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Rooster7

OA may be a nice organization, but...

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Mike,

 

You make excellent points. Life is tough. While I'm all for protecting kids from cruel circumstances, we shouldn't try to create a plastic bubble. They need to have an understanding of how and why things happen. They need to be able to deal with disappointment, even, and perhaps most importantly, when life is not being fair. It's an ugly reality, but it's a lesson they need to learn. In the long run, they'll be better off and more prepared for life as we all know it.

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A couple of comments on some previous posts...

 

First of all, OGE, your troop members should not be doing your troop election. To my understanding it must be done with some representative from the outside.

 

Secondly, I believe it was evmori who is going out of council. You need a letter from the chapter or lodge advisor in order for them to be called out out of council. As far as I know, it is very difficult or impossible to allow your scouts to take their ordeal out of council. You'll need to head to a Fall or Spring Fellowship/Conference.

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Slontwovvy,

 

I agree the elections should be done by an OA representative, but what is a troop to do if the OA isnt together enough to send us a rep by the Council function when the Call Out occurs?

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To respond to some of the points raised...

 

It is correct that at least one youth has to be elected by the unit during the election cycle for the unit to be able to nominate an adult. If no youth is elected, or no election occurs, not adult can be nominated.

 

I have been in OA longer than some participants in this forum have been on this earth. There is no denying that popularity has a lot to do with getting elected. If the OA election has degenerated to nothing more than a popularity contest within a unit, then the adult leadership needs to look at what it is doing. Most elections that I have observed have resulted in deserving scouts being elected. That does not mean that some other deserving scouts were not elected, but few outright jerks get elected regardless of their superficial popularity. Most boys take this more seriously that this most of the time. It is up to the unit leadership to see to it that the election is presented properly to the boys.

 

Candidates, both youth and adult, should strive to go through their ordeal within the council in which they are elected. OA national has a policy prohibiting candidates from doing their ordeal outside their local council. If you anticipate electing some youth candidates and those candidates having an opportunity to do their ordeal outside their home council, you had better talk to the OA adult volunteer hierarchy before doing this. Talk to the lodge advisor and see what he or she tells you. I get the impression that most lodges no longer conduct their ordeals at summer camps. You should have plenty of chances for your kids who may be elected to go through their ordeal with your local lodge.

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Greetings from H. Roe Bartle! I really thought someone who's been around longer would get to this before now, but here goes.

 

Yes, we keep the ceremonies and traditions a secret, but with up to 1200 people attending at a time, it's not a "closed" secret ceremony. We allow any concerned parent to come, but boys aren't allowed in til they are members.

You won't find anything about us in official literature because we are only in two locations; Bartle in Osceola Mo, and Geiger in Saint Joseph. National knows all about us. When the national camping committee comes to evaluate us, they are always in amazement at the sheer numbers that come to Bartle. We camp 1500+ every session, and we camp six sessions a year. We have a waiting list of adults waiting to be unpaid staff at camp.We routinely take an average of 1 adult to every boy!

The best thing about Mic-O-Say is that as soon as you are a member, you can be active for the rest of your life. Boys recieve "paint"; responsibilities such as Runner, Tom Tom Beater, Shaman, ect.I guess that is the personal growth side. Adults can also recieve paint, and take on jobs such as Sachem. All the ranks have jobs that are administrative as well as tied to ceremonies. Even adults without paint work at camp, in a variety of capacities.

While we don't have activities such as winter conclave, you will find tribesmen working at Bartle throughout the year and serving in all areas in Scouting. OA has had a hard time competing with Mic-O-Say here in the Kansas City area. For many years, troops on the Kansas City went to Camp Naish and did OA, Missouri troops went to Bartle and did Mic-O-Say. Now OA is growing, partly because our new scout exec is OA, and very active. He is also a tribesman now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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slont,

No me. We stay in council. But you are correct in your post!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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In 1979, I was in one of the first few troops in Kansas to make the trip to Bartle after the HOAC merger. It's a beautiful place with tremendous programs. But I was an Arrowman before they gave me that Foxman's stick, and I could see the difference in the programs even at the tender age of 14. For the boys, Mic-O-Say was about reflection and self-evaluation. OA was about getting out there and helping.

 

Mic-O-Say is an outstanding tool for supporting the Bartle Scout Reservation. It brings boys back the next season, and it's brings the alumni back. There's nothing wrong with that. But unless there are some 16-year-olds hiding behind all the old guys in headdresses on the HOAC website, it appears to be a long way from "boy led".

