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Selecting Adult to OA

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I think that may be part of the problem. IMHO the election team does need to talk about some of the responsibilities and obligations as an Arrowman at the election process. I know that when I did elections, and trained teams, that was something I emphasised, and one SM did call me on that saying I was discouraging potential members. Of the 16 Scouts who were eligible and at first wanted to be in the OA, 9 or 10 said they didn't want anythign to do with the OA ocne they found out more about what we did. Out of the the 6 who remained onthe ballot, I think 4 got elected, and 2 went through the Ordeal and were never heard from again, despite repeated phonecalls and emails. 1 backed out at the Pre-Ordeal ceremony, and one we never saw after the Call Out Ceremony.


Yes an Arrowman's primary responsibility is to his unit as they are the ones who elected him, they need him. But Arrowman do need to make an effort to be involved. I am not sayin an Arrowman needs to attend every OA event, but do attend what you can.


Also it is a two-way street, not only should the Arrowman make attempts to keep in contact with the lodge/chapter, but the lodge/chapter need to keep in contact witht he Arrowman. An Arrowman may want to be invovled, but if no one tells him what is going on, how can he know?

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The problem with saying that Arrowmen need to be involved is that the election is presented partly as an honor. Otherwise, why vote? If it's just a service group, let anyone sign up.


But because it is an honor society, people want to be recognized. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. When I joined, I think my chapter adviser estimated that 90% of the people were "sash and dash" members. I didn't really like the term, but I did recognize that it was a shorthand for people who never show up again, and as with most groups, there are ways of distinguishing between "us" and "them", and I can understand why the people who do show up for service projects would make a mental distinction between those who run for OA to participate in it, and those who just want the sash. Still, I do agree with SeattlePioneer that the term is disparaging.


Most honor societies do not have a lot of "active" members. They serve primarily to provide honor - a little bit of recognition. If you offer people recognition, why would you then disparage those who take it?


The system is perfectly constructed to get exactly the results it is getting.

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Oak Tree ...


Was that comment meant for the selecting adults to OA thread or the Scouting's Honor Society thread??


For adults, selection to OA is not to be an honor. It's a question of adding value to the unit and the lodge.

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Eagle92 - "Also it is a two-way street, not only should the Arrowman make attempts to keep in contact with the lodge/chapter, but the lodge/chapter need to keep in contact witht he Arrowman. An Arrowman may want to be invovled, but if no one tells him what is going on, how can he know?"


I agree, it is a two way street. A side note of an event that happened last week with our DE who is an "Arrowman". He was making some pretty big demands of the Chapter that were very last minute and expecting miracles. It conflicted with an OA work weekend. One thing led to another and the question was asked of when we might be able to expect him to support the Lodge and attend some events. His response was to send him the dates and he'd put them on his calendar and be there! I'm the Chapter Adviser and I have a Chapter email distribution list. He's always been on it. I also run our Chapter website which can be subscribed to. He's subscribed....because I subscribed him long ago. Our District Communications Chair who puts out the District newsletter is one of my Associate Advisers and he puts all OA events in the newsletter.


Sometimes you can lead a horse to water........

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Trust me I understand where you are coming from. When I was CA we did phone trees, emails, and an automatical message reminder, etc. and people still didn't attend. But I was in one chapter that didn't do anything to keep their members informed, and members did not know who chapter officers were. OA woudl show up at district camporee, do an election, call you out, and that was it. No welcoming into the OA, no calls about the Ordeal, not chapter campsites, etc. In a nutshell no communication.


Also one possibilty why the DE isn't attending OA events is that he was told he "don't have time to play Indian." Yep My DFS told me not to attend ANY OA events and used those exact words.

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Really, even though it's not supposed to be an honor, I feel honored for having been asked, going through the Ordeal, and feel humbled by the gift that was given to me by the young men that made it possible. I will probably learn more from them than they'll learn from me, and to me, that's a huge honor.

