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fgoodwin

Hurt feelings after troop election

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I guess every troop must go through this; how do you handle it?

 

Ours is a small troop (fewer than 25 boys). Five boys were eligible for OA this year; only three were elected. Of course, the two that didn't make it are disappointed. Some of the adults want to scrap our troop participation in OA altogether if we cannot simply appoint every eligible member to be an Ordeal candidate.

 

What to do?

 

Fred Goodwin

Brotherhood

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Fred -

 

One of the reasons I rejected OA as a Scout was that it was (in my council) nothing more than a longevity award or popularity contest. It is simply unrealistic to think every eligible Scout should be an "Honor Camper". Even a 60% selection rate indicates that either you have a truly superior group of boys or the standards for selection have relaxed but 100% selection rate is crazy. The two who didn't make it should be asking their troop mates why they AREN'T considered honor campers so they know what to work on until next year's elections.

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Out of the three voted for, how long do you think they will last? Too many just want to asay they are OA but do not do anything after ordeal. There needs to be a better way to select OA members than a popularity contest of an election. Many times the ones that would do good in OA are not voted for.

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Scrapping the Troop's OA participation would simply deny those two boys (and no doubt many more in the future) the opportunity to be involved with a group that they look up to and value (judging by their disappointment). The Order is Scouting's honor society, but if every scout who met the camping and rank requirements was inducted then it would be reduced to little more than an extra patch/sash for those who were 1st class and earned their camping merit badge. Not to say these scouts in question aren't deserving- there are countless scouts outside the Order who are much more deserving than some who are members, but that's a whole different topic there.

 

One of the unique things about the Order is that we do not choose our own members. They must not only meet the requirements of camping, rank, and SM approval, but also be elected by their peers. This can give the experience of being elected more value than simply being appointed by an adult leader. However it must be stressed to the Troop that the election is not a popularity contest and that their votes should reflect the candidates' effort to live his life according to the Oath and Law.

 

Whatever the reason the Troops' scouts had for not electing these two, it should be made clear to the disappointed scouts that they will still be eligible for election the following year, and that as long as they show their scout spirit and live by scouting virtues, their peers should find them worthy of joining our Order.

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Sometimes the Youth members are smarter than us adults. They see things that we may not see or overlook and the youth consider a black mark when it comes to things like OA or Troop elections.

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nld is right, Fred. I've proctored many OA elections in our troop. After the first couple, I wondered if more - or fewer - boys should have been elected. After a few more elections, I realized that the troop membership really does have a pretty inuitive grasp of who is ready for the honor and who is not fully baked yet. It's not a perfect system, but it's better than any of the alternatives.

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In reference to the youth, I'ld have a chat with them about how they are living the Scout Oath and Law in their lives, not only in the troop, but in their personal lives as well. Ask they how do they treat their fellow scouts in the patrol and troop. Then use what they say to the situation.

 

I was elected back in the day when you could only put half the eligibles on the ballot, and it took me a little while to get elected. It wasn't becasue I was a bad scout, or not worthy, but becasue there were others in the troop who were MORE worthy of being an Arrowmen. It doesn't matter when you are elected, oncwe a brother, always a brother.

 

In referecne to the adults, a definate cup of coffe and chat needs to occur. This isn't little league where everyone wins. The ideals and putrpose of the OA need to be explained to them, even if they were members as a youth they need a reminder. They need to understand not only the service obligation that OA membership entails, but also some of the fun that OA does and they would be remiss in not allowing the Scouts in their charge to haev the opportunity to partake.

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This isn't little league where everyone wins.

 

Does everyone win now in Little League?? No more Little League dads yellin' at umpires? Did I miss the memo? :)

 

B

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My son was not elected on his first nomination, whereas every other kid in his patrol on the ballot was. He was severely disappointed asking why people didn't think he was as good a Scout as Bob, Billy, and Jim. But, we used the experience to point out to him that just showing up and doing stuff then sitting in teh corner with a book wasn't enough. He needed to actually *talk* to people so that they knew he *did* like them, care about them, and want to be a friend, in and out of Scouts. I didn't advise him to schmooze, but to get out there and interact with the other boys.

