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fleetfootedfox

SM veto of OA elections?

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The Scoutmaster of EagleSon's troop had no problem looking at the candidate list and de-certifying a boy from eligibility. He had no problem looking that boy in the eye at a Scoutmaster Conference and explaining why he wasn't going to be included.

 

He also trusted the boys to make good decisions. Guess what, folks? They did. A marginal kid in EagleSon's year group wasn't selected... twice. The youth were the ones who held him back.

 

Scoutmasters who have to review the selected list to see if the youth got it right probably are working the Adult Run Method a little hard.

 

My thoughts.

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Belayer Actually, the guys may have a pretty good idea who is eligible, but arent going to be exactly sure because of the 15 nights, especially if hes a part time Scout.

But Id rather sit with a kid before an election and say, sorry Son, I dont think youve earned the right to be on the OA ballot, and heres why. Points for improvement are given, constructively. Plus, ideally this wont be the first time this kid has heard this from me, so it shouldnt be a shocker. Id rather have that talk any day of the week than after he was actually voted in and say sorry kid, you were voted in and I vetoed it because of this and this. Is that constructive? No, I think thats a little after the fact and we can get into anger and emotion real fast there. I dont want that. The other option of not telling the kid at all, what does that accomplish? I see a wasted opportunity to grow by doing that.

 

Not to derail the topic, but I wont pull a kid off the eligibility list unless I wouldnt sign off on his rank advancement for SS. I need to be absolutely sure about it. But when Im on the fence, I let it go through and he will be on the ballot. Why? Because in nearly 10 years of doing this the voters (fellow Scouts) 90% of the time vote the right guys in and get it right. Those that they were wrong about usually fall out of the lodge soon enough. They know who deserves it, and we talk about that enough through the year and certainly right before they vote about what should qualify someone to be in the OA. So I usually don't get too tore up about who deserved it in the first place. If there are issues, it will come up long before that point, usually they disqualify themselves with lack of camping requirements. And there are times when what I think is going on isnt. Ive had reliable older guys tell me different things than I thought were going on. The boys know. (jeeze, Im starting to sound more and more like Stosh!)

 

After tap outs when the kid is moping around because he wasnt selected I now have another chance to talk with him. He now can be challenged to reflect upon his past behavior to look for ways to improve over the upcoming year. The more I stay out of it, the better it is for him and Im not perceived by the boy or M&D as blocking his way.

 

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I had almost the opposite experience of being vetoed - my Scoutmaster tried to put me up for election before I'd reached First Class.

 

His logic was that I'd done all the requirements for 1C except my conference and BOR. We were a brand-new troop with not many Scouts eligible, and I can only suppose he wanted as many as possible to join.

 

I spoke up at the elections and the team took me off the list. I was properly elected about two years later by my second troop.

 

If I'd been elected at age 11, I probably wouldn't have stuck with it. At 13, the OA was great.

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belayer,

So the SM vetos a Scout post election. Let's not be niave here. Scouts like to talk, even after elections. Sooner or later it will come out, "Yep, John, I voted for you. What happenned? You didn't get called out!"

WHO'S going to be on the hotseat now? I would think I would have a more irate parent, and a Scout with a more severely wounded self confidence now to handle, and probably lost some major respect from both the parent and the Scout along the way. Now I'm going to be tied up with having to handle damage control.

 

I don't want to come across as pounding your stones, maybe pounding some common sense in to the head instead (this is the place for one of Beavah's little smiley faces, but I don't remember how to do it), but just because Shawnee has been skating by on this issue for 40 years doesn't make it any more right and legal then let's say the South and civil rights issues way back when. "We've done it that way for years.", doesn't mean it was legal or morally right. Maybe it is time for Shawnee to stop living in the past, reform a little, and move into the present

 

Roarus and Twocub,

I agree when it comes to having a SMC with each nominee before elections. PRE-DAMAGE CONTROL. I think is would be easier and less stressful to have a list of nominees turned into the SM 4-6 weeks ahead of elections. Each nominee is pulled in for a SMC to discuss OA and the candidates expectations, and whether they really want to persue OA. This is also our time to discuss with the nominee any concerns we (SM's) have with them about their spirit, and ask them what steps they feel they need to take to rectify their shortcomings. If those steps might take a year, I discuss with them that there is always next year, they will be more mature and wiser, (just like holding Jimmie back a year before starting kindergarten) and will have more interest, time, and hopefully more fun. Then do everything you can to keep them busy with the Troop.

