Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Crossramwedge

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

Recommended Posts

A Scout needs Scoutmaster approval to be elected as well as a rank (First Class or above) and a number of nights camping (15?) (no not necessarily tent camping but "approved" camping by the SM including one long term).

 

A Scoutmaster may hold a simple election. He may also announce to the boys who is on the slate, have preprinted ballots, go over their attendance records, service hours, etc. as a way to "influence" the election. That is what I do.

 

Do adults elect the most deserving candidate? Of course not, see our current President as proof (sorry, couldn't resist). Sometimes, not everything in life get to have a "do over."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again,

 

Thanks for all your advice. But to be honest I believe that some OA elections are just popularity contest. In other words scouts get elected because they are "Cool" and not because of their Scouting work ethic. I think thats a shame. I know of scouts in our troop who probably will never be elected because they are "Different" yet they work hard and and are exemplorary scouts, they far out strip others in qualifications to be in the OA. Yet the "Others" get elected. My son is 14 does not have a cell phone, a computer, a TV, a stereo. He raises his arms in chrch and gives Glory to God with out embaressment while most kids just sit there with their hands in their pockets. I have even seen kids texting and playing games on their cell phones in church while my son he gives Glory to God. He is kind, honest, trustworthy. Tries to keep his heart and mind pure. In reality he doesn't need the OA. If he gets in fine if not maybe thats the best thing for him. He is not going to change,not going slap backs or glad hand to get in. I can see that my points are fruitless. But you know what "Change" can be good. Its a shame that countless kids who deserve the recognition are just forgotten because "Thats the way it is" and you need to get over it. Thats a cop out. Oh well I am done venting.Have to get ready for my Troops yearly CPR training.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crossramwedge,

 

Are OA elections a popularity contest? Absolutely, as they should be! If a scout isn't popular, why should he be elected to the OA? The popular scout is the scout that is known and liked by his peers. The popular scout is a scout that is helpful and friendly to his fellow scouts. A popular scout is a scout that is sincere and caring to his fellow scouts. Are these qualities of an unpopular scout?

 

SWScouter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget it. Never mind. No matter how hard I try I cannot get my point across. I have explained it every which way I know how. I guess a have always been for the underdog. I just look at the scout oath and what it stands for and knowing how some of the boys in my troop act and then get elected to the OA and then look at other scouts in the troop that do not get voted in when in reality they are the ones that should be voted in first. I guess fairness, hardwork and honesty have nothing to do with it. Just forget it. I am sorry for wasting your time. Oh by the way SWScouter said the following "A popular scout is a scout that is sincere and caring to his fellow scouts" you just described my son. SWS thank you for that. Enough said. Thank you all for your opinions and advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crossramwedge,

 

Don't be discouraged. Your son's time will come, be patient.

Gonzo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crossramwedge,

 

 

I'm sorry you're not getting the answers you want. There's a lot of experience talking here. I have found that if the Scoutmaster uses the "Scoutmaster's Approval" requirement wisely, he can make sure that only the finest Scouts are candidates for the Election. This is where you can avoid the "popularity" contest. Have you talked with your Scoutmaster yet about your Troop's OA Election process and whether you son was voted in or not? Did he receive any votes? I'm a Scoutmaster, and I've had that information available if a Scout or parent wanted to discuss the election. It shows at least a trend.

 

sst3rd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I have not asked the scout master about it. In fact he was my partner in CPR class last night. It did not even pop in my head to ask him. But I will.

 

As far as the qualifications for OA go, when elections come up we see who has made first class and then see if they have met the camping and other requirements that OA requires to be considered to be elected and if they have met the minimum critera we consider them elegible to be up for election. On a chosen night( usually in December) The SM presents the boys and explains the criteria to be met to be elected to the OA and and that all the boys up for election have met those criteria. (All the boys in our Troop who meet the minimum criteria are given the chance to be in the elections for the OA if they want ) The Lodge representatives then speak and explain the OA, the history of it and what an honor it is to be bestowed on a boy by fellow scouts and how the election is going to take place. Then of course they have the election. Thats how it works in our Troop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crossramwedge, my son is also a Scout and I know what you mean about how you see the character and qualities of your child, I certainly think I know who my child is.

The thing is that not everyone, certainly not his peers, have the level of contemplation about what character is that you and I, and the others in this forum, have about looking at character rather than just seeing if we like someone.

