spirit of the Lenni Lenape’ - a Lenape leader disagrees - ICT News Personally, I think we make a mistake when we generalize or even reference "Indian" culture. There isn't an "Indian culture
    3 points
  38. Good timing ... we actually have some movement. Looks like 2/9 & 2/10 there will be appeals hearings.
    3 points
  39. My daughters were like this at first. Over the last 2 years, their GSUSA troops have gotten weaker. They aren’t too sure about continuing in both. They have all said “Girl Scouts never meets”. Likely only my oldest will complete Gold. They are currently 14, 13, and 10 (soon 15, 13, 11).
    3 points
  40. There's a lot here to think about. "scouts are now feeling like to much emphasis is placed on younger scouts" Do the older scouts make the program or the adults? If the older scouts are really owning the responsibility for the troop then they're the ones that should be grappling with this problem. "ranking up and not enough on them" As others have said, the emphasis should be on fun that just happens to cover the skills needed. That, and a bit more time to sign stuff off and advancement is taken care of. "find a happy medium" If it's a zero sum game then there will always be los
    3 points
  41. None of the Scouts in our troop thought the AI influence was a plus. They all thought regalia was a stupid joke. So, it really will depend on the Scouts you talk to.
    3 points
  42. look like we got into the OA about the same time (1974). I do miss some of the things from back then. But some of things needed to go Taps outs where collar bones were broken or at least the scouts were taped into the to the ground Ordeal that was filled with fear that you would mess up Members who used it as a hazing zone of younger scout to the point of tears (not the USMC) Using and stealing other cultural symbols and dress Became just a workday at camp to most scouts But we are not dealing with same scout movement or scouts (its all numbers not
    3 points
  43. Cub Scouts.... A lot of parents attend a Join Scout Night and listen to the spiel and sign up their kid. Many of these parents never had an experience in Scouting, but it sounds like "something to do". Of course you get a lot that show up to that first meeting and tap out right then and there. The ones that stay fall into two groups of kids that actually want to be there and the other set of kids that don't care from the get go and are there because they are being told they have to. Those kids that are being told they have to will leave soon because the parents get tired of fighting i
    2 points
  44. I think predicting the future is a great thing to do at the end of the year when everyone wants a break from doing the hard stuff. But this discussion has taken a nice turn. I appreciate the range of possibilities. When you're running towards protection and away from the saber toothed tiger, it keeps things in focus better than what I've always seen from BSA singing "the future's so bright I gotta wear shades" - because that song was about nuclear war. I agree with @Cburkhardt that we need to believe in the program but I also think that there are changes that we're ignoring. There are asp
    2 points
  45. None of the script is taken from any actual Lenape lore, it is all entirely made up. While I don't have issue with the scripts themselves, I do think dropping the association to the Lenni Lenape specifically is appropriate.
    2 points
  46. A CoR really needs to stay above this very good learning experience for your scouts. One of them may be on the community’s elections board in a few years! FWIW, a club I was in settled ties with an arm wrestling match.
    2 points
  47. The BSA is the adults program with a vision of developing the youth into moral and ethical decision makers. Most here who know me know I am very pro youth run. But, I cringe when I here leave it up to the youth. While the main principal of the program is scouts developing character from their free choices, the program has guidelines that the units must work within. That doesn’t mean the scouts can’t be a part of making the decisions, it means they should be part of the team with adults who have experience and wisdom that they can contribute to discussion to provide more content. The point of t
    2 points
  48. I’m not sure my post applies to your experience. I’m saying just because a culture decided to be offended by the innocent and respectful actions of an organization does not make the actions any less innocent and respectful and should be treated with the respect of their intentions. As for your sons experience, I turned down the district recruiting committees offer to take over as the chapter advisor because I didn’t want to deal with the Scoutmasters. I come from a time when Arrowmen were the special forces of scouting. I would have drove the chapter in that direction and I knew I would m
    2 points
  49. If no AI references, then it can't really be called the Order of the Arrow, can it? I don't know of any other group in American history that is associated with the use of arrows. I think the order has lost its way due to the influence of adults rather than the desire of the youth. It used to be something to aspire to. It was an exclusive club of sorts that only the best were elected to. Now, it's become just another thing between 1st Class and Star.
    2 points
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