 

760,

"Do you think the SM at least has some right to know what's going on with OA outtings for the sake of YP?"

- YP concerns. There is more YP going on at OA outting then you can imagine. It may be youth run, but that is what the advisors are for. Our lodge has probably a good 20 adults at Ordeals and Fellowships keeping an eye on everything.

- As for keeping informed, have your SPL assign an OA Troop Rep. Then make sure that he makes the chapter meetings and LEC meeting if he is interseted. This way someone is bring back Lodge and Chapter information to the Troop (a big problem in many Lodges). Take stoutldr's advice and if you have the time and can offer a little something to the Lodge, go through Ordeal and let the scouts see that a leader thinks the program is worth being involved in.

 

Sorry to be lengthy. Just my $20.00 worth by the time you get done adding up all the $.02.(This message has been edited by ASM915)

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To ASM915 and others about Shawnee and the post election veto issue: I truely can't give the history of when the lodge started this procedure. It could very well have been the process recommended by national way back then and changed several times. National OA leadership must not be too worried about it; kids from Shawnee have been elected as region and section chiefs. The lodge hosts it fair share of section conclaves and national training events so this procedure must not be an anethma to the powers-that-be. Lots of lodges have different procedures; Shawnee has not had a dues system since 1960. The lodge is well off and actually gives $ to Friends of Scouting. There is no sugar daddy; fee for attendance at lodge events is high enough to pay for events and annual operating funds. Members must send in a registration card annually to be on the rolls (and be BSA registered of course). I noticed during a reading last night of national OA site that lodges are discouraged from doing elections at summer camp; Shawnee does it elections at summer camp and has about 72% or so camp attendance by scouts . The lodge is strong and a resource to the camping program and the council. As I read other council websites I always notice that many lodges have vacant leadership postions - not a problem in Shawnee. Kids being vetoed is an extremely small issue, it just is not a deal that is talked about. Having participated in a 100 or so elections as a youth leader I was always impressed by the process and how well it is done. As an adult watching the process I have been even happier; most kids take the election seriously and the integrity of elections is not an issue that ever is discussed. Again I would suggest that the national OA leadership probably doesn't think this is a big deal and are happy to have the very large and strong Shawnee Lodge in the OA fold rather than another local camping honor society that is not an OA lodge.

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To ASM915 and others about Shawnee and the post election veto issue: I truely can't give the history of when the lodge started this procedure. It could very well have been the process recommended by national way back then and changed several times. National OA leadership must not be too worried about it; kids from Shawnee have been elected as region and section chiefs. The lodge hosts it fair share of section conclaves and national training events so this procedure must not be an anethma to the powers-that-be. Lots of lodges have different procedures; Shawnee has not had a dues system since 1960. The lodge is well off and actually gives $ to Friends of Scouting. There is no sugar daddy; fee for attendance at lodge events is high enough to pay for events and annual operating funds. Members must send in a registration card annually to be on the rolls (and be BSA registered of course). I noticed during a reading last night of national OA site that lodges are discouraged from doing elections at summer camp; Shawnee does it elections at summer camp and has about 72% or so camp attendance by scouts . The lodge is strong and a resource to the camping program and the council. As I read other council websites I always notice that many lodges have vacant leadership postions - not a problem in Shawnee. Kids being vetoed is an extremely small issue, it just is not a deal that is talked about. Having participated in a 100 or so elections as a youth leader I was always impressed by the process and how well it is done. As an adult watching the process I have been even happier; most kids take the election seriously and the integrity of elections is not an issue that ever is discussed. Again I would suggest that the national OA leadership probably doesn't think this is a big deal and are happy to have the very large and strong Shawnee Lodge in the OA fold rather than another local camping honor society that is not an OA lodge.

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Well said, belayer.

 

Tormorrow I finish my Ordeal with my son and some other boys from his original cub scout den. I'll post somewhere on here about it afterwards.

