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NickP412

Are they really getting rid of "Pocket Rockets"

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Almost 40 years ago, in my Lodge, there were three ways to know a Scout was an Arrowman outside attendance at a Chapter or Lodge function:

 

- The Universal Arrow device.

 

- The flap

 

- The Lodge neckerchief patch.

 

We were rationed on Lodge flaps, able to get something minimal like 1 every 5 years. It did not matter we had long and short sleeve shirts. We were rationed. Period.

 

We were rationed even worse on Lodge neckerchiefs. We were allowed to buy 1 per lifetime. That patch, in 1970, was $50. That was more than it cost to go to Scout Camp or on the trail. Guess what I did not buy as a youth member?

 

Now, we have urinating and defecating contests over colors of flaps representing membership levels. What a crock. You who are under 30 just do not know how good you have it.

 

Sorry not to be as kind as I often am, but this is getting to the whining and whimpering stage. We're here to instill an ethic in the youth members, and then to pledge ourselves to living that ethic lifelong. Everything else the Order does supports one of those two goals. Everything.

 

Now, depending on where you are, your Lodge does special flaps for NOAC, Jamboree, construction of an OA building at Scout Camp, or Council Capital Campaign. The voting youth members may change the basic lodge flap simply because they think the current design is dorky. Other lodges have necklaces, aka coup thongs.

 

So you're upset your Lodge can't have its way. I have a simple answer: Deal with it. Quit complaining. Better yet, seek Sectional, Regional, and National office. Change will not happen from below.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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John,

Not trying to whine, but you did ask for reasons for the flaps. I gave you the two that my current lodge posted in their newsletter 30+ years ago and is listed on their website.

 

My lodge still has the restricted necker, 1 per lifetime, that is checked against a book of members who have purchased one. And believe it or not it took me 7 years to get one as when I was a member the first go around,they were out of them and there was talk of discontinuing the neckers b/c the current SE didn't like them.

 

We still have restrictions on the flap, albeit 1 flap for every 7 hours of service. Now that policy is about to change to 1 flap per lodge workday and/or Ordeal.

 

I agree the different flaps are getting ridiculous. but two factors are fueling it. #1 collectors and #2 now this policy. The youth, and again I stress the youth, do not like this policy, and some are proposing flaps for everything, which we already have NOAC and Conclave flaps.

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As I recall, you had a friend in Supply Corporation. What's the cost to tool up the first flap of a new run?

 

I've got a simple way to put the kids on appetite supressants: Instead of amortizing the fixed costs across the production run, amortize the fixed costs across the youth membership voting for yet another flap as a dues surcharge.

 

 

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Eagle92, thank you for your post, particularly the E. Urner Goodman quote.

 

All too often, flaps, sashes, daggles, patches and honors crowd out the true meaning of the Order of the Arrow.

 

Then it's a fraternity that's focused inward, rather than on cheerful service.

 

As Mr. Goodman said, "The things of the spirit count."

 

A good test of OA commitment would be to strive for the plainest OA flaps possible. Kind of like those old time patches, back in the day.

 

Then who would still be interested? There's your true Arrowmen/women.

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wow my lodge must be different then all of your lodges from yester-year. there are 3 pocket flaps still being sold, go to the trading post with $10 and you cna walk out with any one you want as long as your a OA member of course. we also have council patches just for OA members all funds went to rebuilding our dining hall. we dont have nekercheifs. i see what you all are saying though, i like the flap from 1970's a white pocket flap a Indian head marnoc lodge 151 and www. but i use the flap i got when i became a ordeal member. we never had different border colors, ive looked at our archives.

 

i think some of the full pocket patches are neat, however you are right the OA isnt about sash, pocket flap or a free ice cream social at summer camp once a year its about cheerful service!

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Nick, yester-year wasn't too much different. Believe me, we spent plenty of time hashing and rehashing patches and such.

 

My first lodge (ordeal in 1976) had a one-per-life patch, but also had a trading flap that they sold in any quantity you wished.

 

It just depended on your particular lodge. Some had a ton of merchandise, others had a simple flap and that was it.

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I personally don't care what the flaps look like. As long as there is a flap. Yes I got Vigil flaps on a few of my uniforms, but I also have old trader flaps on a few as well b/c i didn't have enough hours at the time to get the proper uniform flaps. As for the flaps I get now, I usually give them to new members coming into the lodge form other lodges, that way they can wear the Croatan flap on at least one uniform. My rationale is that it is easy to ID OA members with a flap when they are not wearing a sash, or just the universal dangle.