 

(A little history here: Perhaps the reason that OA had a hard time making inroads in the Missouri side of the Heart of America Council might have something to do with the fact that the powers that be wouldn't let Tamegonit Lodge do any ceremonies at Bartle. Is that still the case? Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. The merger that created the Heart of America Council back in 1975 wasn't exactly a marriage of equals, although they seem to have gotten over most of it in the years I was out of Scouting.)

 

Getting back to the thread, OA was one of the best things I participated in as a scout. At a time when Scouting was even less popular than it is now, meeting other Scouts who "got it" was tremendous reinforcement for a guy from a small troop. If your local lodge isn't providing any "cheerful service", that's a real shame.

 

Jim

 

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It sounds to me that Mic-O-Say and Order of the Arrow are similar in respect to the native American influence. From what has been posted, the OA (I'm a member) concentrates on service to others and MOS concentrates on individual growth. If I'm wrong, tell me. I always thought the BSA programs to be geared for increasing personal growth while giving service to God, Country, and others. The OA does the same thing. All brothers are equal. Does the MOS program put a greater emphasis on advancement within the org? Are higher levels treated differently? If so, this would be a problem for me. Nothing I say is meant to take anything from the program and participants. I'm just trying to understand it and how it fits into what the BSA program teaches. Could it be that there are great numbers involved because it is more self-serving? Clue me in.

Doug

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In answer to Borninthe60s, OA doesn't have any ceremonies at Bartle, but we have had boy chiefs in OA sit up with the chiefs during ceremonies. I assume that like all smaller organizations, we are worried about being absorbed.

I hate to say it, but so far, the "cheerful service" that OA is supposed to be about is absent in my experience. Like a lot of troops, we went to Naish for Tap Out, and inducted a considerable number. We sent a boy to round table to be the OA rep from the troop, and not once have we ever heard about any service. There are work days at Naish, just like at Bartle, maybe that is where it happens.

No, Mic-O-Say is not boy lead, but you probably didn't see all the firebuilders, tom tom beaters, runners, shamans, ect that are youth. There is a time factor for every paint responsibility, so no, you won't have any boy chiefs. That is not part of the structure.

As the parent of a boy on staff for four years, I can tell you they work very hard(along with every boy camper that is available)to make camp work. I really think OA has potential here, and I would love to go somewhere else where it is the primary honor camping society and see for myself.

As for the viewpoint of Mic-0-Say being more focused on advancement within the levels and on personal advancement, I can only say NO! Being a Tribesman is like being an Eagle, you are charged to give back more than you recieved. Why the intense loyalty? I think the fact that adults also have a role gives it tradition and continuity. They boys see the the work that tribesmen do, and how long they stay in, and they want the same. Boys wait impatiently to get in, and are immensely proud when it happens. Because there are boys every year who would appear to eligable and don't get in, you don't get so much of the "popularity contest" aspect.Everyone is either a warrior or honored woman, with additional paint responibilties.The "higher" you go, the more work!

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I was only recently made aware of this forum and the postings being made here regarding The Tribe of Mic-O-Say. Kudos to the Tribesmen that have come here before me and attempted to explain to non-Tribesmen what Mic-O-Say is. My user name speaks for itself, but in addition, I am a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow as well as a Tribesman.

 

In response to ASM7, Tribesmen are not "sworn to secrecy". Like OA, much of the enjoyment comes from not knowing too much about the ceremonies. With the heightened awareness for youth protection, the Tribe has put into place safe-guards to provide training to those in positions of responsibility and strictly adheres to two-deep leadership in all its functions. While the Tribe of Mic-O-Say is not recognized by the National BSA, they are certainly aware of us and many on the National & Regional Staffs are Chiefs and Medicine Men in the Tribe. As far as being self-serving, nothing could be further from the truth! As stated before, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say teaches a young man to "be the best that he can be in all areas of his life" and to "give back to others".

 

In response to Stressbaby, from the Order of the Arrow Handbook: "In May 1948, the Executive Board, upon recommendation of its Committee on Camping, officially integrated the Order of the Arrow into the Scouting movement. The Order's national lodge was dissolved and supervision shifted to the Boy Scouts of America." Growth in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say has far from slowed! While the Tribe is local to the Pony Express (PEC) and Heart of America (HOAC)Councils in western Missouri, you will find variations and adaptations of it in many other councils as well (Golden Eagle in Salina, Kansas; Tribe of Lone Bear in Springfield, Missouri; Silver Tomahawk in South Central Iowa; and programs in Omaha, Nebraska and Bellevue, Illinois). Each year, 1000+ youth and adults become Tribesmen in either the PEC or HOAC camps.

