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Marcotrailavich

The 'New OA'?

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Hello, new member here. As a recent 'returnee' to scouting, I find some things troubling. It appears to me that the BSA is turning away from the Outdoor method to something more appropriate to a classroom. Fortunatly, the troop that my church charters still seems to have not forgottne their roots, as do others in my area. Now I see the OA referred to as the National Honor Society of scouting. I have just paid Dues to my local lodge since moving here and am waitng to first chance to see what has changed there. This may make somepoepl angry, but was shocked, to say the least, when I went to a training day and saw female leaders wearing OA lodge patches on their uniforms. Nothing against women, my wife and mother are women, but this is an organization strictly for young men. What happened.?? I have no doubt women have added to scouting over the years in a variety of ways, but young boys need time with other boys and men. Does this mean that the OA is going to allow young girls to be elected to the order if Venture Crews are allowed to hold elections??? I am not beating up on girls and women I am alos not going to apologize for my opionion on the matter. It just scares me to think of the organization that I fell in love with in my youth will be watered down in so many ways o that it is unrecognizable. I see many areas where watering down has occured. I think we owe it to our young men now and young boys like my son, to give them a real scouting expierance that they will love and remember all their lives.

Mark

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Adults (both men & women) are submitted for membership in OA for very different reasons than boys are elected. It does not matter who they are, but what they can do.

 

If you are going to be a member of either BSA or OA, you should be prepared to abide by the rules and regulations that exist NOW.

 

Do your son, and all of the other boys you will come in contact with a favor, and do not live in the past. Do not "adjust" the program until it is something that exists only in your memory.

 

 

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Gee, Marktrail, didnt I read about your exploits in the funny papers?

 

Having said that, don't worry about the OA being over run by mere girls as Venturing Crews do not hold elections. Of course, a male Venturer could be elected, as a member of his troop, and then wear the lodge flap on his Venturing uniform.

 

The women you saw with Lodge Flaps are all adults and all reccommended by their Troop COmmittee and accepted by the Lodge.

 

Now, lets get on to how the "watering" down of scouting, you may find lots of common thinking here

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While you were gone . . .

* 1988- The Scoutmaster position was opened to women

* 1989- The OA was opened to women

* 1998- The OA adopted the new arrowhead logo and redefined itself as Scoutings National Honor Society

 

The OA is part of the Boy scouting program; elections are open only to troops and teams; girls are not in the OA

http://www.main.oa-bsa.org/qanda/qa-33.htm'>http://www.main.oa-bsa.org/qanda/qa-33.htm

 

These are just a handful of changes over the last two decades. You might want to check out the OA website:

http://www.main.oa-bsa.org/

 

Ed

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First, I agree with the others don't worry about woman being in the O/A. Generally few adults actively attend or participate in the OA anyway, at least here.

 

Second, Scouting in this Country is strictly young men, accept at the venturing level which may be co-ed. That does not mean that opening all of BSA levels to be co-ed is a good or bad idea. What I can say, is I have been part of several international scouting committees and BSA is like one of like 3 or 4 other countries that are not co-ed. If I were you I would ask why? Why have all the other countries become co-ed? Why is this a bad idea? Why is this a good idea? Why are so many BSA leaders against co-ed? How is it really different today then it was 20 years ago? How much of what we perceive in Scouting today is different in our minds as adults now, although in reality there is little differents? Ok thats enough what if's... and no I am not trying to start a co-ed debate, or say which way it should be - just throwing it out something to ponder...

 

Third, The OA is not what it was when I was a Scout. However that could also be partly where I live now and this lodge. But from the people I have talked to nation wide the OA has changed.

 

Fourth, most importantly remember every Council, every city is different. If you are now in a different location then you were as a youth, that could be part of the problem. Also remember like anything else, it is just as good as its leaders, and what occurs models after its leaders.

 

Ok now that I accidently started a co-ed war ... I will run off and hide behind my wacky 2 cents...

 

Scott Robertson

http://insanescouter.org

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Scott,

 

Don't worry, you didn't start a war... at least until Brianbuf/Jambo shows his (ahem) again.

 

I've watched my lodge in action now for five years. I've seen great young men enter the Order and do great things.

 

I've seen an array of women selected for membership by their units; I've also seen them step up to the plate and serve an array of associate adviser jobs, at chapter and lodge level.

 

OA belongs to the Boy Scout Division of BSA. It's not going to be opened to young women anytime soon.

 

Finally, to Marktrail... relax and enjoy Scouting as it comes to you now, as an adult supporting the program. It really will be a grand journey.

 

ICS.

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"What I can say, is I have been part of several international scouting committees and BSA is like one of like 3 or 4 other countries that are not co-ed. If I were you I would ask why? Why have all the other countries become co-ed?"

 

Sorry, but this is incorrect.

 

There are many more then '3 or 4' other countries which are not co-ed.

 

Also, as far as WOSM is concerned, the BSA is co-ed. They do not distinguish between NSO that have some programs co-ed and have all programs co-ed. As Venturing is co-ed, the BSA is viewed and listed as a co-ed Scout Association.

 

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John, I would not be too sure about your statement,"the OA won't be open to young women anytime soon", the doors have started to crack open with female advisors, etc. and it is just a matter of time (short time). The reason I say this is because most OA chapters are suffering from severe membership loss, many struggling to stay alive. I attended the last NOAC and had long discussions with fellow advisors who concur that OA is in trouble and what can be done about it. Many of them were open to the idea of elections in Venturing crews open to ALL members male and female. This would obviously mean a new direction for the organization, but as the older adult opponents age out of scouting it could become a reality for better or worse.