 

I.E. we had a Webeloree that the OA was staffing. We had a chapter fellowship the first night, and the OA members working the Webeloree had free drinks from the TP the entire weekend. One of the new members, just got in the week before the Webeloree, didn't know about this, and some of the OA members didn't recognize him as a new member b/c he didn't have a flap on his uniform. He did have an Order of the Arrow membership emblem on, but from a distance it is hard to see. I didn't even know he was at the Webeloree until I saw him at his station while helping to prep the campfire circle. Luckily we got matters straight.

 

Yep the OA is not about sashes, flaps, dangles, ad nauseum. But the flaps are a nice way to ID members. And the sash does go all the way back to the founding of the OA. Service is the key to the OA. And to be honest I am slowly backing away from OA duties in order to focus on being a TCDL as well as being on the CS program committee, and I feel very guilty about it. I know an Arrowman's primary duty is to his/her unit, but being at camp and taking care if it is an awesome responsibility that I feel guilty for shirking.

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I haven't done this for awhile, but I have a spot to do it twice in one day here.

 

Hear in B-P's word his thought's on the uniform

 

http://www.thescoutingpages.org.uk/speeches.html

 

Listen to "Another Message to Scouts" his comments on the uniform are rather close to the beginning

 

Are Pocket Rockets just swank? Then again, most doodads are...

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I hope we're differentiating between people who join OA only for the patches vs. OA members who like to collect and trade the patches. You can be a solid, active OA member and still be involved in patch collecting and trading. Some of the best and long-time advisers in our lodge are serious traders.

 

On the other hand, if I had to pay $10 per flap, I wouldn't be involved in trading. Our lodge flaps typically cost about $3-4, even those of limited runs for specific events. In recent times, I can only think of 2 flaps that cost more than that, and that was only if you did not participate in specific things (which were not one-time events).

 

As for the differing flaps or other patches for Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil, I never understood the need. The sashes show the honor level. The flap you wear is supposed to show your membership in a lodge. If you need to make a fashion statement with your lodge flap, well, wear a retired flap.

 

Our lodge (Timuquan 340) did away with the multi-border designs for OBV just before my ordeal. Sadly, of the 6 flaps I still need for my collection, 1 is a Brotherhood flap and 2 are Vigil flaps from the 1980s, the other 3 are work force flaps from Section Conference preparations in 1973 and 1982.

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I just went to check my council web site store (National Capital). There are 35 various OA flaps available currently. It seems around here you can get an OA flap or CSP with just about any local historical monument or building or event (Inauguration). I did no see different borders for the various positions in OA though. I guess collecting is big around here. I have one uniform with the standard patches and one with patches with wildlife (Goshen's Eagle and National Zoo's Giant Panda). Admittedly I have the white "pocket rocket" temporary patches, I thought it was simple but kind of cool. But I have never encountered anyone who had any issue with them. Being worn as a temporary patch I didn't see there being any problem. I do get get a lot of kids and adults wanting one though.

 

As a rule of thumb I try to follow the insignia guide. This conversation has at least made me think about this. CalicoPenn has brought up some very interesting points.

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Hey nolesrules!

"Our lodge (Timuquan 340) did away with the multi-border designs for OBV just before my ordeal. Sadly, of the 6 flaps I still need for my collection, 1 is a Brotherhood flap and 2 are Vigil flaps from the 1980s, the other 3 are work force flaps from Section Conference preparations in 1973 and 1982."

 

I was the lodge chief for Timuquan when the OBV flaps came around. I couldn't tell you why we ended up with the 3 different borders, but it happened. For clarification, the Ordeal flap was sold unrestricted (basically considered the trader). Brotherhood and Vigil members could only buy 1 flap per weekend. Vigils could buy Brotherhood flaps or Ordeal flaps. Brotherhood could buy Brotherhood or Ordeal. These flaps went away for 2 reasons:

#1) They absolutely destroyed the fundraising capabality of the lodge. Selling only 1 flap per person is ineffective fundraising, unless the price is excessive.

#2) The lodge adviser who took over in 1988 noticed the longstanding National policy of no different flaps for the different memberships. He advised/led/demanded that the youths change the flap.

 

I also happened to serve as the Section Conference chairman when Timuquan hosted in 1982. Sadly, I don't have any extras of those flaps lying around.

 

Flaps serve 2 purposes only:

#1) The main purpose to identify someone as a member of a lodge

#2) Flap sales fund a lot of the lodge business. Profits from NOAC patches fund the lodge's Founder's Day booth at NOAC. Sand Hill service corp flaps funded approximately $8,000 in maintenance and construction at camp preparing for the 2009 Section Conference. It's easier to get someone to buy $10-50 worth of patches than to ask them for a donation.

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A few thoughts. I've been in 5 lodges in my lifetime. 2 did have the OBV borders, the other three didn't. But for the two that did, it was a tradition, something that we should be mindful of.

