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Crossramwedge

When does a boy find out if he has been elected for the OA?

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My son was voted on for election in to the OA last December, but has not heard or received any info as to wether he was elected. I am not a member of the OA but am CC of the troop and am involved in Cub scouts. I understand that is the Boys who elect their fellow scouts for the OA.

 

He is a Life Scout, has been on over 50 campouts/Camporees is in his third year as a den chief, is now a troop guide, has been a patrol leader, has countless service hours and volunteers for more all the time. He gets along with the other boys except one. I have been complimented on several occasions by the other leaders about him. He has been to NYLT. I just cannot see how the other boys in the Troop would not vote him in. The one boy he has problems with is in OA and my son has tried to understand why the other kid dislikes him. He has tried to talk to the boy about it but just gets shrugged off. Ive seen it. In fact his Dad and I have talked about it. Is there anyway one or two boys could keep him from being elected to the OA? There is another boy in the troop who is this other boys freind and is the District OA Lodge Secretary. But my son gets along with him.

 

So guy's what do you think. Is there any way I can see if he was elected. We did not go to the only camp out this year that had call outs because another Scout in his Troop was doing his Eagle project that week end and my son elected to stay in town and help him.

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Welcome to the forum!

 

Scouts are voted by non-members of OA for membership into OA.

 

The Tap-out ceremony is when anyone elected should have been "tapped out". Check with the SM and the OA folks who conducted the election.

 

 

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The Scoutmaster would know if your son was elected. After the election the OA Lodge notifies those elected in a call out ceremony. Some Lodges also notify Ordeal Candates by mail with a registration form for the Ordeal. Some Lodges do the call out during summer camp, some at a spring Camporee. It is up to the Scoutmaster if the names of those selected are made public to the Troop prior to the call out.

 

My advice is for you to talk to the Scoutmaster. If your son was elected and has not been called out then a phone call to the Lodge's Lay Advisor or Staff Advisor would be reasonable. Each candidate has 12 months from the date of their election to complete an Ordeal. The Ordeal must be conducted by the lodge of his Troops Council. Outside lodge's may call out with prior written permisson from the Lodge Chief.

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Troop traditions about this process vary.

 

Technically, a "Call-Out" Ceremony doesn't have to happen at all.

 

The Scoutmaster may announce the results directly after the OA Election.

 

Maybe the Troop allows the Chapter Election Committee to submit the results to the Lodge and have a letter of invitation to the next upcoming Ordeal program sent to the Scout(s).

 

Scouts from the Troop, members and non-members of the OA, can vote in the OA Election.

 

If a Call-Out Ceremony is the tradition of the Troop, ceremonies can happen at summer camp, maybe at a Camporee. In our Lodge, each Chapter has a Ceremonial Team to respond to requests from each Troop as needed. Each Chapter Election Committee gives the Troops their associated Ceremonial Team's contact information.

 

Here in my area, some Troops have their own Ceremonial Call-Out Teams. They can then personalize the Call-Out Ceremony for their Troop.

 

As all others have said, you should be able to ask the Scoutmaster. He/she can explain your Troop's process and answer your questions. Nothing is secret in the BSA.

 

Good Luck,

 

sst3rd

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Crossramwedge,

 

Greetings!

 

The great thing about the OA is that there are no secrets. As a parent, if you have concerns the Chapter and/or Lodge Advisor should be able to answer them.

 

Take a look at the webpage www.main.oa-bsa.org

 

There are election procedures and sample reports in the Guide for Officers and Advisors. The Advisors would usually attend unit elections with the Chiefs (either Chapter or Lodge). The Advisors entrust their Chiefs to correctly and fairly conduct an election and report the results appropriately.

 

As an adult, You should be able to inquire with the Scoutmaster, the Chapter Advisor or the Chapter Secretary/Registrar (adult position).

 

To answer your question "When does a boy find out if he has been elected for the OA? The Guidebook allows Scoutmasters to either state the results immediately after the election or the Scoutmaster may wait (usually till a Camporee "Tap Out" Ceremony). At least prior to the Ordeal weekend.

 

The earlier the better, because the Scout and family should register independently for the Ordeal weekend (as patches, sashes, elangomats and grub need to be arranged). The youth do not travel to Ordeal as a Troop, but usually as an individual or maybe as an ad hoc patrol.