I think this is the central issue in OA elections. That for the Scouts it actually is a popularity contest. I've certainly seen OA members that I wondered what the troop was thinking when they voted them in and when my son is eligible I will wonder what happens if he isn't. But the fact is that the more of a stink I raise, the less likely it is that he will get in on a later(annual) ballot.

I think I get where you are coming form and "I feel your pain", but other than recognizing your feelings, I think that the other posters and I are trying to just give objective feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Observations only. In my council elections are traditionally held the Thursday of summer camp with callout that night. If we're going out of council for summer camp, then they're held during a designated troop meeting. As a general rule, the elections held at summer camp seem to be much less of a "popularity contest" and more along the lines of "is this someone you would like to camp/tent/live with."

 

My personal opinion ONLY, I'm not a big fan of elections held at a troop meeting. OA is an honorary camping and service society. Elections should be held at camp among those who have camped. Others have different opinions and that's just fine. Really. Not going to spin off the thread.

 

The two troops I've had the honor of serving have only once elected a candidate that made me wonder (turns out he "made nice" with our large first year contingent during summer camp). I've seen only one candidate elected out of a dozen. This summer one troop had five out of thirteen, another had three out of six.

 

As others have said, OA is youth-run, much more so than Boy Scouts. The boys have spoken, it's done. All you can do at this point is make sure there wasn't an administrative error in your son getting notified. Even then, as someone else suggested, your son should be the one who calls and asks the SM, not you.

 

As a parent and camper, it is difficult sometimes to accept the election results, but they are what they are.

 

Vicki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First a little back ground, #2 son Chapter Chief, #1 Chapter native american lead, Ceremony lead, both Eagles. Myself Chapter Associate Advisor, all three on the election team. Held election in our own troop(I know should have been done by another election team but these things happen), Youngest son eligible, APL for his patrol, very well liked by most of the troop, SM looking at him in a couple of years to being a strong SPL. One group of older "FLAPPERS" decided that no one younger than 14(the youngest of these flappers) should be elected. These older scouts convinced other boys to just not vote, only some of the very deserving boys made it in. My son was not one of them. Was i bitter? Yes, could I do anything about it? Yes, did I do anything about it? No, the election was held under the rules, and was certified by our SM. We will just have to look at next year, and make some needed attitude adjustments.

 

3ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some observations, most are my personal opinions (except in 1)

 

1) The Scoutmaster, as program officer, and the unit Advancement coordinator, as the keeper of data (unless the Troop has a really good youth Scribe), are the two people responsible for certifying eligible Scouts. The requirements for election are absolute; they are found as I recall in both the OA Handbook and in the OA Lodge Elections book (I don't remember the Supply stock number! :( )

 

2) One of my favorite Scoutmaster's made sure the SPL announced OA elections starting a month out. He usually released his list of eligibles two weeks out. At that time, in his SM minute, he would say "If you have a reason for voting against an eligible Scout, please give me the courtesy of sharing the Scout and the reason with me privately. I'll be here late tonight, next week as well, or you can call me at home." WHY? It helped the "I heard Jack say Billy say Joe say Mike was stealing candy at the school cafeteria" votes against for rumor control. It also helped validate when a Scout wasn't really worthy of honor ("I do not think Billy deserves election, he only makes 1 meeting in 4 and he doesn't camp with us very often").

 

3) A Scoutmaster owes the not-elected-Scout a SM conference before announcing winners: IMO there are growth opportunities from non-election, if the conference is done upbeat and positive.

 

4) My Troop traditionally holds elections just before B/G Banquets and bridging: That way, there's pretty much been a year for the newest Scouts to get to know the older ones, and be able to make competent judgments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All-

 

Hope I can add to this. FWIW, I've been an Arrowman for over 25 years AND been involved with OA Elections.

 

The eligibility requirements are clear and set down in the OA Handbook and Guide to Officers and Advisors (GOA). They should also be stated in the FAQs at the National OA site.

 

Just to be clear, at present, scouts may put down as many OA candidates as they want. The days of no more then 50% being allowed on the ballot (or getting elected) was dropped about a decade ago.

 

One eligibility requirement is Scoutmaster approval. The SM must approve/not approve before the election is held. Its inappropriate for the SM to 'withdraw' his approval after the elections.

