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"Is OA like BSA "crack" or something? "

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I don't know if I really know the answer to this.

The OA does a really good job of allowing the youth members to be in charge.

While as you know I'm not big on Troop rules, the OA is set up so that adults don't have the opportunity to do any tweaking!!

From the get go it is and I think a lot of the Scouts see it as an honor to be elected in.

Nearly all the Scouts who attend the OA weekends in our Lodge Wagion 6, do so as individuals, in fact I don't know of any Troops who go up to camp as Troops. Even if the adults from their home unit is there, he or she isn't there as the SM or ASM. There are of course Adults around, but the Officers of the Lodge (Youth members) are running the show.

I think that because the Scouts are a little older before they can be elected and there are no "Little Kids" and there really is no advancement, the Scouts tend to look at it as not being the same as Troop camping or Troop Scouting (I'm now ducking!!)

Unlike Camporees which can be very competitive, the idea of fellowship and being a brotherhood does ring through.

As of now we have 75% of the Lodge Officers in the Ship, they came from four different Troops, they are all really good friends but Troops don't do a very good job of allowing Scouts from other Troops to join in with what they are doing -In fact it would be really hard to do if you are using the Patrol Method.

As Kahuna mentioned a lot of older Scouts like to leave the nest.

We had a group of Sea Scouts at a Winter Training weekend in Maryland, in January, they were talking about the other day about the Regatta in May and hoping that the Sea Scouts from Virginia would be at the Regatta.

The Sea Scouts that are in the OA really do take their responsibilities very seriously.

OJ, has ran for Lodge Chief twice and not got it, he is serving his third term as Vice Chief Admin. He does a far better job than I did of following up and checking to see if the chairmen are doing what they are supposed to be doing or have done. The Lad that beat him in the election, is one of his best friends they met at OA weekends. OJ is also the Section Sec. and gets to work with the Lad that beat him before!! Still they seem happy to do what they are doing.

This years conclave is being hosted by a very small lodge, so a group of them are going up for a week before the start to get things ready.

We were very lucky in that the Lodge Advisor who just completed his term of office really had a great grasp of the OA and the Scouts.

One thing that seems to be a big attraction to both the Sea Scouts and the active OA members is that a lot of what they do is done out of Council. Here in the NE-Region a lot of the OA training's are done at Camp Alpine NJ.

Next weekend is an OA weekend. OJ is ready. I'm not sure what activities the Activity Committee has dreamed up. The All Night Cosmic Bowling in the maintenance building was a big hit!!

While the OA seems to be the right fit for a good number of Scouts, it is worth remembering that we Tap out about 200 Scouts a year who come up and participate in the Ordeal and sadly become patch wearers.

Some of the Sea Scouts who are also OA members are really into patch trading. Tom our Ship's pursuer is the Lodge Chief. As Chief he is a youth rep on the Council Executive Board. We were both at a meeting, where we were reminded that Board Members were expected to donate $1,500 a year. Tom looked at me and asked "Do they want $1,500 from me?" I said that they didn't "Wow -Thats good -That's about 350 Lodge Flaps" He said!!




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Thanks! I always enjoy reading your posts and never fail to learn something new. Let me ask another question that I've been to lazy to ask locally. How does one camp at an OA weekend. Having only been active so far at the unit level and camping by patrols within a troop, I have always wondered what the camping arrangements were at OA events?

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We are a small Council.

Our big weekends see about 300 and the small weekends about 150.

We use the Council Summer Camp and ask that people use one main area.

The Scouts come up by themselves, bringing their own tents (Apart from the June weekend when they use the tents that will be used for summer camp, after they have put them up -Cheap Labour!!)

Meals are served in the main dining hall, prepared by OA members.

The cost is $12.00 if they phone the office and let them know that they are coming or $24.00 if they just show up.

New ordeal members pay about $40.00, that covers the weekend, handbook, sash, and dues for a year.


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Different lodges do things differently. Our lodge's fellowship weekends are held at our council's summer camp, and food is cooked and served in the dining hall. The entire camp usually is the lodge's for the weekend, and we do service projects for the camp at all events. At our lodge's service weekends, the projects are more numerous and of a greater scale; at fellowship weekends, the projects are smaller and can accomodate a few people or a lot of people [splitting wood, moving branches, etc].


There are cabins at our camp which can accomodate roughly 20 people each (and usually are enough for the entire weekend's arrowmen), although all campsites are open to any scout(s) who want to stay there. Naturally, there are arrowmen from the same troop, or from the same lodge committee such as a dance or ceremonial team, who tend to "stick together" throughout the weekend, but typically everybody gets along equally as well.


During the day at a typical lodge campout, a lodge may have a leadership-training session, ranging from team-building and leadership styles to improving communication between the lodge and OA troop-reps. These sessions are usually conducted by very experienced and qualified arrowmen, to share their knowledge with everyone else.


Aside from training sessions, a lodge may simply have a FUN weekend...and hey, what's not fun at a summercamp? Depending on the weather, arrowmen could use some of the summer-camp facilities [that is, IF these special activities are planned for ahead of time by the youth of the lodge in conjunction with the council, who usually are very cooperative and supportive].


IF the lodge has developed chapters, then inter-chapter activities and/or competitions are also a possibility. Competitions could be something completely fun such as a relay race, or they could be more knowledge-oriented things such as firebuilding or compass reading....anything the lodge wants really.


At night, the lodge membership congregates in the dining hall for dinner and some after-dinner entertainment. These can range from random prize drawings to OA jeopardy to seltzer-chugging or pie-eating contests---any crazy thing the youth lodge leadership can think up and plan for!


Again, the YOUTH plan out the weekend! If the youth don't want to plan much for the weekend, then the weekend is pretty much a relaxing little get-together for the lodge. If the youth are in the mood for a jam-packed weekend, they'll plan a jam-packed weekend with lots of things to do. The adults play a verry small role in planning and running the weekend; they make sure policies are enforced [youth protection is observed, first aid personnel are available, no firearms or anything like that].


I heard somewhere that the adults in the OA exist to help the youth succeed as leaders. In my lodge at least, this is very true.

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