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SctDad

Disappointed with my chapter

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SR540Beaver (Wish I could address you with your name)

 

It sounds as if you have a challenge in revitalizing your chapter and lodge.

 

Here is a couple of suggestions

 

First, have a pre-chapter meeting with your Chief. Helping and guiding him in setting the agenda. This meeting will also help you be able to give you suggestions and any requests you may have in getting the chapter pointed in the right direction. It maybe that your chief has never had any training in how to conduct a meeting, you may have to train him.

 

Second, get all the young men in your chapter to National Leadership Seminar (NLS) and get yourself to National Lodge Adviser Training Seminar (NLATS)

 

Third, get with the lodge/section leadership and ask them to conduct an LLD for your chapter. If you go to the LLD web site you can build the program around what you feel your boys need.

 

Fourth, My son, currently a lodge chief, says as an advisor you need to realize that what you think is of value or interesting or the way the chapter needs to go may not be what your young men want to happen. The young men may just want to have fun, and thats ok as long as its within the mission and purpose of the OA.

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I defended the boys as I was looking at the scenario as it would play out for me, in the district that I am in, if I was a boy in the OA.

 

First, the troop that I am with is at the far edge of the district. In fact, it is the farthest east troop in the whole council.

 

Our troop is the only troop that has people participate in the OA, except for two other guys out of the enitre district.

 

So you already see what has set up: Furthest from everyone plus only one participating.

 

Which Means:

 

Four Hour Round Trip Traveling (240 Miles Round)trips to perform ceremonies over and over at the other side of the district for people you don't know and with troops larger than yours that have MORE OA members in the troop than yours does.

 

BUT, since they do not participate, your troop has to do all the work for troops that have the members and resources to do it themselves.

 

Thats why last year I told the district troops that our troop was no longer going to be performing ceremonies unless they were located in 20 miles of our town.

 

We have done one since then, and the district has had a total of one ceremony performed.

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Perhaps let the other units know that have more Arrowmen that you'd be happy train them for elections and ceremonies? Throwing the ball in their court might create some motivation.

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Unit ceremonies is not the responsibility of the OA lodge/chapter. It is just something we do, usually because the youth like to do them. The OA is about leadership and service, and having fun while doing. If the program is not totally centered around what the youth want to do, then there is a problem.(This message has been edited by Gary_Miller)

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Gary,

Around here, the OA is known for their ceremonies, and SCTDAD can correct me if I am wrong, but his chapter's ceremony team said they could do it then backed out at the last minute.

 

Also while ceremonies may not seem important, on the CS level they are vitally important. This is usually a CS's first introduction to the OA (let's face it we are usually in the background IF we are helping at CS events), and it really needs to be inspiring.

 

National just put out info about how the OA could do more service at the CS level, and ceremonies was mentioned if memory serves.

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xlpanel said:

 

"People in the OA do many other things in life, and may not have time to fit you in."

 

I'm surprised to hear that....wait, no I'm not. Through 30 years and seven scoutmasters, I have seen the local OA do this kind of thing many, many times. Not the dance team, but the Election and Camp Promotion teams! Example: This week's troop meeting. The OA Election team was supposed to show up to do an election. Two new First Class scouts are very disappointed. (The team had CONFIRMED with us 4 days before.) I just looked at the Scoutmaster and shrugged as if to say "yup..again." I consulted with the COR on this (I'm CC) and he said it wasn't worth getting upset over, it would be "like trying to shake acorns out of an oak tree." I did direct the SM to follow up and find out WHY they didn't show up, or even call to reschedule. I expect one of the following excuses:

 

A.We couldn't find the place. (Oh? in 2010, we have mapquest, GPS, and cellphones. I would have bought this excuse in 1982, but not now)

 

B.One member of the team was sick/had a lot of homework/a family committment, blah blah blah. (don't even know what to say here, we have telephones and email.)

 

C. We didn't have transportation. (see excuse B. Our troop meeting is only 20 minutes from council HQ. We could have arranged a ride to and from, if necessary. No telephone? No email?)

 

It will only be a matter of time before Scoutmaster #7 learns what the other 6 have and tells the OA rep who calls him "Hmm, we don't have anyone eligible right now, sorry." I have my stash of "Honor Camper" patches at the ready for when the SM decides he's had enough. I can think of 9 Scout Laws that were dishonored here. Can you?

 

 

 

 

 

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Found out tonight what the problem was! Option "A". Although the team had the phone numbers of the SM and SPL, they claimed they didn't know where we were meeting. (they were told). SM says he's in no hurry to reschedule.

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Its to bad the SM is more concerned with a mistake/irresponsibility of some youth who are trying to do the right thing, but messed up.

 

More than he is about ensuring the youth in his troop who may be deserving of the honor to join the honor society of the Boy Scouts. Get that chance to be elected and inducted, and make their own decision on whether they want to stay involved in the OA.

 

We need to remember that the youth who run the OA are just youth learning and trying to be good Young Men and Leaders. They are not perfect. They make mistakes. But they strive to provide good service to others. But most importantly they are just Young Men trying to do their best.

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Gary,

i've had to deal with this type of situation as a CA, and can understand the SM's feelings. When a chapter has a history of missing events and activities, it ruins the reputation and work of the chapter. Once you lose the trust and respect, it does take a lot to regain it.

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As a DE I was asked by my SE to take over as staff advisor for the OA lodge and in spite of what the roster showed there were only five "active" youth members, no adult advisors and they were all in one district. I found out that aside from the ordeal there were no other meetings or projects ever scheduled, so the other members had their sash and flap and disappeared. In addition there had been no elections in over five years. So much for boy run, the SE told me to either fix it or he would disband the lodge.

 

It took almost a year to change it all around, which I did with the help of some great scouters and some very motivated youth, dismissing the chapter advisor who was so in name only and the lodge youth officers. Getting all the other districts involved, holding new elections, every district now had one lodge officer, and finding a great new chapter advisor turned the lodge completely around. The lodge now had a dance team for the first time in almost two decades. We had a large contingent to NOAC that year and the dance team won an award, you never saw bigger smiles. Anyway I guess my point is that the boys can't always do it all alone, they need sound guidance from advisors who really care, and will help them reach that goal of having a strong lodge that performs a variety of services to the scouts in the council. It can happen.

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