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Fat Old Guy

OA and adults

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At a recent roundtable, one of the OA Advisors came and talked, complained if you will, about how few adults help out with OA. Many are chosen, go through the Ordeal and then vanish. His point was that if more adults don't help, the chapter might vanish.

 

The problem that I see and was shared by many at the RT was that the adults who are eligible to join OA by virtue of service and camping time are probably heavily involved in other aspects of Scouting and don't have much more time to give. Then there are those that have the time and would be willing to help because they aren't involved in everything else but can't join because they don't go camping.

 

I know that if I was nominated for OA, I'd have to think long and hard about accepting because I spend so much time on troop duties. The problem then becomes, later when I'm not so active with the troop, I wont' be able to join OA. One OA advisor said to me after the roundtable that he had joined OA years before but had been inactive until he son was out of Boy Scouts but now was very active but found it ironic that he wouldn't be eligible to join now.

 

If this is an epidemic problem with OA, should they not be revising the selection procedures to recruit adults who actually can do what the adults are supposed to be doing?

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The nomination criteria for adults is much different than that of youth. For adults, "selection of the adult is based upon ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement or position."

 

Therefore, if adults "don't have much more time to give" they should not have been selected.

 

In our lodge (the best in all the land), adults serve best by staying out of the way. Sometimes I feel my primary reason for being an OA member is the fact that I own an automobile and have a valid driver's license!(This message has been edited by acco40)

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Interesting. Thanks. I didn't know that there was an adult selection committee and that selectees had to be approved by the SE. I wonder how many are disapproved and how early you find out if you've been disapproved.

 

 

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I believe, similar to district awards of merit, silver beaver, etc. that the adult (and youth) selection process should be held in confidence so there is no reason that one should be notified if one is disapproved. Possibly, the troop committee, the body that submits an adult candidate would be notified but not the nominated adult.

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Unless I am mistaken, the "Nominated Adult" just like any youth nominated by the boys does'nt know that they have been notinated, they should therefore not be disappointed if they are "disapproved".

You can serve your OA Lodge as long as you are a registered member of the BSA, of course, no lodge would encourage an adult or youth to be more active in OA than they are in their troop.

 

As a member, I just help out where i'm needed. Help with ordeals, drive, etc. The adult's primary role in the OA is to serve their troop and serve the OA through the troop.

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I don't see a great need for an adult to be active in the chapter or lodge to be

a good Arrowman.If he is active in his troop,scout camp, district etc.then he is fullfilling his obligation to the order.It's good for the boys to see these active adults wearing their flap

All I ask is that they be aware of what the chapter/lodge is doing and paticipate where they can.

I'm the chapter advisor for a chapter that is larger than many lodges(around 300

registered members).Part of the advisors job is to be aware of the adult resources

in his chapter/lodge.I've found that I can always find adult help if I go to an individual and ask them to do a specific task.Don't get much if I just put out a general request.

 

As far as getting adults into the order.Each troop has the option of selecting

at least one adult if their unit elects a youth.

As an advisor I have the option of selecting District nominees if I feel like they would be an asset to the order.I've been told that I can be flexible with the camping requirement if I feel that the candidate would be an asset to the order and I feel that circumstances vindicate this.Maybe the person does not have the vacation time availiable to go to long term camp.I've had a candidate who could not fulfill the requirement because his time was spent staffing a Wood Badge session.

 

In our lodge there is no adult selection commitee.The selection is done within the unit commitee.Form needs to be signed by commitee chair and scoutmaster.

 

When I make a District nomination as an Advisor I need to get the approval of at

least one of the District key 3.I have never had a problem with this.

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About Adults being elected, OAHB, 1998/1998, Page 101

 

Membership- Adults- 21 and over and registered in the BSA, candidates are selected based on the following: 1. the unit committee may recommend to the lodge executive committee one adult for induction, provided

a. based on the adult's ability to perform the requisite functions and is not for recognition of service.

b. the individual would be an asset to the OA due to demonstrated skills and abilities which fulfill the purpose of the OA.

c. the camping requirements set forth for the youth members are fulfilled.

d. the leader's membership will provide a positive role model for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.

 

As for adult leaders in council and district positions, they may be chosen but all requirements set for adult leaders in units must be fulfilled, with the exception of the camping requirements, which may be waived by the lodge executive committee...

 

All must complete the Ordeal experience and participate in the induction ceremony.

 

Adults are not elected as a recognition...Adults should only be considered when their OA membership will make the OA more meaningful in the lives of the youth members.

 

 

In regards to the role of the Scouter in the O.A.,

 

O.A. Handbook, revised 1998, Page 8

 

Mission of the Lodge

 

The mission of the lodge is to achieve the purpose of the Order of the Arrow as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America in the council through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.