 

Now, as an adult OA Arrowman. I have often scratched my head after witnessing elections. Saying to myself "What were they thinking?"

 

I've seen elections where all but one receive enough votes. Also, I've seen 100 percent votes for all eligible arrowmen. Oddly, I have been there when none eligible broke the 50 percent of the votes (no one received enough votes to become arrowmen) Fortunately the Guide for Officers and Advisors allows for a second vote. And Sadly on a few occasions, I've seen twelve eligible Scouts in front of their Troop and only one Scout received enough votes and was elected, eleven other Scouts having to be told not to give up and continue on the Scouting trail.

 

Since approximately '99, the elections procedures now allow even more members to be elected.

 

I have seen OA election teams state that everyone eligible in front of them, may be elected. I've seen troops handing out printed ballots of OA eligible Scouts. I've also seen Scoutmasters give their personal endorsement by standing behind all the eligible Scouts and stating "All of these Scouts deserve to become Arrowmen, its up to your vote" (Similar to Scout Spirit, either the Scoutmaster give approval or does not approve)

 

On a personal note, my oldest son was a Life Scout, 16 closing in on 17 when he was elected. My youngest son was elected at the age of 14. They were fortunately to be elected. While Scouts should understand the purpose of the Order of the Arrow and the election procedures. And further that the Arrowmen are elected by non-members. Each year, there are probably a few deserving Scouts, that are never elected to become Arrowmen during their youth or as a young Assistant Scoutmaster (till 21).

 

Hopefully your son's hard work will be recognized by his fellow Scouts and he will become an elected Arrowman soon.

 

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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I appreciate the replies I am getting. I understand the process. Now I may just be a father talking but to be quite honest I just can not see him not being elected. The last time the election for OA came about there where only two boys eligible and the other boy barely met the standards to be elected. He by the way has not been called out either. I did forget to mention in my earlier post that my son was called out once two years ago but because my wife and I did not understand what the OA was("Secret Society") etc. etc. we discouraged him from accepting. After some research and asking questions we now accept what the OA is and what they stand for and he would like to be given the chance to join OA. I understand that they are very service oriented.

 

He is all about service. When service projects come up and volunteers are needed his hand is one of the first to go up. If it doesn't its only bceause he is already committed some where else. This evening he is to take part in a flag ceremony at a local church and and this coming week he has volunteered to be on staff at the Disricts Cub scouts Day camp. Its a week long 8:00am-5:00pm daily camp. He is 14 and a "Life Scout" and scouting is what he does for his recreation and service. His older sister is on a "Ventureing Crew" and is leaving this Thursday for "Seabase" in Florida. Scouting has become a big part of our life in the last 5 years and we love it.

 

He is more qualified and has done more for scouting than many of the boys from our Troop who are in the OA now. Its to bad that many of the boys who deserve to be in the OA do not get the opportunity. Its not fair to those boys. The only other thing that I think may be happening here is that he is a very moral boy and does not take part in the usual "Bantor" that goes on between teen age boys. That is the way his Mom and I raised him. He has never heard a cuss word exit my lips and does not cuss(to my knowledge himself) Well I guess you guy's can tell I am proud of him. He does 99% this on his own. Oh on occasion I have had to prod him, but its a very rare occassion.

 

To me he eximplifies scouting. For instance he still needs to finish up his physical part for the Physical fitness badge. His badge counselor told him to just put down something physical he does (Mow the lawn, ride your bike etc.) 3 times a week for the next 12 weeks and he will count the 12 weeks being done. He will not do that and wants to do it the right way. Some of the other guys in the troop have gotten their badge doing it that way. He won't because he believes it to be cheating. I think he is what a scout is all about and I just want him recognized for it.

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I hate to say it, but if you are not elected by your peers, you are not notified of that. Only elected scouts get feedback by the callout. Those not elected receive nothing.

As for his qualifications, they seem great, but if in the minds of his peers he doesn't rise to the ranks of OA, so be it.

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Well that may be so, but again what does one do about a boy who who is more than well qualified for the OA and all the leadership in a troop knows it. ( Not necesarily my son) though he is more qualified to be in the OA than most of the boys in his Troop that are already in it. Its not right. I am CC and now what all the boys have done. What badges they have, what rank they are etc, etc. I Keep up with that. I will accept what the boys think but in this case they are wrong. I hope its a clerical error or something.

