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ETD129-AW Chpt Adv

Parents attending OA Ceremonies

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Count me with the Much Discretion Crowd. No small part of the appeal of the organization in the past was that scouts who weren't members were intrigued by it.

 

Now everything's on the internet.

 

Forget the "concern" and fright over the secrecy stuff: when I was a scout, not only adults but youth leaders ALSO FIRMLY STRESSED NO HAZING. . . and it worked. There was no hazing, since for youth it was a sign of maturity that there BE no hazing!

 

We consistently underrate the ability of youth, and we consistently frighten ourself with imaginary fears.

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Mr. Boyce,

In my over 50 years in Scouting, I have never heard of a Pack or Troop breaking up, dissolving etc. because the Scouts cannot get along. Boys can find away to get along AND most often, do the right thing. It's always adults who cause the discord.

 

The "restrict parents attending commentors here" have a "Vision" of this secret Order that is illegal in their organization, so they rationalize to make it so. They are willing to risk the very existence of their beloved Order to do things their way against the rules. Some, as stated in this forum, see absolutely no danger to the existence of the Order because, "we are just doing ......." Sadly, it is this rationalization, and too much adult "management" that has caused virtually every OA Chapter I have been a member of to sadly fall short of its boy-run potential! Boy-run is just a slogan in too many OA Chapters rather than a reality. If the troop those adults come from, how can the chapter magically become boy run??

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Some considerations, Thunderfox:

 

Why NOT a secret organization? You have to admit that there appear to be some benefits to it.

 

In my book, I think the fears of secret organizations is overdone. We hyper-fear things around us so much, it's a wonder we're still allowed to use scissors! :) I think the American Empire/Post 911 World devotes far too much energy to Safety and Security; this mission to denature and neutralize society of any blemish is enjoined by the political correcters.

 

With that said, the BSA, and any youth organization requires scrutiny to avoid abuse. I point out above that the much-feared hazing never occurred on OUR watch; we were if anything much anti-hazing and would have stopped it. . . as the ADULT thing to do! :)

 

Quick, cheap, second-hand looks at the OA, however, would make any uninformed member of the public concerned for youth safety. Makes sense to me to accommodate this. Hence, as a practical matter, why not allow seriously curious parents to know about the OA?

 

But this, TF, is far different than broadcasting the guts of the organization to anyone. NO SMALL PART of the effectiveness of the OA comes from its shared experiences. It was with great dismay that I attended a recent Ordeal ceremony in which one boy was totally disinterested; he toyed with a lamp rather than care much about what was going on. If nothing's new, we're all jaded, aren't we?

 

You seem from your posts to have seen some one particular instance or lodge in which the organization took the OA template and radically changed it into something different. I'm opposed to that, no doubt.

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Mr. Boyce,

 

You are reading between the cracks in the sidewalks and not between the cracks in any of my comments nor anyone elses when you state we want to be broadcasting the guts of the organization to anyone", nor did we talk about hazing.

 

We are focusing on the BSA rule that states parents may attend OA ceremonies and meetings and sets their right to do so when many OA Adults have decided to circumvent this rule to the best of their ability.

 

My impressions of the OA are not formed from merely one or two instances; they have been formed over 50 years of participation and observation.

 

 

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Sadly, this discourse has continued for years with no resolution when there are really only two positions espoused or expressed herein.

 

A. I will honor my oath as a Scout leader and follow the rules.

 

B. I will violate my oath as a Scout Leader and do what I want to do.

 

So take your pick, do what's right or teach the Scouts rules are meant to be broken and your oath means nothing.

 

 

 

 

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I didn't want to post here, but here it goes.

 

1) Parents have every right to attend OA ceremonies.

 

2) Per OA policies, sorry cannot cite the exact source at this time maybe later, non-members should be discouraged from attending. Everything should be explained to the concerned non-member, i.e. ceremony scripts available, explanations, etc. BUT IF THE PARENTS AND/OR CLERGY STILL WANT TO SEE THE CEREMONY, THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT. ( caps for emphasis, not shouting). Again I will post the citations when I can, hopefully in the next 2 days.

 

3) I think the suggestions TF made a few pages back are good ones, and I hope someone nationally read them.

 

4) As I stated, I attended one Ordeal where the entire family showed up, tried to film and videotape it, etc. Luckily It was handled properly. This situation reoccuring is my concern.

 

But I also had one where Dad showed up. I know the dad, and he is a bit on the overprotective side, had legitimate concerns, and stayed the entire weekend. But dad was respectful. I do not know if dad attended the ceremony or not, I was actually in the ceremony with the new members since I was one of their "friends" going through the ordeal with them, but I do know he worked with the chapter in doing work on rebuilding the camp after the hurricane.

 

Again my concern is ruining the expereince for the other new members.