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Scouter760. Lucky you, doing the Ordeal with your son. Sounds like you are going to S bar F this weekend. Let's hope the weather holds cool and not rainy. As a camp staff member I got to tap out my father - way cool. As a dad I got to catch my son when he was called out. Got my money's worth from the OA; not to mention all the great things I got do as a chapter and lodge officer. The OA, done right, can be a good growth program for the older scout.

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Well, not to turn this thread into old-home week, but the Reunion at S-F was great! Perfect weather. I got called out with #1 son awhile back (he, unfortunately, didn't want to continue) and did Brotherhood the same weekend #2 son did his Ordeal. Now I have the privilege of being the troop OA advisor (er?-never can remember). #2 son's troop has a terrible Brotherhood conversion - we now have two scouts who will hopefully attain Brotherhood at the Spring Conclave because they've had fun at OA events.

 

There's another thread going about the openness of the OA ceremonies to parents, religious folks, etc. - Shawnee apparently comes out pretty much ahead on that front.

 

So I think it's a matter of scale and what's important in the grand scheme of things. While the SM can veto the selection (and, with Scouter760, I see the logic) I've never heard of one doing it - which means either it isn't happening, or there's a tremendous amount of discretion out there.

 

But, Scouter760, I guess I'm wondering what prompted the question?

 

Vicki

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Vicki - just a clarification - he needs 10 months from his Ordeal date before he is eligible for his Brotherhood. Spring will be too early.

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ursus, I didn't say when #2 son did his Ordeal, or even that he was one of the scouts going for Brotherhood (which he is). So I'm not quite sure how you jumped to that conclusion. One did his Ordeal at the Fall Reunion in 07, the other at the Spring Conclave in 08. So, yes, both will be eligible at the 09 Spring Conclave. Have to say I wish you'd asked that question rather than assume I didn't know what I was talking about.

 

Vicki(This message has been edited by Vicki)

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belayer wrote:

"To ASM915 and others about Shawnee and the post election veto issue: I truely can't give the history of when the lodge started this procedure. It could very well have been the process recommended by national way back then and changed several times. National OA leadership must not be too worried about it; kids from Shawnee have been elected as region and section chiefs."

 

The thing that leaps out to me is the idea of ignoring the rules. Not just because of the rules, but because we're involved in an organization (BSA) that promotes good citizenship and character development. It seems hypocritical to promote these things while ignoring the rules.

 

Is that what we really want to teach young men?

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To Tokala: I agree that paying attention to rules is important and leaders should pay attention and set an example. Having been our council's Ropes Course and Climbing Chair since the early 80's I will tell you that some rules get changed enough to be confusing and often contradictory from one year to the next (I've seen National standards come and go and be all over the map). Voting rules have changed a bunch of times since my induction. As I said earlier I don't know the history of the rule about SM's and veto power but I might wager a small bet that Shawnee is following a rule that used to be a National rule - remember Shawnee has had the same veto procedure since at least 1961. Gotta think some procedural rules just aren't a big deal. Some rules are followed with greater enthusiam in different lodges and councils, example: wear full uniform when wearing OA sash. Shawnee is absolutely tough on this; kids can't get their Ordeal sash placed over their shoulder unless wearing a full uniform - Allowat Sakima will hand it to them if not in uniform. At National OA events the Shawnee kids go crazy seeing guys from other lodges wearing t-shirts and sashes. They think it shows disrespect to the OA if not wearing the full uniform. I will however try to find out the history of the veto rule at the next Camping Comm. meeting of the council; could be a real research problem. I am one of the most senior members of the comm. but I will explore with our Director of Camping - the guy who gets paid to deal with this stuff.

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I agree it's not a catastrophe to disregard the "veto" rule. It's not a health or safety issue. I was elected and inducted in March 1977. The rule regarding SM approval prior to the vote and no "veto" power has been on the books since then.

 

We read many threads in these boards concerning leaders ignoring/violating rules, or just plain confusion/misinterpretation of BSA policies. The SM veto concept just seems to be wrong on 2 very different levels: #1) violates policy, and #2) violates the concept of a youth led program.(This message has been edited by Tokala)

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