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NickP412

Are they really getting rid of "Pocket Rockets"

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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.

 

That last sentence is perhaps the single sagest comment I've seen since I joined this web-board.

 

ICS/IFAW/YIS.

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My original lodge actually had 4 seperate but almost identical lodge flaps. Each had a different border, Ordeal=white, Brotherhood=red, Vigil Honor=Gold, Trader=black. At my ordeal it was explained to me that the purpose of the colors was to identify those who were new and those who had been honored even when the sash was impractical or inappropriate. Personally, I like the different borders. I think that if we complain about the different borders and any inequality that implies, then we ought also to equalize the sashes as well. The different color borders are a much more subtle differentiation than the sashes are.

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*sigh*

As has been said before, OA is about "cheerful service", not bling or swag. I have been OA since youthtime, took it up again as an adult Scouter, pay the dues ("active") and encourage my units to elect OA boys as appropriate. I even sometimes remember to wear the ribbon. But my OA membership is remembered (for me, at least) as an honor, a recognition of my Scout skill, my service to the Troop of my youth, and a reminder of what is important.

Whether it is sawing fire wood, helping a boy learn his knots, loading baggage, or counseling a newbie SM.

"What can I do to help?"

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"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."

 

Actually, the Vigil Honor has LONG had special devices.

 

In the old days of Lodges having special pins, Lodges would make one with the Vigil Honor triangle on it. These pretty much fell out of favor in the 60s, I believe. (you can see a display of these at the OA Museum @ NOAC, btw)

 

We continue to have the small Vigil Honor triangle pin. You may wear this pinned to the middle of the universal arrow ribbon worn off the right pocket. When one does not wear the sash, this is the only way to identify one as a VH member. It can also be used for civilian wear, but I've really never seen this.

 

For me (as a VH member) that's good enought for me. I understood this as a scout, and as a scouter & VH member, that's just fine.

 

 

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Well i think part of the reason why lodges used different color borders was so that 10 you could identify who was what prior to the rule change in the late 70s. early 80s on sash wear ( now you can wear it at special non-OA events) and 2) incentive to encourage folks to stick around in the OA.

 

Grant you I liked the different borders as that was tradition in my home lodge and was tradition in my current lodge until national abolished the policy. LOTS of ticked off Arrowmen and I knwo of one or two lodges that are still issuing separate flaps (bought a set in December at the shop).

 

 

BUT I do know a few folks who didn't fully understand the purposes behind the flaps *( my lodge has the reasons in their history) and viewed the flaps as status emblems. SOOOOO I placed a new flap on my new uniform and am slowly phasing out the old flaps as I earn the new ones ( my lodge has restrictions on them; 7 hours of service as a member = the ability to buy 1 flap). And since I'm not as active with the OA as I was prior to becoming a TCDL, it will take a while. At least I got my lodge's "Pirate flap" on my "vintage" Sea Scout uniform made when Ships could create their their own ;)

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Like any issue, there are two sides to this issue, both have merit.

 

I was given the Vigil Honor in 1985,, and am both proud of this honor, and mindful of the obligation that comes with it. Rest assured, nothing I say here is intended to be derogatory of those who have been given this honor.

 

Why we should have different flaps:

 

1. The desire to obtain the new flap can encourage arrowmen to complete The Brotherhood.

2. The desire to obtain the new flap can encourage arrowmen to put into practice the behavior, and acquire the habits, they perceive as hallmarks of The Vigil Honor.

3. Various flaps can serve as a reminder to the wearer of the additional obligations they have taken, and what is now expected of them.

4. Various flaps can encourage an interest in patch collecting, and through this activity the collector will learn the history, and purpose, of his lodge, and the order.

5. Various flaps allow new members who have not completed The Brotherhood to be easily recognized, so they may be encouraged to take the next step.

6. Various flaps allow new members to recognize who is likely best to go to with questions, and concerns.

 

 

Why should we not have different flaps:

 

1. Each arrowman is equal, The Order of the Arrow was never intended to have ranks.

2. To remove status symbols, and prevent members from seeking further commitment for the wrong reasons.

3. As a show of unity.

4. To prevent elitist groups and attitudes.

5. The flaps purpose is to demonstrate membership in an Order of the Arrow Lodge, there are not multiple lodges in one area, like in the Masonic structure.

