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ney_a_ti

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About ney_a_ti

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  1. ney_a_ti

    Lodges Merging

    I've been through a Lodge Merger as a youth. It was a tough merger (due to some unfair Scout Executive edicts), but I think there are some things that I can suggest that will help: 1. The youth must lead the merge: Get key youth from the two lodges to sit down and work through the merger. Try to keep the numbers balanced. 2. Get an impartial moderator: Maybe a Section officer can help lead the discussion of the youth. Or you have someone with strong ties to both lodges. 3. Limit the adults in the meeting room: Maybe 1 adult from each lodge and the new staff adviser. 4. Focus on the future and administration: During my merger talks, the lodge adviser asked us youth in the beginning "How are we going to manage this new, larger lodge?" This got us focusing on process, administration and the future, and less on symbols and traditions of the past. As a result, we spent the most merge talks working on the lodge's bylaws. 5. Start fresh. New name, new totem, new number. Maybe even re-do the call out ceremonies, or other traditions of the old lodges. 6. Unified Front: Disagreements are OK in the room. But once everything is decided and everyone leaves the room, everyone supports the plan in its entirety. Make sure youth aren't saying things like "Well, I didn't support that part." 7. Have the youth sell the plan. 8. Wrangle the adults. Make sure to keep their grumbling to a minimum. Consider taking them out of the room when the plan is being approved by the youth. 9. Consider having a closing ceremony for each lodge which segues into an opening ceremony for the new lodge. This is a good way for people to say good bye, and then garner support for the new lodge. Good luck. It can be an emotional issue.
  2. ney_a_ti

    Ever hear of this policy

    This is sadly a policy of my lodge. I have inquired about he purpose in this requirement, and I have been told that the purpose is to increase attendance at chapter meeting and lodge events. However, having attended quite a few of my chapter events, they are pretty sparsely attended. I would assume that the other Chapters in my lodge are pretty similar. Yet I still see many adults being inducted in the lodge. My troop has not always participated in the required 50%, and we have never had an adult nomination declined. I have a feeling that the rule is not enforced consistently or even routinely.
  3. ney_a_ti

    Keeping the Honor in the Order

    I wanted to make a correction to my above post. The word test is in the first ceremony, but only in referenncing a specific symbolic activity. The four ordeal challenges themselves are not referred to as test.
  4. ney_a_ti

    Keeping the Honor in the Order

    I've had a week along the Superior Hiking Trail in MN to ponder this. Most of our Scouts understand a test as someelse evaluating thier performance and then judging them, like in School. My OA handbook (89 edition, 94 printing) has a similar definition of an Ordeal Master as John's. However, there is something missing in the responsibilities on an Ordeal Master. An Ordeal Master can't fail a candidate. Nor can a Lodge Chief, or even a lodge advisor. Why? Because there is no one that can fail a candidate at the ordeal, except the candidate himself. This is induction principle four: candidate's compliance. However, many candidates that feel under constant scrutiny will be more concern with not screwing up than exemplifying the virtues of our Order, which is what he is supposed to do. The four parts of the ordeal should certainly be challenging, and a struggle, I'm not suggesting they be a cake walk. The problem is when current members feel like they do have to authority to judge candidates, grade them and scrutize them. This can lead to some harsh administrations of the Ordeal, which only feds into the candidate's fear of failure, and not foster a atmosphere of learning more about themselves. Its also interesting that the very first ceremony actually doesn't use the work test. Some might say that what do you do with a candidate that won't follow the challenges, especially the talking one? There are remedies. Talking to the candidates about the serious of the test and challenging him to continue in silence. If the offense continues, a candidate can be put in a clan of one, with only an elangomat that steadfastly refuses to talk. With no one else to talk to, the candidate will have no choice but to comply. My point is that those that simply see the Ordeal as a test to get in the Order aren't getting the whole picture. And this can affect the perception of the OA to its future members. I see this in my current lodge, it is failing becuase the youth leaders treat the ordeal as solely a test, and candidates only see the OA as something where you work and be quiet, and not something deeper and more meaningful.
  5. ney_a_ti

