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By-passing The OA Troop Representative.

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When I got up this morning I found OJ in my chair at my computer. This is not a big deal, but he has his own computer and complains that mine is slow and doesn't have his stuff on it.

He was writing a letter to all the SM's in the District, informing them that he and the Troop Elections Chairman, would be running all the elections. He was asking for meeting times and places.

I happened to mention that I thought that Troop Reps. were to visit a near by troop and supervise the elections. He said that the Lodge wasn't doing that anymore because it didn't work.

In fact he was getting a little upset, when I said that I thought that this was a big part of being a OA rep. I went on to say that my thinking was that now the OA rep is a POR, that it was wrong for the Lodge not to allow them to do their job!!

I asked why the Lodge wasn't trying to train these reps in how to do the job right? He didn't have an answer.

What do I say to the Lad who comes up for an Eagle Scout BOR and has OA representative listed as his POR?

I honestly thought that these elections were a big part of what the job is all about.

It isn't the fault of the Lad that the Lodge took his job away, but wearing a patch and doing next to nothing is not how we play the game.

Worse still is now the Elections Team for the District is OJ who is AVC- Admin and one other Lad, this means that I have to drive him to all these meetings!! Then I will have to meet with every SM along with all the ASM's. These guys love to talk and there is only two episodes of West Wing left!!


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If you look up the "Unit Election Procedures" in the Guide for Officers and Advisers it makes no mention of the OA troop/team representatives.


It is the responsibility of the lodge to create and train unit elections teams, contact the leaders of each unit, schedule elections, and then conduct actual elections.


Troop/Team Representatives would be likely good choices to serve as members of unit elections teams, but there is no requirment that they be members of such teams.


If you check the job description on the OA website or in the SM's Junior Leader Training Kit you will find it makes no mention at all of unit elections. However, other materials indicate that the OA Rep should encourage his troop to hold an election and make certain that all arangements are made for one. That doesn't mean he holds it, or that he works on the election team.




So while your lodge may have chosen to use the OA Reps as members of the unit elections teams, that is not actually a part of the job. Remember, the Order of the Arrow Troop Representative is a Troop position of responsibility. As such they report to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, are advised by an adult in the unit, and are appointed by the SPL. Their duties are to serve their unit. In so doing they will also serve the interests of the lodge, but their responsibility is to the troop. As such the lodge can ask them to help with elections, but it can not force them to do so.


As for training the OA Reps, they should be recieving the same sort of training all other youth leaders in the unit recieve. In addition to this, an opportunity to attend a lodge training session such as an Lodge Leadership Development Conference should be made available to the OA Troop Reps and their advisers.


So, next time someone comes before an Eagle BOR and they used OA Rep as their POR, make certain they actually did that job, not the job of the lodge's unit elections team.


For more information see:


http://www.oa-bsa.org/programs/ttr/(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

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Proud Eagle

Many thanks for the link.

I have been wrong before.

I have been following :


Which states:

There are numerous possibilities for the job description of the OA Representative. The beauty is that it is flexible enough to allow your unit to fine-tune the exact responsibilities. However, the most basic tasks of the Representative will be to coordinate service opportunities within the unit, to coordinate unit involvement with the Order of the Arrow, including Unit Elections, Camp Promotions, and Inductions, and request lodge and chapter resources to help meet unit needs.

Sad to say looking at the OA Troop Representative Duties:

Serves as a communication link between the lodge or chapter and the troop.

Encourages year round and resident camping in the troop.

Encourages older Scout participation in high adventure programs.

Encourages Scouts to actively participate in community service projects.

Assists with leadership skills training in the troop.

Encourages Arrowmen to assume leadership positions in the troop.

Encourages Arrowmen in the troop to be active participants in the lodge and/or chapter activities and to seal their membership in the Order by becoming Brotherhood members.

Sets a good example

Enthusiastically wears the Scout uniform correctly.

Lives by the Scout Oath, Scout Law and OA Obligation

Shows Scout spirit

I don't see this happening in our District. Not because the OA Rep. Is unable or unwilling, but because all this stuff is being done by someone else ( With the exception of:Sets a good example

Enthusiastically wears the Scout uniform correctly.

