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Eagle92

How to Keep Arrowmen Involved

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Ok so how do some lodges do it. I know my lodge incorporated the First Year Arrowman Award, flaps can only be earned after completing 7 hours of work as a MEMBER (so no flap until you attend another Ordeal, a conclave, jamboree, or NOAC) and changed the schedule to include both work and fellowship the Ordeal weekend.

 

On a chapter level, we want OA sashes visible at all special events,i.e. district banquet, COHs, BnGs, camporee campfire, etc. I know what some people will say, I've posted about this topic already. The OA on the district had a visibility problem with scouts, parents, and some leaders. Now the unit I had some problems with having people interested in the OA has 16 candidates, and people want to be in the OA.

 

Ok who's next. And remember, this is not a safeguarded thread.

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How do you justify not giving someone their flap after they have done their Ordeal? Once they have done their Ordeal, they are an Arrowman. While we want Arrowmen to support their Lodge, their first duty is to their unit.

 

Also, the sash is not intended to be worn at all events. I don't mean to criticize what you are doing, I just fail to understand how those actions result in increased involvement.

 

I'll be interested in other folks responses as this is a subject near and dear to my heart. Our Lodge needs a shot in the arm.

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I'm sure other people have specific ideas, but for me, it comes down to two primary things:

 

- Program, program, program. Too often, I've seen "fellowship" events reduced to root beer floats, board games and a patch auction. Would you go to that if it weren't an OA function? A chapter or lodge can do anything a patrol or troop can - high adventure treks, survival campouts, etc.

 

- Staff, staff, staff. Hook up with the district or council and make sure the people in charge of summer camp, day camps, Webelos Woods, Adventure Days, camporees, etc., can draw on OA members any time for staff, as long as it's not detrimental to their units. Serving on staff gives the OA instant cachet.

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540,

What Eagle92 meant to say was that his Lodge has instituted a First Year Arrowman Award where the new Ordeal member can earn a special First Year patch that only first year members can earn if they are active, and attending Lodge functions. Check out Croatan Lodge's website. The First Year Arrowman Award is actually pretty easy to earn, if they are willing.

 

92, I'm formulating a plan to present to our Lodge leadership that will take (alright, steal) a lot of your ideas. I've already planted the seed in our chapter leadership about post-Ordeal chapter meetings this coming year. I haven't dropped the idea of a FYA award yet. I'll plant that one a little later. We have started getting them excited about planning Chapter outings. Last week before Xmas, we took 5 of them to an indoor climbing facility for a couple of hours. Back in Oct. they did a service project followed by a quick reward of lunch and swimming in the afternoon.

 

I'm hoping the chapter guys will pick up on the hints and ideas, come up with some of the activities for the above ideas on their own,and then get the balls to approach the LEC. We have a young chapter age wise (actives that is), and they are still a little intimidated by the older guys yet.

 

LEC moved our Fall Fellowship back a week next fall to coincide with our Council first fall Good Turn Weekend. This would make the Lodge visible in camp doing projects in the morning, having fun in the afternoon, and holding a Lodge meeting/social and elections in the evening. The Lodge hopes that by doing this, that they will get more Arrowmen to come to the meeting/social, and have more Arrowmen present to vote on officers.

 

Our Lodge has it a little hard in that they have to compete for bodies against our Council's freestanding Camp Honors program, which is more then 80 years old, and draws troops for over 25 states, Canada, and a few from Europe countries to our summer camp program. The CHP uses around 200-250 participants per Friday night to make the program work. Once a youth or adult receives their 5th year CHP award, they can become participants in the Friday night festivities, which last to the wee hours of the morning (3-4:00AM). The comradery is just as tight in Pipestone as it is in OA. It's hard when you have two great honors programs running throughout the summer, to be able to divide your time between them.

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I grew up in the OA and never knew other "Camp Honor Programs" existed until I started reading scouter.com. Why do some councils feel a need to have two, competing programs? Isn't the OA the "official" BSA program?

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I will speak to one of those other programs:

 

Simply put, OA does not provide every member significant adult association. 98% of all teens need lots of hands on active mentorship in developing their personal mores and ethics.

 

There is a single ethical value emphasized in the Order: Cheerful Service. More than a few of the early Scout Executives, who were encouraged by Mr West to experiment, decided other values (God, Country, even Mom) were just as signficant to a young mans' development.

 

There is also the small matter of $,$$$,$$$. Yes, millions of dollars. Some of these other honor camper organizations can tap into adult loyalty even beyond the Scouting years. That translates into additional funds and a lowered reliance on the United Way as a source of funding.

 

Yes, I love the Order. I was tapped out at 13 (yes, and old fashioned KAWHUMP grab by my belt, a war yell from my guide, and 3 resounding KAWHUMP taps by the C-team guy at the center of the fire. I've also seen, in adulthood, hands on, some of the other organizations. They work. They usually work together.

 

OK? OK.

