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ETD129-AW Chpt Adv

Parents attending OA Ceremonies

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To all- Yes, I agree the this is a solomn and organized event. However, if the parents want to attend either a)to participate and recognize their son's achievement or b)to ensure that nothing untoward occurs it is their right and is within BSA guidelines. To have the excuse that there is not enough room at the Lodge, that parents in attendence would reduce the "specialness" of the ceremony, or that the parents MAY be asked to join in the future attending and attending an OA ceremony now would ruin it for them is just that- an excuse. Some of the comments on this thread are totally unbelievable. "Parents do not want their kids doing things on their own these days, treating them like children." "However, they should NEVER be encouraged to attend." My OA ceremony was special/important that the only thing I remember is the bow string slipping off of my finger and getting scolded for it. Hope that line doesn't get edited out. Obviously, the majority of the people who are posting on here are more than willing to go to great lengths to keep this ceremony out of the public view, to the extent of 90 minute phone conversations, and outright telling parents that they are not invited or allowed to attend. Most people who hear this type of thing will immediately question why? Is it a cover up for some actions that are not legal/or proper? Scouting is all ready an under-appreciated ill-understood organization without adding a layer of secrecy. Anything that could be used against Scouting in a negative manner should be avoided if possible. "No wonder so many teenage boys today view scouting as a bunch of geeks and nerds and have no interest in joining." If scouting got the same recognition and accolades as sporting events, the number of kids that would want to join would be staggering. I have not heard of any full ride scholarships to college.

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Folks, There are some realities here and Opinions that do not conform to the reality are invalid. BSA National Office says parent may elect to attend. That leads to some facts:

 

1. Any time Scouters choose to violate the rules, those Scouters have all the liability if anything bad, horrible or lethal occurs. Even if parents being prevented to attend has nothing to do with it, they have already proven they do not follow the rules.

 

2. The part about ruining it for the boy is all bugle oil!!! What you are saying is our District and OA does not know how to properly organize a Scouting Event.

A. Print a pamplet that explains how parents and only parents may attend, no talking, cheering, photos ....BE INVISIBLE!

B. Stake out a Parents area and provide some sort secure admission process that eliminates additional family members joining in. Maybe an escort to the parents area is the only way to find it.

C. The pamplet CLEARLY lays out the rules..only parents, no cameras or cell phones, parents with other family members may not enter.

D. Include the contention that this is a once in a lifetime experience of a private soul-searching moment and there will not be any disturbance of the moment allowed. Your son is transitioning from boy to man and this ceremony will be forever a milestone in his journey.

E. Have Adult monitors in the parents area..call them Guides or Docents etc.

 

3. Now have all the best folks in the council review the drafts and compile a Council approved document. Now submit it to National for approval. Then use the dang thing!!! Communicate, Communicate....Communicate.

 

4. Suggest each Troop have a parent's orientation the night of OA elections, pass out the pamplet and explain the whys and wherefors. If the parents hear this info once or twice before their son is elected and can ask questions before their son is even eligible, you will go a long way to eliminating conflict because they will already accept the situation and accept the conditions if they are attending.

 

I know everyone is going to read this and say:

1. It can't work here

2. Thunderfox is smoking his knife sheath

3. No one will do this

4. or fill in the blank________with your own negative.

 

Well, in my 50+ years of Scouting I know it will work if done right. It accounts for human nature and the plan softens disagreement with knowledge while it raises the question with parents and answers it BEFORE its a concern. You are calmly explaining a situaion before the parents have a dog in the hunt so its just orienting them before they even have to address the situation.

 

The most common problems in Scouting arise from lack of communication. Also, Business, Marriage and all aspects of life. We owe to the boys to adopt a well thought out plan as we "Set The Example". This one is a great chance to teach your Scouts some diplomacy!!

 

Remember, this program is NOT for your personal opinion to allow you to deviate from the rules and regulations. It is for us as Leaders to teach an un-diluted Scouting program and maximize every learning opportunity for the boys by the rules. If Not, it becomes The Boy Scouts of Bob or Fred not The Boy Scouts of America. I have no time to give to the Boy Scouts of Marvin unless it is to transform it to Boy Scouts of America.

