Jump to content
Frank17

OA Brotherhood requirements

Recommended Posts

Some background:

I am a recent SM for our troop after having been an ASM for 3 years before. My knowledge / experience with the OA is very limited. The district OA holds it's meetings the same night as our roundtable, and they are very poorly attended (typically only 4-6 scouts total in a district with over 2,000 boy scouts total). We have a fair number of OA members in our Troop, and I have been pushing them to become more active in OA by attending meetings and OA campouts / service projects. A few have begun attending, so it is having an impact.

 

My question relates to Brotherhood in OA. Does the SM recommend or approve potential Brotherhood members, similar to what is done for initial OA membership? In the past, it seems like the brotherhood candidates meet with the Lodge Chief at Summer Camp, write a letter as to why they would like to become brothers, and are automatically inducted. There seems to be no lodge service or participation required. Is this correct?

 

Looking at the OA Handbook, the Brotherhood requirements on page 50 seem to only list service in the Troop, and not in the lodge. Only "future service in the lodge" is required. If this is the case, fine, but I do not feel comfortable seeing scouts become OA Brotherhood members who have never attended an OA meeting or campout or service project. I feel that as a service oriented organization, the price of advancing in OA membership should be participation in the same. Or is this the Lodge Chief's call?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought OA Brotherhood requirements were clearly set down in the Handbook.

 

Basically, to become Brotherhood you need to:

 

* be an Ordeal member for atleast 10 months

* show that you know the admonition, song, oath

* should you made a special effort to serve there troop/team, BUT there is no one checking/approving/verifying it. Its on your honor.

 

In the old days you used to have to write a letter to your Lodge Chief. AFAIK, its no longer required. It was only a formality. They used to do 'Brotherhood counseling', and had a list of questions candidates should know. I think most of that has fallen by the wayside.

 

NO ONE approves or elects Brotherhood members. In most cases, if you've been an Ordeal member 10 months, you get to become Brotherhood.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No SM recommendation needed. The youth need to take the initiative to complete the Brotherhood requirements after having been a member for a minimum of 10 months.

 

I have found that in our lodge the units with the more active OA youth also have active OA adults. Are there any adults in your troop that are members of the OA? If so, they can help motivate the OA youth by attending events and providing transportation. If not, perhaps the unit should nominate a troop adult for OA membership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First thing I would do is appoint one of the OA members to be the "OA Troop Representative" which is a POR in the troop. It is his job to "talk up" the OA among the troop members and get them motivated to participate, leading by example. As to Brotherhood, one of the metrics for making "Quality Lodge" is the Brotherhood Conversion Rate. So, if memory serves, SM approval is not required, and only requires you to have 10 months since your Ordeal, and present yourself at an Ordeal (or Fellowship) as a Brotherhood candidate. There are some other requirements to pass, which I won't reveal here, but don't seem to hold anyone back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most youth who are not active with the OA don't bother going for brotherhood anyway. They don't bother paying lodge dues either so are not counted as active members when honor lodge requirements are counted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Requirements:

Be an ordeal member for at least 10 months.

 

Be a registered member(currently dues paid)

 

Present self at an event offering Brotherhood conversion option.

 

The requirements are not guarded info and involves knowledge of basic information mostly found in handbook.The one thing that most have problems with is remembering the admonition and the team running the interviews will help with that.A letter about how you have served the order/scouting and what you plan to do in the future is also part of process.

 

It is not a requirement but it is a tradition in our lodge that there be a service project included in process.Typical opportunities are at ordeals so it comes natural,since members attending ordeal are expected to be part of service.

Since you have to show up at an event to obtain Brotherhood the arrow man has participated at least once.

Please note that though we'd love to see every member at meetings it's not the only way to serve the order.Contributing to the health of your unit or camps constitutes fulfilling the Order's obligation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're still doing the Brotherhood Interviews?

 

We were told by our youth officers and the advisers who went to NOAC way back in the 2003 timeframe that Brotherhood interview was not to happen, and the Nemat hike was to be in its place...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Please note that though we'd love to see every member at meetings it's not the only way to serve the order.Contributing to the health of your unit or camps constitutes fulfilling the Order's obligation."