 

The Role of the Scouter in the O.A.- Page 61-62

is the same as in the Scouting program...includes training, counseling, and advising leaders and sometimes individuals.

 

...most Scouters in the O.A. take a back seat role, lending support...but without a direct advisory relationship...

 

As a Scouter, you wear the Arrow to make it more significant to Scouts...it is for this reason rather than an honor or award...

although you may obtain personal growth from the experience and you are asked to be an exemplary participant.

 

Even if you were elected as a youth you are no longer planning, voting, leading...

 

The role of the nonadvising Scouter...your main responsibility in Scouting lies outside the O.A. Your main duty within the Order is to support its program in your Scouting position.

 

Your first duty is to your unit...but you should speak well of the Order...encourage your assistants to make the Order a special responsibility... to be a source of transportation and inspiration. OA functions can be a source of relaxation, a time to take stock, meets other Scouters and gets to know the youth better.

 

Be a positive example and encouragement to all Brothers.

 

When I was a youth, I was given support and positive encouragement by many adult OA members. As an older adult, I am still appreciative of their service. Their good work has continued to be a good part of me today.

 

FB

 

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I think I may have given the wrong impression on selecting

my district nominees.I don't make these choices lightly and I've never done more than 1 in a year and I don't choose one

every year.(our chapter had 130 regular candidates this year)

I do follow the rules that FB stated.I have waived the camping on 2 in 6 years In our lodge the Chapter advisor has

the option to make this decision.Our chapter is as large as many Lodges and our lodge is pretty big we have 26 chapters

grouped into 3 service areas,so some of the administrative powers are given to the chapter for it's members.

I still talk with Lodge advisor about these choices since I'm

pretty active at lodge level and see him often.

One point though I want very clear is a person should never!

be selected as a reward.Only choose adults who will be an asset

to the order.

I've seen OA membership used as a status,and have actually had

someone come to me who is Vigil eligable and tell me that he should receive vigil because it's an "award" he thinks he deserves.This is the kind of person who doesn't stand a chance

with our Vigil selection commitee.

All of the Honors in the OA are signs of your deeper commitment to the order.

 

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Fuzzy Bear, I agree. I do see FOG's original conundrum though. I think that if nominated, he should accept and go through the Ordeal. That way he'd be available at that later time when he might be needed. But this doesn't seem to be a problem, at least not in our neck of the woods.

Just one more thought, I'm not certain that our SE is involved in any way in the selection process. Or am I just missing this detail?

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The Council or District key 3 are only involved in the situation of an adult picked as a district choice or council choice if person does not function on a District level.

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In FOG's situation, the Lodge Executive Committee makes the final choice but the unit committee makes the recommendation.

 

The District Chairman, Council President, Scout Executive, or members of the professional staff may recommend to the Lodge Executive Committee adult leaders in council or district positions for consideration.

 

In both situations, the Lodge Executive Committee makes the final decision.

 

1989 OAHB, page 101

 

On a personal note, if FOG believes that he can be a positive influence on the Scouts in his Troop, in regards to the OA, then he would be a good candidate. Because he states that he does not have time to assist in other ways, he just needs to know that his first consideration is always to his unit. Remember, there are unit leaders that disdain OA activities and are not positive influences on the Scouts being active in the OA.

 

He might also consider suggesting to his unit committee that they recommend one of his assistants, if that assistant can give some time and lend a hand with transportation to the Order.

 

 

FB

 

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As a Chapter Chief I must say that our Guide Books say that only adults that can be of help to the lodge/chapter shold be elected.

 

In my mind if the Adult is doing anything from encouring scouts in his troop to go to OA functions to being a Advisor they are doing their job. All help from adults is welcome.

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I agree with wojauwe on this one in that an arrowman's first responsibility is to his troop, and not to his lodge; however, it is still good to be helpful around the lodge whenever possible.

 

So long as a scout or scouter applies the lessons learned through his ordeal in serving his unit, the obligation of the Order of the Arrow is being fulfilled.

 

Though the Order of the Arrow is, like scouting, a youth-lead organization, adult training and leadership is often needed, especially on the chapter level (if the chapters aren't quite as developed as they should be). Once the lodge and chapters become well developed in youth leadership and program, there is little need for adult "involvement." As someone mentioned before, adult selection for OA membership is based on what service or skill they could provide to the lodge and/or council.

 

Still, the arrowman's first responsibility is to his/her unit. If one cannot become involved in the OA because he/she is already heavily involved with serving his/her unit, then there's nothing wrong with that. If such a busy arrowman wants to help out the lodge in any way, he/she should pay his dues and integrate the troop rep. program of the lodge into his/her unit.

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