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Folks, There are some realities here and Opinions that do not conform to the reality are invalid. BSA National Office says parent may elect to attend. That leads to some facts:

 

1. Any time Scouters choose to violate the rules, those Scouters have all the liability if anything bad, horrible or lethal occurs. Even if parents being prevented to attend has nothing to do with it, they have already proven they do not follow the rules.

 

2. The part about ruining it for the boy is all bugle oil!!! What you are saying is our District and OA does not know how to properly organize a Scouting Event.

A. Print a pamplet that explains how parents and only parents may attend, no talking, cheering, photos ....BE INVISIBLE!

B. Stake out a Parents area and provide some sort secure admission process that eliminates additional family members joining in. Maybe an escort to the parents area is the only way to find it.

C. The pamplet CLEARLY lays out the rules..only parents, no cameras or cell phones, parents with other family members may not enter.

D. Include the contention that this is a once in a lifetime experience of a private soul-searching moment and there will not be any disturbance of the moment allowed. Your son is transitioning from boy to man and this ceremony will be forever a milestone in his journey.

E. Have Adult monitors in the parents area..call them Guides or Docents etc.

 

3. Now have all the best folks in the council review the drafts and compile a Council approved document. Now submit it to National for approval. Then use the dang thing!!! Communicate, Communicate....Communicate.

 

4. Suggest each Troop have a parent's orientation the night of OA elections, pass out the pamplet and explain the whys and wherefors. If the parents hear this info once or twice before their son is elected and can ask questions before their son is even eligible, you will go a long way to eliminating conflict because they will already accept the situation and accept the conditions if they are attending.

 

I know everyone is going to read this and say:

1. It can't work here

2. Thunderfox is smoking his knife sheath

3. No one will do this

4. or fill in the blank________with your own negative.

 

Well, in my 50+ years of Scouting I know it will work if done right. It accounts for human nature and the plan softens disagreement with knowledge while it raises the question with parents and answers it BEFORE its a concern. You are calmly explaining a situaion before the parents have a dog in the hunt so its just orienting them before they even have to address the situation.

 

The most common problems in Scouting arise from lack of communication. Also, Business, Marriage and all aspects of life. We owe to the boys to adopt a well thought out plan as we "Set The Example". This one is a great chance to teach your Scouts some diplomacy!!

 

Remember, this program is NOT for your personal opinion to allow you to deviate from the rules and regulations. It is for us as Leaders to teach an un-diluted Scouting program and maximize every learning opportunity for the boys by the rules. If Not, it becomes The Boy Scouts of Bob or Fred not The Boy Scouts of America. I have no time to give to the Boy Scouts of Marvin unless it is to transform it to Boy Scouts of America.

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The part about ruining it for the boy is all bugle oil!!! What you are saying is our District and OA does not know how to properly organize a Scouting Event.

 

Well, Thunderfox, in some cases that may indeed be the problem. We all want to follow the rules, but there needs to be a way to ensure some procedure and decorum. That can be frustrating without a plan. You have provided a pretty solid and workable plan.

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TF,

 

I like your list and I do think it is doable for the most part. May I make 1 suggestion?

 

You said

 

Suggest each Troop have a parent's orientation the night of OA elections, pass out the pamplet and explain the whys and wherefors. If the parents hear this info once or twice before their son is elected and can ask questions before their son is even eligible, you will go a long way to eliminating conflict because they will already accept the situation and accept the conditions if they are attending.

 

I admit I do not know how feasible the above would work with parents, since I have not seen parents at elections. I do know it works with the Scouts as I have seen 10 eligible Scouts in one troop state they are not interested in the OA once the heard what it entails prior to the election.

 

Now what I have seen work, and it's my suggestion, is a Chapter's Candidate Orientation/Social. My chapter uses one of their meetings to invite all candidates and parents and has an info session. We go over what to expect at the Ordeal weekend, what the OA does year round, what some of our goals are (we try to get Arrowmen to attend at least 2 major events a year: one work, one play), etc, etc. Most of the candidates questions are answered, and ALL, stressiing ALL, of the parents questions are answered. Parents questions that need to be answered away form the candiates are done during the social portion of the meeting. I've found that it is a great ice breaker, great way to get info out to those who need it, and gives everyone a chance to meet everyone.

