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ETD129-AW Chpt Adv

Parents attending OA Ceremonies

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Thunder - Why not? I don't see what's wrong with offering a polite explanation, followed by a polite request. If the parent doesn't want to do what you're asking them to do, you can't force the issue beyond that. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with providing information about our program, our goals and our preferences.

 

Dennis - how exactly is that intimidation? What am I going to "intimidate" them WITH? The conversation should, of course, occur politely and courteously.

 

Don't schools do this all the time by discouraging parents from sitting in the classroom with their children?

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Hello KC9,

 

 

>

 

 

What you are suggesting probably wouldn't be a problem. But if you read earlier in this thread, some people were talking about fast talking parents and offering objections to parents who wanted to observe OA activities until they gave up.

 

That IS objectionable big time, in my opinion. And if you offer ANY objections to a request to observe, you are on a slippery slope.

 

Suppose that parent wrote the Council Executive (or the newspaper) a letter saying that they had asked to observe an OA ceremony and YOU had prevented them from doing so.

 

You might object that you merely offered an explanation, but if a parent interprets that as preventing observation is probably going to be found to be correct, and your explanations disregarded.

 

Just today the entire front cover of "Seattle Weekly" is an illustrated story "Hands-On Experience" "Dozens of teenage Explorers have been sexually abused by police officers. Critics say the Boy Scouts, who oversee the program, should share the blame."

 

http://www.seattleweekly.com/

 

 

We often like to think we KNOW where the danger line is, and we can dance right up to it with impunity. In fact, the smart move is often to stay well away from danger areas and take no chances with disaster.

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intimidation

 

boy scout man with all of his proud medals looking like a south american general says to mom, we ask you not go inside. You can wait out here. We want you to respect our secrets. (or something like that) All high and mighty that this is the way things are done. I think mom is intimidated. she says, oh, I guess i really am not allowed. So yes, I agree with the above poster, any time you request someone to not attend, when they are allowed, is in effect telling them not to.

 

What is the real difference between we would really like it if you did not go in. you need to respect what we are doing here; and, sorry, you must leave. In actuality, there is no difference.

 

But, the seattle article, lets say one of the parents wanted to go along, and they were told we really want you to stay here. What a headline that would make. BSA not only does not enforce their safety rules, they have a system which encourages the breaking of such rules.

 

which, again, is what you advocate when you actively discourage attendance. Can you explain the program. yes. can you explain secrecy, yes. can you explain you must sit and observe only, yes. can you ask them to get out or stay away. no.

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SP -- at your suggestion, I tried -- really tried -- to re-read the thread from the beginning. I got to early May (about page 7 or 8) and just couldn't choke any more of this down. (An by the way, I still never read where a parent shouldn't be ultimately allowed in.) I am now reminded why I quit reading it long ago and questioning my judgement for picking up again. That was 30 minutes of my life I'll never get back. Thanks a lot.

 

But then I read Dennis99ss' post earlier this afternoon. HOLY SMOKES!! (Yeah, E92, I'm yelling, and "smokes" is not the word I'm really thinking.)

 

On tha alter of parental openness, this Dennis wants to sacrifice basic, common sense safety and allow an untrained, unregistered (and therefor non-background checked), unsupervised, lone parent to plop down in the middle of a group of boys, separated only by a few mils of nylon? AND YOUR BIG CONCERN HERE IS THE PERCEPTION OF THE OA VIOLATING YOUTH PROTECTION STANDARDS!!!!

 

NO ONE, NO ONE! should be allowed to do that. Who knows what is going on in the middle of the night. How do you know this parent isn't lying awake in his tent listening for a Scout to get up in the night?

 

This is an example which needs to be added to the YP video -- a clear example of grooming. Leaders need to be mindful of people who would twist BSA policy to allow clear violations of basic YP tenents.

