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I'm in absolute agreement with you there, Bob. I am perfectly willing to accept that in my combined 17 years with BSA, I have not experienced or learned everything. I also believe that it is possible that veteran Scouters with more experience than I may operate in a certain way because "they always have" without really reading the plain language of what the policy says. They may even seek to parse the laguage of a policy to support their particular view of things.


But one of the great thing about these campfire debates, whether real or electronic, is that different people can share their perspecitves for the betterment of the program. What a great thread this has been: you and I and others have expressed our opinions and have even linked the official documents folks can read and make up their own minds.


As far as discussing this with our chapter advisor, he's the one who originally told me that our Pack's adult registration counted toward our Troop's number of nominations. Clearly that was incorrect. Last night I mentioned this to our DE, who honestly agreed with you, but wasn't aware of the district Scouter nomination process. He admitted that since I had recently read the policy that I probably knew more about it than he did. He suggested I talk to the Lodge staff advisor, but unless I happen to bump into him, I won't waste his time for a largely academic question.


Lastly, I think we should be able to communicate using plain language which may or may not be part of the "official" BSA lexicon. Consequently "Class A," "Class B" and "Brother Unit" have meaning, even though those terms aren't found in the official literature. When a SPL says "Saturday is a work day, it's okay to wear your class B's," the Scouts generally know that means a Scout T-shirt and maybe/maybe not Scout pants, depending on how grubby the work may be.


Likewise, when I write of my "brother unit" most folks understand that to be shorthand meaning the Troop chartered to the same CO as our Pack. Our units coordinate Webelos transition and many (but not all) our Scouts and leaders naturally progress from one unit to the next. Frequently, families may have brothers in both units, hence the nickname. As you point out, there is no official relationship between the units. But I'm sure you agree that such relationships are beneficial to all involved and should be cultivated. Obviously, that's a fairly long-winded explaination for a concept more easily conveyed by the phrase "brother unit."

(This message has been edited by Twocubdad)

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Here in my neck of the woods 'brother-units' are called 'feeder-packs'. Another relationship that is not recognized anywhere in the scouting program. It gives the impression that the cubs in that pack have no choice but to go to that one troop. A perception that keeps many boys from crossing into Boy Scouts. And does little to improve either program but tends to promote complacency in program activities.In the same vein Class B means different things to different people.


Now I know this apology is going to get me in trouble because it reads differently than how I intend it. But I was in error to assume you were a new leader based only on the misconceptions that you had on scouting and I am sorry if I caused you any embarrassment.


That being said since you had been a Boy scout and an OA member as a youth and now an adult scouter for so many years I am surprised that you did not realize that the OA was a Boy Scout program and that Cub Scouts and Ventures are a differnet division of scouting.


For the same reason that a Boy Scout Leader cannot earn the Cub Leader Training Award unless they are registered in a pack, a Pack Leader cannot become an OA candidate unless registered as a Boy Scout Leader. The exception being the council and district committees can put up scouters who serve on those levels since they are not connected to any specific program unit.


Bob White



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It is amazing, Bob, that you and I can be in utter agreement on 98% of things, but still manage to get into it over the remaining 2%. One generally finds that level of arguement only among married couples, but that's the topic for a whole 'nother thread, if not another web site. :)


If you will re-read my posts on this thread, I was the one who made the point that OA, like Scouting in general, is a program for THE BOYS, that we adults are members only to the extent we serve the boys. In fact, the crux of the adult selection process is based on selecting adults who can make a contribution to the Order. The selection committee is given wide discretion to call out adults they believe can add to the program. Clearly, the adult membership requirements allow any registered adult to be admitted to the Order, if the selection committee approves. Does it really matter if a Cub Scout or Venture leader is formally nominated by a troop committee, or if his or her name is informally submitted to the committee for consideration as a district Scouter? "Your nomination from the troop is rejected, but you're accepted as a district Scouter." It's a distinction without difference.


In the same post I noted that service is of equal importance to camp promotion for the Order. I'll add here that I believe service is of greater importance. We are, after all, the "Brotherhood of Cheerful Service." While I admit I may have some misconceptions about parts of the program, the essential nature of the Order of the Arrow is not one of them.



Moving on....


