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signman

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  1. signman

    Botched Call Out at Summer Camp

    Q, This is a bit off topic and not really a big concern of mine but if there are really no secrets in Scouting what is with all the passwords on the documents on the National OA site? What about all the wispering in the ear? Maybe we have different definitions of the work "secret". Not a very good secret I will admit given a modest amount of Google-fu. In our lodge, I am told parents are NOT allowed at any of the ceremonies. I personally witnessed this Lodge Adviser explain to a parent his job it to convince parents they should not attend ceremonies. I don't think a Chief inviting parents to ceremonies would be a wise career choice in this Lodge. Just because National says something doesn't always make it so.
  2. signman

    Botched Call Out at Summer Camp

    Thanks guys. Your responses this morning brought tears to my eyes and have renewed my faith in Scouting. For awhile there I was starting to doubt myself. To the Moderators, I hope I am not breaking any serious rules here by posting anonymously, I still have fear of retribution from this very powerful and respected Lodge Adviser. Skeptic, you are probably right I was "nominated" by a vote of the Committee, but here adults still need to meet all the same requirements as the youth (except 1st Class obviously) and go through the same ceremonies. I don't really understand your question. Onto the rest of the story. After the Lodge Adviser dispatched his minion to do the dirty work he would not, he asked how old my son was and I responded 11. He said that is to young and he wasn't eligible for OA anyway and this was for the best because this was his first summer camp. I didn't know what to say as these statements show complete ignorance of the AOL and BS joining requirements. Yes my son is young and started Scouting as a Tiger in 1st grade. Not every state has a 5th birthday cutoff in July for Kindergarten. Some rights are still reserved for the States. My son earned his AOL and crossed over in April of 2013 at about 10.6, attended Summer Camp in 2013 and had about 16 short term camping nights (6 more than the required 10, plus 5 summer camp) he also earned 1st class in May 2014. I stated these facts and was met with silence. No appology for an asinine statement like "He wasn't eligible" based off age alone. Read the rules Mr. Lodge Adviser. Enough of that, but it started to set me off. The good news is while at the greasy spoon I received a phone call from the Camp Director. My ASM had gone to him after I left the property and explained what happened and the Troop members felt bad about it. (Yes, as stated here often, the boys know right from wrong better than the adults frequently) He apologized for what happened and had spoken with his Director and the Lodge Staff Adviser (All professional positions) and had a solution that the Troop supported. They would fill out a citation in the morning although he couldn't unring the bell we could complete our Pre-Ordeal at a later date. Citation forms were signed by all involved and the two of us came back a couple of weeks later for another Call Out and Pre-Ordeal. So the Professional Scouters stepped in and did the right thing. Remember this boy did NOTHING wrong here, this was not a case of some pushy parent and sneaky Scout trying to skirt the rules. He lost the election by one vote and while disappointing, that is life. However...... At this Council the election and Pre-Ordeal take place at Summer Camp and then the Ordeal takes place on a separate weekend in September, so we were Candidates not Members. I received a couple of things from the OA in the mail but my son did not. I tried contacting the Camp Director and Lodge Staff Adviser and find out "They are no longer with the Council". I contacted my UC a couple of weeks before Ordeal weekend and explained the situation as I wanted to make sure the commitment these professional scouters made to my son would be honored and we would not have any surprises when we showed up for Ordeal. My UC had heard about the situation and said the Lodge Adviser had been very upset that he had been overruled. He made some inquiries and assured me that everything was in order. I was told our Chapter Adviser was aware of the situation and was expecting us. At the Ordeal there were a lot of checks and balances to make sure nothing happened like over in the "Is election the only way in" thread. Multiple times there were Arrowmen with checklists making sure everyone there was supposed to be and was with the correct Clan. My son was never on any of the lists and we continually had to take the clipboard toting Arrowmen over to the Chapter Adviser to get an override. Is he really an Arrowman now? I don't know for sure, we shall see if further stumbling blocks are placed in his path. Will he go for Brotherhood? Absolutely, he has already started working on it. Will his fellow troop members? Doubtful, there was only one Brotherhood Candidate out of a group of 8 that came to Ordeal Weekend and he blew off his Brotherhood questioning but somehow got a second chance. He has a rather pushy mom. Yes, I have a concern about this Lodge Adviser. He is very well respected and I am sure has done a lot of good for the Lodge. Taking this issue up the chain would be very risky and we would likely be the only losers. I would much rather just move forward, I just hope he is truly the great scouter his rows of knots indicate and can do the same. The BSA is a great organization, but as we all know it is far from perfect. Calico, yes the feelings are a little raw still especially given the minor annoyances at Ordeal. But no we are not considering leaving, I am excited about the future opportunities. Now off to a rainy cub camping weekend!
  3. signman

