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NickP412

Are they really getting rid of "Pocket Rockets"

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No offense taken - you've got good questions - and are trying to understand.

 

The sashes will continue to have the Brotherhood Stripes on them. That's the only public recognition that National OA allows for Brotherhood membership. It is also a universal recognition - no matter what Lodge you are from, a Brotherhood member will always have a sash with the Brotherhood stripes on them.

 

Now for the tricky part of the concept and why different schemes, colors, borders aren't allowed on Lodge flaps, or "pocket rockets".

 

When inducted into the Order of the Arrow, you are being inducted into a National program - NOT a local program. You become an Ordeal (or Brotherhood or Vigil Honor) member of the Order of the Arrow - NOT an Ordeal (etc.) member of Lakota Lodge 175 (my home lodge - used as an example). No matter what Lodge inducted you, or what Lodge you affiliate with, you are a member of the Order of the Arrow first, the Lodge second. Your Sash and Universal Ribbon indicate your membership in the National Order of the Arrow. A Lodge flap indicates your secondary membership (keyword - secondary) membership in the Lodge. You, and everyone else in your Lodge are an equal member of the Lodge - you aren't an Ordeal member of the Lodge, you aren't a Brotherhood member of the Lodge, you aren't a Vigil Honor member of the Lodge - you are an Order of the Arrow member in good standing with the Lodge.

 

So since that's clear as mud - the shorthand is you would be a Brotherhood member of the National Order of the Arrow in the (local name) Lodge and not a Brotherhood member of the (local name)Lodge in the National Order of the Arrow. See the difference? I told you it might be a tricky concept to grasp.

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well i wonder if one day all OA pocket flaps will be the same? or at least be all the same except have a different lodge # and name printed on it. just being on this forum has opened my eyes to a lot of policy's and politics i was previously un-aware of.

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these pocket rockets discuss I've never seen so guessing we don't have around here...

 

but I have a question about the flap border coloring you all are discussing....

 

my son was just called out and will be doing his ordeal in about a month. at elections the OA members doing the presentation mentioned that they have a different color border for members that reach brotherhood within a year. does this new rule mean this will stop? I'm not going to tell my son because he's gung-ho about getting to that point, but am wondering if this rule will change the way our lodge does their flaps.

 

thanks in advance

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It's not really a new rule - it's been around since 2007. Will it stop? That really depends on the Scout Executive in each Council and whether he decides to enforce it or not, and how much pressure they're getting from the higher ups at National BSA to conform with National OA policies, and how serious the National OA board is about this. There will likely always be Lodges that will ignore the policy with a wink and nod from the Scout Executive. There are those that will comply because the Scout Executive enforces it. There really is no penalty from National OA for ignoring the policy - at least none that I've been able to discern. In ten years, the policy may just disappear - no one can say for sure.

 

That said, the Lodges that do the different color borders or different schemes tend to be a bit off-center when it comes to the policies of National OA anyway. Nick's experience with Brotherhood is an example of that. There is nothing in the policy or procedures of the Order of the Arrow requiring permission from an OA Rep to petition for Brotherhood, and nothing requiring an Ordeal member to dedicate oneself to the Lodge in order to become a Brotherhood member. The rules are simple - be an Ordeal member for at least 10 months, demonstrate a few simple things (handclasp, etc.), write a letter - the OA is supposed to be about service to ones Unit first and foremost, not to the Lodge and the OA. To be brutally frank, there is nothing so onerous about becoming a Brotherhood member, if following the policies of the Order of the Arrow and not some Lodges "adding to the requirements" that every Ordeal member inducted this year can't become a Brotherhood member next year. While I appreciate that Nick worked hard to become Brotherhood, I'm sorry that he had to do so. The vast majority of Brotherhood members never had to work hard at it. The Troop's OA Rep should be preparing and encouraging every Ordeal member of his Troop to become Brotherhood, even if the member never attended a Chapter meeting, or Lodge event, not acting as some kind of gatekeeper standing in someone's way. The act of obtaining Brotherhood is a re-dedication to the ideals of the Order of the Arrow.