 

To Yarrow, I agree with you that often times the OA elections are nothing more than a popularity contest. Many other unit leaders before you have said the same, yet it seldom changes. I'm sure the young man you speak of feels hurt and disappointment at not being selected by his peers. Whom among us wouldn't. Unfortunately, I cannot go into detail about the selection process for the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, but suffice to say that it is NOT a popularity contest. I have no doubts that your young man would be wearing an Eagle's claw around his neck right now if he was a Scout in either the PEC or HOAC today.

 

To Heart of Bright Star, I must make a point of clarification. I realize that as a HOAC Tribesman, you are probably not aware of the Tribal activities that take place in the PEC. In addition to the ceremonies at Camp Geiger every camp session, we have an annual Tribal Feast the first weekend in June (as you do), as well as a Fall Pow-Wow conducted after the camping season and a Winter Conclave held the first weekend of the new year that are available to and enjoyed by all Tribesmen. Perhaps you can attend one some day and we can swap stories about the Tribe.

 

And finally, to Born in the 60's, whoever said that the Tribe of Mic-O-Say was a "boy-led program"? It was never designed to be. The reason so many OA chapters and lodges are ineffective is because of the boy leadership. They simply don't have the necessary skills at that age. To put them in such a position is to often set them up for failure. Who would want that?! Within the Tribe, additional responsilities come with maturity and active participation in the program AND in scouting. As a young man works his way through the Mic-O-Say program, he learns from watching the older scouts and men as they carry out the duties of their respective rank. As far as Tamegonit Lodge ever conducting their cermonies at the Bartle Reservation should be a non-issue. Camp Naish is a fine facility for supporting the OA program just as the Bartle Reservation is designed to support the Mic-O-Say program. Would you be receptive to conducting Mic-O-Say ceremonies at Camp Naish? Are you willing to write the check necessary to duplicate the OA facilities at the Bartle Reservation and the Mic-O-Say facilities at Camp Naish? It certainly seems an unnecessary expense.

 

I have spoken!

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I have to say that IMHO, one of the reasons for the ineffectiveness of OA in our area is the fact that the older scouts are divided, or are dividing their time, between OA and Mic-O-Say.

 

SB

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This is what I found on the micosay.org website under purposes of micosay.

 

Ceremonies, customs and traditions of the Tribe are for the eyes and ears of Tribesmen only, and are not to be discussed with non-Tribesmen.

 

The site also has the BSA registered logo on it.

 

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exbsapro, thank you for your post. You put into words what I could not. I was called at Bartle in 1968 and currently attend camp at Geiger. When we have OA troops attend camp they are very interested in Mic-O-Say because of the enthusiasm of the boys involved and the intentness of the adults involved. Many of the boys and young adults that volunteer for camp do so because of their involvement in MOS, usually without monetary compenstation.

 

Yes, ASM7, the customs and traditions of the Tribe are not to be discussed with non tribesman. However, any adult that has concerns about the Tribe is welcome to discuss their questions and they will be fully answered. Any scout that is not mature enough to understand the ceremonony or the purpose of Mic-O-Say is likely not to be called or tapped until they are able to do so.

 

I have spent time with such boys and their parents explaining the reasoning behind such a decision. Have not had a bad experience yet and all boys that have not been nominated and the boys try that much harder to be nominated the next year.

 

Also ASM7, you left out the third paragraph of the Mission of Mic-O-Say.

 

The purpose of Mic-O-Say is to reinforce the principles of the Scout Oath and Law, and to foster continued participation in Scouting.

 

Also to answer one of your questions about rank for advancement Yes, Eagle is required for one of the higher paint stations. The coveted blue of Runner. ( or should I say Mighty Runner) ;)

 

YIS

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I haven't been able to participate in this thread but am reading with much interest. I still intend to start a similar group here to provide for our middle aged scouts (with the greatest drop out rate).

 

It is good to see the new posters who have made significant contributions. Thanks for joining in. (It's good to see Mike Long also - seems he has survived the first few months as a dad.)

 

Boy led elections seem to be a potential problem. I am wondering about alternatives and Mic-O-Say may have an answer. Could someone post a member to member outline to me pls?

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Hi. First of all, if you are afraid of some boy being victimized by some perv. out there there is a simple solution. WHile not tellng them what will happen, it wouldn't be hard to tell them some rumors that won't happen. Tell them that they won't be harmed in any way, that only their ceremony master can inform them of what will happen, and that all scouting rules (youth protection) still apply. Besides, if you show the youth protection program to every scout they should know what is clearly wrong!

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