 

These things always feel like popularity contest and in some sense they are, even when they aren't supposed to be.

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Granted I was elected under the 1:10 rules in 1970... but in 1969 I wasn't elected... ;)

 

Fred, IMO the time to talk with the youth is before election. Have SM conferences with the eligible. Talk about Oath, Law, and camping. Is it an ethic... and then some ? :)

 

The other thing, and I've seen my SM do this, is talk with the youth in groups. Make sure the body politic understands what the Order means ... that it's an Obligation to service beyond self if they get elected. It's not another pretty doo-dad and a "Gee, look at me."

 

Then, yes, have the after talks too...

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I think that this SM is wrong for saying that he wanted the troop to pull out of the OA because not all eligible got in. Lets remember folks, the OA election is voted on by non-members in the troop. The voting boys probably thought the those that did not get elected were not ready. Maybe the boys that did not get elected were too busy with sports right now and were unable to commit the timme that is needed. THere is always next year. Missing one election is not the end of the world. I too cam in during a time when there were restriction on how many people could get in. I was elected with one other person. I never thought that I would get elected. I was not all that popular, I took scouting very seriously, studying and knowing what I needed to. I participated in all events. While some of my fellow scouts were at camp playing cards, I was building campgadgets like it was required. I would sit outside cutting firewood and getting things done for camp that needed to be done. Did I deserve it. Apparently. Did I think I would get it. NO.

 

Sometimes it is a popularity contest. That is the bad part, but tell these young scouts, that there is always another election. IF you want to see if these boys get elected, talk with the OA advisors. Check at round table, one is probably there. Ask them hoe often they hold elections and what can be done. If these boys are truly ready and eligible, then they should help you.

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Fred,

 

Have you had your local OA Chapter come in and conduct the elections? Every year we have them give a talk about what it means to be in the OA (honor camper, cheerful service etc) before the elections. We have had some not nominated and to be honest they probably shouldn't have been. It is important that the boys know that selection to the OA doesn't end with their Ordeal or even Brotherhood, it's not about a patch or sashe with are just cloth with colorful thread, it is about service. A good OA Chapter like we participate in can provide numerous hours of service to our local camp, collecting food, working at the animal shelter etc. Would be a shame to drop the program, but if the program isn't active...

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Older son was not elected to the OA until his third try. He 'lived' Boy Scouts and was very hurt that he was passed over twice. Since his Ordeal after the third try, he has given so much to the OA and his Troop. He's been a chapter officer and lodge officer. He was on the ceremonies team for Ordeal and Brotherhood candidates. He was selected for Vigil Honor and received the OA Founder's Award.

 

Sometimes worthy candidates are not elected and sometimes (many times) guys are elected that go through their ordeal, get the sash, and never do anything with the OA again. Wish it wasn't so, but it is.

 

 

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I'm trying to find out how some of you already know the results of the elections. Our troop only the SM and OA youth rep for the troop (or whatever his title is) are the ones that know the results and they don't tell a single sole. The boys find out the results at the tap-out ceremony at parent's night of summer camp. I wish I knew the results - my son is one that's eligible... I have anxiety issues and normally don't stay for the ceremony because it would require me to up my meds to a level I prefer not to. But, I know if I didn't go my son would know he didn't get in... so, I'm going and I hope he gets tapped out because I don't want to do it again.

 

I'm not totally sure on the whole election deal... I have to say I'm proud of how my son voted - he decided not to vote for "all" but to really vote for those that have shown they deserve the honor. But then I know he saw a couple of other boys vote and that they didn't care one bit about who really deserved it - at least that's the way my son described it.

 

IMO considering the things that I know OA members do I think that there should be requirements other that first class and number of nights camping. What about service hours?

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The unit leader is permitted to announce the winners to the unit as soon as the election is completed, regardless of when the call out ceremony is.

 

I was visiting a unit last night that happened to be having their OA elections, and the call out ceremony was performed by the election team immediately afterward. Might as well considering candidates have one year from the date of the election to go through the ordeal. Our lodge's next ordeal is just before summer camp, so the boys will have all 3 opportunities to attend an ordeal rather than wait until after summer camp and only have 2 possible dates.(This message has been edited by nolesrule)

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