6. The Vigil Honor is an award, but there are other ways to recognize those who have been given The Vigil Honor.

 

For the record, I have belonged to three lodges. The lodge I was inducted in did not have multiple flaps until several years after my induction; I always wore the flap I was given when I was inducted. The second lodge I was in did have varied flaps, I wore the ordeal flap, although I was a Vigil Honor member. The third lodge I belonged to, my current one, offered a dazzling array of various flaps.

 

Let me tell a brief story here, it explains my stance. This is a true story.

 

I became active in the order again because of a young man, n employee of mine, who was excited because he was selected for the OA. He knew I was inactive, and in then hope it would spark my interest he brought me an Ordeal Flap, one of the two he was allowed until he completed his Brotherhood. We talked about his experience on the Ordeal, and I was thrilled by his gift. When the young man learned I was Vigil, he was dejected, saying the gift was below my station. Although I assured him all Arrowmen were equal, he said that was not true, and that he knew I would not wear the flap. Although it was several years before I again became active in the Order, and I lost track of my young friend, I sewed his Ordeal flap on my shirt and wore it until we moved to one lodge flap. The flap he gave me is now in a frame, hanging over The Vigil certificate, on my office wall.

 

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I had an interesting experience re the different flap borders. Some years ago a job transfer moved me halfway across the country. I promptly transferred my membership to the new Council and Lodge to continue to serve. Of course, I sewed on the new CSP and proper lodge flap. First Camporee, another Scouter walked up to me and said "You have the wrong OA flap on." (No introduction, no welcome.) I said "Pardon me?... I don't think so." He said "That's a Vigil flap and I know every Vigil in this council." I replied "Evidently you don't." I then introduced myself and courteously showed him my Vigil card from my prior lodge.

 

I would like to say that led to a friendship. Unfortunately, it didn't.

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Woapalanne- yesh. some people. I've had a few cr*ppy encounters with scouters, but I think that tops me.

 

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Woapalanne,

 

 

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm ...

 

That other Arrowman understood the meaning of "Cheerful", as in Brotherhood of Cheerful Service? I think not.

 

That other Arrowman understands the points of the Scout Law: Friendly, Courteous, Kind, and Cheerful? I think not.

 

Sorrty this happened to you :(

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Well, I do have to say that was the only negative thing I've had happen to me in OA. That's covering 4 Councils, 3 National Jamborees and uncounted other activities since 1955.

 

I saw it as being protective of his lodge - just not the way I would have done it.

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We had a slightly similar issue in my Lodge about 4 years ago. Since around the 70's we had three different borders (Red=Ordeal, Blue=Brotherhood and Silver=Vigil) in 2006 we changed our lodge flap to a new design and a single gray border for all. There were several young Ordeal members who were confronted by uninformed adults because their flap had a gray border but they weren't Vigil. Pocket rockets became popular for a bit, but as they aren't official we stopped selling them once we ran out.

 

The biggest complaint we got was that "I can't tell who's a (insert level here) member!" My thoughts are that we don't need anything other than a sash to identify ourselves. If you really need to discuss level-specific ceremony information, that's why we have question/answers for each level that are given to us in the ceremonies.

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"We continue to have the small Vigil Honor triangle pin. You may wear this pinned to the middle of the universal arrow ribbon worn off the right pocket. When one does not wear the sash, this is the only way to identify one as a VH member. It can also be used for civilian wear, but I've really never seen this."

 

I've worn mine as a lapel pin on a number of occasions. Gets some interesting conversations started when I'm among non-BSA people.

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Personally I think it would be great if there was an enforceable ban on pocket rockets. I have always been under the impression for the 30 or so years that I have been involved with the OA that was to be no distinction between levels as we are all brothers in the order. I have had a few boys in the troop I serve decide not to follow through with their election to the OA because they felt it was a cliche that they would rather not be involved with. I am pleased that you may have been recognized by your peers for your service to the order and selected to become a vigil member; but I do not feel that you need to rub that in my face all the time. Nor do I need to be reminded every time I look at you that you are a brotherhood member, either. If we are at a OA sanctioned event where the wearing of the sash is authorized then by all means wear your proper sash with pride. At all other times we should all be simply brother members of the Order of the Arrow and proudly wear our lodge flap indicating that we are diligent in our loyalty to the lodge and have paid our dues.

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