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Changing the Order

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I was tapped out and proud of it! A "tapout" was when the Indian (I forget which one) would walk around those gathered around the campfire and stop in front of a candidate and without a word, would "tap" the candidate 3 times on the shoulder. My taps were firm, but not painful. Legend has it, that in some Lodges, the "taps" would take the candidate to his knees. It is now called a "callout" when the names are just announced and the candidate steps forward to be escorted away. I see nothing wrong with tapouts, but as usual, a few overzealous morons ruined it for everyone. I think the OA is in decline because kids are being raised differently than we were. Today's youth is not really interested in "service" (read: volunteer work), much less being "cheerful" about it. It's all about me and what I can get in return, as evidenced by some of the posts above. The question shouldn't be, "what does the Order have to offer me", but rather, "How can I be of service through the Order?"

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Yep Pappa described Tap Outs. Unfortunately if I would have attended my Tap Out Ceremony, I would have been the last group to do so legitimately as the ban came into place the following year. Unfortunately I was out sick, and couldn't attend camporee.


And yes "cheerful service" scares the heck out of people, and they want to know what's in it for me. I was at a large troop who had 18 eligible. The Election/Camp Promo Team (we do it all in one nite)went into as much detail as possible about what the OA does, both the fun and the cheerful service. 9 of the folks backed out that nite prior to the election. 5 got elected and letters inviting them to our Candidate Orientation and Chapter Social were sent, with 1 attending. I called the other 4 and the results were the following:


1 Couldn't make the meeting but would be at Ordeal. he showed up at Ordeal, and backed out at the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony when he found out about the tests.


1 Scout's Mom said that son was not interested since it would take time away form him getting Eagle, and "nothing is coming between him and Eagle." Oh he was a freshman in HS.


1 never responded to any calls.


1 Scout's mom was the one I had the 90+ minute phone call about the OA.


The one that attended the meeting did go through the Ordeal, but had panic attacks throughout the Ordeal. Since dad was a member in his youth, and the Ordeal was at the local camp 20 minutes away, Dad showed up, watched son go through the Ceremony, and then took him home immediately after the ceremony. No new member orientation, no new member packet with book, lodge info, etc, no lodge cracker barrell after the ceremonies. NADA. he just went home with his sash and was never seen again.


What's interesting is the old SM who was a lodge and section officer politely criticized how the team conducted the election. He said they should have focused more on the fun stuff and not mention the Work Work Work that the WWW represents.

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I think the Order's challenges are but a reflection of today's culture of pursuing personal fulfillment through fun, participation ribbons, and constant unearned praise.


These will satisfy temporarily, but provide nothing of lasting value.


I went thru tap out and ordeal in the mid '70s. Both events gained my undivided attention.


Of everything I learned, the most important was tackling least glorious job...the worst one, that no one wanted.


No recognition of any kind comes of it, but by doing it, and doing it well, you've accomplished something that needed to be done, and the private satisfaction of doing it lasts alot longer than any participation ribbon.


Sure, there is a place for fun. Right after work. Dinner, then dessert.

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92 I lament the me first, lazy attitude today of not only scouts but parents too. Made some reference when I posted today on another OA thread. It might be a topic worthy of it's own thread actually. Our unit has been very good on community service projects, helping out in addition to Eagle projects we do every year. I do have some scouts and parents though who do little to no service work, complain that it is a requirement and grip when their failure to do service work holds up their advancement but overall the scouts in our unit are pretty good.


What makes me mad enough to about knock some people's heads off their shoulders is our community, we had a very tragic event happen in the fall of 2006 that deeply effected our small town. Since then the local schools give the students most of the aniversary day off and many volunteer service projects are arranged that day for the students to participate in, many are interesting, food and drinks are provided free as well.


Now that the tragedy is about 5 years in the rear view mirror, kids and parents began to increase the level of b*&^Jing and griping that their poor little darlings were being pushed to do volunteer work. The school district got fed up enough with the whiners that they cancelled the volunteer work and the aniversary activities.


