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PNScouter

Why so secret?

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I am not sure if it was lost, but just for the record, I hold the Knights of Columbus, Shriners, Masons, etc all in high esteems, it was meant to be sarcasm, sorry it failed

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I think you are missing my point. I am saying that all the lodge officers are usually in their upper teens. I realize that a 12 yr old can give as much service to the order as a 14 year old. What I am saying is that when you go to Ordeals you are usually camping by yourself or with a toop friend at 14 you are more experianced than at 12. Thats all it is a muturity thing. Heck who knows I may be waiting to put the sash around my sons shoulders when he is 13. But at this point I am in favor of a SM making that decision. You know as well as I do that there is not suppose to be any hazing in OA. But it existed when I got in 23yrs ago and it exist today to some extent. I believe that maturity will make a young man come back after his ordeal.

 

Thats all I am concerned about.

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No I knew that the comment about Masons and Shriners was sarcastic. I Just wanted to point out to other posters the good that Masonic Frternity does. Alot of people are in the dark about Freemasonry. Thats all.

 

 

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I am in the Order of the arrow and there are some secrets to it and the order is not secret (dan). When the OA has their ordeals they help clean the camp, or where ever they have it at, not only because it plays a part in the ordeal, but it helps the camp out a little bit. I did my ordeal at camp oyo and it is a verry nice camp there was hardly any trash and we cleaned up the woods and the chapel. Pretty much to sum it up it is a verry good program...

 

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Boy, its been 2 years since I asked the question and since then I have learned more about the OA. I have found out it is a great program and it is not so secret. However, I have discouraged our troop committee from nonimating me because I do not have the time for another scouting commitment. The position I serve in keeps me at times too committed.

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PNScouter,

 

I too am very busy. However, everyone I talk to is also very busy. I'm a 4th time Webelos Leader, Pack Committee Member, Troop Committee Member, Crew Advisor, Unit Webmaster, Pack & Troop Newsletter Publisher, Pinewood Derby organizer, OA Brother(for 2 months now), Wednesday night Church Youth worker, and father of 4 boys.

 

Don't deny yourself the joy that serving others brings. Let them nominate you!

 

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Proud Eagle states:

Arrowmen can only be admitted into the next level by earning the right to have revealed to them the knowledge of the next degree.

 

This sounds like secrecy to me.  Unless this knowledge of the next degree is available in a handbook that can be viewed and read by anyone, you have a secret order.  In my assessment, when the BSA says there is no secret organizations, what they mean is all meetings and gatherings can be viewed publicly.  That does not mean that you will necessarily receive all the information.

 

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"Alot of people are in the dark about Freemasonry."

That's because it's a secret order.  Non-members are supposed to be in the dark.  What the public sees are the charitable works of Freemasonry.  What they don't see are the ceremonies, rituals, and oaths that members are bound to keep secret from non-members.

My grandfather was 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner.  I don't everything, but I know enough.

 

 

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Jeffrey,

 

Anything and everything about the Order is available through the Professional Service. If a SCOUTER, PARENT, PASTOR, RABBI, TEACHER... has a genuine question, from the Ordeal to the Vigil, they need only contact the Council SE (who is the Supreme Chief of the Fire for the Lodge) or the Staff Advisor to the Lodge (usually the executive responsible for the Council Scout Reservation).

 

That we keep it from Scouts who are not yet members is designed to appeal to their sense of the unknown.

 

That the tasks and ceremonies are the same for adults as for children is because OA is, first and foremost, part of the Boy Scouting program. They are designed to enhance and support the youth experience. We adults are simply advisors.

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Mr PNScouter,

 

I admire your sense of priorities.

 

At the same time, participation in the life of your OA lodge can be as much or as little as you make it be.

 

I'll definitely encourage you to undertake the Ordeal at an early date. Why? Simple: I believe knowledge of the values the Order inculcates are worthy elements in the growth and maturity of young men.

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John,

 

Thanks for your input and I would expect nothing but openness from any BSA council.  Will these good council folks answer questions concerning the knowledge of the next degree?  Im a former Arrowman and went through Ordeal as a youth in 1976.  Nothing was kept secret from me and I was free to share with other non-member scouts about my memorable experience with Ordeal.  I had a great experience but no secrets.

 

Proud Eagles comments implied secrecy.  I would also say that your comments implied secrecy as well That we keep it from Scouts who are not yet members is designed to appeal to their sense of the unknown.

 

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A tone of secrecy exists in the OA primarily in it's Ceremonies and Induction Process. The OA uses ceremonies to assist in teaching the values of the organization, brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. They also help the candidate understand why they were chosen, relate their experience to OA's values, and how their new obligation relates to them. They also get their sash and receive the signs and salutations of membership and the handshake. The mystery of the OA is done to protect these traditions so the new candidates do not know what will occur and so these will be new impacting experiences for them.

 

For this reason, I believe that Scouts should not tell other Scouts what is going to occur on the Ordeal, Brotherhood, or Vigil. This isn't because something bad is going to happen, but because they do not need to know what is going to occur until it happens. It can be nerve wracking, but it makes more of an impact on their life. The same is true for leaders. However if I had a parent, religious leader, or anyone else approach me with a concern about the organization, I would sit down with them and explain things. I had a parent in the Troop I work with have questions about it, and I've offered to talk to her, but she doesn't want to listen. So if you have doubts about the organization and how it can help your Unit, read the national factsheet, look at the National web site, and if necessary, approach your lodge leadership who would be glad to talk to you about the OA. It's a great honor and leadership/service development experience for youth and adults alike.

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Think of any "secrecy" in OA as allowing for 'guided discovery'.

 

They can't hurt you, you will however grow from the experience.

 

 

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Secrecy may attract a Scout but it is not what keeps them. Our Chapter brought in 75 Scouts this last year beyond the 100 plus past members. At our last 10 gatherings, we had a high of 10 members to show at any one meeting, non were new. We have cancelled meetings where we scheduled things the Scouts said they wanted to do. The mystery is how to get them active. Maybe the parents know something. fb

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I agree with those who state that the Order of the Arrow is not a secret society, yet has protected rituals. Some small part of the intrigue in joining and learning about the organization is in the things that are not shared until achieving particular levels. I can remember as a boy my father was tapped out as ordeal nearly two years before I was...so of course he went through all the steps in the process before me. I can remember DYING to find out what the 'WWW' signified. I can remember REALLY wanting to earn that pocket flap patch. Once tapped out and sent through the ordeal I felt proud to know these things along with the knowledge that I had a responsibility to fulfill.

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