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Posts posted by JustThinking

  1. Read your post last friday and searched for a good answer.  Then at a multi troop scout event in our district I overheard a similar discussion between a couple of adult leaders about OA vs being an Eagle Scout.  My position would be this: You don't understand because you are asking the wrong questions.  It is not about what benefit OA can offer you or your son, or what part it might play in his resume or on a college application.  It is about Arrowmen, mainly in small and un noticed ways, providing service to the rest of society.  Many if not most of those called may never do great things, or large works, and that is as it should be.  But for those that do absorb the principles and focus on really living the Scout Oath and Law, it can be enriching even int he small things.


    The more years that have passed since my ordeal in 1983, the more I have found that those principles - brotherhood, cheerfulness, service -  can be found and applied in almost every part of my life.


    So, it is sort of a garbage in/garbage out type of thing.  If you don't do the work of brotherhood, cheerfulness and service, you are unlikely to get any 'benefit' from OA.  Like Pres. Kennedy said, paraphrasing, Ask not what OA can do for you, but what you can do for OA.


    Jeff in KC 


    I can see that asking the right question is important, but understanding the question asked is as important.  What you say about what OA providing service is good and what I believe looking from the outside is what OA should be.  What I don't see is Arrowmen in the area I am in actually doing it.  If anything the few that are willing to work complain that there are camp buildings rotting away for lack of care but that they are not allowed to do any repairs because of fear of legal problems.  So racking leaves for 15-30 minutes is extent of the service that OA does.   Doesn't sound much like service or cheerfulness to me.  If I come to work, I want to do something meaningful.  No brass bands, parades, cheering crowds, or even a simple pat on the back is needed or wanted.  Being able to help is enough. 


    I don't see much of the brotherhood either.  I was an "OK dude" up to the point I said I was not interested in being in OA and now I am "not worthy".  I did find out part of the reason I caused a bit of a rub.  It had to do with dues and headcounts.  Membership in the council has been dropping, close to 10% the year before last and the numbers since re-charter are more closely guarded than the crown jewels.  I was told I just have to pay the dues and all would be good.  At least I know what I can do for OA.


    I was hoping that maybe there was something I was missing that would at least enable me to be able to a better adult leader for the boys of the troop.  That was the only benefit I was looking for.  I don't understand the references to resumes or college applications.  If I was interested I might have tried find out what that is about. 


    I best leave it at this.  Don't want no one to think I am beating my chest about things.  I really did hope to find I was just missing something.  Other places sound like there are some great OA lodges and I wish could experience them.   

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  2. @@JustThinking


    One always have to take into consideration discrimination is a two-way street with multiple agendas and variable levels of intolerance.  Once one gets a good handle on all those dynamics then the world makes more sense than common sense.

    No disagreement.  There is what is said, there is what is done.  Of the two, what is done is generally closer to the truth. 

  3. I don't try.  Using that premise, there are a lot of organizations I could try. 


    I have be able to believe in what I am part of and so far I haven't seen anything that OA, at least my area, has offered me to believe in.  If that is wrong, then OA is doing a very poor job getting the word out. 

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  4. So we've heard a lot of pros and cons in this thread.  Why not just try out the OA.  If your son doesn't like it, he doesn't have to go or pay dues.

    No big whoop.


    Please have a look at this.  Skip to pages 35 and 36 of the pdf.


    I'd say while the elections are not supposed to be a popularity contest, if a scout act as described in pages 35 and 36, they are bound to be (should be) popular in the troop.


    Give it a shot.  Judge based on what you experience and not what other people say.  Read the book, not just the cover.


    Good luck!



    Look at what?

  5. That threat was always there.

    True, but in the past how many photographers and bakers had been put out of business and legally harassed into bankruptcy because of their conscience? If someone gets a burr and goes after a church, I don't have any faith that the powers that be will do anything other than throw-up their hands saying "It ain't us!  We love you!  It's those mean, nasty, Christians that are doing it!  Here is a pitch-folk, let's go get them!"  Looking at things from that angle, it makes sense that the KoC as civic organizations are moving the troops to the churches in an attempt to provide some legal cover for what will come.

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  6. The press does not seem to echo any concern. Can't find a single story about it last I looked.


    I can't see the church turning down any units. The units in my area are already "absorbed" in to the Catholic parish. They have new meeting locations, etc.

    I can see some doing it.  The first time that someone is turned down for a adult leader position and they sue a church.... Katie bar the door.

  7. Looking at the statement at face value, the Pope wants the parish church to be the focal point of Catholic life.  So the KoC is stepping aside and saying they want the troops to be given over to the parish.  It almost makes some sense because pre 1950s the local parish was what a Catholic family revolved around.  They were baptized, went to school, married, and buried there.  My question is will the parishes take the troops and the potential legal problems that come with them?

  8. Well... I wasn't trying to cause a fuss.  I was just trying to figure out if my instincts about OA were right and it seems they are. 


    I was bothered about the father/son tradition also and I talked with the SM about that.  The reasoning seems to be not every parent is chosen, but if they meet the requirements it is put to a vote.  Right now there are only four adults, including myself, actively participating with the troop and three are in OA.  Trying to be objective, would I meet the requirements?  I think so.  I just don't want to because to me it has to mean something besides a patch.  I can't figure out why it is so insulting that I refused.  Not just in my son's troop, but almost district wide and that is what has me rethinking scouting.

  9. I haven't found anyone yet that can really explain the purpose of OA, chapter officer on down.  Talking with OA members about it, not pressing about secret ceremonies and such, just nuts and bolts of it, to me it sounds more like a mutual, self-admiration society than any organization that actually has a benefit.  At least in the area I am in.   I thought I always asked a simple question, "What does OA really do?"   I just get vague platitudes, blank stares, or puzzled looks.  Folks seem horrified that I am not interested and treat me like I just farted in the room.   It this attitude that is making me rethink going to camp this summer or even staying apart of scouts.

  10. I was approached the other day by the SM of my son's troop about whether my son and I would be going to summer camp in the spring.  The reason being that my son will be the only scout eligible for OA and it is traditional with the troop that the boys father be inducted into OA as the same time if the father is active and in good standing.  I said we would both would be a camp if at all possible, it was my son's decision about him being in OA, but I had no real interest in belonging.  Thinking I was joking, the SM had a chuckle until I said I serious and didn't see that OA really did anything other than a few extra meetings and campouts each year. 


    I asked what does OA really do?  I am not talking about ceremonies and such.  I mean what does it offer to me that makes me better able to do for the scouts?  The only answer that the SM was able to give is that OA is supposed to be about service, but what I have understood that in the past few years OA service and the "ordeal" has been straightening rocks on a trail and racking leaves. 


    Maybe I don't understand, but why?

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