 

 

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CP,

 

I just re-read the Brotherhood Ceremony. There is reference there to our duties to our Lodges.

 

Even so, I agree with the fundamentals of your argument.

 

The first time I heard the term pocket rocket was the reference to the mini-sashes, some years ago.

 

Have a great day :)

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John,

 

Yep - at the Brotherhood level, there is a duty to the Lodge - my earlier comment about Brotherhood members being first in line for Lodge projects was a reference to that. That's part of the re-dedication of the principles of the Order of the Arrow. Yet still, first and foremost, it is service to the Unit that has the most weight - conceivably, one can do one's duty to one's Lodge by promoting camping to the younger members of the Troop, or being an OA Representative in the Troop.

 

I remember seeing those pocket sashes - always hated them - felt it was just some guys way of extracting money from Scouts and Scouters, especially the patch collectors. Lets face it, we can be obsessed about this stuff sometimes, and we often don't start to become more discriminating about what we collect until after a few years of collecting anything we can get our hands on. I don't think those pocket sashes were ever official BSA wear - I think they were private issue, like the Leni Lanape legend backpiece for Sashes.

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The "pocket rockets" or "dangles" have never really taken off in our Lodge. A few have them and I see them for sell by traders, but only as a novelty.

 

We went to the single border flap, but most members do not like it. No way to know at what Honor Level a member stands.

 

Someone mentioned that the Sash could now be worn every where. Nope. Still not proper to wear the OA Sash at any event other than an OA event. Not Council banquets, Blue and Gold, COHs, nothing except an OA sponsored event. The Sash is, for now, the only way to distinguish the different Honor Levels. This becomes necessary at OA events. At other events, the Flap and Pocket Device are the way to recognize OA members.

 

There are always changes, but not always to the better.

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Srisom,

As I mentioned, there is a debate on the appropriateness of wearing the OA sash, and that is on another thread. Don't want to rehash the arguments here, so take a look on that thread and join in :) Maybe we can revive it?.

E92

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"Someone mentioned that the Sash could now be worn every where. Nope. Still not proper to wear the OA Sash at any event other than an OA event. Not Council banquets, Blue and Gold, COHs, nothing except an OA sponsored event. The Sash is, for now, the only way to distinguish the different Honor Levels. This becomes necessary at OA events. At other events, the Flap and Pocket Device are the way to recognize OA members."

 

You are largely correct, and I was going to mention the same thing.

 

However, you left out one other time. You may wear your sash at non-OA events *IF* (big if) you are representing the OA or doing work there as an arrowman. And just because you are an arrowman doesn't necessarily mean you are representing the OA.

 

So if you are representing the OA at the council banquet, wear it. (at a recent one, our lodge adviser & chief did, but other OA members did not and should not). If your lodge has a big presence at Scout Show and you are involved in that, wear it (mine does, but as I usually do something else, I do not wear my sash).

 

Some people seem to want to try to make a big deal about when you can/cannot wear the sash. I figured it simple: at OA event and at any scouting events you are doing work as an arrowman (which not every arrowman will be doing).

 

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Again their is alot more discussion on that thread, as well as on My Scouting.org on the topic. VERY brief synopsis, in late 70s early 80s national allowed it at COHs and banquets,and included the professional dress uniform. When they edited the current ed. down, they cut out the COH portion, but left the ambivalent wording that was also with the COH statement, and professional dress uniform portions of the statement. This is not in the IG but in the OAHB.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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"We went to the single border flap, but most members do not like it. No way to know at what Honor Level a member stands."

 

Well that's the whole point of having single color border flaps. All OA members are equally valued - there is no difference between an Ordeal member, a Brotherhood member and a Vigil Honor member (the only "honor" "level" in OA). The question shouldn't be "How can we tell if someone is a Brotherhood member if he isn't wearing a sash" but "Why do we need to be able to tell a Brotherhood member from an Ordeal member outside the ceremonial realm?".