 

SP-- you want to get all torqued up and call the Scout Executive on volunteers who want "discourage" parents from attending an OA event which is conducted in plain view of dozens of youth and adults? Then how do you feel about this?

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first, all of my parents who attend campouts are ypt trained. And, all have submitted an application. It is required at bsa camps and summer camps around here. Not just active asm's etc., but all of them. I have asked them to take the training, and they have done so.

 

and, why is there a difference if an adult is on one side of a camp site, or the other. We seldom camp at bsa facilities. Therefore we are most often in smaller state or federal campsites, with limited area.

 

and, what would be different from summer camp, when you are placed in a small confine.

 

I am the first to be aware of safety and appearances. However, as I indicated above, I have never encountered an adult setting up camp next to a scout tent, unless, all of us are in the same area.

 

but, in seperate campsites, or something of the like, i would have to question that. But, it has never happened. On occasion i have had boys who are leary of sleeping by themselves or without a parent, for a variety of reasons that I find acceptable, and, in those instances, the boys usually share a tent with dad.

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Dennis (and Seattle),

 

Regarding the religion discussion on page 13 - respectfully, you're the one who doesn't get it. I'm not answering Eagle92's question. I'm making a statement of my own that echoes the official OA policy statement (from the Guide to Inductions): "Nothing in the Order shall be interpreted as interfering with any member's religious obligation."

 

You call my argument insulting to certain people of faith? Im insulted by that. But perhaps I shouldnt be, as its clear you utterly misread and misunderstood my point. If you can name me one religious group that comes down against the Order of the Arrows practices - not the BSA in general, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish, and you know that's a red herring - I will have to reconsider my statement. But in all the threads I've read on this board on the subject, in all the discussions I've had over the years with people from a variety of faith traditions, I have yet to encounter one person, Arrowman or non-Arrowman, who has religious objections to the Order.

 

Until then, this line that you and Seattle are putting forward about the potential effects upon some unknown's person theoretical religious beliefs is just a hyperbolic hypothetical argument. I refer you to BDPT00s statement from the other thread, which I previously quoted.

 

It's ironic that what Seattle is espousing - "What would be welcome would be to describe your plans in detail so that people can decide for themselves whether it's something in which they want to participate" - is exactly what the Order instructs its officers and advisers to do when a parent has questions. So he's just undercut his whole dang anti-OA argument, as far as I'm concerned.

 

Back to the whole point of this thread:

 

Parents can certainly ask to observe what their children are doing. It's BSA policy to permit that. But what if a parent asks out of ignorance? Seattle, ThunderFox and other members of the purist school would seem to argue that we're not allowed to provide them with information - that we have to abide by their knee-jerk request, that educating them is "intimidating" them. I think that's a wrong-headed approach, and definitely prefer a more nuanced method.

 

The vast majority of parents can differentiate between information and intimidation, and the vast majority of Scouters can offer information in a non-intimidating way. To assume otherwise, as the loud voices here are shouting, is to denigrate the intelligence of both our parents and volunteers.

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You want to know why OA is so secretive???????

 

 

If the boys getting snookered into joining "Scouting's Honor Society" he doesn't want to know all he will be doing is working for the council and maybe trading patches.

 

That was my experience.....We setup resident camp and then the candidates would tear it down.

 

Now ArrowCorp sounded really neat and would have been fun. But it was well after my time.

 

I understand but that it is about joyful service, but is that it???????

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Not to be a PITA, but if parents have the right to attend everything with their sons, then why does BSA specifically state in published policy that cannot attend one type of event? Wouldn't that be a YP issue too, in fact wouldn't that BSA policy that stated parents cannot attend in any capacity also violate policies expressed in YPT?

 

 

 

 

 

 

But here it is, and it is probably from one of the most current BSA publications, if not THE most current one.