Having been in the PR business many years ago, I will say that "brother unit" certainly sounds better than "feeder pack." Like most things, one can take a good, positive part of the program, execute it poorly and turn it into a negative. As one of my hats is that of a rising Webelos II den leader, Webelos-to-Scouts transition is something we have been studying of late. Being a "Brother Unit" (with its positive connotation), rather than a "feeder pack" (with its downsides), seems to be one of the keys to a sucessful transition. If Webelos are comfortable, secure and excited about joing a troop, rather than seeing it as something they are being "fed" into, I'd say the leaders of both units are doing a good job.


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Well then dear.... :)


Let me point out one last thing and ask a question.



Being a Cub Leader does not qualify you for district nomination any more than being a Troop Leader would. To recieve district nomination you would need to be a district committee level volunteer. If you were both a cub leader and a district committee member you could get an OA nomination but the fact that you were a cub leader would be irrelevent to the nomination.



Let's look at this from another vantage point.

In your area does the troop try to recruit from any other packs and does the pack visit other troops?


If the answer is "no" then the brother-unit accomplishes no more and no less than the feeder-packs do, regardless of how much prettier the name sounds.


If the answer is "Yes" then there really is no significant relationaship that requires creating a "special" name.


The goal is to cross every Webelos into Boy Scouting. Past performance does not support having exclusive relationships between a troop and a pack to be the answer, even when they share the same chartering organization. Such exclusive relationships tend to promote weaker programs, and dynasty-like leaderships. That being said there are communities where only one pack and one troop exist, but even they tend to suffer the same fate. The difference is there is no other option.


Cubs deserve the choice to to go to the troop that fits them the best or the troop with the best program. Brother-unit, feeder-packs, whatever name you give them, gives the implication that that is the only choice when it comes time to cross over. No one troop is going to be the right fit for every scout, so when faced with 'join here or nothing', too many scouts choose nothing.


Bob White

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To your point, honey, the essence of our disagreement is that I don't read that verbage in the membership requirements. "The lodge adviser, district chairman, council president, or professional staff may recommend ADULTS to the lodge selection committee." (emphasis is mine.) No requirement is given as to how those adults are registered.


In fairness, the second paragraph down says, "Adults may be recommended for membership only one time per year, either as unit Scouters or district/council Scouters, but not both." I can see where a reasonable person could read that and reach your conclusion. But another reasonable person can read the two paragraphs together and conclude that a person's precise registration is not critical. I don't intrepret the passage to exclude anyone. But if I'm the lodge advisor and have identified a Venture leader as a good resource for the lodge, we can easily tack "Council Scouter" onto his registration and make everyone happy. No big deal.


As to your question, I don't really have a yes/no answer but I will tell you that we have working relationships with two troops, obviously only one of which is chartered to our same CO. While our Scouts are free to go anywhere they want (this year's class of Webelos went to five different Troops) I will say our relationship with the two troops makes it much easier for our boys to gravitate there.


I'm in violent agreement with your statement that our goal should be to cross over every Webelos into Boy Scouting. I'll add the goal of sending them off with the enthusiasm and excitement to carry them through much of that first critical year to First Class.


But the idea that exclusive relationships between packs and troops is counter to that goal is out of line with current thinking. Let me quote from the publication titled "Webelos To Scout Transition": "The key factor to improved Webelos transition is the ongoing working relationship of the leaders of a Cub Scout pack and a Boy Scout troop. Ideally a community organization would have both a pack and troop with leaders who work together to help move Webelos Scouts into a Boy Scout troop the same way schools move students from elementary school to middle school."


Since my Pack work with two troops, I agree with you that there doesn't need to be anything exclusive about the relationships. I can certainly see where an exclusive relationship may be taken for granted -- "familiarity breeds contempt" as they say. But according to what I've read, BSA feels the "ideal" situation is for a CO to have both units, one feeding the other -- even if we don't like that wording.(This message has been edited by Twocubdad)

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One last think honey then you can have the last say (as if you wouldn't):)


The key is to have communications and cooperation between the pack leaders and the troop leaders but the program is not suggesting that to mean only one pack, and only one troop. The focus of the statement is on the act of communicating.


What the transition guidelinewnats leaders to understand is that Webelos Transition doesn't just happen by magic. If you expect Webelos from any pack to consider the troop you serve, then you need to be communicating with the leaders of each of those packs. If you expect the cubs in the pack you serve to go into scouting you need to establish relationships with the available troops in your area.