 

This makes me feel better about it. If the members are given credit for non-OA Troop activities, they have done a fair amount of service over the past year. It seems like Brotherhood membership is fairly standard for any ordeal member who desires it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The interviews that we do are pretty informal and are essentially just a way to go over the paper work insure that dues and sash fee are paid.We also make sure that contact information is correct.We go over the obligation etc.No eligible member comes out of it denied conversion.

It serves as a way to let them know how they can be more involved and to get to know them.Sometimes a person will go through Brotherhood as though it's a rank advancement.We'd like them to understand that there is a bit more to it than that.This is not so much a part of the ceremonial process but rather administrative and social.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our lodge does not do a nemat hike. I don't see the nemat hike mentioned in the oa handbook or anywhere on the national web site.

 

There are 5 challenges to brotherhood honor. The first one involves memorizing certain things, and the second involves gaining an understanding of the ordeal. The OA handbook also has a list of questions that go along with requirement two. Our lodge uses a slightly different list of questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I don't see the nemat hike mentioned in the oa handbook or anywhere on the national web site."

 

The Niamit hike is part of the 'extended elangomat program', whereby the elangomats work with the members of their clan after the Ordeal as their 'niamat', and helps them become Brotherhood.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I don't see the nemat hike mentioned in the oa handbook or anywhere on the national web site."

 

The Niamit hike is called the Brotherhood Hike, and is covered i the "Guide to Inductions" on the National website.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned before, the requirements are:

1)Memorize the various required items (song, obligation, handclasp, etc.)

2)Advance in your understanding of the Ordeal - Meaning learn about the symbolism and such

3)Remain registered and serve your unit for 10 months

4)Make a plan for continued lodge service

5)Write a letter to the lodge sec. about your service plan

 

There is not technically any service requirement in the process. Many lodges run B-hood conversion during the Ordeal, in which case, the members usually do give service as elangomats. Some lodges also run specific day events for the Conversion (Brotherhood Blitz, B-hood Conversion Day, etc.). This day often does not involve any sort of project.

 

Also as previously mentioned, some see B-hood as a rank advancement, it is definitely not suppose to be so. Ordeal membership is given to you by your troop in recognition and expectation. B-hood is given to you by...well...you. It signifies that you are making a commitment to the Order. Then, Vigil may be given to you by the lodge, also in recognition and expectation. Our lodge has only denied one person B-hood in most everyone's memory, and that was only because he chose to sleep through the workshop we hold during Ordeal. He showed no interest whatsoever about participating, and didn't complete the requirements so he was not allowed to participate in the ceremony.

 

The "Brotherhood Interview," or whatever you want to call it, shouldn't be like a job interview, or a test. My lodge does the interview type thing in small groups, so they can help each other if needed. We also do a variation of the Nimat hike, where a lodge member talks with the candidate one-on-one (however, still meeting YP protocol). I personally think that the massive hike I've seen described, where the candidates all walk in silence, share a snack, and take various breaks to discuss B-hood on the way to the ceremonial site kind of silly.

 

So, Frank, the basics are: the SM has no control over a youth's time in the OA after he approves his name for the ballot to be elected (that is, if the SM is not heavily involved in the lodge...). He can encourage Scouts to be active, as you have, which is great! The recommendation to have an adult nominated and active in the OA is really helpful. If the OA doesn't have support within the troop, there is a very slim chance than the youth will see any value in the program, and probably won't participate (unless they are Scouting junkies like me...). I hope this thread has helped clarify things for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frank,

The SM is not involved with becoming Brotherhood.

 

To get your youth excited about OA, delegate a Troop Representative. He needs to attend the Chapter meetings, so he can bring back information about Lodge activities and events, then he can talk up the Lodge and OA to the rest of the scouts. Do you attend the RT's regularly? If so, the Rep. now has a ride to his meeting. That is why a lot of Lodges have set up their chapter meetings to coincide with RT, so the members can't use "I don't have a ride to the meeting".

 

Nominate an adult each year over the next couple of years, that are willing to participate in OA, and then help promote OA along with the troop Rep.

 

For Brotherhood, our Lodge runs a Brotherhood project and ceremony at both Ordeals, as well as each Wednesday afternoon, at summer camp. Our Section also runs a conversion at Conclave every spring.

 

Let your boys in on the fact that they can travel to Philmont, Northern Tier, and Sea Base as OA members at less then half the cost of the regular contingencies, for two weeks, one of service, one of having fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×