    Botched Call Out at Summer Camp

    Q, "instructions"???? What instructions? No one ever gave them instructions to read. Took responsibility for a task??? No one assigned them any responsibility. They had nothing to do with the election other than to vote. The Campsite Counselor conducted the election. The only instruction he gave them was to elect their "Best Scouts", that is it. I was there. The vast majority of these Scouts were elected last year, two the year before. As I said, they are Dashers. There may have been some brief instructions given at the parade field. The SM and "one scout"(no rank or POR was specified) were called up for a brief discussion and handed some white slips of paper. Everyone was under strict orders of silence at that point and through the ceremony. There would have been no opportunity for that "one scout" to relay instructions to anyone. To the best of my knowledge the only way they knew what to do was from talk amongst themselves as how the call out occurs. I sure didn't know. I think the Lodge Adviser knows what a mess this is. After all it was his decision on how to clean it up. This isn't some dinky rural lodge out in the Texas desert, this is big boy. No offense jp.
  4. signman

    Botched Call Out at Summer Camp

    Thanks Stosh and st0ut717, that means a lot to me. And any father that would have gone off and left his son after that would not be worthy of the title of "Dad". Because of Ordeal night we had plenty of adults staying in camp that night so we took off and drove 20 miles to the nearest town with food and had greasy burgers and big tall milkshakes. We came back, but I wasn't sure that was going to happen when we left. Not trying to be deceitful with a rolling disclosure, but the story does continue past this night but I want reactions from fellow scouters that I respect. I have learned to keep my mouth shut about the situation. Any Scouter I have discussed it with has surprised me "Yes that is unfortunate, but but bottom line he was not elected. period." When I explain it to any non scouter parent they are shocked and mortified anyone would do this to a child.
  5. I really want to know opinions on how you think this situation should have been handled. The troop held the OA election at camp this summer and my son did not make it by one vote. Sad, but fair enough that is how the program works. The boy is a good scout but a very small geek and likes to talk about geeky stuff in a geeky way so he is never going to win any popularity contests. I was elected by the committee. No adult attending camp is OA and the SM and ASM are fresh out of IOLS. The only other Adult AO in the troop is the former SM and he is only involved in going on HA with the older boys. All the other eligible scouts are OA but not have gone for Brotherhood, they just like the sashes. The election went off without a hitch. As leaders we attended all the OA camp meetings for instructions and asked lots of questions but were given very little because it is all a "secret" and other leaders would not talk to us about it because we didn't have pocket flaps. We were told just have your troop on the parade ground at a certain time and we will handle it from there. Per instructions the leaders kept the results of the election a secret. Citation forms were filled out and turned into the camp office on time. At the parade field this college age scout gives this whole inspirational very high energy speech about how great the OA is, it made him the man he is today, it is a life changing experience, yada, yada, yada. You get the picture. After being called out where this very scary looking indian slams his chest, points his finger right in your face and yells "YOU!!! Have been Chosen!!!" a Scout is immediately taken to back to the campsite to gather their bedroll and report to the Council Ring for the Pre Ordeal. So come the end of the call out I am standing there and was not called out so I start looking for my son and cant find him. Not looking good. So approach the first adult with a sash and tell him something is wrong and he leads me to the Lodge Adviser. I explain that I was not called out, I cannot find my son and I fear he was called out by mistake. The Lodge Adviser asks my son's name and instructs one of his minions to go to the Council Ring and call out my son's name in front of his peers, make him take the Walk of Shame in front of a hundred or so of his fellow scouts, remove him and send him back to his campsite carrying his bedroll and groundcloth. I am to go get my bedroll and report to the Council Ring. As you can imagine by the time I arrived at our campsite I was greeted with a extremely upset Scout in tears, who had enough of the program and wanted to leave Scouts. He started as a Tiger and I have been a leader since. As non OA leaders we had no idea how the ceremony worked, I have IOLS and it was never discussed. Per instructions we kept the results of the election secret. We turned in the Citation forms and money to the Camp office. As we later find out the OA Scouts in our troop saw three names on the ballot and were given three slips of paper to hand to the election winners. So they thought all three scouts won the election, it wasn't a last name confusion thing. They never asked who the name weres and we certainly were not going to tell them unless instructed to. Thoughts? Did the Lodge Adviser handle this appropriately?
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