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SagerScout

OA Advice Sought

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From other posts, it's reasonable to guess LauraT7 wasn't trying to be rude. I'm sure you agree that your severe asthma is quite a different beast than the mild and easily managed asthma that some have - and perhaps LauraT7 has only run into those asthmatics. Still and all, it IS worth pointing out that asthma is a condition that (a) is generally not curable, and (b) has the unfortunate potential endpoint of death.

 

As the parent of a child with moderately severe asthma, I don't mean to minimize the risk at all. On at least 3 occasions my son's been a lot closer to going home to God than we wanted. When he was 4, I thought he died in the back seat on the 7-minute drive to the hospital once. He'd been coughing uncontrollably even after his neb treatment at home, I decided it was past time to go and that it would be faster to take him than wait for the ambulance - and about two blocks from our house the coughing in the back seat suddenly stopped, to be replaced by an eerie silence. He'd passed out completely, but was still breathing, thank God. I didn't know that, though, as getting to the ER was my priority. You would be surprised at how fast a VW Rabbit can go on an empty street at 4 am.

 

So, we have emergency plan upon emergency plan - pocket inhalers all the time, notarized "authority to treat" in his pocket, he's the only 15-year old I know that carries his own insurance card, back at camp we have the peak flow meter, nebulizer and meds, and emergency oral steroids.... but he still goes. The goal of treatment is a normal life. He lives a normal life, which includes scouting. Most of the time the extra junk is extra junk. Once in a while we need it, and are glad to have it.

 

We try not to borrow trouble, if he's already rocky or catching a cold, we'll stay home. But we also don't see any sense in staying home because of what MIGHT happen.

 

Let me get back to this: how ARE the boys in this troop who do NOT have medical exemptions supposed to earn their camping badge, especially if the camping must be BSA camping as I have been told? My own son is OK on this one, as he was in two troops before this one and has many more than 20 nights camping. Yet the boys in this troop are only going every once in a long while. It's going to be a problem for some of them. I still want to deliver the promise for all of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SagerScout, are you an ASM? If you are get another ASM to agree with you that these boys have met the requirements and go the the Lodge Advisor at summer camp. It only takes two registered leaders to approve boys on the fly. Trust me, I had a real problem with my son. He was elected twice, but taken off the call out list by our Scoutmaster. I went around him. Remember this... If it is due in BSA, it will happen.

 

ASM1

 

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I don't know why DDHII is getting so upset. My brother has asthma, mild case, since he was a kid and the doctor told him/parents that it was allergy related. I have heard this from other asmathics as well, so I assume (a dangergous thing anytime) that allergies/asthma have come about as a description. But I see no rudeness, nor any type of "mocking" in any of Laura T posts,

Why so sensitive? What about the word or description of allergy is so offensive.

I am assuming (again) that most Scouters recognize that asthma and the need not only for inhalers, but the need for knowledge of what to do with a scouts/scouters asthma attack (incident? what word here?) so as to render comfort and care are as important as knowing what to do with the person who has adverse reactions to bee stings (now I am writing carefully) or the person who is diabetic, has ADD/ADHD.

My point, is that of all the posts and silliness that can result from the posts on this forum, I have never seen anyone treat these things lightly, nor offensively.

Again, what gives?

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Dale:

 

I'm sorry if you mis-understood me - or if you took offense at my flippant answer - I was being kinda silly and tone is hard to convey in writing.

 

My brother is asthmatic - he is 10 yrs older than me and I remember many, many nights when I was a child when he would be up at night because he couldn't breathe. the inhalers, the medication and rushes to the emergency room - I certainly don't take it lightly.

 

But there are many degrees of many illnesses. Many, thought not all, can be helped by various interventions - medication, diet, etc. Allowing those affected to live very 'normal' lives. including going camping - if that's what they want to do. I believe that ALL scouts should have the opportunity to do as much and go as far as they can. It's not fair to limit those that CAN camp, because the SM's kids have Asthma and they feel that they CAN'T camp. Loads of asthmatic kids CAN camp - we have two in our troop, one more severe than the other. One takes his inhaler, hardly ever uses it and is fine. The other, well, I've never seen him camp without his Dad - and they only started that recently (in 3 yrs of bveing with the troop). But they HAVE started him camping, because we made it clear that we would do anything to accomodate his medical needs that we could - so that he COULD participate to the best extent of his ability.

