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KoreaScouter

OA Ordeal -- Bittersweet

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Padre,

 

No, you're not going to get any heat. Sounds like the problem is your wife. Woodbadge ain't a cult, and it should not have changed her. Brownsea ain't a secret. Nothing in Scouting, OA or training, for youth and adults, is a secret. Yes, until your wife gets it together, you better leave the program. NOT WHAT YOU WERE EXPECTING TO HEAR ????

On a different thought, I've had single mom Scouts for years. The moms became very dedicated leaders. If the appropriate opportunity presents itself (and it has twice for us), I will discuss the OA with the adult (mom)way in advance. If they felt uncomfortable about entering the OA before their son, we dropped it. In both cases, the sons eventually were elected to the OA, and their moms soon followed. To me, it was common courtesy.

 

sst3rd

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Padre,

I am very sorry to read of the conflict in your family. I am not prepared to say that the problem is your wife's having only read what you have to say so far. And I am not saying the problem is yours. I am saying that the problem is not scouting. There is no element of this program designed to keep secrets, or be scary, or to not be fun, or to divide couples. I wish you and your wife luck in finding the real cause of strife in your marriage, and I hope you can all be able to share the fun and the values of the scouting program as a family.

 

Bob White

 

 

 

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Captainron;

 

He's going through his Ordeal next week; I'm waiting until after we get settled in at our next home.

 

Our troop does an annual trip to Cheju-do, lasts a week, costs each participant about $100 out of pocket for transportation, lodging, incidentals, and food. We do lots of hiking, mountain stuff, touring, nature study, and service projects, too. Great experience every time...

 

KS

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For those of you who aren't in the OA and reading this:

 

The practices of the OA can not be kept a secret from you on an offical level. If you absolutely must know the details of everythign that goes on you can ask at your local council office and I believe they must tell you.

 

Having said that, there is no rule to make anybody privately tell you what is going to happen. The OA is not a cult, the ordeal is not some kind of frat enitiation, and there is nothing done there that wouldn't be acceptable at a normal scout function. The OA was once treated as a secret sociotey.

 

I feel that if you aren't in the OA and dig enough to find out what the OA is all about then you probably don't belong there anyways. If you do get elected and try to get people to let you in on the big secret then the ordeal won't mean jack to you so you aren't doing it for the right reason. If you get elected, but don't try to "cheat the system" and just pay attention to what is going on you will leave there with a great appreciation for what you have accomplished. The goal is not just to get in, it's to leave with something special too, so don't try to cheat the system and you will be better off.

 

Nothing bad happens at any OA function. It's a part of scouting that is a great honor.

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Great to hear about your sons Ordeal! I think I looked at your reg date and mistook it for your post date. Since I got the wrong date I was a bit early on the congrats for you and your sons Brotherhood. But still I think its great that you and your son can be in the OA together. I have had some great times since my son joined just one month ago. It has given him a "new perspective" on scouting.

Good luck in your move.

One more thing did you receive my Email?

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I do want to acknowledge that I received lots of great and several not so great/non-constructive emails. For those of you who took the time to share your knowledge and experiences with me, I truly do thank you. Your honesty is much appreciated.

 

I post my reply openly and without the intention to bash scouting, WB or OA. But to create some thinking and knowledge about what overdosing can create. Our SM reacted to the problem of my wife's over commitment and the strain on our relationship but it was already too late, most of the damage was done. He and I have not talked about this situation lately but I do belive he feels responsible for being an enabler to the situation and feels very badly.

 

The stories were from both ends of the spectrum. Some thought it was entirely my problem, not enough scout spirit or just lack of whatever. Let your wife achieve in her own way, join the scouting family and get involved.

 

At the risk of repeating myself, I should tell those folks that I still pay for every summer camp, campout, uniform, piece of equipment, drop of gas etc that my family uses for scouting. This is my time at work to earn their way and it does get expensive. I have been on every campout for the last 7 years with the exception of summer camps. I have built obstacle courses and shooting ranges. I have been in charge of events /booths and been on staff at different camps. I am not an ASM, my choosing, but I have been a very active parent and volunteer. My goal was to be as close to my kids experience in scouting as possible but not to drive them, only to follow and support them.

 

I also heard from parents that attribute their divorce to Scouting and Woodbadge. Not because scouting did this to them but because they overdosed on scouting and didnt listen to their spouses. And it was not because their marriages were lacking anything at the time (their opinion), but because they were missing from their marriages and that created problems. One SM confided that he even started a relationship at WB and that finished his marriage. Marriages dont contain peer recognition,cheers, awards, Beads or OA. And they all did it for their families. Everyone would always recruit them because they knew how to get things done, had the resources and skills or just didnt know how to say NO.

 

I have seen it work for couples that have an equal amount of enthusiasm for scouting and I have seen it work where couples have completely different interests and you never see the spouse at scout activities, male or female. It is going to be different depending on the circumstances and it will probably change over time. We have been married for almost 20 years and it has changed several times.

 

What IS important is the you agree on what you want from the program, what you can give to the program, and what you give up to be in the program. That is where we went wrong; changes happened very quickly during WB and priorities were not discussed and agreed upon.

 

Once my wife took WB training my opinion didnt count any longer, I was not as well trained and if I disagreed then I just didnt get it and I needed to go talk with another leader, she always suggests a WB trained leader. She does not always pick the best activities for our sons and I think it is because she no longer listens to them. I am sure she still wants the best for them but now she really knows what is best for them in scouting. My wife concealed her OA commitment from me and I only found out before the tap out because the SM told me to stand near my son in case he needed to cry since he was not getting tapped out but my wife was. This is when I got really hurt. I think our SM felt really bad that I didn't already know that she had signed up but had not told me. She had promised to not take on any more scouting activities that did not involve our family being together. She also indicated that this was such a great honor that she couldn't pass it up and wanted to do her ordeal right away but we needed to cancel our vacation because of the conflict of dates. Well we went on our vaction and she did not have a good time, her sacrifice was too great.

 

No, I do not blame all my woes on scouting/WB/OA but scouting does NOT make me feel good any longer. It has caused too much conflict in my family. This is about communication, honesty, love and respect. Both the adults and these values have to be present in your marriage. Scouting has just been the vehicle that carried inappropriate behaviors/actions and woodbadge created some of the rationalizations for her. I do not doubt her scout spirit.

 

We now have professional help for our marriage and it is painful. I no longer attend any scouting activities any more because I do not want to be a negative influence on the program or my sons. This absense is just creating more distance between us and she will not give up scouting. Perhaps I already have an answer about our marriage from her.

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Padre:

 

I wish nothing but the best for you, your wife and your family. I hope it works out for the best, although I'm not able to know what "the best" for you and your wife and family is. If there is some way I can help, please feel free to contact me. I'll do what I can.

 

Scouting is great, but I happen to think that marriage is greater.

 

Dave

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CaptainRon;

 

My home computer's boxed up and on its way to Hawaii. I'm doing all this from the library, or the business center at the hotel we're in temporarily.

 

Our Scouts (and one ASM) got back very late on Tuesday. On the down side, two of our five didn't complete the Ordeal. My son and the other two who did complete it were beaming when they stepped off the bus; he was exhausted, hungry, and badly in need of a shower. But, as he told me the next morning, when he used to just show up for summer camp, he took for granted the work that went into the setup and preparation...not any more.

 

KS

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