Now I'm willing to make up as long as we agree there will be no kissing.


Bob White

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Thanks for providing the voice of reason. I was beginning to think I was going to have to pull the plug on the membership of the two "honeys." :) Just kidding.


However, I will answer in the Webelos to Scout transition thread. I've got some feelings about that.


Thank you again, nld, dear . . . just kidding about the dear part.


Glad Bob mentioned the no kissing . . .


LOL (which doesn't mean, lots of love, Grey Eagle) ...



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Kind of sad that 2Cub and BW "kissed and made up". This was a good debate.


I was looking forward to them dueling with lodge flaps :)


Kind of refreshing to see good debate other then the 3G's.


But back to the subject...


I found this on the National OA site. It explains the adult role better then anything I've seen printed.



Cary P

Advisor to Vice Chief

Taleka Lodge 81



The role of the adult in the Order of the Arrow is the same as it is throughout Scouting to help young men grow through a program that the youth plan and run. This help can sometimes include training, counseling, and advising leaders or the individual member.

There are however, some practical differences. In the troop, there are fewer adult leaders than youth leaders, so each Scouter is kept busy with the advising of several Scouts. On the other hand, at Order of the Arrow events there are usually far more Scouters present than elected lodge leaders. Thus most of the Scouters present must take a back-seat role, lending support to those who attend OA functions, but without the direct advisory relationship to any leader.


As a Scouter, you wear the Arrow to make it more significant to Scouts. If you were selected as an adult, it was for this reason, rather than as an honor or an award. If you were elected as a youth member, but have reached the 21 and beyond mark, it is necessary for you to make a smooth transition to an adult adviser to preserve the aims of the program. Nonetheless, your own induction into the Order can be a great opportunity for your own personal growth. Furthermore, you must remember that you are observed by younger Arrowmen and must be an exemplary participant.


There are two distinct Scouter roles in the Order: that of the adviser appointed for a particular youth leader, and that of other Scouters. Each adviser in the Order is responsible for the program under his jurisdiction. It is inappropriate for the adviser to run the program, however, he should always make sure that he is informed about the decisions being made by the youth. It is your task to make sure that the young men succeed. This can include training, transportation, and always staying involved and informed.


A Scouter without an adviser position has his main responsibility outside of the Order in his troop. His main responsibility within the Order is to support its program in his Scouting position


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The main reason I posted this topic is to see how many fellow Cub Scouter Arrowmen are registered on this site. Although debating an issue might be good in some instances, arguments are not.


One thing I have noticed in my area is that there are not many Cub Scouter Arrowmen, but I hope to see current Scout Arrowmen (youth) consider a leadership position in the Cub Scout program. To me, the significance of a Cub Scouter wearing OA Stuff on their uniform is a tad different than Scouter Arrowmen. To me, those who are Cub Scouter Arrowmen could show the best of Scouting by training and teaching potential Boy Scouts. They'll see their leader wear the stuff and they might be interested in the program in general.


Years ago, I served as a Webelos Den Chief and I did wear my OA stuff and my sash. Many Cub Scouts thought it was cool and wondered what they were and how they could get it. I went ahead and told the requirements of how to be eligible for OA, but I did not tell them about the tests.


Besides, the flap and sash look very cool on the Cub Scout Leader (uh, or any) uniform.

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htc1992 writes,


"To me, those who are Cub Scouter Arrowmen could show the best of Scouting by training and teaching potential Boy Scouts. They'll see their leader wear the stuff and they might be interested in the program in general."


Exactly. When I went to Den Leader training, the trainer encouraged us to wear the representations of youth awards to which we are entitled - Eagle, Arrow of Light, and religious award knots, OA Flaps, the (rather complicated) OA coup worn by our lodge, Mic-O-Say coup, etc., as a way of getting the boys to ask us about them. They provide instant teaching moments about Scouting. (So far, I've heard more questions from the parents than the boys, but that's ok.)


Funny story: A few months ago I arranged with the "Student Naturalist" program at the local high school to put on a program for my Pack. (Snakes, furry critters, etc.) It turns out that the impressive young man running the program was our Lodge Chief. After a brief chat about my Scouting experience, he teasingly asked me "where's your coup?" (Oops!)


Needless to say, I've made a new one since then. (25 years worth of beads? When did I get that old??) I fit right in with all the young staffers at Bear Camp yesterday and today.








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