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Eamonn

A Clean Sash?

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OJ made Vigil honor this weekend.Needless to say I am playing the Proud Father to the hilt. He has done all that he has done in the OA by himself with only minimal support from me. (If you can call playing chauffeur and banker support.

He made a point of saying that I could have his Brotherhood sash. I said thanks and went to deposit it in the laundry room. He who knows far more about the workings of the Order then I do informed me that a sash should not be washed or covered.

I can see the not covered maybe? But not washed?

I have been washing mine for 27 years!!

He tells me that the sash is supposed to reflect your service. I think mine would reflect what I last ate.

Eamonn

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I've never heard of the not-to-wash restriction. Good thing: I've developed somewhat a, um, 'food catcher' in front, myself.

 

My problem is somewhat different. The last time I got my new Brotherhood sash was over 30 years ago. If I put it on, it would look like a lei!(This message has been edited by Compass)

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Eamonn,

 

Congratulations go to OJ and yes, you may feel pride without restraint. You too have made something of importance.

 

I have never washed my sash after all of these many years because it is a distant reflection of our service.

 

 

FB(This message has been edited by Fuzzy Bear)

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Eamonn,

hearty congratulations to your son and to you. Just tell him from me, an old Vigil to a new one, that his service has only just begun. The Vigil Honor isn't a destination, it's a starting point.

 

I say these things because my Vigil means a great deal to me. It was completely unexpected and my father served as my Vigil guide. A very special and meaningful experience. And now that I'm back as a Scouter, it's meaning is even deeper.

 

As to the sash, I've always cleaned mine after soiling. But different lodges have different customs.

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I have 2 sashes one that I use when working and one for official things.My son gave me a hard time about wearing my dirty sash when we were running unit OA elections.

Blade, my son and I's Vigil was reverse of yours.My son was my Vigil guide.

Congratulations OJ and Eamonn.

 

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Wash or don't wash--This really is a matter of how one looks at it. I'll use the analogy of the "ragged old flag" poem many have probably heard once or twice in their life. One can fly a clean and new flag to honor and to glorify his/her country, or one can continue to fly the same flag day in and day out, with respect for the strife the flag and his/her country has gone through. Do you want to wear the sash to look presentable, to demonstrated the honor and respect that you have for the organization of the OA, or do you want to reflect the service you've given, not caring what others think, so that you may be reminded and proud of the service you've given? It's solely up to you.

 

"Ragged Old Flag"

I walked through a county courthouse square,

On a park bench an old man was sitting there.

I said, Your old courthouse is kinda run down.

He said, Naw, it'll do for our little town.

 

I said, Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,

And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.

He said, Have a seat, and I sat down.

Is this the first time you've been to our little town?

 

I said, I think it is. He said, I don't like to brag,

But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.

You see, we got a little hole in that flag there

When Washington took it across the Delaware.

 

And it got a bad rip in New Orleans

With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams.

And it almost fell at the Alamo

Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though.

 

She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville

And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.

There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,

And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.

 

On Flanders Field in World War I

She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.

She turned blood red in World War II

She hung limp and low a time or two.

 

She was in Korea and Vietnam.

She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.

She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,

And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.

 

In her own good land she's been abused --

She's been burned, dishonored, denied and refused.

And the government for which she stands

Is scandalized throughout the land.

 

And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,

But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.

'Cause she's been through the fire before

And I believe she can take a whole lot more.

 

So we raise her up every morning, Take her down every night.

We don't let her touch the ground And we fold her up right.

On second thought I DO like to brag,

'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.

 

Written by Johnny Cash

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Our youth Arrowmen deride the "clean" sash and see it as a sign of an inactive member. They delight in deriding sash "condoms." Most of the adult members either go with the two sash method (one ceremonial, one for service) or perform service sans the sash or wash it.

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"Arrowmen deride the "clean" sash and see it as a sign of an inactive member. They delight in deriding sash "condoms.""

 

I've seen this before. It really bugs me. Arrowmen with this attitude just don't understand what the Order is all about. Or, at least, their view is a lot different than mine. It seems they are ignoring the obligation, "...ties of brotherhood are lasting...", "...seek to preserve a cheerful spirit...". Yea right. At least they're doing service.

 

SWScouter

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I think the dirty sash is an urban myth.