    Keeping the Honor in the Order

    There are two sentiments that I feel are common in this thread, and they are that the Ordeal is a test of the candidate, and that OA membership conferred on a Scout that has no intention to be active in the OA as a member is wasted. I am a Vigil Honor member, and have been active the OA as a youth and adult. After many years of learning about and studying the Order, my understanding of both sentiments is that they are not a reflection of the Orders true intent. I believe that Ordeal is not a test, but a learning opportunity. The purpose of the Ordeal is to give the Scouts insight into leadership. By exemplifying the qualities of Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service, they can be better leaders, and the Ordeal shows them but one way they exemplify these virtues. There are infinite others. Secondly, a Scouts primary responsibility is to his home unit. This is in the OA handbook, and there is an allusion to it when the Candidates are prepared for the Ordeal Ceremony (if the ceremony is done properly). If a Scout returns to his unit and continues to provide leadership to his unit and serves others, then he is fulfilling the promise he made during the Ordeal Ceremony. While I would like the Scouts in my troop to be more active in the OA, as I believe it provides more opportunities than simply the Troop, I have to respect their decision not to. So, that being said, if Scouts dont take the Ordeal and OA membership seriously, I would look at your lodge leadership. How do they approach the Ordeal Candidates? Do they see them as outsiders who must be closely scrutinized, or do they see them as younger versions of themselves, who can flourish with brotherly guidance. Are they goofing off while the candidates are working, or are they working hard on service projects. I can tell you in my currently lodge, its the first (for both), and OA participation is dwindling, and I think these are reasons why. Many may disagree with me on this, and thats fine. But I think if you sincerely read the available official material, you will start to understand the OA as I do. I highly recommend the Guide to Inductions available on the National OA website, but the ceremony pamphlets, OA handbook, and Guide for Officers and Advisors are also valuable.
  6. ney_a_ti

    Where did you go to summer camp?

    As a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, I went to Camp Pine Ridge in Southern Illinois. I also worked staff there for the last two years it was a summer camp. It is no longer operated as a summer camp, but the facility is still there. I then worked at Camp Lewallen in Southeast Misouri for three years. With my current troop, I have been to Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan (Northern Wisconsin), Owassippe (Western Michigan), Roy C. Manchester (Western Kentucky), and Tesomas (Northern Wisconsin). This year, the Troop is going to Decorah. If anyone here lives in the upper Midwest, I would highly recommend Tesomas. The facility is very nice, and the Camp Staff went far beyond the norm to put on a good program. But all the camps had good and bad things about them.
  7. ney_a_ti

    Where did you go to summer camp?

    As a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, I went to Camp Pine Ridge in Southern Illinois. I also worked staff there for the last two years it was a summer camp. It is no longer operated as a summer camp, but the facility is still there. I then worked at Camp Lewallen in Southeast Misouri for three years. With my current troop, I have been to Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan (Northern Wisconsin), Owassippe (Western Michigan), Roy C. Manchester (Western Kentucky), and Tesomas (Northern Wisconsin). This year, the Troop is going to Decorah. If anyone here lives in the upper Midwest, I would highly recommend Tesomas. The facility is very nice, and the Camp Staff went far beyond the norm to put on a good program. But all the camps had good and bad things about them.
  8. ney_a_ti

    Eagle POR Requirements

    The Eagle Scout Application does have two lines available for the POR requirement, so that seems to indicate to me that more than one POR can be used, as long as the total is six months.
  9. In my native land of Southern Illinois, we have a restaurant called 17th Street Bar & Grill that has the best ribs in the USA. They are fantastic. At least, that's what the Food Network thinks. http://tinyurl.com/yutjvx Sorry, John-in-KC. I live in the Chicagoland, and nothing around here really compares.
  10. ney_a_ti

    New SM help with OA questions

    The rule that says that Scouts can only vote for 50% of the Scouts on the ballot is no longer in effect. It was discontinued in the late 1990s. Now Scouts can vote for as many Scouts that the feel are worth to be in the OA. So using Bro-hoodWWW's example, if you have 10 Scouts on the ballot, the Scouts can vote for all 10 Scouts. Or none. Or any combination in between. A Scout still needs at least 50% of the votes to be elected. You also need to have at least 50% of your active Troop present at the election in order to conduct it.
  11. ney_a_ti

    Huh???????

