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Everything posted by sst3rd

  1. sst3rd

    Troop Pressure for OA

    HashTagScouts, Welcome to the new and improved OA. Anyone at anytime. No batteries required. Just get them in, and then guilt them towards their Brotherhood. Our new lodge advisor is someone I've known for a long time. Has been everywhere, and started as a scoutmaster. Great person. Has also been active in the OA. He has always attended the chapter meetings. Since becoming the lodge advisor, his tune has changed drastically. He personally was handing out lodge provided illegibility (for Brotherhood) lists to our chapter scouts just before our last Service Weekend (Ordeal). He wanted them to call them, e-mail them, text them, whatever works, but do it! Ge them registered. The spirit has changed in our lodge. Elections for all troops are pushed hard. Quantity might be up. But the quality is way down. Lots of scouts joining, but every event I attend, the turnover rate has to be high, because I see all new faces. How young can you be to be nominated for the OA????? I know I'm getting older, but give me a break. Oh well, I have my memories. sst3rd
  2. sst3rd

    Troop Pressure for OA

    I agree with Eagle94-A1. Our lodge is pushing hard for Brotherhood conversions. So, our chapter advisor is pushing hard for Brotherhood conversions. These metrics must be met to meet and qualify for several recognitions and/or certifications. Sorry, I've long forgot their names, but these items are incredibly important to the LEC. The chapter advisor was provided with lists of all eligible Ordeal members for the chapter to get in touch with. We had our most recent Service Weekend (formerly the Ordeal Weekend) right after Labor Day weekend. I don't know if goals were met. If unit leaders start pushing Brotherhood this way, there will be backlash. It's human nature. I think scoutmasters should chill and be happy with all of their active scouts. This is the scout's decision sst3rd
  3. Train-em, trust-em,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Just got back from our Mountain Man Camporee. Saturday morning our patrol was at the opening on time. Got their score card and took off for their first challenge station. Meanwhile, the scoutmaster whom I've been mentoring, had to go in to work for a couple of hours. Myself and a parent went around taking photos of the various troop campsites (checking out tents and cooking set ups for ideas). This was their first camporee. We checked out all of the 10 stations, but couldn't find our patrol. Went back to camp and there they were. Six scouts were sitting around their campsite, and the two youngest were in their tents taking a nap. I said nothing, but the parent (of a scout) strongly suggested they get back out on the trail. Seriously, when I asked the PL why they came back to camp, he said, "I thought the events were optional." Did I say that this was their first camporee? sst3rd
  4. sst3rd

    Discouraged: A Very Poor Call Out Ceremony

    Eagle94-A1, I dropped out several years ago as our chapter ceremony advisor. We still were expected to perform the national OA's approved call out ceremony at one of the Friday night closing campfires for summer camp. Six weeks of summer camp, six ceremonies. Each performed by a different chapter team. I'll admit that I still have possession of all of the regalia, but I can't seem to give it away. I'm still waiting for a new advisor to take over. Anyway, yes, when the AOLs and Crossovers were removed, it took the last wind out of our sails. So, although we keep promoting the need for a ceremony team for troop call outs, we've got nothing. We have good attendance at our chapter meetings, but no scout wants to commit to anything. At the very least, we want the chapter to have an active election committee. We can't get that. Our adult advisors don't know what to do. We can't make them do it. So, the chapter advisor made the mistake of asking my opinion of things, and I said to shut the chapter down, and ditch the OA. I said it loud enough for the scouts at the chapter meeting to hear me. They had no reaction. Everything is done for them, and the adult chapter advisors are always begging them to sign up for service weekends (used to be called Ordeals but everyone became offended), Conclaves, NOAC, Trail Teams, and such. Other than the advisor's sons, no dice. I am old fashioned. Sometimes things don't need to change for the benefit of those wanting a kinder, gentler OA. I say, either do it 100%, or don't do it at all. But whose %100 are we talking about? It's not fun watching a once proud organization fail. sst3rd
  5. sst3rd