 

It's origins may lie with the romantic conceptions young men tend to have about black belted martial artists.

 

Back in the day, martial artists had only one belt. When they were new, the belt was white. Over time, depending on the amount of use, the belts gradually darkened until they appeared black. The belts of the day were not easily washed, and the term "black belt" came to denote status and proficiency.

 

I don't think the legend should carry into the OA. A guy with a "black" sash is a guy with a dirty sash, not a guy who "earned the Vigil Honor."

 

A Vigil is selected by the youth Vigils of the lodge and is an honor to bestow, not an award to be earned.

 

Having said that, however, the sash will eventually wear out. Whether through mis-use by dirt, or over-washing, sooner or later you're going to buy a new one from National ;)

 

Unc.

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Unc

Unless you have the good fortune to inherit your son's old sash.

Have to remember to throw an extra few bucks in the FOS hat next time it is passed.

Eamonn

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If your lodge trading post as extra inventory, why not purchase a new one?

 

What's the big deal? We sell new sashes all the time.

 

 

 

 

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At our recent ordeal the boys were told not to attempt to wash their new sashes because the dye in the red embroidery would bleed into the white sash. Has anyone experienced this? Maybe the newer sashes are not colorfast?

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I'm going to go stray a little bit off topic, but what's new with that?

I really never have taken the time to really get into the OA, the workings of it and all that good stuff.

My good friend Fred Jenkins, who was a Scoutmaster of another Troop, in the District back home and a guy who as a Scout and as a young Scoutmaster I used to hate with great zeal. But when the 15th folded he came to the 17th and grew to be one of my closest and dearest friends. Was a very wise and powerful influence on me, used to say that there were reasons and there were excuses.

There is no such thing as the OA in UK Scouting. When I came across the pond back in 1977 as a young fellow, I was taken by the ceremony, the patches and the young people in the Lodge. At that time it seemed to me that the officers and the movers and grovers were Lads who were over 18 and they were backed up by a group of guys who were ex-officers but still under 25. At that time it seemed that the qualifications to be a "Real Arrowman" were: You had to have had served on camp staff. As a camp staffer the more times you crashed the camp truck or got the tractor stuck the more esteem you were held in. Being big, strong and athletic was a big bonus. Being able to work hard at physical tasks and being able to play just as hard were high on the list of qualifications and if not top of the list very near it was you had to love the camp. I spent a great summer with these guys. I was only 147 pound, but I was a hard worker, loved playing hard and crashing the camp truck and getting the tractor stuck, just added to the fun.

I did visit these guys when I would come over from the UK and spending time at camp, no matter what season it was, just seemed a natural thing to do.

Time passed they grew up and some moved away and over time we stopped playing together. I moved here to live in the mid 80's. This group were gone, some had become legends. I was asked to serve on the properties committee. Soon I was attending meetings where the main topic of conversation was how ill-responsible the camp staff were and how the OA wasn't far behind them.

Because of trying to make a living I wasn't able to make hardly any of the weekends and even though I paid my dues and wore the flap, I wasn't in any way active.

When I did attend the odd weekend it seemed that the age of the youth members had gone down, the 17 and 18 year old guys were replaced by 14 and 15 year olds.

There seemed to be two groups of adults, those who were members of the Kitchen Club and those who held a PhD in construction.

It seemed to me that once I started serving at the Council and District level, that I was one of them. I had crossed some line and I was no longer to be trusted. I have no idea why.

Many of the adults who work their tails off and do so much for the camp seemed to think that they had ownership of it. Trying to use the camp for things like Training's seemed to cause these adults a lot of distress.

Over time I got so as I just didn't like them, the OA and wanted nothing to do them. Still I paid my dues and wore my patch.

I didn't see or maybe I didn't want to see the work that was being done with and by the youth members. All I seen were a bunch of people that to my mind were a real right royal pain.

When OJ, got the bug I was happy to let him do his own thing. He really did get the bug. We were very fortunate that the guy who agreed to serve as Lodge Adviser really seemed to understand the workings of the Lodge and the OA. He understood the value of training the officers and has done a good job working with the youth members.

OJ, has really got a lot out of being in the OA. He really is into it and is talking about running for Section Secretary at the conclave later this year.

As a parent I can't sing the praises of the OA and the Lodge loud enough.

Eamonn.

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