 

I come from a Lodge that never had different color borders for different "levels". It didn't matter to us - when we were working side by side at a work weekend, the guy standing next to me could have been a Candidate, and Ordeal member, a Brotherhood member, or a Vigil Honor member - I didn't care as long as he was pulling his weight. Maybe that's why I just can't understand why I would need to know why John Scout is an Ordeal member and Bill Scout is a Brotherhood member when we're not involved in ceremonies. An Arrowman is an Arrowman, no matter what "level".

 

Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to why it's neccessary for different colored borders on flaps - without using the "it's tradition" argument.

 

I know from my experience with the folks from my Lodge, and most of the folks from Lodges in my area I've spoken with, that to a one, the Vigil Honor members seem quite humbled, and taken aback, by receiving the honor and wouldn't want to wear a different colored flap to set them apart. I think most of us in my Lodge who wear the Vigil triangle device on our Universal Ribbons do so because they were a gift to us, not because we felt we needed to wear it.

 

 

 

 

 

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CalicoPenn i hope this dosent make me sound bad but i think people want recognition and maybe some bragging rights. its the same reason we have different rank patches, most study s show people like to be recognized for their accomplishments, in boy scouts we do this with patches mainly. i know actions speak louder than patches but still there neat to have i think. my lodge does not have border flaps that distinguish ranks, so i dont really care about that. i never wear my pocket rocket because it would block my philmont patch.

 

i guess the reason ill miss pocket rockets if there gone is because when im around other arrowmen we show the rockets to show our membership, also im a collector i always thought they were neat.

 

i know scouts isnt about recognition, but i like my patches :o

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From the Croatan Website found here: http://www.croatan.org/history/1970_1979.htm

 

... At the ECM motions were passed for two more flaps with borders designated to distinguish Brotherhood (gold) and Vigil members (silver). The thought behind adding borders was to stimulate advancement from Ordeal to Brotherhood membership which would help earn the National Standard Lodge status.

 

 

later on that page is this, again remember this is the 1970s

 

Discussion to Abolish Brotherhood and Vigil Flaps

 

Over the last few years, lodge membership developed keen awareness and deep intellectual thought towards the symbolism found in OA ceremonies. Discussions matured into discussion about every aspect, which included the current lodge practice of colored border flaps to distinguish Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil members.

 

Frankford Johnson submitted a detailed article in the April Croa-Talk regarding the recent proposed amendment to abolish the brotherhood and vigil designated flaps.

 

"Our brotherhood is the result of our common bond in cheerfulness and service. It is for this we are recognized, not rewarded. Our founder, E. Urner Goodman said:

 

 

"The Order of the Arrow is a 'thing of the spirit' rather that of mechanics. Organization, operational procedure, and paraphernalia are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what count in the end. The things of the spirit count."

 

Symbolism in our Order is important because we are often talking about intangible things. It's purpose is to represent those intangibles so that we can relate them. The flap is an outward sign and reminder that we recognize in ourselves our obligation to those high ideals in Scouting whether it be as Ordeal, Brotherhood, or as Vigil members. The flap is not a duplicate of the sash, but a reminder, a symbolic of our dedication of purpose.

 

Nowhere in the OA Handbook nor has "National" said in print that Vigil membership "does not provide a special degree of rank, status, or special honor." The individual is the one who decides if he is or is not living up to the standards he sets up for himself. The lodge merely recognizes his public dedication of purpose and bestows upon him the symbolic membership flap.

 

These flaps are no more of a status symbol than are the sashes. They certainly can be miscontrued in this manner but at their initial inception this was not their purpose. The fact is that National uses the word "sash" with its three levels of membership equivalently with the term "flap" of the lodge. Nowhere in the literature that is being cited in favor of dropping the Brotherhood and Vigil flaps does it expressly forbid or discourage such recognition. In fact, such a need is nationally recognized.

 

Should we then lightly discard such an honorable and servicable tradition just because someone questions it? Let us not be hasty but rather ponder their purpose. The decision is yours. Choose wisely."

 

Wish someone from national would have read that when they changed the policy.

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