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BigDave

Photography in ceremonies

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The Guide to inductions says on page 20, when discussing the call-out ceremony, "Unlike the other OA ceremonies, photos and video may be taken at call-out ceremonies".

 

My question is this - where is the rule against photos and video in ceremonies actually stated? The context of this statement seems a rather round about way of establishing a policy.

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BigDave,

 

First of all, sorry that no one responded to you in almost 2 months... I haven't been able to find an exact paragraph saying that photography is not allowed. That leads me to assume it lumps into the safeguarding that is mentioned at the beginning of every ceremony script. National probably couldn't put it in writing, because then it would lead to a question of secrets in the BSA. I know that is isn't exactly what you were looking for, but I hope it helps.

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Fortunately or unfortunately you can not officially ban photos or video at any BSA event, including OA ceremonies due to the policy of being totally open/ no secrets being official BSA policy. You can make a request before the start of the ceremony asking people to show proper respect for the ceremony and the candidates and not to take pictures, but you can't officially ban cameras. This has been a real pain for the OA because many of the old traditions have been made public, and many of the ceremonies have lost that special spark they once had, IMHO.

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Rather than an out-right ban or requesting people not take pictures at our ceremonies, I've heard those conducting the ceremony state: "Please be respectful of this ceremony. NO FLASH PICTURES."

 

 

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I should clarify that I don't particularly care one way or another whether photography is permitted at the ceremony - I merely want our lodge to be in compliance with the policy.

 

Prior to the advent of digital cameras, we used to ban photography other than our own historian committee, but nobody particularly cared because very few people were interested in burning $20 in film+development at an Ordeal anyway.

 

About six years or so ago, we looked for a basis for that "policy" and couldn't find one, so we wrote it off as one of the "made up rules" and quit enforcing it.

 

We have, since the time I asked the question, published the below text:

 

Page 21 of Chapter 3 of the 2007 printing of the Guide to Inductions says, "Unlike the other OA ceremonies, photos and video may be taken at call-out ceremonies". We are not aware of any direct statement of policy on cameras at ceremonies (only this indirect statement, regarding photos at call-outs) and so we have adopted the following guidelines:

 

* Recognizing that the Order of the Arrow safeguards its ceremonies, neither video of ceremonies, nor still pictures that clearly display any symbol or symbolic act should be posted publicly.

* The Order of the Arrow is NOT a secret society. Any request from a parent to see photos or video from a ceremony should be accommodated.

* Under no circumstances should any camera with a flash or which makes noise be utilized. Flash photography is inherently disruptive to the ceremonialists, the candidates, and the other spectators and will not be tolerated. Please set your camera to not use the flash and turn off its sound PRIOR TO THE START OF THE FIRST CEREMONY. If you are uncertain whether your camera makes noise, take a test shot beforehand. If you do not know how to turn off the flash, ask for help or do not use your camera. If you cannot comply with this policy, you will be asked to leave.

* Photographs of ceremonies are generally taken by the ceremonial, website, historian, and Drumbeat committees and posted in the photos section of this website or on the lodge's facebook page.

* Because of the distraction that can be caused by excessive numbers of cameras, it is asked that individuals use reasonable discretion with cameras.

 

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Hmm, my lodge let us take photos from across the way of each other getting our sashes. We didn't disrupt and didn't take pictures of the ceremony outright tho, just the bestowing of the sash.

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Why does "no secrets organizations" mean that photography must be permitted?

 

It's two separate issues. I a parent or leader wants to know what goes on during the ceremonies, they have the ability find out.

 

If the lodge prefers the cermonies not be photographed or videotaped -- for whatever reason -- it's their decision. Frankly, there are a number of good reasons for not wanting the ceremonies photographed beside the "secrecy" or the ceremonies.

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concur with 2cub, no photos and no photograhy are 2 separate issues. While we cannot ban parents from coming, we can discourage them. Case in point, We had a mother who wanted to see her son's Ordeal Ceremony. Dad was NOT getting involved in that one ;), but asked me how we could discourage her. When I talked her, I simply told her that you know there are no safety issues since Vigil dad would be there, and at the time Vigil grandpaw was planing to attend, and that since she was a leader in the troop, she could be nominated for the OA, and that by seeing the ceremony before she went through the ceremony would lose its meaning.

 

She chose not to attend.

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In our Lodge, the Publicity Chair of the LEC grants "press passes." Others are asked to refrain during the ceremony proper (sashings and congratulations are considered outside the ceremony proper).

 

The stated reason is the same as turning off cell phones... distractors to the Candidates and the Ceremony Team.

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As an avid photographer, my lodge's ceremonies team chair and a ceremonialist myself I have no problem with photographing the ceremony and I personally enjoy getting to see things afterward from a different perspective. I completely agree about the note about no flash or noise. In our lodge most of these photos are used for internal promotion and publications although we do plan to post these images to our website as that gets done.

 

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We have not had this issue arise in our ceremonies yet. The only photos I've seen being taken have been by our Lodge historian, and two adult members who might as well be professionals. We have talked about taping some of the ceremonies to use as critiquing & teaching tools.

 

ASM 915

Bicentennial Eagle

Hetuck Co-Chapter Advisor

 

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The talk of videotaping ceremonies has made me think about having my adviser videotape them for us to use to improve our skills. In regards to video I would say that if it is not for the purpose of critique then don't hit record, too much of a chance that a non-member could fins it and have there possible future experience ruined.

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Photography is not banned, but Id be slow to reveal this misconception  I still have the Polaroid of me being presented my Vigil Honor. Heres the rub, got dont want disruptive activities are ceremonies. I have a vigil picture, why not a Brotherhood, or Ordeal? The answer is simple, it was dark, photography with a flash would have been disruptive. Although you cant ban photography at a ceremony, you can ban lights and flashes, and control where the photos are taken from. Between the lines is the ability to control this issue.

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