 

that's what I meant by "real illnesses" - if something is severe enough to prevent a boy from participating - make the program so that he can participate during those parts he CAN do. Try not to make the program all or nothing. one size does NOT fit all!

 

I guess I was trying to point out - in my flippant way - that rather than look for reasons why they "can't" they should look for reasons they "can" - that they should look to do the most that's "possible" for all the boys. Even sitting at home can be dangerous, and what kind of program can someone have hiding from minor discomforts like heat and bugs? Learning to overcome and how to succeed despite obstacles is part of the program! you seldom find the character building challenges in a troop meeting room - the program is designed for the outdoors!

 

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No to be rude either, but just how does campin adversely effect asthmatics? I can understand how hiking or canoeing could put extra strain on somebody spurring on an attack, but what parts of other types of camping can cause problems?

 

I would think that in car camping would not place a large physical strain on a body, and I would also think that the fresh air and open spaces of the woods might actually be better for a person with a respiratory condition than at home in the house. If allergies were the trigger for an asthma attack then the trip date could be ajusted to better conditions. Also, over the counter allergy medicines might lessen the risk of an attack, although I don't know how much.

 

Again, not to be rude, but a troop should not have to suffer and be held back just to accomidate a small minority with medical conditions. Camping is a foundation of scouting and if they aren't able to camp then they shouldn't really hold back others from doing so, especially if they don't do anything with scouts in the time that they should be camping (IE: no weekend meetings where a campout would have been).

 

All of the above ideas about how to get camping time in are great. Mabey to get the ball rolling on PLC's you could put out a few telephone calls before the first few meetings and try to explain their importance. Drum up support for the troop making it's own decisions on everythign, not just having an idea handed to them for their approval.

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Go to the roundtable meetings, EVERYONE is invited. Talk to any OA member, find out the Chapter Adviser or Rep. Have him arrange for elections. Problem may be, the Sm has to recommend and approve of the choices. A lot of politics in your Troop. Be careful, it may get ugly. GOOD LUCK!!

 

 

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because the SM's wife (the COR and CC) fell and broke a bone in her wrist

 

Is this correct??

To much power is being held by one person. I was under the impression that there had to be one person one job. As Scoutmaster I cannot be Treasurer, how can she be CC and COR. Sounds fishy Sager.

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I believe that you can have a Venturing crew with in a Troop. Girls are not allowd. They are only allowed in a True Venturing Crew. IMHO her plate is way too full and she should be relieved of the ones she feels she can do without by another volunteer. Maybe another Scouts parent(s) can step up?

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OK, I guess I am going to have to talk to the OA advisor, as so many smart people have told me to do.

 

The Scoutmaster told my husband at the last meeting that it was "too late" for OA elections for a summer camp tap-out next month. He says elections are held a year ahead of time- can that possibly be true? My husband feels he was just stalling since we only have 2 or maybe 3 boys in the troop that are even maybe eligible, none of them the Scoutmasters.

 

I hate to sound like a parent seeking recognition for my own son but frankly, I am. I think he's been a great scout and a great camper and has overcome a lot of personal issues to do it.

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You can not have a Venturing Crew in a troop, you can only have a Venture Patrol (a patrol of older more skilled Scouts that particapate in high adventure trips, usually 13-18 years of age). A Venturing Crew is a total seperate unit/program from a Boy Scout troop, just like a Cub Scout Pack is a total seperate unit/program. The Venturing Program has it own awards, advancement and uniforming policies. The only links between a Crew and a Troop are the following.

1) They can have the same CO.

2) A Boy Scout that has reached 1st class or above in a Troop can continue working on his Eagle rank as a member of a Crew without maintaining membership in a Troop.