It amazes me how selfish so many kids and parents are even after the horrible thing that happened here in town, makes me want to take some of these folks out behind the woodshed and lay some knowledge on them that they won't ever forget.


Sorry about the rant but peoples me first attitude to the levels I sometimes see, depresses the heck out of me.....



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Personally, I find that pretty natural.


In the aftermath of a tragedy, people may be motivated to participate in a service project as a way of honoring people that they know or knew.


People are less motivated to do so when they don't know the people involved, or time has simply passed by.


Friends and family are motivated to attend the funeral of a loved one, but few would show up for an annual memorial service except for a few.

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Hicountry, OA is a group of Scouts that give back to their Councils by providing cheerful service. That is the heart of what the OA does. By saying "no" to the OA, you are denieing your Scouts one more opportunity to provide service.


Additionally, when I was a Scout in the OA (about 25 or so years ago) OA provided an opportunity for older Scouts to have "fellowship" in a safe environment with like minded Scouts from other communities. This was one of the highlights of my long Scouting career which I carry on today as a district volunteer. The OA provides some with elements that troops cannot because of their local nature. Additionally, it gives youth the oppotrunity to lead a large organization.


OA if done right truly is a "brotherhood" of Scouts. Some of my most lasting relationships came because of the OA.(This message has been edited by johnponz)

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Ah, memories of Tapouts past...


The first year I was eligible, I was tense. The troop stood in a circle The Chief circled around behind us, stood behind me, my breath came quickly, and the drum beating stopped. Then he moved on and the drum started beating again. A scout was "tapped out" the Chief stopped behind him, the drum stopped. Three time the Chief's arm swung high in the air and came down on the shoulder of the boy and then he was pushed, well pushed is a relative term as anyone who has ever played "Two Hand Touch" Football can attest. Some games I have participated in were more like "two hand assault and battery" but I digress. Oh, yeah, the force the boy was pushed with was more grand than any any of the "touch" football games I was in into the center of the circle


Three times the Chief's arm came down on a candidate none of the time was I selected. Two other times the Chief stood behind boys, the drum stopped and then he moved on


Year two was pretty much the same scenario. The Chief stood behind me and the drum stopped and then he moved on. Three boys were selected. I was not


Year Three the Chief stopped behind me, the drum stopped. The Chief moved on, on the second time around he stopped, I finally felt the three slugs of the arm slammin on my shoulder. I was shoved into the center of the circle. I was to be an ordeal candidate.


I went through the ordeal. I became a member. I was treated like crap at my first meeting and I never went back.


Heck, now that I relived that experience, I understand Basement Dwellers reaction to Wood Badge, after all the buildup and expectation, the absolute experince was so devoid of anything I had be told that I felt like one of the villages at the first performamce of The Royal Nonesuch. I felt sold and no experience with the OA has lead me to beleive I had a singular experience

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johnponz hit the nail on the head. Being a Chapter Adviser, I see the troops with 5 scouts that have no SPL or utilize many of the possible POR's due to their size and I see the troops with 60 scouts that fill every imaginable POR. Alone, that is great and it meets the needs of the troop organization and rank advancement for the boy. But there are boys out there who aspire to do more than there troop can provide. These are the guys who start staffing camp, staffing council events and usually end up being elected to OA. I'vve said in a number of my posts that OA enhances a boy's scouting career. Yes, he's been an APL, PL, ASPL, SPL, TG and JASM, but he wants more. Thru OA, he can take on a leadership role in the Chapter where he deals with every troop in the district. Or he can take on a leadership role in the Lodge where he deals with every troop in the council. That is built on the experiences he has had in leadership at the Troop level, but something a Troop can't provide. Are there Lodges where Lodge leadership is nothing more than a fancy title while the adults actually run things? Well sure there is.....just like a lot of troops out there. In our council, the Lodge Chief is actually "in charge". Each year, our Lodge Chief goes before the state legislature and delivers a report (gives a speech) on scouting in our Council. Other than leadership, there is also the service aspect which is really what we are all about. OA kicks the Law and Oath, leadership and service up a notch beyond the troop experience.

