Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ETD129-AW Chpt Adv

Parents attending OA Ceremonies

Recommended Posts

Jet526 - "I don't understand why it is so difficult to get ceremony teams."

 

For a variety of reasons. We have a Chapter per District. My Chapter is in a major metropolitan area and there are 21 troops in our district, so getting to and from ceremony practice is a 10 minute drive for most team members. Some of our Chapters are rural and cover several counties and only have a handful of troops. They have a much harder time getting a team organized and staying committed than we do. That being said, I have 8 commmitted boys and 3 or 4 on the sidelines who aren't very dependable. Even with my 8, I have no assurances that they are going to be available on an Ordeal weekend. Some play sports or are in band. Some are involved in church activities. Some work. I managed to get my 8 guys to committ to Spring Ordeal, but those 8 guys will do Pre-Ordeal, Ordeal and Brotherhood, so we are double dipping from some of these guys. Add on top of that they spent a couple of months perfecting their Webelos Crossover ceremony and providing it for about a third of the Packs in the district and are now learning the Call Out ceremony and they get spread mighty thin. Where have additional team members is my dream, most kids look at all the extra the active Arrowmen are doing and say no thanks. They don't want to add weekly ceremony practice, monthly Chapter meetings and extra campouts into their scouting schedule. The upside for me, I get to work with some of the best of the best as my guys are leaders in their troops, do high adventure, staff summer camp and are either Eagle or well on their way. They are the go getters.....which is why they got involved in ceremonies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I can confident that this thread has officially been Hijacked.......sadly it did not happen soon enough as this dead horse has been flogged three times.

 

So, "RE: Parents attending OA Ceremonies" Rest In Peace!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AMEN.

 

Now on to the hijack:

 

That is the situation I am in, largely rural council. So getting folks together is a pain. When you have more urban councils, it's a lot easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried spinning this off but I get an OBDC error ("Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80040e14' [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver]

Incorrect syntax near '='. /forums/forum_library.asp, line 341") if anyone cares.

 

 

 

 

Eagle92 mentioned this and it is my experience as well. We have a large lodge with about 1500 dues paying youth in 23 chapters. Even if we only counted the urban chapter we should be able to field at least 12 teams. I think there are actually only 6 or 7, and 3 of them are in our chapter (all but one member is in our troop). Granted it is a lot of work, practicing the ceremonies, working on regalia and being in demand for Call Outs, Ordeals, Crossovers, AOL, etc. But it is easily one of the most fun things they do.

 

I feel sorry for them and their advisors. From January to March the guys in the troop handle about 20 ceremonies, sometimes as many a 3 in a day. Then comes call outs and ordeals. They don't just do our district's call out, they go to other districts' camporees and do theirs as well. One advisor was yelled at by a Pack CC for not being able to fit her pack in on 1 week notice for an AOL ceremony.

 

So what makes it so difficult to get teams? Is it lack of youth or adults? Or is a lack of resources? I don't think it is just an rural/urban thing as we are primarily urban. We recently had a big ceremonies push with the Lodge Fellowship as well as a special party for all the ceremonialists in the lodge, where anyone interested in being a ceremonialist was invited to come.

 

It seems the only teams that are effective are ones sponsored by a troop. That seems to be the sort of team that SR540Beaver describes and is the case with our most reliable teams. Is this a situation where we need to be getting better buy in and support from unit leaders as opposed to trying to recruit individual scouts from multiple troops?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive weighed in on this issue before, but here are some additional thoughts.

 

-It should be impressed upon the part how their attendance will make this ceremony less significant to not only their son, but all the scouts being honored. Polite discouragement is the direction to take, with a measure of shame for ruining the induction.

 

-Make sure the parent does not bring anyone one else, period

 

-Make the parent stay outside the circle, where the members should be seated. By doing this they become less of potential problem, and several levels, and get the clear message this is a members only event, you have here on sufferance.

 

-No flash photography, no light on during ceremony, no cell phone!

 

-No sound recording is allowed, no photos inside ring except by official lodge photographer, in regalia, if the lodge elects to use a photographer. If the lodge is photographing the event, make a selection of those photos available, and disallow additional photos (yea, you can do that when you provide photos the attendee saw you take at the event).

 

-You do not have to allow the parent to participate in after ceremony activities, or cracker barrels.