    Troop Pressure for OA

    SteveMM, I can tell you as a formally active ceremonial team advisor for the chapter who still attends chapter meetings, our lodge is pushing "HARD", Brotherhood conversions. This appears to have happened shortly after the OA made it simpler to become a brotherhood member, mainly shortening the time required from having become an Ordeal member. An active adult member who has been a SM, Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner, and now our new Lodge Advisor (he's earned and deserves all of these positions), said since this rule change, the intent of the national OA, is to push brotherhood conversions. So, scoutmasters have been getting the pressure applied to them from several directions. If I was still a scoutmaster, I would not change how we've applied the OA in our troop. Remember, the last requirement for a scout nominee to the OA, is the scoutmaster's approval. The scoutmaster ought to have an idea of how busy these scouts are, and if this scout can give more to the BSA through the OA. Life is a balance. So, go balance. sst3rd
  6. sst3rd

    Help With Internet Advancement

    Off topic a bit, but the scoutmaster I've been mentoring this last year, puts so much emphasis on updating advancement online, she completely forgets to update the scout's handbooks. I guess my "old" is showing, but I thought the idea was for the scouts to read and study their handbooks as they are teaching and/or learning scouting skills pertaining to advancement. EDGE works, but all scouts should be taught to refer to their scout handbooks for ideas and info. I think they should always be able to refer to the back of their handbooks to review their "sign-offs" , and be able to know what their advancement status is, and where they want to go. It's a young troop, so adult leaders and the one older scout (SPL) do the advancement sign-offs. So, I've had to get her to print out each scout's records monthly, so I can update their handbooks. Now scouts, and certainly their parent(s) can visually see how their scouting adventures impact their advancement. I guess the scout and parents could view all of this online...…………………………………………………….but then why have a section for advancement sign-offs in the scout handbook at all. Am I wrong? Go ahead. I can take it. sst3rd
  7. sst3rd

    New unit - what to consider first

    Karunamom3, Big move. Needed to be done. While the adults are setting up adult positions; 1) Form the patrol, have them elect their patrol leader, and then have the new patrol leader select his assistant. 2) Assuming that the adults are getting the adult stuff done, set up the camping trips for the balance of the year. At least set dates for camping trips (avoiding holidays and school dates). 3) Camping equipment: assuming they each have their personal equipment, ask the parents for any extra leftover pots and pans for the patrol to start a patrol cook kit. You can upgrade later if you wish. Seriously, your scouts need to start operating as a patrol from the start, and that means camping trips. Nothing "shows" patrol spirit and teamwork then setting up camp and the kitchen for a weekend of fun activities. I wouldn't put a lot of emphasis on advancement just yet. Just going camping secures many of the requirements for the Scout and Tenderfoot ranks. Flags, patrol patches, and all of that other "stuff" isn't needed just yet. Get these scouts excited about "their" program first. Troop meetings will take care of themselves, when there is always another camping trip on the horizon. Troop meetings are as simple as having an Opening, patrol time, advancement time, game, and a closing, and your meeting is over with. Last thing; promote their new calendar, and have them plan a simple recruitment program (short and long term). They can recruit friends, former scouts, and former pack scouts. All of this certainly applies to the boys scout troop and the girls scout troop. I would keep everything about each separate ( but maybe the committee). Meetings on the same night works if they are in separate meeting areas. If you start having joint meetings, I personally think it weakens the program. Only start the troop (boys and/or girls) when you know you have the resources set. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. sst3rd
  8. sst3rd

    Bullying incident - need advice

    DavidCO, The word "empowered" may be over used elsewhere, but it's the word I wanted to use in this response. The SPL knows that his circumstances currently makes him the boss. He likes it and isn't going to change. Sure, he will grow up and be able (hopefully) to control his "empowerment", but in this situation, he knows he's in the "catbird's seat." Unless adult leaders figure it out and present a unified answer and solution to this conflict, the ASPL needs to find another troop. EMPOWERED, EMPOWERED, EMPOWERED. Just what I wanted to say. Take a chill pill. They still make those don't they? sst3rd
  9. sst3rd

    Bullying incident - need advice

    Markbrownsky, Sounds like your son is heavily invested in this troop. However, that SPL isn't going to change. He is "impowered" and he knows it. I kept waiting for someone to bring up the option of changing troops, but I'm guessing your son is where he wants to be. So, it looks like avoiding this "scout" will be your son's scouting program, and that's just not right. But it's accurate. Maybe he could resign from ASPL and join a patrol that needs his leadership and experience. That could be as a troop guide, and would extend his leadership requirement needs, if necessary. But that SPL scout ain't going anywhere. I'd find another troop. It's a life lesson to teach your son. Some things just aren't worth the fight. It's not fair, but it's accurate. I wish him the best, sst3rd
  10. sst3rd