    I was a youth officer of the Ney-A-Ti Lodge (Egyptian Council) in southern Illinois when it merged with the St. Louis Area Council (forming the Greater St. Louis Area Council, or GSLAC) in 1995. Ney-A-Ti merged with Anpetu-we (the afore mentioned second OA lodge), and I served on the merger committee, as well as on GSLAC summer camp staff for three years, so I have a pretty good understanding and unique perspective of the situation in GSLAC. Since I worked on Summer Camp Staff, I worked with a lot of Shawnee members and units, but looked at it as an outsider. However, I am no longer a member of that Council, having moved away and joined a different Troop. Previous to the Egyptian Council merger, the Southeast Missouri Council merged with SLAC in 1994. The agreement between these two councils was that Shawnee and Anpetu-we would not merge until the youth members of both lodges approved it. This was signed off on by National, creating two OA lodges in the Council. When Ney-A-Ti came in, we were actually given the choice of which lodge to merge into. We picked Anpetu-we for many reasons, chiefly there is a significant size difference between them and Shawnee. Ney-A-Ti was a small lodge (about 200 members). Anpetu-we had about 400, Shawnee about 3000 or so. I think our choice surprised the GSLAC professionals, they assumed that we would go with Shawnee. I would like to clarify some of Shawnee's practices. Those Troops that attend the council camps have thier OA elections conducted at Summer Camp, on the morning of the callout ceremony. The candidates will go through the Pre-Ordeal ceremony and do the night alone at summer camp. The remainder of the Ordeal is done at the lodge's two weekends (Fall Reunion and Spring Conclave). There is also a Pre-Ordeal and night alone at these weekends for candidates who weren't at summer camp or were at OOC camps. So CalicoPenn, the "Next two events" requirement is consistent with the year time frame set forth by National, but it is worded poorly. However, I agree with the general mood here about Shawnee's bylaws; they are contradictory to the National Program. It says in the front of every Merit Badge book that requirements should not be added onto or taken away from, they should be done exactly as stated in the book. Why should the OA differ from this philosophy? I think that the rule that says that a unit can't have an elsewhere election two consecutive years is daffy. If our troops are truly youth run, then the Council is immediately taking away some of thier authority. I know the biggest decision that my Youth Leaders make every year (or at least the one they spend the most time discussing)is where they are going to summer camp. We present them with several options, including our Councils camps, and they have picked an OOC camp every year. I understand that Councils want troops to go to thier own summer camps, but I believe that Councils should increase the quality of thier summer camp program to do this, and not punish Scouts. I was not aware of this rule when I was a member of GSLAC, but this is further proof that merging of Ney-A-Ti with Anpetu-we was the better decision, because many southern Illinois troops go OOC, and Anptu-we has no such rules. Here is another daffy rule for everyone: before the election rules were changed in the late 90s, the Shawnee lodge had another rule, which I think was called the "Plurality Rule." As I recall, it stated that if less than 50% of the Scouts on the ballot were elected the OA, then the Scoutmaster could put them in if they met certain requirements. Here's how it worked: On the election form, the Scouts that weren't elected were listed on the bottom of the form in the order of votes recieved. If the first Scout on the list was in his fourth year of summer camp or more, the Scoutmaster could choose to put him into the OA. This procedure would continue on down this list until 1.) A Scout in his second or third year of summer camp was next on the list 2.) the Scoutmaster did not approve of a Scout being in the OA or 3.)50% of the candidates were elected/selected. This rule wasn't used very often, but when I heard about it, I thought it was pretty dumb. I'm glad the National change in election rules got rid of it. Why does Shawnee/GSLAC do this? Because they think they are better than everyone else. This may be mean spirited, but it seemed like many, if not most, of the older Scouts and adults (both volunteer and professional) felt like the St. Louis Area Council was better than any Council out there, and therefore, they could ignore rules or make new ones. For instance, I believe that for a long time, GSLAC would not allow the use of gas stoves for cooking. The merger of the other two Councils changed this, as troops from these councils have been using gas stoves for a long time, but GSLAC decided to require a "toasted chit" card for stove training. Needless to say, many from southeast Missouri and southern Illinois ignored this, and continued to use stoves as they always had. I believe that this is the reason that they have two OA lodges, and are in no hurry to merge them. They feel that they can ignore the "one council, one lodge" rule. It is my belief that the Lodge has this OOC rule because they cannot concieve of a Troop wanting to go OOC for two years in a row because they believe that thier camps can't be beat (and trust me, they can). Certainly there is room for pride in one's Council and OA lodge, but there is a point in which pride become arrogance and smugness, and there are more than a few members of the Council that feel this way. Getting this Lodge to change its rules is probably like trying to move the immoveable object, no matter how contradictory they are to National's policies. Good luck, though!
  12. ney_a_ti