 

As for flaps in general, I do not want them to go away at all b/c it does readily ID an arrowman whenthey are not wearing a sash. the universal emblems are nice, and I've worn one in the past, but they are to small to see from a distance IMHO as shown by story above.

 

Should we simplify our insignia, while I would say yes, the real folks to ask would be the youth themselves. I will say this, I remember my first conclave, and Colonneh Lodge which had the "chicken on a spit" flap was the butt of jokes becuase of the simplicity of it's design, to the point where the stage show said "Sorry Colonneh" when talking about all the flaps to be traded. Not very scoutlike upon reflection

 

In reference to swank. yes some wear insignia fo rall the wrong reasons. Heck I include myself int hat statement when I was a young leader. Being a 21yo Chapter Adviser, some folks did not give me the courtesy that one would expect form scouters. I went after training knots with a passion b/c i thought that was the way to get that courtesy and respect. Wise man had to sit down with me and chat with me about the purpose of insignia.

 

You see the "swank" is not meant to make you feel good, or impress people. The purpose of the patches is to show your achievements and INSPIRE people. I admit everytime I see a Philmont, NT, or FSB patch, it inspires me to go there someday, especialy when all three of my boys can go along too. Just as I know I have inspired folks to got to a jambo, or my favorite story, inspired someone to do the European Camp Staff Program.

 

Yep I wear knots, all my unis save one have four, and only 3 have all five I've earned, I keep getting sidetracked with my son's uni, wife's uni, and OA regalia :) the purpose is to inspire the youth to get their religious award, AOL, and Eagle. And the purpose of the other two is get adults trained and get active to provide a better program for the youth.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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Oh and I forgot to mention that the way to earn respect is through your actions! Two best moments for me was hearing "We got ourselves a REAL DE," after sloshing through an Ordeal cermeony set up with the chapter ceremony team, and the "Look in the dictionary for Boy Scout and there is a picture of him in it" two weeks ago at CSDC.

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Consistent with my other posts, I support simplification of the uniform. The lodge flap is all that is needed to identify one as a member of the local OA lodge. No OBV label needed. Trade patches, but all arrowmen should wear the 1 lodge flap. Let us set the example in cutting down the swank.

 

To many times I see adult leaders with shirts that must weigh a ton. Pride is in the uniform, not the swank. My fondest memory is of my scoutmaster who wore 1 item on his shirt (apart from flag and SM patch). His Eagle knot. That one image inspired me, kept me going, on the trail to Eagle. I only hope to do the same for the boys I meet.

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Greetings all

 

As I understand this issue it is an extension of the policy change banning flaps that denote degrees of membership in the order. To my knowledge there is no current, official policy, against what you're calling pocket rockets, but it is being discussed. For better, or worse, there has been a push to subject the Order of the Arrow to the same standardization that has been applied to the Scout Councils and Districts these past few decades. Adding to this is concern that these patches, flaps and dangles, are creating a rank/status system, something the founds did not intend.

 

Although the founders added a second degree shortly after founding the order, and later a third, they were never intended as ranks. Dr. Goodman was always adamant that all members of the order are equals. Today the role of the three degrees is as follows (in my words):

 

Ordeal - a full member of the Order of the Arrow.

 

Brotherhood - An Order member who has chosen to seal his membership in the order, as demonstrated through his expanded knowledge of the order's heritage and purpose. A Brotherhood member freely obligates himself to a higher level of service.

 

Vigil Honor - A Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow who has been honored by his lodge for exceptional, and unselfish, service.

 

In my opinion, the use of pocket rockets to display a dues paid status is a very good thing. Although I don't see an issue with the pocket dangle, so long as they are not used to express the distinction between Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil Honor members. I prefer the look of the universal arrow, or the 75th anniversary pocket dangle, but that's just personal taste.

 

Before I go any further let me say, I've been in the order for going on thirty years, serving as a lodge and section offices as a youth and an adult. I am a Vigil Honor member, and hold those who have received that honor in the highest esteem.

 

In as far as lodge flaps that distinguish between Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil Honor members, I'm generally for them. I would add two qualifiers, thus the generally: 1. Any member of a lodge should be able to purchase any flap the lodge issues, and for the same price as any other member. 2. Lodge flaps of representing the three degrees of membership should not include an image of the sash for that degree.

 

Honestly, I think Unami Lodge came up with a simple solution to this issues long ago - Brotherhood members have a temp patch with the lodge totem and a red border, it services as a reminder to their heightened commitment to service. Again, like all else I've said here, this is just my opinion, but the Vigil Honor should have no special device, patch, flap, ect, save the sash alone. If a special insignia is required to identify a Vigil Honor member, the honor may have been bestowed in error.

 

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