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slontwovvy

Misguided OA or misguided me?

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Over the past year, the OA seems to have gone off the deep end, imho. When I was talking with an elections chairman and an adult advisor, they asked about my troop's short list of candidates for "Scouting's National Honor Society," to which the other adult leaders and myself responded that we had always held it to be just that--an honor society. As such, we believe in quality, not quantity, and have the eligible scouts apply to be on the ballot, and then have the committee use Scoutmaster's discretion. It's the committee's opinion that boys that want to join the organization would make better members, and that 13 or 14-year-old boys will appreciate the honor and the experience more than 12-year-old boys.

 

Well, the OA people launched into us like you wouldn't believe, saying OA was all about the numbers and we should try to elect as many boys as possible.

 

Am I just out of it, or is an honor society supposed to be an honor society?

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No OA is not a numbers game, but where I have a problem is when a Scoutmaster puts a filter on the Scouts eligible for election. It is just like advancement no more, no less. If he meets the requirements and if you would sign Scout Spirit for a rank for him right then, he should be on the ballot. Let the Scouts in the unit decide who should be in. If a Scoutmaster starts adding on requirements where does it end. There was a Scoutmaster I knew that wont put anyone on the ballot unless they were Eagle.

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The OA is not misguided, but it sounds like your chapter or lodge leadership may be. I agree with NWScouter though about who should be on the list.

 

May I offer a story? As a Vigil member, I was disappointed in my new troops lack of OA members and participation. I realized that if I could get some adult members more involved and educate the youth and parents better about OA, that this might turn around.

 

It has! Not only do we have more members, but they are involved. There is a new "Culture" about OA in our troop. And I'm pleased to say that the boys only elect those who should be honored; before they elected those who were popular. We can now attend OA functions as a troop, instead of figuring out how a couple of scouts could go. They also hold leadership positions that are keeping them involved in scouting - otherwise the other 3 w's might have got them.

 

I don't know your circumstances, but I hope I conveyed the message about an "OA Culture" in the unit ( I rewrote 5 times to try). It made a big differance in my troop to the boys, and kept the numbers people at bay (they exist everywhere).

 

WWW Bob H

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The only discretion that a SM may have about who is eligible for an OA election, is if he wants to count cabin camping or not. Otherwise, if a boy (or girl for that matter) meets the rank and camping requirements, they should be on the ballot. Now, if choosen by the troop youth, the SM may then use his discretion about submitting the boys name to OA. If he issues a veto, he damn well better have a good and valid reason.

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I think we have run over this one before, but a Girl (under 18) cannot be a member of the OA, to be a member of the OA, you must be at least a first class scout,(amoung other things as well) something only males can do.

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Semantics, OGE, semantics. No sex requirements per se, but there is a 1st Class requirement as you state.

 

Maybe it is because of my analytical nature but I was just wondering what criteria certain organizations use for determining sex, race, etc. For sex, for 99.99% of us, the chromosomes and external genitalia present obvious clues. However, for some, physicians and parents need to make judgement decisions about the sex of a newborn. For others, they change their "sex" by surgically altering their genitalia and with hormone therapy. This rarely happens before the age of 18. I just wonder what the legal criteria for "sex" (male or female, not yes or no for the comedians) is.

 

For race, the waters are even more muddied. Recent research tells us that the genetic differences between the races are minute. However, in the state I live in (Michigan), the most prestigious, to some, state University factors an individuals race into their admission metrics. I wonder what criteria they use for determining race or do they just leave it up to the student?

 

Sorry, I got WAY off topic here.

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OA, a numbers game?? I hope note. But they do need people in the lodge.

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Let me see here, here are the requirements for eligibility for the OA:

 

1. Be First Class Scout

2. In a two year period, camp for 15 days and nights, which must include a long term campout (ie, Summer Camp)

3. Be elected by 50% of the unit

 

If a Scout leader starts adding requirements to these, I have to say that he or she had done a dis-service to both OA and BSA. If they meet the above requirements, then the Scouter should let them be on the list.

 

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Let me see here, here are the requirements for eligibility for the OA:

 

1. Be First Class Scout

2. In a two year period, camp for 15 days and nights, which must include a long term campout (ie, Summer Camp)

3. Be elected by 50% of the unit

 

If a Scout leader starts adding requirements to these, I have to say that he or she had done a dis-service to both OA and BSA. If they meet the above requirements, then the Scouter should let them be on the list.

 

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Let me see here, here are the requirements for eligibility for the OA:

 

1. Be First Class Scout

2. In a two year period, camp for 15 days and nights, which must include a long term campout (ie, Summer Camp)

3. Be elected by 50% of the unit

 

If a Scout leader starts adding requirements to these, I have to say that he or she had done a dis-service to both OA and BSA. If they meet the above requirements, then the Scouter should let them be on the list.

 

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Here I go sticking my neck out again, but, our Troop has OA Elections annually just before our August trip. We have a Tap-Out/Call-Out Ceremony there(don't speak to me about"Tap-Out," I use in in conjunction with the term "Call-Out," give an old man a break) at our August trip. Anyway, on our Lodge election package, the last requirement for the Scout is the Scoutmaster's approval. Although I have heard of elections being run as ACCO40 describes, THIS IS INCORRECT! As I've just stated, a Scoutmaster's discretion is used during the nomination process, not after the election. One thing I do add as a Scoutmaster, is if a Scout meets the nomination for election process, I'll ask the Scout if he wants his name up for consideration. Occasionally, some don't. I abide by their wishes. Maybe next year.

 

sst3rd

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Again it seems to me that we have a set of clear cut rules.

Are we happy to just do as they say ?

Or do we want or feel some need to put our own two cents.

How about just playing the game by the rules?

Who knows it might even work.

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There are women are members of OA, just not female youth members. Adult volunteers can be nominated by their unit committees if (1) the unit elects at least one youth candidate during the election cycle and (2) meets the nights camping requirement the same as a youth. The one requirement that does not apply to adults is the rank requirement. I have met many fine women members who came into OA via this route.

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I stand corrected, thanks sst3rd. The SM uses his/her discretion BEFORE the election (to determine eligibility), not after.

 

Eligibility

Induction into the Order requires that eligible Scouts be elected by the other Scouts in their unit. Eligible Scouters must be nominated by their unit, and approved by the Lodge.

 

To be eligible, Scouts must:

 

Be under 21 years of age;

Have the approval of the unit leader;

Have 15 days and nights of Scout camping, including one long-term camp (6 consecutive days); and

Have earned First Class Scout rank.

Scouter eligibility requirements are the same, with exception of the age and rank requirements.

 

 

Now, some have different interpretations of "Scout camping." For example cabin camping, camping with a Webelos Den as a Den Chief, etc. My interpretation is that the SM has the leeway to determine if these are considered "Scout camping." I do know that TroopMaster gives one the capability to flag the camping activity appropriately.

 

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