 

 

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"Ruining" the experience is of secondary importance compared with the PRIMARY obligation to provide free access for parents.

 

That doesn't include siblings, aunts, uncles or whatever, but parents should not be discouraged in any way from attending OA ceremonies.

 

 

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So all you guys who claim having parents attend will ruin the experience are admitting you are very poor planners and cannot seclude the parents shielding the partticpants from knowing they are there?

 

You are just throwing up your arms in defeat????

 

Good, now assign the task to your Boy-Run Youth Leadership; they can accomplish this in a snap!! Your status quo is not their staus quo unless you have soured the barrel!

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dead horse dead horse dead horse. In fact it is already at the glue factory.

 

i find it absolutely amazing, and extremely short sighted and selfish that any responsible adult would discourage an adult parent or guardian from attending. Have any of you even picked up a newspaper or looked at cnn online in the last several weeks?

 

to those of you who discourage parents from attending, why would you open yourself up to allegations of impropriety. So yes, short sighted and selfish. Mom comes out and says something happened to her child, she was "discouraged" to attend, and your name, and BSA, is on the front page.

 

And all so your non-secret ceremony can be "secret"? Just so you can boost your own ego as being a part of the "special" society, which, in the chapter associated with us, has extremely limited attendance because noone really cares or has time.

 

Sounds like a bunch of adults trying to be a part of something that gives them an ego boost because it is "secret".

 

give me a break, get a life

 

 

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SP,

 

Please read what I posted. Do I have concerns about nonmembers at ceremonies, yes I do. Does OA policy say to try and dissuade parents from attending, yes it does and I'll find the citations within the next 2 days for you. Does OA policy also say that if parents insist, they attend, yes it does.

 

Did I state that I've seen both the good and bad, maybe not as clearly as I could have, but yes I have.

 

TF,

 

1) I think your ideas are very good, with the addition of making a group intro instead of a unit intro to the OA for parents and candidates. As I mentioned we have a chapter info session and it works well.

 

2) If you recall, when the bad situation arose, I handed it off to the youth leadership. I'm an old fogey, I have no say in anything anymore. I, like you, beleive thatyou need to let the youth deal with these situations as they are in charge. Only the Supreme Chief of the Fire, aka the Scout Exec or his appointed designate can overule the youth. And I have seen that happen.

 

3) Also I think the youth, although I'm not 100% sure on this as I am not as active wiht the OA as I use to be, have come up with a solution, and implemented it with the good situation I described. Again I had no problems.

 

Dennis,

 

As I stated national OA policy is to dissuade non-members from attending, but if they insist let the parents and/or clergy attend. When I get the chance I'll cite the source, but it may be 2 days.

 

As far as ego goes, that is not it. Arrowman promise to carry on and keep traditions in the OA alive. One of those traditions does concern non-members, and there are national OA policies in place in regards to this situation.

 

Now do traditions change over time, absolutely. Tap Outs to Call Outs is one example of change. No more different colored borders on lodge flaps is another example of change. I may not agree with the changes, but I am obligated to follow them. Just as the I follow OA policy on this topic.

 

OA has been around for almost 100 years, and there are a lot of traditions in the OA, as well as a lot of policies to boot.

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*** Why would one do that? Is it a secret that they're there?

 

I don't encourage non-members to attend.

BDPT00

 

 

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Hello Eagle 92,

 

 

Youth protection policies prohibiting secret societies and guaranteeing parents and guardians the opportunity to observe any Scout activity trump any outdated OA policy from decades past.

 

I take it you HAVE taken that training in the past two years?

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Our lodge is doing training soon. I'll attend, and I'll be sure to reaise the question.

From where I stand, "guaranteeing parents and guardians the opportunity to observe any Scout activity" does not equal encouraging them to observe ceremonies.

I think we need a new verb.

BDPT00

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Just follow the dang rules -- all of them. You can't just pick the one policy you like and follow it blindly -- in either directin. You have to look at the policy and program wholly and apply them reasonably.

 

If a parent has a concern about the content of the ceremonies, explain it to them, show them the script or even a video of past ceremonies. If they absolutely insist on attending their son's ceremony in person, escort them to the back row and explain they -- and everyone else in attendance -- are guests and must remain silent and at the seat throughout the ceremony. I'd have the lodge advisor sit with them if they seem likely to make a scene. If they disrupt the ceremony, throw their butts out!

 

I don't see where the "open to parents" rule trumps anything else. OA works just like anything else. Parents are allowed to attend, but not distrupt. We once had a situation in the troop where a parent of one scout was creating problems for us. Our guidance from both our CO and our council professionals is nothing requires us to allow a parent to go camping with us. In fact, it should be fairly obvious that both common sense and youth protection concerns demand that we have the authority to control who does and does not attend activities.

 

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