3) The members of a Crew or encourged to work with Troops and Packs as training resources for those units. Part of meeting each requirement is to teach the material to someone else.

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I don't think there are any hard and fast rules for all but in our District:

 

OA elections are encouraged to be completed in January and February. I know some have been "tolerated" to be finished in March. Our summer camp is in June/July (starts this Sunday!) So, do you need elections a year in advance? No. Can you hold them one month before sumemr camp? No. (At least in our District.)

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To answer a question in an earlier post, this is cut and pasted from an asthma web site...not all triggers affect all asthmatics the same. In a camping environment, triggers can take the form of campfire smoke, exertion, cold air, bug spray, dust, mold spores, etc. Each asthmatic has to know their level of sensitivity and which triggers to avoid. Needless to say, tobacco use in the presence of youth members is a no-no.

 

 

"Common triggers of bronchoconstriction include everyday stimuli such as:

Cold air

Dust

Strong fumes

Exercise (For more information, please refer to Exercise and Asthma).

Inhaled irritants

Emotional upsets

Smoke

Smoke acts as a very strong trigger. Second-hand smoke has been shown to aggravate asthma symptoms, especially in children. The effects of one cigarette linger in the home for 7 days, and therefore it is very important to provide a SMOKE-FREE HOME for all children. In fact, some health care workers feel that smoking in a home where there is a child with asthma is a form of child abuse.

Children should not be exposed to a polluted environment over which they have no control."

 

 

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Elections to the Order of the Arrow may be held anytime during the year but only once a year. If you have had it in April you can't have in October but next year you can have another. Many chapters try to have their elections before their camporee to have a bang up call out (not a tap out).

Call outs can be anywhere, some troops even have them at Court of Honors in order to make an Ordeal Weekend.

To hold an election you must have 50% of the active Scouts in your troop present. The Scoutmaster must certify that the scouts on the ballot meet the requirements. All scouts present may vote for as many of those scouts as they think worthy. Any scouts that is marked on half the ballots is elected to the OA.

Your troop has 20 active scouts, 10 need to be there for an election. If there is 14 scouts there, to be elected you have to be on 7 ballots.

 

Once you have had an election in the troop then the committee may elect one adult, who needs to meet the same requirements as the scouts. It is assumed any registered adult is first class.

 

WWW

(This message has been edited by NWScouter)

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NWScouter gave a very succient rundown on O. A. elections. As somebody posted they are frequently run by the lodge/chapter in the early part of the year. This does not mean that you can't have a late election. When you talk to the lodge advisor, that should be one of your questions.

 

I understand your feelings about the SM and his family. Even good people can do only so much. However, I would hope that they feel the same way toward you, and would not find it as hard to accept your suggestion to have an election as they did your offer to be an ASM. Before you ask him, though, make sure you can have one "at this late date".

 

If the OA advisor says you will have to wait, plant the seed slowly, so that it will have time to grow, by the time the lodge is conducting their elections next winter.

 

Somebody mentioned Roundtables. Frequently the chapters have their monthly meetings at the same time. This gives the youth transportation without creating an extra meeting for the adults. Or, if the youth are active in the chapter but the adults don't attend roundtable, it could help to spur them (the adults) to make use of a valuable tool. You might make use of the one youth member who is in the OA, and suggest that he be the troop's OA Unit Rep. This will the requirement of troop leadership for Star, Life, or Eagle.

 

If the SM does not attend roundtables get him to attend at least one with you. Make sure it is the one when the lodge will be talking about what the OA is and how good it is. Make sure the lodge advisor knows that you plan to do this, and just happens to come by to say hello to you personally during the evening. At this time you could take the opportunity of introducing your SM of troop "ump-t-dump" to him. I am sure that before he takes his leave of two fellow scouters, he would casually say how he hopes to see you when you have your troop election.

 

In the meantime, find out why those boys left the troop. If the answer is that they didn't like Sc ing, get them back, and in your son's patrol. By next year you will hopefully have more boys in the OA, and a year later, who knows, one of the SM's sons may be elected.

 

Sorry, I tend to talk too much. Keep up the good work, YIS, paul

 

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