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They cannot because it is against National policy. It would be against the Scout Law if they did. Remember a Scout is obedient. The OA chapter/lodge can work within the system to change things, but they cannot outright go against National policy and stay within the Scout oath. National clearly has the right and authority to make this policy so the individual lodges are obliged to follow it.


As a practical note, if a lodge decided to do this and the Supreme Chief of the Fire (Scout Executive [Council]) did not step in, National could revoke or deny the lodge's charter.


PS-I would like to go back to the "old" way myself, but believe it is a matter of numbers. Scouts in general are losing enrollment so the OA has to figure out ways to make more of those that are left eligible for the OA to keep lodge's numbers up. I believe if you find a way to get more youth interested in Scouting in general, we could go back to the "old" way in OA. I have no inside track to national but understand the thinking of big organizations like this one.

(This message has been edited by johnponz)

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I was an enthusiastic OA member as a boy, tapped out and all, was a ceremony principal with face paint and so forth.


That OA was killed by the lawyers and our Soft Society. Damn anyone who eventuates discomfort!


The old OA is dead. The new one simply generates less member dedication, and why should it, when Ordeal rules are flauted flagrantly and then flagrantly flauted!

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Two weeks ago, on very short notice, I conducted a troop's OA election. The SM, SPL and one other scout in a troop of 24 are already members. The SM identified 9 scouts as eligible - 3 asked to be removed from the ballot before I had completed the presentation! Yikes! It's going to take a lot of something to overcome that kind of disinterest.

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SP: No.


Lodges are Chartered in a similar manner as Councils. There are terms and conditions to be met, that are in various OA policy documents.


BSA program materials are designed to promote a standard product across the Nation. Swimming MB in NY is the same as it is in MO as it is in CA.


The basics of the order are to be the same wherever you go.

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So, based on the info in the thread on flaps, how is it in some lodges the requirement for receiving a flap is to complete the Ordeal, some lodges it is to complet the Ordeal and a certain amount of service work and in some lodges it is to complete Brotherhood? Is "don't add to requirements" not part of the terms and conditions for lodges?

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Good question. My understanding, and I stress UNDERSTANDING so if someone knows better please let me know, is that the national insignia for the OA is the sash, not the flap. Thus the sash represents membership in the OA.


The lodge flap represents membership in the local lodge. As such each lodge can set their own criteria, as long as it is within National policy.


When the policy to remove distinctive borders came out, national stated that restrictions on flaps were allowed, although discouraged.


From the 07-8 Operations Update


The Order of the Arrow policy on lodge pocket flaps appears on page 58 of the Order of the Arrow Handbook. Several clarifications have been added to this policy. The following revised text will appear in future printings of the Handbook:



"Lodge pocket flap. Cloth lodge emblems (flaps) are made available by most

lodges. National policy requires that these pocket flap patches be made of, and

embroidered on, cloth, and must be of a size and shape so as to cover the right

breast pocket flap and not extend beyond the outer edge of the uniform pocket

flap. They usually show the lodge name and totem. All OA patches must include

BSA or the Boy Scout emblem in their patch designs. Chapter or clan flaps

are not permitted. There will be no honor distinction denoted by the flap or flap



Beading of flaps is against uniform and insignia policy. The national Order

of the Arrow committee recommends that no restrictions be placed on the

purchase of lodge flap patches. [emphasis mine} Members may only wear the lodge pocket flap of the lodge where their dues are paid.


If the lodge has been certified as a National Quality Lodge, members of the

lodge may wear a Quality Lodge pin on the pocket flap. Only the most recent

pin awarded may be worn, and it must be mounted against the left vertical

border of the flap."


The clarifications are in the last sentence of the first paragraph and in the third paragraph. These policy clarifications are effective immediately.


On a different note. I'm wondering how many lodges have 2 different flaps: one for the khaki shirts, and one for the green shirts?(This message has been edited by Eagle92)(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

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