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Service to the lodge takes many forms. I may go to an ordeal a year and the occasional chapter meeting. I've never been to a lodge activity other than a banquet. What I do is support the OA in the unit. Run a program that produces a few arrowmen each year and hosts a couple ceremony teams. I only wear my sash at OA functions as I rarely represent the lodge any other time.

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I've only been to 2 weekends since I started back up 5.5 years ago as a scouter, and both were when we hosted section events. But I pay my dues every year to support the lodge. Of course, I have a pre-existing connection as it is the lodge of my youth.


It's just hard for me to get away for entire weekends leaving my wife with 2 small kids frequently, which is one of the primary reasons I'm a UC and not a unit scouter. But I've been looking for ways to contribute to the lodge from the comfort of my own home office.



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John-in-KC, you're right. The selection of adult leaders isn't supposed to be for honor, so the comment may fit better on the other thread.


However, the comment was most immediately in response to Eagle92's post, which was talking about electing Scouts, not adults.

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SeattlePioneer - You were probably selected for OA membership for the ability other adults saw in you to help fulfill the purpose of the Order which is to:


Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.


Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scouts experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.


Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.


Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.


Notice that nothing is mentioned about going to meetings or events. If you're doing these things in your unit, and from your posts it sounds like you are, then you're supporting the Order. Paying your annual lodge dues helps support the programs of your lodge and National but does not obligate you to do anything more that you're already doing.

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In my opion selecting of adults into the OA is one of the most important responsibilities of the LA and SA. They need to make sure that those selected will be an asset to the lodge and their chapters. Fare to often it seems adults are selected for what they have done in scouting and not for what they can bring to the lodge.


The following statement is at the top of the Adult Selection form


"Selection and induction into the Order of an adult Scouter should take place only when the adult's job in Boy Scouting or Varsity Scouting will make Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership. It must not be for the purpose of adult recognition."


Notice it says


"when the adult's job in Boy Scouting or Varsity Scouting will make Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership."


This may not be the SM as he may be to busy to help with the Lodge or Chapter. However in lots of cases its the SM who get selected because of what he has done. Thus it makes the selection a "purpose of Adult recognition".


When this happen then problems arise.


In our lodge the selection is made at the time the election is done. On the election form there is a place for the team to add an adult. Usually what happens is the team ask the SM if he would like to be an OA member. If he says yes then his name is added to the form and he gets inducted into the OA. Which in most cases causes a "Sash and dash adult" because they are to busy with their unit to get involved as advisors within the OA.


Just recently this process has caused problems in a couple of chapters as there is no adult willing or able to take on the rule of chapter advisor. The OA does not function well with out adult advisors to work with the youth.


The selection adult nomination form has several questions to be filled out by to help in selecting adults who can "make Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership".


1. Selection of the adult is based upon ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and position. The individual's abilities include:


2. This adult will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order, in the following manner:


3. The camping requirements that apply for youth candidates apply to adult candidates and must have been fulfilled within the most recent two years prior to recommendation for membership. The requirement, which is a minimum of fifteen days and nights of camping, which must include six days and five nights of resident camping approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America, was fulfilled as follows:


4. This adult leader's membership will provide a positive role model for the growth and development of the youth members of

the lodge because:


It maybe necessary for the unit committee nominating someone to sit down and go over the form with them in order to get the answers needed to fulfill the adult role, as well as help the individual to know what expected of them. That way the OA will get the adults needed who are willing to put in the time necessary to ensure "Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership." After all the OA is about the youth not the adults.


As for the process in our lodge. Well lets just say I'm in for a long up hill battle to fix problems that have extended from years of tradition of not following the "OA Guide to Officers and Advisors".

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In our unit, and I would guess in the typical unit, there aren't enough interested adults to fill the slots. We offer a nomination to everyone who is eligible. So there's no discussion of whether the adult will really be helpful or not.

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