 

 

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If the OA has an exposure problem they have created it themselves. Tell me Eagle92, as an organization of "cheerful service" what service projects (other than at you local camp(s) a couple times a year) does your local OA chapter do for either the scouting community or the community in general?

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As I stated in my earlier post, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I left scouting as a Webelos in 1968, so I never became a Boy Scout or Arrowman. I became an Arrowman as an adult. While not officially listed as a Chapter Advisor, I am there for everything as I have to drive my son who is the Camping and Service Chair in our Chapter and is also on the Ceremonies Team. Like many other people, I was one of those who always wondered what the OA was all about. After joining, I was still one of those wondering what it was all about. Our Lodge and Chapters just kind of chug along. Some Chapters were actually inactive. Fall Fellowship and the annual Lodge Banquet usually netted more adults than youth. The adults recognize the problem and it is always a topic of discussion of how to improve the situation. Of course, you have all the old timers who tell you what it used to be like back in the day when they did tap outs, etc.

 

Not to put all the blame on our previous Lodge Advisor who just stepped down, but he took a very hands off approach in his advising methods. Our incoming Lodge Advisor has been an Arrowman for decades and seems to have a real vision for what he would like to see the Lodge return to. He realizes it is about the boys and it has to offer them something they want. He also realizes that it has to turn around under boy leadership.

 

As others have said, I think it is important for Arrowmen to be front and center anywhere and everywhere they can be to make the OA more visible in the Council. I don't believe they should be wearing their sashes as the handbook specifies when that should be done and it just isn't always practical. But a Lodge t-shirt or hat would certainly be in order when a field uniform isn't.

 

We are beginning to get a little better organized by actually having a calender of events published ahead of the new year. We have an individual day of service scheduled for our summer camp property and our Venturing/high adventure property aside from Ordeal weekends. Unfortunately, we don't seem to have a day for the property where the majority of our Districts do Day Camp or the property where Cub Resident Camp is held. I believe the Lodge should provide service to those camps as well.

 

What I'd like to see is the service coupled with some program activities. Work six hours around camp and then spend 3 hours shooting black powder or climbing and rapelling followed by a great dinner and maybe an outdoor movie or campfire. The possibilities are endless.

 

I'd like to see the Lodge challenge the Chapters to develop some sort of service project/progran activity every 3 or 4 months aside from what the Lodge does.

 

I'd like to see the OA promoted within the Council from the SE down. We have Troops that absolutely refuse to allow our election team to come to their units.

 

That being said, I'd like to see monthly Chapter meetings rahter than seasonal ceremony practice for the small handful of active boys.

 

I want to see the Lodge turn the OA into something fun and meaningful that boys actually want to take part in and the first place people turn to when they need some form of service provided.

 

That is my wish list off the top of my head.

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Folks,

Keep the comments coming. It may be a while for me to reply since I'm off today and am dealing with three rambunctious boys who will not give me the time to post a full response. i'm working on it as they let em

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ok i had the opportunity to write something.

 

SR540Beaver

In reference to not giving out the flaps, this is a cause of concern for some of us. It is brought up every year and the majority of youth on the ECM want to keep it the way it is. Over the past 2 years, more and more youth are wanting to have an Ordeal Flap, but with nationals new policy of no individual honor flaps, a lot of people are upset, and I think that the vote will be to continue to not issue a flap to Ordeal members as backlash to the new national policy.

 

To encourage Ordeal members to attend inter-lodge functions, we issue conclave, NOAC, Jambo, and this year AC5 flaps, which are authorized for uniform wear. Plus with the 70th anniversary, the lodge issued a special flap to those in attendance at the fall fellowship. Saw one young man sewing the flap on Friday nite. So they can wear flaps, but it's a specialty flap.

 

As to sashes, printings from the mid to late 1970s until the printing before the current one specifically spelled out COHs as an approved event. Plus the current book states that it is authorized for wear with the dress uniform, i.e navy blazer, tie, grat pants, etc. which is usually only seen on pros and council level volunteers. And lets face it 99.99999% of the time if you are in that uniform, you are not doing OA specific duties. And thats where the , comes in. As noted elsewhere on the net, when someone edited the old printing to make the new one, cutting a bunch of pages, there is a comma in the section relating to sashes. It could be poor editing, but who knows.

 

Also if you think about it, the unit honored the scout or scouter, and their primary duty is to the unit. I feel it is only right for the OA members to wear the sash that they were honored by their unit with. Now I agree with many that the MB sash is more appropriate for the youth. But adults should wear the sash. After all they are fulfilling the primary duty of the OA: to the unit.

 

Finally the new policy of no individual honors flaps also supports wearing the sash more often. There were two reason why the lodges Ive been in had individual flaps: 1) Promote achieving Brotherhood, and 2) Recognize honor a person was when not wearing the sash, which prior to the 1970s changes was 90% of the Time. Since the honor recognition is officially the sash, with the lodge flap recognizing the current lodge one is a member of, again I feel it is only right to wear the sash, and that sloppy editing is resulting in the confusion.