 

emb21, while Scott's figures may be a little off he is essentially correct, most of the scouting organizations in Western and Eastern Europe, South America, Asia are indeed coed and fully integrated. My friend just back froom the WSJ said he was surprised by the number of female participants.

 

Personally I think the BSA will evolve over the next 20 years and the results may surprise us all.

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All-

 

While there are many who would like to see the BSA go co-ed with the Boy Scout and Cub Scout programs (and I've been told that the BSA has the plans in place to make this happen), there are many who do not want to see it go co-ed. It is these who prevent these changes from happening.

 

The OA is part of the Boy Scout Program Division. Any attempt by the OA to go co-ed is prevented by the National Boy Scout Committee. We down at the lodge/chapter level can argue back and forth about the merits/issues of going co-ed, but its not going to happen so long as the NBSC prevents it.

 

I am very much aware that Scouting co-ed in many parts of the world. I was aware of this before I attended the WSJ this past summer. But the fact remains that it is incorrect to claim that the BSA is one of a handful of holdouts that is no co-ed. There are, in fact, several that are not co-ed.

 

Here is the data from WOSM:

 

"Of the 155 National Scout Organizations, 122 belong only to the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and 34 belong both to WOSM and to The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

 

"Of the 122 National Scout Organizations which belong only to WOSM, 95 are open to boys and girls in some or in all programme sections. 20 are only for boys. All 34 National Scout Organizations which belong both to WOSM and to WAGGGS are open to boys and to girls."

 

As noted, the BSA falls into that group of "95 open to boys & girls in some or all sections". The BSA does not fall into the 20 that are boys-only (lot more then '3 or 4').

 

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emb21

They said the same thing about the military academies, women in combat, women in the space program, etc., etc. The point is all things and organizations change over time in order to stay relevant to the current culture, the BSA is no exception, neither is the OA. Now, I am not a proponent to making the OA or BSA coed but I would not oppose it either. Even with all your stats you keep quoting the point is among 1st world countries the BSA is still in the minority with its policy and like it or not it will probably change to mirror our society.

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Thanks for all o the replies. Let me start by saying that as long as I am a member of the BSA I will always abide by the rules and regs of the organization. HOWEVER, that does not mean that I have to like them! That being said, I do not attempt in anyway influence any of the boys to think that this is not a good organization or that I think a ruling is stupid. That kind of talk I keep to myself or amongst my peers. Again, I am not bashing in anyway, the orgainzation or WOMEN. I said earlier that women have done alot for the BSA, my own mother and my wife. Reading some of the posts tonight, there is alot of discussion of the BSA and OA going coed in the future. Some think that it is ineveitable for survival. Istrongly disagree!!! I believe that the changes that are being made, the watering down of the origins of the BSA (ie outdoor skills) it what is hurting us. I still remember that comercials on TV as a kids about the BSA...lots of action, outdorr skills...that is what fired me up!!!!! The troops that have a strong outdoor program, lots of camping, hiking and other such activity, are the ones that I see with strong membership and retention. I just think that we need to get back to our roots in order to strenghten our numbers. Sorry if I am running on and on. This is a subject I feel very strongly about. I am planning on attendign my new lodges' fall ordeal at end of month. very curious to see how things are now.

YIS

Marktrail

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I went to my first chapter meeting last night and I am VERY gald to report that my new lodge seems to have the rigt idea!! Fall ordeal is in a few weeks and am very much looking fwd to it! No cabins.....tent camping or under the stars! Havbe not given up hope and am very encouraged by what I saw and am hearing!

yours in Brotherhood,

Marktrail

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In my lodge, staff cabins are reserved for cooks, lodge advisers (who are running LEC meetings to 1AM or later) and selected youth (who also tend to be up doing business to 1AM or later).

 

The paying campers (well, we ALL pay, but the troops bringing Arrowmen and Candidates)... get the campgrounds.

 

It makes a bit of sense, actually. I help cook for our Lodge. I''m out of bed and at the kitchen by 0500 to feed hundreds of Arrowmen, Scouts and Scouters at 0715. Staff Village is a designated "quiet area."

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"Even with all your stats you keep quoting the point is among 1st world countries the BSA is still in the minority"

 

It must be that there new math.

 

155 National Scout Organizations

 

95 are open to boys and girls in some or in all programme sections

 

Yup, it must be that there new math that says 61% is a minority!

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"Reading some of the posts tonight, there is alot of discussion of the BSA and OA going coed in the future. Some think that it is ineveitable for survival. Istrongly disagree!!! I believe that the changes that are being made, the watering down of the origins of the BSA (ie outdoor skills) it what is hurting us. I still remember that comercials on TV as a kids about the BSA...lots of action, outdorr skills...that is what fired me up!!!!! "

 

Marktrail- you are speaking of two different things:

 

The BSA going fully co-ed

 

The BSA weaking the Scouting program.

 

Two different matters that are NOT inter-related. Going co-ed does not mean that the BSA has weaken the scouting program. I recall the many ''issues'' that would occur when the BSA opened up the last 6 adult positions to women, how scout troops would be ''sissyfield'' by women scoutmasters. Didn''t happen. I don''t believe that if we go co-ed that these programs will be weaken.

 

What is important that people (including you) learn what scouting is really all about. Read B-P''s Scouting for Boys and his other works. learn and practice what scouting is all about.

 

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