 

What if a boy is being ostracized because he is different, then there has to be some way to rectify the matter. If not then fairness and honesty which is the heart of Boy scouting is a farce.

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I would say a couple of things here as a retired SM.

 

1. Since he hasen't been notified, He probably was not elected.

 

2. Your SM has done HIM, not you a disservice by not telling him he was not elected. We always told those not elected the nite of the call out.

 

3. There is no appeal or redoing of elections. The vote of the boys is final and cannot be challanged unless there were voting irregularities. Only the Chief of the Fire can void an election. But before you thought about entertaining that thought, think long and hard about the consequences to your son.

 

4. Sounds like you think your son was slighted by the boys. They may have had reasons you as a parent can't understand. The youth see things diffferent than adults. When I was SM we had a youth that was not voted in 3 times. He was an eagle scout, ASPL, and in the view of the adults a shoe-in. But in the boys eyes he was a whinner, and they wouldn't vote for him.

 

As I see it, your son has 2 choices, accept the vote and drive on, or find a new troop. As for you as a Dad, you need to step back and accept the oucome by supporting your son in his decision.

 

Sorry if I seem harsh, but I have dealt with parents on this same issue before.

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Crossramwedge:

 

You want to know whether or not your son was elected.

 

The answer is, your son needs to ask his SM. Its a bit surprising at this date that your son doesn't know. If he failed, his SM should have told him soon after the election -- to leave him in the dark all this time and expect him to "figure it out" on his own is not being "courteous", IMHO.

 

Fred Goodwin, Brotherhood

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My boy is not a WHINER. I am not just a parent, I am involved in the Troop as a leader myself. I am chairman for our upcomimg District "Fall Camporee". I observe and know what is going on and just can not figure this one out. My son has not said one word about not hearing wether he got voted in or not. He has not brought it up one time. As far as him not being elected in OA you are right, the boys may not be voting him in because they see things differently than a "Parent or leaders" does. BUT is it possible they need corrective lenses? What if a couple of the boys for some reason have something against another boy who is well qualified to be in OA. They dislike that boy because of of something that happened out side of scouting. Then knowing that this boy was up for OA election they go around before the election spreading lies and rumors about that boy to keep him from being elected. How is that for needing corrective lenses? I am not saying that happened to my son. But if it did and it was found out there ought to be some recourse to rectify the situation. It could happen and the innocent boy is the one being punished. There ought to be procedures in place other than "So be It". Thats all I am saying.

 

Again my boy has not even brought this up one time. If he knew I was inquireing other people about this situation he would be very upset with me. I am the one who is questioning as to why he is not being notified as to wether he was elected or not. He has and will live with the boys decision. I will never get involved beyond trying to see if he was voted in or not. You say all I have to do is ask the Scoutmaster to see if their is a mix up? Another election will be held in December. If he does not make it this time I guess he will try again.

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No matter what, if the boy's peers do not feel he should be in OA, he should not be in OA. No appeal, no fairness, no membership. Sorry, but that's the rules.

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In our Council, Scouts who are elected are as a rule not told that they have been elected.

The Call out is done on parents night at summer camp. When the Troop is in camp.

Of course if the Lad isn't at the camp, other arrangements are made.

Crossramwedge, one thing that makes the OA so special is that it really is youth led.

Is this always fair?

No.

As we all know kids are not always be fair and at times can be cruel.

Still if we old folks start sticking our noses in and interfering, we run the risk of undoing something which for the most part works and works well.

Ea.

 

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You allude to an incident with a child and some other scouts that happened "outside of Scouting." If that were true, then I would say that there really isn't any "outside of Scouting"; the things the boys do in their daily lives is part of the point of scouting, it's not just what they do on-duty.

 

On the other hand if, lies and innuendo are being spread prior to an election and this can, be proven and there is no truth to the falsity being spread, then it might be appropriate to speak with the SM to see if he can/will certify that there was electioneering against the Scout and that said electioneering was malicious and ill-founded. Then perhaps you could take that to the Chief of the Fire as noted before, but as was also noted before the times when those actions are taken do not necessarily mean that any given Scout will be elected into OA, just because a prior election was voided. If anything it might prejudice the voting body against voting that person in because they didn't abide by the will of the group the first time.