 

OA elections are run by an OA Election team of mainly youth arrowmen (NOT the SM!), either organized by the lodge or the chapter. They should have a form the lodge uses, which they will record ALL the eligable candidates AND make it known to the scouts who the candidates are (write their names on a flip chart, have preprinted ballots, whatever). If the OA Election Team is doing their job, they should be able to clearly explain what the OA is all about and what the elections are all about and who the scouts should be voting for (the best scout or the scout they would like to camp with NOT the 'most popular scout'). But things don't always work out.

 

The OA Election team along with the SM will tally the votes and record them on their form. This form will go back to the lodge so they know who got elected. At this point, its up to the SM to announce either to the entire troop or to the individuals who got elected. Or not. In the past you wouldn't know you got elected until you got tapped out (that's what happened to me). As the Ordeal would usually come some time after the Tap out, you would be informed of the Ordeal and how to prepare for it (and pay your fees, etc).

 

While it may be a great thing to do elections (and Tap Outs) at Summer Camp (which happened with me), this is not always workable. In my area, some councils don't even run their own summer camp, plus you have many troops that don't attend their own council summer camps. Also, Ordeals are seldom held in the Summer.

 

Thus you have OA elections at troops or council camporees, with tap outs at Camporees and other events, with Ordeals in the spring or fall.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a rookie SM, I was disappointed with who the boys elected. The boys are not as aware as I about the attendance records, camping nights, etc. as I am so I make sure I share that with them before the election takes place. The boys are usually more aware of the "finer details" of how that Scout conducts himself wrt the other Scouts.

 

A Scoutmaster can go a long way to influence that the boys to take the election seriously. That said, what disappoints me the most is the fact that most of the boys who do get elected just go through the ordeal (to get a sash) and then never attend an OA meeting or service opportunity.

 

I saw one poster who stated that the OA is youth-run, much more so than Boy Scouts. Well, except for the fact that the youth cut-off is 21 instead of 18, it should not be anymore youth run that a troop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On the chance that there was a clerical error, I am going to ask the SM myself if he has any knowledge or record as to what the outcome of the last OA election was as it pertains to my son. I am the one asking because my son has never brought this subject up. He has no knowledge of this. Here is why I am asking;

 

 

I inquired of a very good OA freind of mine as to whether he knew how the boys found out whether they where elected to the OA. As far as he knows the boys are notified by our local lodge first(not the SM)by a letter informing them of their election and explaining to them what they had to do next. If they were not elected there is no notification. Our SM does not count or review the results while the OA is there but lets the OA lodge reps. take the ballots, count them and record them. If a boy is elected the SM is also notified by mail as to the scouts election. If none are elected, no mail is sent to the SM and if he does not receive any notification through the mail, he is to assume no one got elected and lets it go at that if he wants to. He can also personally inquire about the scout OA election.

 

I then explained to him why I was asking and he then elected to share an incident that happened to him. It occured at about the same time as The OA election in question. That is why he mentioned it to me. He said had a SM freind who he wanted to nominate for the adult OA. This was to be a surprise call out. He approached the mans unit leaders about it. They agreed he would make an outstanding addition to the adult OA. They filled out the proper paper work and where on board and they let my freind proceed to see that it got done. All the proper paper work was then presented to the local lodge and after the OA looked over the nomination request they agreed that he was adult OA material and would call him out. What was special about this was that his son was being called out the same night. As the call out date approached my OA freind talked to the lodge again to make sure everything was in order. He was assured there where no problems. The night of the call out they proceed to the location and my OA freind checks with the OA lodge representatives to make sure that everything was going as planned. Well I guess you know what happened next. The SM name was not on the list of scouts to be called out later on that evening.

 

BAM, steam started coming out of his ears. He immediately got on the phone and tried to contact the powers that be to try and straighten this mess out. They were at another OA function. They tried to essentially blow him off. They said that they did not know what he was talking about and its Saturday night so the office is not open for them to check and see if their was a mix up. Besides that, they where out of town. Well it seems that he had some leverage and he decided to use it. His freind and his freinds son got called out that night.

 

As it turns out during this time, there had been some turn over in the office help and it caused problems. Papers did not get filed and other papers where lost and never turned up. There where also other mistakes made in other situations during this time. Everything supposedly is back to normal now. But taking this into consideration, it may be possible that that is what happened here. A clerical error.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...