 

Shortridge

We have changed the program to do more than the traditional patch auction/ cracker barrel. We no have campwide games with chapter vs. chapter after the ceremonies. We moved up the times so that the candidates start earlier, finish earlier, go through the ceremony before dinner, and can fully participate with the chapter at dinner and the camp wide game. After that we have the patch acution and cracker barrel, also moved up in time, and then movie nite.

 

As for staffing events, that has been a problem in the past. Weve had no support from the district folks as they kept scheduling things the same time as OA functions, with my biggest pet peeve being the Webeloree being the same weekend as conclave. That is changing as I am attending the Dis com meetings, more and more adults are becoming aware of and participating in the OA, and the new DisChair is a Vigil Honor member, was horrified that the conflicts were taking place, and mandated the no district event would conflict with an OA event in the future. So far its been good :)

 

ASM915

Is it possible or even desired to merge the two organizations. I know of local camp organizations merging/ forming OA lodges and all members are automatically made OA members. But again that is a local decision.

 

Scoutldr

While the OA was still an experiment, a bunch of them came about. Most merged into the OA, but a few exist independently of the OA, usually the ones with lots of rich alumni.

 

Bob White

Yes weve been weak in that area. This year all we did was paint fire hydrants in one of the local communities. If you count AOL/Crossover ceremonies, staffing Webeloree, and staffing the council camporee show as service, then we did OK.

 

Also we have a chapter workday at the camp in our district, not the main camp, and we provided a few members when an emergency arose at that camp. Not many, but it was last minute and a weekday, not weekend.

 

Usually are number 1 service project is being part of the Red Cross Disaster team that runs the emergency shelter. Fortunately our services havent been needed the past few years. Knowing my luck we will be needed next year.

 

Also another service project was participating in and cleaning up the Relay For Life event in the county. Again weve had problems the past 2 years as the local R4L committee moved the event up to the same weekend as the lodges May Ordeal. I keep telling them to put it back to the original weekend and wed be there in a heartbeat.

 

SR540Beaver

Ill PM with some of the changes the lodge has done, and the chapter has done. We are not perfect, not by a long shot, and this Chapter Adviser knows he needs to do a better job of letting the youth run the program. Thats my #1 goal until I step down in March: let the youth do more of the work. Its hard, especially when you finally get the youth in charge trained and doing a great job and they leave for college and you lose that experience. Again that is something Im working on.

 

But we did meet the lodge's Quality chapter requirements and won the Fall Fellowship Spirit Award and the 2008 Spirit Award. talking about being flabbergasted, we were only hoping to get the Chief's Award for most improved chapter. WOW what a year.

(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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One thing I forgot to mention, with the community, they don't see us as Scouting's national Honor Society, the OA, they see us as the Boy Scouts. Another reason to wear the sash!

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What does it matter if the community sees you as OA or Boy Scouts so long as you are out there doing the service?

 

It's not as if the general public can do antything to inmprove your membership in any way.

 

 

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Bob,

 

You have a point when it comes to service. We should serve regardless of whether we are recognized or rewarded.

 

That being said, why would you hide your lamp under a basket? The Boy Scouts and/or OA being seen providing service in the community certainly doesn't hurt Scouting's image and might be the incentive for a boy or his parents to want to get him involved. Out of sight, out of mind.

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Yep service is service and it really doesn't matter. We are not in it for self gratification. But when you have parents of scouts who come up to you and don't know what the OA is, that's a problem. Or as the phone call I dealt with last year, a mom who didn't know that her son's SM was not only an OA member, but a Vigil Honor member who was at one time a chapter, lodge, and section officer. there's a problem. That's why I've been pushing the visiblity on the chapter level.

 

Oh and I forgot to mention, we got a chapter picture from the lodge's award banquet in the local newspaper with a brief explanation of what the OA is and the awards we earned.

 

 

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I too am in Eagle92's Lodge. I have not gotten my Lodge Flap, as I did my ordeal in another state many years ago. I attended the Fall Fellowship. I have not had time to do the Service. I am working on some other projects that we will discussing at our Chapter Meeting.

 

Our chapter last year built a wheel chair ramp for a family that was using a piece of plywood to get their disabled child in and out of the house. No there was no press, no big celebration, no media. But the family was greatful.

 

I will be looking into what I have to do for my lodge flap, but from my understanding, I will get it after I complete my brotherhood.

 

The reason why our lodge is not giving the flap for the ordeal, is because too many have done the sash-n-dash, to never return. I can understand why they are doing it that way.

 

So back to the original question, how do we keep the arrowman involved, personally, I would like to see the Scout Reach program working. I have Cub Scouts. I would like to be able to find an Arrowman that would like to help us on Campouts, but I have had no success. I know that our local troop just started having meetings again this month, but we are still trying to find things like Den Chiefs and get our arrowman back to the meetings.

 

Our Chapter is also planning on hosting a Webelos Weekend in April. We really need to plan this around the Conclave as Eagle92 said. But I have been asked by one of our chapter advisors to bring some ideas to the table.

 

So here is looking towards a new year of OA service and Fellowship

 

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