 

That said, there is also the issue of meeting qualifications and of being selected. There have been many times when I have met the qualifications to do things that I wanted to do - but, there may have been only so many available positions and if there are multiple qualified candidates only so many are able to be selected(I realize that this is not the case in OA elections).

 

There also times where personalities just don't mesh and people aren't invited to do things because they don't "fit in" with their peers, they might work out with a different group and be an excellent choice in that group, but just might not make the grade with this particular set. In cases where there is more than one group forming you can usually see that this is the case.

 

When we make ourselves different, even if better, than our peers we can only expect that they will see us differently (sometimes this is the basis for the moral force of leadership - sometimes it's just a marker that we think we are better than others)and sometimes they may see fit to penalize us for this (usually the latter)differentness in one way or another that *is* within their power.

 

It isn't a matter of "qualification" it is a matter of selection - which for OA can only be done by his peers. Unfortunately peer selection isn't based on fairness, or honor or qualification - it is based on the personality of the group and that particular groups dynamics.

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Crossramwedge,

 

Greetings again!

 

I think as Gunny and a few others have stated. It is an election by their peers, not by the adult Troop Committee.

 

As a Scouting parent, it is easy for us to become concerned about our own child/children. As Scouting Adults, Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, Troop Committee members, we need to be concerned with all Scouts and Arrowmen. (I'm right there with you as a parent and adult leader.) However, we should strive to assure that all eligible Scouts are recognized. and that they serve their Troop, Chapter and Lodge throughout their tenure. Not just "sash and dash" or easily fall into becoming a "flapper". In as much as we may, we should not be jealous over another Scout or someone else's son being elected. But hope that all our Scouts can benefit their Troop.

 

All elections should be conducted by an election team from the Chapter or Lodge. The election team is trusted to assure it is a fair election. There is adult review included during these elections. If there was impropriety in election they would loose membership within their OA lodge. Believe me, neither youth or adult would want to be accused of improper elections and told to reliquish their lodge membership. That is why we have Fellowship weekends, Lodge Leadership Development, Conclave, and NOAC. So that our youth Arrowman can fully understand their responsibility.

 

There is just no contesting a fair election.

 

So it comes down to your son being appealing and receiving enough votes from the non-OA members of his Troop.

 

As unpopular as it seems with many older Scouts. The older Scouts need to work use the EDGE model to teach and recognize the newest Scouts and promote the younger Scouts in rank. It is very easy to sit back and be a cool "Older teen", I've seen hundreds in camp if not thousands sitting back watching the Scout and Tenderfoot make mistakes, burn food, and always having "KP". If the older Scouts say "wash the dishes, put up the tents, clean the latrine". The older Scouts are not achieving a thing. It will be the older Scouts using EDGE to help their fellow Scouts advance in rank.

 

As often as OA election teams attempt to brief the voting procedures. Many times the youth do vote just for the funniest or loudest Scout. But they fail to vote for all of the eligible and Scoutmaster nominated candidates. To the disappointment of a few good eligible candidates each year. There are only a few ways that the Troop Committee can assist.

More specifically, printed ballots and a box of pencils.

 

Some first year Scouts (ten and a half year olds) may not remember the names of all his fellow Scouts. Believe it our not, they will get tired of writing down names on a sheet of paper. If they are not loosing their pencil away to another Scout, they are having a hard time writing names on a small yellow sticky, while the sticky is on the ground or resting on their knee.

 

Too place a check in the box takes little effort but to concur and vote. A ballot listing all the eligible and nominated Scouts with a check box or line next to their name. Enough "golf" pencils so they are not borrowing pens and pencils away from each other during the election. I guarantee you, the votes percentages will increase if the Troop makes it easier for the Scouts to decide and vote.

 

My final recommendation, a full endorsement from the Scoutmaster. A Scoutmaster standing behind all of the candidates stating to the Troop that each are very deserving, and that the Scoutmaster would like to see all of the candidates be recognized by their vote.

 

As the young 10.5 or 11 y/o Scouts vote. They will begin to understand the significance of the OA, they will remember who helped them with their advancements, they will see the names on the ballot, and they remember the Scoutmasters endorsement and they will vote for those Scouts they believe demonstrates the meaning of service to others.

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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