    OA election nights

    So you were finally able to justify the answer you wanted. Does the scout know all of the trouble you are going through just to get him nominated for an OA Election? Does he really care that much? Or is it someone else who cares? Is there any question that this scout will be elected into the Order? Come on, you're working it too hard. sst3rd the OA used to mean something
  11. Yes, like everything else, make it easier. In promoting the OA in our troop for over 38 years, I simply couldn't anymore. Scouts have long sense known that this is all about free labor. Dress it up anyway you like, and they see nothing but giving up their time and working all weekend. I left the Order several years ago when they removed the Native American motif. It should always be about the quality of the members and nothing else. The work always got done. Cheapening the OA makes it nonrelevant. Headed in the wrong direction. sst3rd
  12. Qwazse, I like and agree with your "different ways." Lot's of common sense there. A great way to get to the goal. But I really liked your last statement; " Uniforming ...it's not just about the cloth." Kind of like the old, "orange juice, it's not just for breakfast." sst3rd
  13. sst3rd

    CC and COR is the same person

    KLB, I mean this seriously, go find another Pack. NOW. This will not change, as this person holds all of the cards, and she knows it. When she sees scouts and families leaving, she won't have to wonder why. It's the only way to make the point. And if she says to come back and she'll change, don't buy it. Life's too short to have to deal with this. Find a good Pack for all to enjoy. I'm sure they'll want your help and support. sst3rd
  14. sst3rd

    First ceremony

    HashTagScouts and Eagle94-A1, Then my lodge advisor lied, but that's where I took my orders from (of course not anymore as I no longer am a member). Sure, all Pack ceremonies from the OA are gone (AOL and Crossovers). But I was informed that all OA Call-Outs use the new approved national OA Call-Out ceremony script, no exceptions effective immediately. This was last fall. I no longer have access to that script, Eagle94-A1. Sorry. It was lame. To all you teams that are hanging on, the spirit's gone. But I will wish you the best. I have other things to do, as I keep reminding myself that I'm a volunteer. sst3rd
  15. sst3rd

    First ceremony

    Eagle94-A1, Call-Outs are only done with the new approved national OA Call-Out Ceremony script, and only in scout uniform. That was executed last year, but no, I don't have the exact date or documentation to prove it. Only that our lodge made the announcement sometime last fall, and our chapter advisor announced it at our October chapter meeting. I already have appropriately dismissed all of our chapter's native American regalia, equipment, and music, to the sky. sst3rd
  16. sst3rd

    Son invited to OA. What does it all mean?

    WisconsinMomma, First, your son should not have been nominated to be a candidate in the order, without his knowledge. Second, his scoutmaster (or other appropriate OA adult) should have talked with him in a scoutmaster's conference about the OA, and it's responsibilities in advance of an election. Third, your son should have had the opportunity to talk it over with his parent(s) in making this decision before the election and turn down the nomination if he chose. Fourth, an OA Election Team should have held the election and answered any questions from any of the attending scouts (members or not), before the actual election. Personal note: I'm no longer involved, as I was the long time (couldn't get anybody else to step up) chapter ceremonial team advisor, and all ceremonies (AOL, Crossovers, and Call-Outs) no longer exist and/or have had the native American culture removed. Brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service, have always been important to me as a scout before the OA. It was just magnified when I was chosen to be apart of what was an honorable program. It is now just a service group. Nothing special. I continue my service to scouting as a committee member for a venture unit, and working on a maintenance committee at one of our council camps. Yes, we have fun. Scouting is simply becoming a family camping club. Nothing more. Every- body can come and participate. Softly falls the light of day...the vigil fire has gone out. sst3rd
  17. sst3rd

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    I go back over 40 years in the OA. The voting procedure before this current unlimited voting was based on how many scouts were officially on the ballot (nominated). I could be wrong, but I remember something like: if you had 2 nominated, you had 1 vote; 3 nominated, 2 votes; 4 nominated, 2 votes; 5 nominated, 3 votes; or something like that. And is it still that a scout had to have at least a simple majority to become a candidate? Still 50% plus 1? In other words, half of the votes did NOT gain you a place as a candidate. And all of the scouts voting were supposed to be "active" scouts in their troop? I also remember the scoutmaster (me in this case) saying that you didn't have to vote for anyone if that was your choice. I reminded them that they saw all of these nominated scouts in action, not me, and had more knowledge of a scout's honor. Unless it has been changed, remember that the scoutmaster has to approve these scouts before their name goes on the ballot. I think it was listed as " scoutmaster's approval." I also made sure that a scout understood what the OA was about, and he needed to approve his own nomination. I've had some scouts over the years not want their name in nomination. I've also heard of parents having to approve the scout's nomination as they knew their son's busy schedule. I never went that far. sst3rd
  18. sst3rd