 

 

 

 

Guide to Advancement, copyrighted 2011 and came out a month or so back, states the following

 

8.0.1.0 Conducting the Board of Review -

 

It may help if the unit leader introduces the candidate, and if a few minutes are spent

getting acquainted. The unit leader may remain in the room, but only to observe, not to participate unless called upon. The Scouts parents, relatives, or guardians may

not be in attendance in any capacitynot as members of the board, as observers, or even as the unit leader. Their presence can change discussion dynamics. Emphasis is mine.

 

So here we have a clear case of 1 BSA policy that appears to be in contradiction to another one. But is it really?

 

Again there is a BSA policy on the topic of the OA and non-member parents, and I am working on finding it (will be talking to the current Chapter Advisor tonite at RT as I may have given him that book when he replaced me). But in a nut shell you talk to parents about any concerns they have about the process, and if they insist, THEN you let them come.

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Base,

 

I can understand where you are coming from. TRUST ME ON THAT ONE :)

 

When I took over as chapter adviser a few years back, the OA was known as the "council's slave labor corps" as all we did was Work Work Work. We did two fun parties, Christmas and a pool party, as well as the lodge fellowship, but that was it. We never sent anyone to conclave b/c it occurred the same weekend that we worked an event on the district level. We didn't have any fun chapter events, etc.

 

It's real easy to fall into the WWW mode.

 

Part of that was that folks are use to one thing and cannot escape from the mentality. We started doing fun field trips like tours of a nearby USAF base, visiting local museums, and attending conclave, which was a major morale booster for us. But it was hard work to get the chapter to think outside the WWW mode. And the funny thing is: we've actually added not only fun stuff, but a community service project to boot.

 

SP

 

I read the article you linked too. Not doubting it for a bit, but there are some factual errors in it. I do not remember LFL policies on leadership numbers, but I do believe they do not have the 2 deep policy since it was designed for schools originally, But Exploring DID have a 2 deep leadership policy from about 1989 when it came out, until August 1998 when Exploring became part of LFL. I was an AA for a Post/Crew on and off from 1996 - 2001, and 2 deep was the rule.

 

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"Thunder Fox and other members of the purist school would seem to argue that we're not allowed to provide them with information"

 

The problem is there are those in the OA who when given an inch understand the inch given to justify taking a mile. These are the folks who will destroy the OA they purport to love, revere and cherish. That is why the rules are there. You, personally, might deal effectively with parents with tact and understanding in the situation but what assurance do YOU have that ALL chapter advisors will deal in good faith if found in this situation?

 

I do not understand the lack of OA adults in this forum who know the sensitivity of this issue who and are mute about protecting the Order. Please consider this; we have several hundred Councils in BSA, each Council has a Lodge with up to 10 chapters, so maybe a thousand or two thousand chapters. What are the odds that there will NOT be some sort of perceived scandal that will put the BSA in a negative position nationally over this very issue in the near future if each chapter is allowed to judge how much "secrecy" is enough? Because that will be what the parents will claim to the news media. (I DID NOT say OA is a secret organization).

 

I contend that the perception of wrongdoing is as damaging as wrongdoing in fact to a youth organization. The sad part, is even though it would not be true, many parents with members would take them out and worse, thousands of new Cub Scouts would never be allowed to join for many years because their parents responded to the "perceived" threat to their child.

 

The hundreds of thousands of future members of our BSA deserve the best efforts of today's leaders to safeguard the BSA so it will be there for them.

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SHORTRIDGE,

 

I am an adult, 65 years of age, well past my majority and living self-supported for 47 years and I do not need your assistance in expressing myself. This following phrase never crosed my lips nor my keyboard save to cite them here:

 

"Thunder Fox and other members of the purist school would seem to argue that we're not allowed to provide them with information"

 

Sir, you misquote me!

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ThunderFox:

 

If I had quoted you, I would have used quotation marks. Rather, I provided my interpretation of the ridiculous argument collectively advanced by you and others. I'm glad to hear that you don't believe that providing information is bad. I am, however, very eager to hear from you examples of what crosses the line.

