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OldGreyEagle

Order of the Arrow

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Given some of the Questions and observations recently discusssed, I thought a new thread just about AO would be interesting. And that is, What is the state of the OA in your area? In mine its pretty much a program where there are two campouts a year getting summet camp ready and then taking it down. Not much else occurs, is this what the OA is all about?

 

I was an Ordeal Member as a scout, and recently made brotherhood, but aside from impressive ceremonies, and they are very impressive, what else does the OA do? I know what they are supposed to do, I just want to know what they actually do in your area

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You didn't mention ceremonies. Our local OA usually performs Arrow of Light/crossover ceremonies in our area.(Longhorn Council, Fort Worth, Texas area)

 

They do also meet at the same time and place as our district's Roundtable.

 

Brad

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Our OA runs pretty much the same couple of campouts, they help with Klonderee, and readying summer camp. My comments speak more to the selection process. We have so many qualified boys and in a large troop it is so difficult to get the percentages needed. In a small troop of 12 or so you can frequently get the number plus over a period of years everyone who qualifies and wants to stand for it will be elected. It's a toughy for large troops. I also don't agree with a popular vote. A qualified boy, a true scout, but not a athelete/ comedian/ or partier does not have as much of a chance in a popular election. We have one boy in our troop who is active and dependable and has stood for this for several years and never been elected. I keep my fingers crossed for my boy when he is older. Last year as a new scout and with the requistite camp nights he was held off the ballot due to age at the SM's decision. OK with the boy too.

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Yarrow raises an interesting point with regard to large units. It probably is more difficult for a boy to get elected in a larger unit because he is probably not as well known outside his own patrol.

 

In response to OGE, the lodge in Mt. Diablo Silverado Council (Ut in Selica) runs five ordeals each year in support of five council run camping facilities. Some chapters have dance teams that perform on request at various events. The lodge also compiled on a CD a guide to places to go camping. An initial free distribution was made to all unit leaders in the council and it is also sold through the local council scout service center. The lodge also has other annual events.

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I am not sure if either of you were speaking to this, but they changed things (recently?) so that all the boys up for election could possibly be elected, not just the half it used to be. You would still have to get half the people to vote for you of course, which might be harder in a large troop, though I also think it possible someone could get in easier if people just start checking names.

 

Brad

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Here in Middle Tennessee we have two ordeals each year, atleaste one fellowship and usally two or three more camping events. This past fall fellowship was a mystery campout. I wasn't able to attend but from what I heard it was pretty cool. We also have a Christmas banquet each year as well.

 

So to answer your question our OA is quite active other than the two campouts to set up and take down summercamp.

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Responding to Brad Andrews' post, it is indeed possible for all youth on a ballot to be elected. When an election is held (after all eligibles have been identified and a ballot has been prepared) the following procedure applies:

 

A quorum of at least 50% of "active" youth members must be present. This permits units to avoid being held to a quorum requirement that might be based on registered members who may have moved away, graduated, dropped out, or even suspended or removed from membership.

 

Youth are instructed that they may vote for all, some, or none of the names on the ballot. They are instructed that they may vote for themselves. Youth are instructed that they may abstain from voting altogether

 

To be elected a youth must receive 50% of the ballots cast (rounded up in the case of an odd number of ballots cast). Abstentions are not counted as ballots cast.

 

No arbitrary limit on the number of youth elected is preset. All of the youth on the ballot could be elected, and elected by less than 25% of the registered membership.

 

For example a unit with 50 registered youth members may be deemed to have only 40 active. On the day of the election 22 youth show up, enough for a quorum. Of these 22, 5 are new scouts who abstain because they don't know any of the people on the ballot very well. Only 17 ballots are cast. Of these 17, a youth need obtain only 9 votes to be elected.

 

If after one round of balloting no youth is elected, the youth are asked to think more deeply about this and vote again. If, on the second ballot, no youth is elected, the election is over.

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Martha, The OA is a national part of Boy Scouts in the U.S.A. Its purpose is to recognize campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. That said, to be eligible a boy must be First Class, 13, and have 14 days and nights camping in the last two years, 7 of which must be long term camping. They are elected by the members of their own Troop. All boys in the Troop may vote, not just the OA members. It was founded on Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service. It was founded at Treasure Island, the Philadelphia Council Camp. It uses many of the local American Indian traditions. Our Lodge in Ne. Pa. holds two Ordeal ceremonies a year(setting up and taking down the camps), a holiday banquet, promotes camping to the Troops, takes on some type of major service project for the camps,and the dance team will travel to any Pack, Troop or Scout function if requested.

The bsa.org web site should be able to give you more info.

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The OAs purpose is Service and to promote camping.

 

OGE-

Our lodge holds four fellowships a year and several work days. Most of our service is done at one of our two summer camps in the form of maintenance and improvements icluding set up and tear down. We also publish a "Where to go camping booklet" as a resource for the units in our council. One of our recent service projects was planning and staffing a special needs camporee.

 

We do have a problem with member retention. To that end the lodge has become less about service and more about entertaining the kids. (To the lodge and orders detriment IMHO.)

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We have a very active troop outside LA, CA usually over 60 scouts. Most of the time we don't have time for OA, we are too busy with our own progran. This year we produced 6 Eagle Scouts and the older scouts have joined a Venture Crew. They will only show up when they need to teach a skill or work on a project.

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What are everyone's tap out ceremonies like? The one in my lodge is terrible.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Isn't it ironic that for OA you have one set of standards of what an active member is and for Regular rank advancement you have a different definition

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Thanks for letting me know what the OA is I thought it was some weird secret thing but now I see it is an incentive for younger scouts to strive towards and a reward for older scouts.

 

In my cub pack we sing taps at the end of every meeting. We all fall in at alert and one child starts off and then we join in . Everyone sings out and its very beautiful. Taps is very suited to children's voices.

 

What do you do for taps Evmori?

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Martha

Sounds like a great pack meeting!

Tapping out is how the boys are selected at the ceremony, it use to be acceptable pratice that the tap was an open hand slap on the chest I think, that sounded like a loud tap. At the one I was at, lst year as a boy scout leader, the SM snuck up behind the scout that was selected and held an feather over his head (the scout did not see this) and a member of the OA would come up to the boy and tap his shoulder to select the scout, it was a very impressive ceremony.

I think even if a boy is selected he does not have to enter the OA and do his ordeal, whatever that is? And yes I would like to know what it is.

I do not know who active the OA is here, They did staff the camporee in the spring, and I have hard of 2 other events they staffed.

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