    A tale of two Merit Badges

    This is a true story. The names have been changes to protect the innocent. Just returned from a week at Tesomas Scout Reservation near Rhinelander WI. I was very impressed with the quality of the Camp, its staff and program, and would heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a good camp in the upper midwest. Anyway, the SM of the Troop asked me to keep tabs on all the Scoutcraft MBs. We had two Scouts taking Fishing MB at the same time (9am in the morning). I asked them separately on Wednesday night how things were going. They are both in thier second year of summer camp. The first Scout can be described as rather difficult to deal with, espcially when camping. He is constantly loosing things, does not stay with a buddy when going around camp despite several admonishments, and always has an excuse why the things that go wrong are not his fault. The second Scout was typically naive for a 1st year Scout last year at summer camp, but has matured quit a bit in the last year. Anyway, here is how my exchange went with both Scouts. Scout 1 Me: How is Fishing MB going? Scout 1: Not so good. Me: Do you think you're going to finish the MB? Scout 1: Probably not. Me: Really, have you caught a fish yet? Scout 1: No. Me: That's to bad. Do you think you're going to finish. Scout 1: (Paraphrasing) Not really. There are some logs around the fishing area, and the fish don't come near there. I also lost my best lure today. (There was more, but you get the idea). Me: Alright, well keep working with Scout 2 to finish. Scout 2 Me: How's Fishing MB going. Scout 2: Great! Me: Do you think you're going to finish it? Scout 2: Yup! Me: Have you caught a fish yet? Scout 2: (A little sad) No... Me: Do you think you're going to? Scout 2: Yup!
  13. ney_a_ti

    Wood Badge Elitism and Arrogance

    NDL: While I think that if you are interested in becoming a better leader, you should take WB, there is one thing that you should be aware of. Most, if not all, of the course simulations are based on how a Boy Scout Troop operates. I had a CS Den Leader in my Patrol, and she was at time a little lost because she didn't understand the meeting formats, etc. And its not like many troop actually follow the model meeting formats (although they should, my Troop does and it works great). I think that WB is a great program and will help you not only in your Scouting life, but all areas of your life. It will help you set realistic goals and understand working with people. About the elitism bit, I think the new WB has toned it done a bit by opening it up to more people. I know that when I was on summer camp staff, many leaders would decend on summer camp fresh from WB, and then proceed the staff (especially Scoutcraft) how to do thier jobs. However, I imagine since there is less emphasis on Scoutcraft type skills that this is not as prevalent. But people will often get out of things what they take into them. Jeff
  14. Can anyone tell me the stock number? This will help with the confusion at the Scout office. Thanks! Jeff
  15. ney_a_ti

    OA and Venturing

    I hadn't seen an answer to this question yet. John-in-KC asked: "Of course, here's my question: If a young lady, 18-21, who is an ASM, is selected by the youth of a Troop to enter the Order, where do we go from there? " A female ASM between the ages of 18-20 would not be eligible to appear on the youth OA ballot because she has cannot meet all of the first requirement to be on the youth OA ballot, which is earn the rank of 1st Class. Even male ASMs in this age range have to meet this requirement. However, once she turns 21, she can be included on the Adult OA ballot, because the Adults do not have the rank requirements. I actually witnessed this first hand. I worked with a troop while I was on summer camp staff for several years in the mid-90's that had a young woman who was an Explorer (before Venturing) and an ASM in a troop where her father was SM. While she was under 21, she could not be elected to the OA. However, the summer after she turned 21, she was elected as an adult. Hope this helps. Jeff
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