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Seattle -

 

Too late to back off on that, guy. You have repeatedly held yourself up as an authority on how the Order should handle these issues.

 

>> "Sorry, if you are discouraging parents from attending you are encouraging a secret organization and activity in my book."

 

>> "ANY effort to discourage parents from attending is VERBOTTEN! Frankly, anyone who can't understand that simple concept should be replaced as an OA leader in my opinion."

 

>> "One check on that is having parents freely able to observe what is going on and act to file complaints if they see things that worry them. Without that check being freely available, I think there's a real risk that things will get out of hand through poor judgment by adult leaders who don't know when to say Enough!"

 

>> "I'm also appalled at the number of adults determined to obstruct the rules of the BSA by burdening the right of parents to observe OA proceedings. Frankly, I'd boot every such person out of any OA leadership position they might hold."

 

>> "Personally I would keep Old Ox away from any OA leadership position. He makes excuses to avoid carrying out BSA policies that are there for good reason, in my opinion."

 

>> "Unfortunately, Brotherhood makes an excellent case and example for shutting down OA. Overinvolved, willfull adult leaders in positions of leadership are something BSA simply can't afford. If he's been able to hold a position of leadership in OA for an extended period of time with the attitudes he displays here, there is certainly something seriously wrong. If Brotherhood would care to e-mail me with his name, BSA registration number or some other means I would like to forward a copy of this thread to the Council Executive of the Grand Columbia Council so that they can decide if some kind of investigation or counseling of this Scouter might be in order. His attitude strikes me as wrong and risky, but that's simply my opinion. I do think the council leadership should be informed so they can decide what, if any, action might be appropriate."

 

>> "Frankly, the alleged importance of keeping OA rituals secret is so trivial as to be absurd, in my opinion, compared to the real hazard of creating a public relations nightmare for OA and Scouting."

 

You and ThunderFox wax very eloquently about public perception and appearances and the importance of not letting Scouting get dragged down. Yet in this thread, the two of you have together repeatedly denigrated and attacked multiple people who simply do not share your views. How does that conduct build a positive public perception of Scouting?

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I like discussions and debates, debate being used in the classical not contemporary sense. But I think this is starting to turn ugly. Belay last, I think the topic is starting to become nasty and maybe we need to consider locking the thread.

 

The original question was about what people thought and morphed into what was the official OA policy concerning parents and adult members attending Ordeals.

 

I admit I am an old fogey, I quit being a youth in the OA in the mid 90s, and have been either and officer or adviser from '93 to about 3 years ago, although I may still be listed as an AA, I am not as active as before due to Cubs. So I have almost 20 years of SOPs, P&Ps, etc of information, some electronic, a lot paper, and some in both formats. So once I find the policy, and I may have lent the book out so it may be more time than anticipated, I will post it.

 

But the policy of talking to parents and/or clergy about the OA and allowing them to attend if they still have concerns goes back to at least 1993, if not earlier.

 

Compare my situation to the student who cannot recall the name of the battle in which the 101st was surrounded by the Germans in December and their acting CO responds to the German demands for surrender with "NUTS!" but can tell you all about the details of the battle.

 

But getting back to the nastiness, can we just drop it now and lock the thread?

 

Thanks in Advance,

E92

 

PS, that is the Battle, or Siege, of Bastogne BTW. Don't tell any of those vets that Patton rescued them, they didn't need any rescuing ;).(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

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SHORTRIDGE,

 

You are like a polititian, if you do not agree with something you attack it and its supporters. If it's actually right, you attack it even harder! You keep attacking, quoting and restating as you ignore our answers. And then you ask for answers.

 

Well sir, those answers ain't gonna change because they are the rules with some folks personal view embellishments tacked on, admittedly. And until you get some new questions, I'm done answering your questions.

 

Shortridge, you jumped in here on the attack without a statement of what it is you are precisely espousing, you might want to try that and leave the hostility out so your views can be understood.

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