 

Now I admit we do not get 100% of the candidates and their parents to attend. Hence the phone calls by the chapter to candidates and their parents reminding them of upcoming Ordeals. But I cannot remember anyone not going to a candidate orientation that has not gone through the Ordeal.

 

Again just a slight modification. Hope someone form national is reading this idea of yours.

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>

 

 

 

Having a discussion with a parent is fine, but not if it's a 90 minute discussion that is used to discourage parents from attending an OA function.

 

In my opinion, if a parent wants to attend they should be given the date, time and place as an opener. I can't see any legitimate reason to discourage parents from attending at all.

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There is a suggested letter to parents included in the Guide to Inductions. If your lodge or chapter isn't using it as an icebreaker with parents, it should be.

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hendrickms24, your "a)to participate and recognize their son's achievement" is not within BSA guidelines. Observation is not the same as participating. As for recognizing the achievement that does not require their presence at the Ordeal. If parents want to come and watch that is fine, I've no problem with that at all, but they just need to be respectful enough of others to be as unobtrusive as possible.

 

For those that say you don't have room for parents. Is there a reason you do such large groups? I'll admit that there are times the ceremony team can be exhausted after their 3rd or 4th go around, but smaller ceremonies seem more fitting.

 

If a parent wants to attend I think it is appropriate to have a conversation about it. Simply observing the ceremony will not alleviate concerns about the Order, and I very much doubt that was the reason the parents mentioned in this thread wanted to attend. It seems to be a significant event in the scout's life that they wanted to be a part of. Great, explain what will happen, that they should stay quiet and still during the ceremony out of respect for others. I enjoyed being there for my son's ordeal & brotherhood (we get to share our vigils in two weeks, WOO HOO!). I can't see why a parent should miss this just because they are not a member, although I don't think it will be particularly meaningful to them if they are not members.

 

As for the "It will lessen the meaning for them when they have their own ordeal" argument. If mom or dad is this involved and you expect them to be Arrowmen someday, why were they not nominated in the first place? The biggest need for adults is drivers, here is your driver. In our unit it is more the case of "We would like to nominate you this year, but your son did not get elected this time. Would you rather wait a year?" In seven years with the troop I cannot think of a parent that was inducted after their son. If you've filled your quota, go talk with the DE. The district may make at large adult nominations.

 

Why is it that parents want to attend the ceremony but don't seem to want to share in the rest of the ordeal? If it is truly a safety issue you would think the opposite would be the case. Also, I've never known a parent that wanted to observe the Brotherhood Ceremony. Could it be because our lodge generally does those at dawn?

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SP,

Please read my post at Tuesday, 4/5/2011: 8:47:23 PM

 

I already discussed the 90+ minute phone conversation, so your argument on that point is moot.

 

 

 

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Jet,

 

In ref to the situation I described where mom is active and could be eligible, the reason she was not nomintated last year was b/c the SM was nominated instead of her. Unfortunately she is no longer involved in a troop, focusing on Venturing now, and on the district level, so hopefully she will get nominated by the district this year.

 

As for why we have such a small ceremony ring, ours goes back a ways.

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My question was not about the size of the ring. We use some very small rings. It was about having 40 ordealists in a single ceremony. We try to limit it to 20 or less. They may be larger if we are short ceremony teams. But at our big ordeal we will have 3-4 teams going and each will do the ceremony 2-3 times (150-200 ordealists).

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Jet,

 

That's something my lodge does need to work on. We have only 1 Pre-Ordeal, and 1 Ordeal Team. No others. Last Ordeal i think they did 2 PO and 3 Ordeals

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That certainly maxes out your team.

 

I don't understand why it is so difficult to get ceremony teams.

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No one ones to take the time to do them right IMHO. At least the team doesn't read from a script at a podium like I saw in one lodge I was in, I...KID...YOU...NOT!

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