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    MikeS, I'm glad your chapter teams still exist. Ours were disbanded last year. They (I mean the council/lodge) may do one more year of call-outs in regalia at this season's summer camp using the currently approved national OA script, and then that's done. Since last year, there are no call-outs, just announcements to the troop right after the election. There is a nationally approved so called call-out ceremony that can be done in scout uniform, but no one has of yet to do it. To read this new script is painful and extremely sad. We knew about the demise of the Cross Over/ AOL Ceremonies going bye-bye, but we still got several requests for this upcoming season. We, of course, told these Packs that their requests were absolutely horrendous and inappropriate, and made sure they understood the horrors of the many years that the OA has dragged the native American culture through the mud. And YES, I'm being a bit sarcastic. I'm truly sad that the OA has been turned into just a service group (free labor), and the Boy Scouts turned into a family camping club. sst3rd
  19. sst3rd

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    We've just received requests from two troops for a Call-Out Ceremony. Didn't they get the memo that all chapter ceremony teams have been disbanded? You now have your election, everybody gets voted in, the announcement is made right after the election. Everyone's a winner. The NEW OA! sst3rd former chapter ceremony advisor
  20. If those 600 new girls scout troops are anything like the one new girls scout troop just started at our church (I currently mentor the new SM at this church's boys scout troop), they have two girls registered. How can this be, you ask? I don't know. The guy who supposedly is the new SM for this girls scout troop boasted that they are one of the three new girls scout troops in the district, and says the girls scout troop is chartered. I just stand there an "sigh." Hell in a hand basket anybody? sst3rd
  21. sst3rd

    It is always the parents....again...

    Mash, I'd "stop badgering" him, and remove him. Then the troop can elect a new more active SPL. Problem solved. Everyone wins, but keep the drama to a minimum. sst3rd
  22. sst3rd

    BEST - BSA Study

    That's nice. sst3rd
  23. The scoutmaster that I have been mentoring told me months ago that they don't want girls in their troop. I tried to explain to her, that it's not happening that way. You know, separate troops and all. I thought she got it but, her troop hasn't been on a camping trip since summer camp last June. She works weekends and simply can't take weekends off. Try as she could, she couldn't get other adults involved (too busy you see). I helped as I could, but I promised myself to mentor only. So out of nowhere, the church is starting a girl's scout troop. Some guy popped up whose son is a cub, and he has a scout age daughter. And my scoutmaster (a women) and this new guy are planning on merging everything. Meetings, trips, fundraising, etc.. It's the only way he can get things started, and it's the only way that she and the boy's scout troop can survive. She had/has a second adult registered, he just refuses to get trained, is going through a divorce and will probably move soon (with his son), can't take weekends from the family, etc., etc.. So I guess everyone wins. Gosh, this is so exciting to see how creative everyone is getting these days. Mentoring assignment is complete. All done. sst3rd (in case you were wondering, NO, I'm not thrilled)
  24. sst3rd


    Eagle94-A1, If you send it to her, I think she will read it, get fired up and retaliate. Maybe she'll just continue to mess things up in your old troop, but she'll find a way to respond. If writing the letter brings closure, then close it. I know you won't, but it was a thought. Your letter was eloquent, detailed, and masterful. But you still won't let it go. For the sake of your sanity, put all of your scouting time into the new troop. They really do need that passion that you show for scouting. Don't shortchange your new troop. sst3rd
  25. sst3rd

    Irate potential cubmaster

    Devoted, I'll say it one more time and then I'm done: you have the power, responsibility, and the authority to ask this man and his girlfriend to leave and stay away. It's your decision and you don't owe them an explanation. If he goes to council, then you can have that special meeting and present your evidence. If he goes over your head to the COR or IH, again, you can have that special meeting and present your evidence. You approve leaders in your unit. YOU! If he doesn't get it, call the police. It's really that simple. sst3rd