Lives by the Scout Oath, Scout Law and OA Obligation

Shows Scout spirit)

Communications from the Lodge are via E-mail and newsletter to all Lodge members.

The SM's seem to be the guys doing all the camp promotions and high adventure promotions. In fact other than looking good on paper there really isn't a lot of meat on the bones!! The only work is "Assists with leadership skills training in the troop" Sure the Encourages to do this and do that are fine and dandy, and I can hear a Lad at a BOR tell me that he got so many other Lads from his Troop to seal their membership or take part in community service projects. But I wonder how he might answer "How did you do that?" There are some great answers that could be given, but I'm guessing the most common one will be "I told them about it".

I really did think that having Troop Reps taking charge of the elections was a great and worth while thing.

But I see that I'm going to have to give this a lot more thought.

Again thanks for giving the little gray cells something to work on.



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Your OA Lodge's Membership Vice Chief should have DVC's for each district of the Council - ours has 4 - they split the one district into a northern and southern region and appoint 2 DVCs because it is such a large area to cover.


The DVCs should contact the SMs in late Dec./early Jan. and begin the arudous task on mailing fliers and making at least 3 phone calls to each SM to finally get a date set for the Troop elections. (Can you tell that my son was the DVC last year and that I drove him and his Election Team all over creation? ;) )


My son, who is also the Troop OA Representative would ask the SM if they had an OA Rep. If the answer was yes, he [my son] asked the SM to have the OA Rep make ballots with the eligible boys names prior to the election and also for the OA Rep to introduce himself the night of the Troop Election.


If the answer was no, he strongly encouraged the SM for them to elect a Scout for the OA Rep position.


Some of my son's responsibilites as OA Rep include reminding the Scouts in the OA about paying their dues, encouraging them to go for their Ordeal once they are called out, have eligible OA members test for Brotherhood, and get the Arrowmen to become more involved in the Lodge and participate in service days, Brotherhood & Fellowship weekends, conclaves, banquets, etc.


He also promotes camping to the younger boys.

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I think what you are running into is the same thing I frequently observe. OA Troop Reps often don't do anything more than what an Arrowman is already expected to do. Now, why exactly would that be?


Common reasons I have run across are:

lack of understanding of the program by Scoutmasters

lack of understanding by the lodge/chapter

lack of proper support from an adult adviser

lack of proper support from the lodge

lack of proper training


Now the question I sometimes have is, what exactly in the job description should they be doing that another Arrowman in the troop should not also be doing?





The structure and process you discuss sounds like a perfectly good method of administering unit elections. However, I should note that the exact organizational structure of lodges, chapters, and committees is at the discretion of the lodge (and the SE, in the case of chapters). Therefore the way your lodge works could in fact be quite different from the way another lodge works. There are certain basic parts of the structure that should be common to all lodges, and there should be certain parts of the unit election process common to all lodges. However, beyond these basic elements there is quite a variety in the way things are done.


Just as an example, in my lodge (OK, it isn't mine, it is the youths') we have most responsibility for elections given to the chapters. Each chapter is supposed to appoint a Unit Elections Chairman to supervise the process. This person then works with a lodge Unite Elections Chairman who coordinates on the lodge level. These chairmen report to the chapter vice chiefs and the lodge vice chief. In reality at the chapter level the Chapter Vice Chief often winds up doing the chairman's job. As for the actual election teams and the exact process we use, I won't get into that.


Also, the OA Troop Rep should be appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader, in consultation with the Scoutmaster. Some units may choose to use other methods, however the method supported by BSA is for the SPL to appoint the OA Rep.




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From my experience as a Chapter Chief of a previously very inactive chapter, I am always searching for ways of getting more arrowmen involved in the program. The OA Troop Rep. is an awesome method of getting scouts to take a more active role. It helps the chapter and if done right can count for the POH requirements for their rank advancement. Our lodge is also offering a service award for troop reps that complete certain tasks. We are in the process of setting up a system in which the OA rep. would coordinate the unit election with his own troop. Although both the arrowmen and the scoutmasters need to be educated about the OA troop rep. system in order for it to work properly.

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