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How to make OA "more visible" within a troop?

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The CC of my son's troop wants to make OA "more visible" to stimulate interest among the other Scouts.


Earlier in the year, there was talk of not even having elections, but fortunately, they did. But I think the other Scouts (and some Scouters) aren't sure of the value of OA and what OA can do for the troop.


Any suggestions?

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As a suggestion. This is what I would offer.


Either immediate before or after the meeting, at the same meeting location. (I would not do this during a Troop meeting).


- Have a 30 minute meeting, have an "Ice Cream Social" or "Beef Jerky and Root Beer" social. (this would be attractive to them and outside of troop time it would make them feel special)

- Although not a Chapter or Lodge business meeting (so you would not be able to conduct actual business) have all Arrowmen Scouts and adults recite the OA pledge, admonition and song. (helps keep it fresh and possibly more Brotherhood conversions)

- Then discuss transportation to the next Lodge event and staffing Summer Camp or the district Camporee. (providing service to their fellow Scouts)


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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I had the same problem with the troop im in. Right now im the Lodge Secretary but a few years ago i was the Chapter Cheif for my district and found out that the more you can involve your troop on a CHAPTER level, the more excited and active the kids in the troop will become. Also, you can hold an OA Promotion night where kids can ask Arrowmen about the OA. But the BEST way i have found is involved on a district scale but it will get the boys in your troop really wanting to get involved in the OA. Its some called the A.S.K. Program, it stands for Arrowmen Sharing Knowlege. Basically what it is is a Spring Camp-o-ree ran by the youth in the OA to teach basic skills and hopefully meeting all the requirments for first class. Its very excellent program that has worked well with two other chapters in the lodge, its gets the boys in your troop excited because they will want to be the ones who can do the cool ceremonies, teach the cool classes, and have the cool friends from other troops. You can also do elections and call-out ceremony that day as well.

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It sounds like the problem is the members of the troop don't see what the OA does. This is stuff that both the chapter and the lodge can and should address:


* Make the Lodge visible at your scout show. My current lodge has a big booth and does a pig and turkey roast (this from when we had 2 scout shows, and at one we did a pig roast and the other a turkey roast). This includes displays of lodge stuff and the like.


* Make the Lodge/Chapter more visible at council/district events. Stuff like being event staff, running a grill or food vending, and the like.


* Consider doing Scoutreach or the like in your council/district. "Operation First Class" is another event I've heard done, that is aimed at helping kids get to to First Class.


All of this kind of stuff puts the lodge in front of scouts/scouters AND doing stuff that will have an impact on them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does your lodge use the Troop Representative program? It's a great opportunity to allow one of your youth serve in a leadership role, and it's a recognized OA position. Check it out. Once you have someone in this role, get him involved in Chapter and Lodge meetings. Let him serve in his liaison capacity bringing the word of OA and their activities back to the troop. The council I served as camp director actually carried this one step further when the lodge funded the appointment of a Camp Chief who was the key OA liaison at camp. Made it easier to have those last minute elections with a team from camp, to get youth involved in extra roles for call-out, and an in camp weekly brotherhood ceremony with recognition the next day. The idea is to put the Order out in front and let them sell themselves to their felows.

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Another item our Chapter and then Lodge did was to have a sister troop. The idea was to have an election team of OA members from 1 troop to conduct the OA election for their sister troop and vice versa.

As it turned out, more youth paid attention at elections and took it more seriously because someone other than their troop members were conducting the elections. This also made sure that units held elections which increased the membership...which increased the fun at activities... etc etc.

If your council is too small for active chapters, the same ideas will work in a small lodge.


Good Luck!

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Our unit has about 25 boys with about 15 regularly active. Seven boys are in OA. One boy (I guess a non-boy now because he just turned 18) is Second Vice Chief of our lodge. Another boy is First Vice Chief of our chapter. One boy is the Chapter OA Rep Chair. Another boy is a Ceremonial Team Chair. Our CC is our Chapter Camp Promotion Advisor. I help out with the Ceremonial Team.


All of our youth got started in OA after their Ordeal by participating in the Ceremonial Team. Our Chapter has a very good Ceremonial Team and that seems to be the hook that got the boys interested. They do Crossover, Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Four Winds ceremonies.


The Crossover Ceremonial Team usually leaves a big impression with Webelos. Older boys in regalia... that's so cool as far as a Webelos is concerned. It may take a six months to a year in the Troop before they connect that ceremony with the OA but a lasting impression has been made.


Another thing that really helps is that our lodge and chapters are very visible. It's customery/standard operating procedure for OA chapters to plan and staff their district camporees and klondike derby. That's three event annually and if a unit participates in all of them, about 25% of the unit's campouts each year.


At our district Spring Camporee one boy in our unit was the Boy Scout Camp Master and another boy in our unit was the Webelos Camp Master. We're going to have two other boys do it again for the Fall Camporee later this year.


All of the youth OA members in our unit (except my son) have completed NYLT and have staffed NYLT at least once. OA members also conduct Den Chief training for our council.


The vast majority of our Summer Camp staff are OA members and we have our OA elections and callout ceremony at Summer Camp. Over 900 Ordeal candidates were elected at Summer Camp last year.


So as you can see, if your council and districts give the boys in the OA opportunities to be visible and do positive things, the rest takes care of itself.(This message has been edited by MarkS)

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I think one of the keys is instilling in the eligible boys the expectation that they be active in the OA as a condition of being on the slate. Sadly, too many think it means completing the ordeal and wearing the pocket flap or sash.


After that, encourage all members to attend the OA functions at camporees and summer camp, and get active in their chapter and lodge events. Ceremony teams and sending boys to events like conclaves or NOAC (national conference) can also go a long way toward raising the visibility of the OA.(This message has been edited by Sir_Scoutalot)

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The best way for the OA to promote itself within the troop (remember the OA is not a troop function or troop activity)is for the OA members in the troop to exhibit good skills and charatcer as they serve in their troop roles.


It is not the troop's job to make the OA more visible it is the OA's job to make the OA more visible in the scouting community.



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