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Gunny2862

New guy asks - Why OA?

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Okay, I understand that there is some kind of mystery that OA wants to retain. But what is/are the way/s that OA supports Scout retention and why is it beneficial to Scouting? If your answer violates information that you don't want out for the Scouts on the board to read feel free to PM the info instead. Soon to be Scoutmaster Gunny2862 - although the screen name won't change.

 

Side question, is there any difference to the Tribe of the Lone Bear? Can one support and or belong to both OA and Lone Bear? If scheduling conflicts arose between those groups which one would you lean towards?

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I think one of the great things about the OA is that it gives an opportunity for a scout to get involved at a higher level than he can at the troop level. Basically it widens his scouting world. His involvement includes scouts from all over the district (OA chapter) and also at the council level (OA lodge). Now, when the scout attends summer camp, he will know other scouts than just those in his troop. Then it can widen from there. He can attend conclave, a meeting of all the lodges in the local OA section. Conclaves should occur yearly and rotate between the different lodges in the section. It normally is a very fun event for all Arrowmen. Next it can be taken to a regional and national level by attending other events such as LLD (Lodge Leadership Development) and NOAC (National OA Conference). So I think the broadening of the scouting world is a big part of retaining scouts.

 

Another thing, all those OA events, such as lodge fellowships, ordeals, conclave, LLD, NOAC, are all organized and run by the OA youth. Sure there are lots of adult advisers, but it is the youth that organize, plan, and run the events. I don't think there's too many organizations that offer youth such an opportunity for leadership roles like the OA does. And the young men love that opportunity, especially the 16+ year olds.

 

SWScouter

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Tribe Of Lone Bear is an Honor Camping Society based at Camp Arrowhead of the Ozark Trails Council. It uses the thematics, program and ceremonies of the Tribe of Mic-o-Say (from the H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, Heart of America Council AND Camp Geiger, Pony Express Council). However, it is separate from either branch of Mic-o-Say.

 

Gunny, I'll be glad to discuss details of the Tribes with you offlist. Shoot me a PM with your email addy. Like the Order, it uses mystery to aid in attracting the youth. Also like the Order, the Great Secret is THERE ARE NO SECRETS.

 

As to the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service, it inculcates SERVICE to others as an ethic, within the Scouting framework. From a program perspective, it provides substantial leadership opportunity beyond the Troop, through its Chapter (District) and Lodge (Council) structures, let alone the Section (sub-REgion) and Regional leadership. It further provides thespian opportunities far beyond what a single Troop can offer a young man contemplating acting as a vocation or avocation.

 

Beyond these, OA helps to inculcate heritage of the American Indian into our Scouting life.

 

Finally, the Order provides opportunities, at least in my Council, for young men contemplating engineering or construction careers to work directly with one of our Reservation Rangers: In his youth, he was Lodge Chief for a year or two.

 

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To answer your last question: I undertook my Ordeal in 1970 and my Brotherhood in 1971. I went through the Honorary program to be a Warrior of Mic-o-Say in 2002. I do both, and I enjoy both. Eagle son undertook his Ordeal in 2003 and his Brotherhood in 2004. He was called into the tribe as a Brave in 2004, elevated to Hardway Warrior in 2005, and earned paint responsibilities of Firebuilder and Tom-Tom Beater in 2006 and 2007. He has participated in both branches of Mic-o-Say, and has been active in the Order as well. The evening of his Eagle COH, we went to Lodge Fall Fellowship for steak dinner and ceremony!

 

PM me.

 

John(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Gunny, IMHO the OA is the single best program element of Boy Scouting. For youth members that may otherwise move on to other things (cars, girls, & sports) it gives them an opportunity and purpose to stay involved in Boy Scouts. An arrowman's first responsibility is service to his unit and unit membership is required for membership in the Lodge. The OA gives as others have said plenty of opportunities for leadership past the troop level. Other than leadership it also offers older Scouts opportunities for High Adventure, more camping in addition to their troops, and plenty of chances to serve other Scouts and Scout units. As John-in-KC hinted, about any questions or concerns you may have as a unit leader can and will be answered by either your local Lodge Advisor, Staff Advisor or even Council Exec. In Councils that have a good active OA Lodge the youth want to become members and usually look up to and respect Arrowmen. In Councils with a less than great OA Lodge there is opportunity for meaningful, challenging leadership for the youth that are motivated to turn things around. In either case youth members have plenty to gain from being in the OA.

 

The OA provides much service to Scout camps and adventure bases (i.e. Philmont) with labor for improvements and other projects. Many Lodges activily promote camping in their councils by producing a area camping guide. Some Lodges have dance and ceremony teams available for indian dance demonstrations and some Cub Scout Ceremonies, such as Webelos Arrow of Light. Many arrowmen feel compelled from a dedication to servent leadership to become summer camp staff. Looking beyond a youths involvement in scouting many Arrowmen feel compelled to serve later in life as adult Scouters. I'm thinking you will find many that frequent this board and my unit has an ASM that was elected to the OA as a youth, also an Eagle Scout, plus myself as a CC. (our SM was not involved as a youth and our other ASM is an Eagle Scout) So your approval of Scouts for this honor could have real lasting benefit to Scouting far beyond today and tomorrow.(This message has been edited by BrotherhoodWWW)

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Boy Scouts is for boys 10/11 to 17. The OA has no age minimum but one is considered a youth until age 21. But since boys need to have a minimum number of camping nights, be first class, get elected and go through an Ordeal to become "Ordeal" members and wait another year (okay, 10 months) to become a "Brotherhood" member the minimum age is usually around 13. Now, simply put, if you were a Star Scout, age 15 and still had an interest in Scouting would you prefer to hang out with a 10 - 17 year old crowd whose leadership and spirit were the "norm" or hang out with a 13 - 20 year old crowd whose leadership and spirit were "above the norm" and had adults who "butted out" much more than in your troop?

 

As a 51 year old Brotherhood member of the OA, I can't stand some of the shenanigans that the OA youth come up with but you know what, the organization doesn't exist for me. My "support" comes in shuttling boys to and from the monthly meetings, arranging Pack and Troop ceremonies and supporting their service projects.

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acco40--I couldn't agree more. You obviously understand how the Order should function and the correct role of adults. That is what makes the Order so special. Because of the slightly older and more mature group, the OA can do what Troops have been trying to do for years: Youth Led Program, in the fullest sense of the word. That's why I got involved in the OA, it gave me a place that put forth something my troop couldn't offer, a real chance to lead, plan, and take responsibility--without adults taking over, but with adults on the sidelines offering advice and support.

 

A Troop has a ScoutMASTER, an OA lodge has a Lodge ADVISOR. And that makes all the difference.

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