 

*This approach will discourage the parent attending

 

 

 

You say a DC was the parent this thread is about? Shame on him/her, they should have known why they should not attend. Someone made a poor choice when filling that position.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Old_OX_Eagle83,

 

 

Your formula to discourage parents is contrary to the BSA no secrecy policy in my opinion.

 

Many of the things you suggest are reasonable, but they are mostly polite behavior, not a calculated effort to discourage parents from attending.

 

Things like:

 

>

 

 

are violations of the rules, in my opinion. Parents should NOT be discouraged from attending! If I heard about this kind of conduct I'd be taking it up with district or council officers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SeattlePioneer, I respect you, and your opinion, but can't agree with you. I can't see the violation, the simple truth is just that. I will say education is a strong tool, and should be the primary item used to discourage. If you explain the why, most often parents will back off.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seattle - The rules are objectively pretty clear - that all aspects of the Scouting program are open to parents. That does not mean that the OA, for example, could not explain to a parent why they would prefer that parents not attend a specific ceremony. The rules do say that if a parents still demands to observe the ceremony, he or she must not be prohibited from doing so.

 

A good point was made about the motivations of parents who ask to attend OA ceremonies. Some may mistakenly believe that they are akin to COH or other recognition ceremonies. A polite conversation explaining the what, why and how of the ceremony is probably enough to make most of these parents agree that they need not attend the ceremony. Of course, the minority of parents who have other reasons for wanting to observe the ceremony must not be denied entry. There's clearly nothing wrong with making a good faith effort to explain the rationale of a situation to sway someone's opinion. It becomes a huge problem though if you try to prohibit a parent from having access to their child, as the rules and the law make pretty clear.

 

The rules are also pretty clear about the obligation the OA, and other program areas, have in these kinds of situations: to allow the observation of the program. I think that a ceremonies team would be well within their rights to prohibit talking/cell phone use/photography/video/etc at the ceremonies. Or to ask the parent to stand/sit in an area where they may not be visible to the Scouts. The rules also do not make provisions for anyone other than parents or leaders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

If I found out someone was doing that I'd be filing complaints with OA Lodge leaders and the council Scout Executive.

 

 

Frankly, the degree to which OA leaders keep posting on their methods of discouraging parents from attending OA events I find distrurbing. It's just WAY over the top in my view. You have lost the good judgment and perspective adults should be bringing to these positions, in my view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In less than two weeks this thread will be TWO YEARS OLD. Some folks want to follow the rules of The Boy Scouts of America and some want to follow the rules of Boy Scouts of Bob, Fred, Billy, John or Secret Squirrel. The thing that must be recognized is that Boy Scouts of Bob, Fred, Billy, John and Secret Squirrel do not have a charter nor a rule book to follow, so when you go that route, its a free for all, because if you have 25 Scouters you have at least 49 opinions!!!! Let this thread die, its already arthritic!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again we will have to agree to disagree. Im continually baffled by parents who sign children up for a program seeking the specific benefits it will bring their child, and then act to continually undermine the program. OA leader, no Im not at this time. Yea, I have been, having held adult and youth positions at nearly all levels of the order. I can only assume you are not a member, Im not saying that to be offensive. Theres an element of the program thats hard to put into words, and members understand it, having experienced it, you dont.

 

This may be my fault, I assumed you were a member. When I get a bit of time Ill see If I can explain what Im saying in a better way. Ive been a member so long that its hard to see it the other way. The odd thing is when I was inducted this type of discussion, or issue never came up. Im not blowing you off, Ive got to hit the road for now. Understand it isnt because we dont care about the scouts that we go to all this effort, and through all this hassle, just the reverse. Were all on the same team, trying to accomplish the same thing, each of us playing different parts trust is a must for the program to work.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old_OX_Eagle83

 

"and then act to continually undermine the program."

 

That sir is your opinion and is in conflict with the policies of the BSA. You signed up and signed a promise to follow the rules. End of story. Honor your promise! Its just that easy! Stop trying to build loopholes based on your opinion or legends. Rules are rules when you promise to observe them. Its not a buffet!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old_OX_Eagle83

 

"and then act to continually undermine the program."

 

That sir is your opinion and is in conflict with the policies of the BSA. You signed up and signed a promise to follow the rules. End of story. Honor your promise! Its just that easy! Stop trying to build loopholes based on your opinion or legends. Rules are rules when you promise to observe them. Its not a buffet!!!

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
Sign in to follow this  

×