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bigbovine

OA Election Question

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Krampus.....I can't find the reply but you said your SM as a youth only put the best scouts up for election to the OA.......You didn't know why? You blame this day and age.... So what is so different now from back then???? Why do current leaders not hold their scouts to the same standards as back then???? I would never feel pressured to put a scout up for election if he didn't meet the standard........ As SM it is my right and I will do my part to improve the quality of Scouting.....

 

I would hold them to that age-old standard if I could back it up with something concrete.

 

Imagine this: Tommy is a Star scout and below average in his camping skills. He is in good standing. Attends 80% of the meetings. Has 20 days camping each year. Is not on probation nor is he a problem kid. He needs reminders to stop goofing off like most of the 11-4 year olds. Tommy does not meet the "elite" status we all remember from the OA of the past. He does meet all the requirements to be on the OA ballot. On what grounds would I hold Tommy back from the ballot?

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Well Krampus if your not going to improve the quality of scouting with local quality control then you simply don't have a right to complain about it.

 

 

I would hold him back because he is marginal in his abilities. Just a national honor society doesn't admit students with c averages, I don't think the OA should either.

 

 

It is a SM discretionary thing......you think he is marginal....Don't put him on the ballot.....If he is interested as to why, he can come ask you....It just might be the kick in the pants he needs to get going. Or he just might not be that interested in scouting.

 

Bottom line

Marginal skills

Marginal motivation

Marginal interest

Marginal Maturity

 

All add up to no go in my book...I withhold my recommendation as is my right to do so.....

 

If your worried about being a bad guy or the boy hating you for it????? So a friend asked for an honest opinion, do you lie to him....NO, but depending on your relationship you could give him the blunt truth or you could candy coat it.....But you are honest with him.

 

Why do we feel the need to send 12 and 13 year olds to the ordeal anyway????? I was 15 when I attended mine and a life scout......

 

 

 

So are you going to be part of the problem or a start of the solution???

 

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Well Krampus if your not going to improve the quality of scouting with local quality control then you simply don't have a right to complain about it.

 

 

I would hold him back because he is marginal in his abilities. Just a national honor society doesn't admit students with c averages, I don't think the OA should either.

 

 

It is a SM discretionary thing......you think he is marginal....Don't put him on the ballot.....If he is interested as to why, he can come ask you....It just might be the kick in the pants he needs to get going. Or he just might not be that interested in scouting.

 

Bottom line

Marginal skills

Marginal motivation

Marginal interest

Marginal Maturity

 

All add up to no go in my book...I withhold my recommendation as is my right to do so.....

 

If your worried about being a bad guy or the boy hating you for it????? So a friend asked for an honest opinion, do you lie to him....NO, but depending on your relationship you could give him the blunt truth or you could candy coat it.....But you are honest with him.

 

Why do we feel the need to send 12 and 13 year olds to the ordeal anyway????? I was 15 when I attended mine and a life scout......

 

 

 

So are you going to be part of the problem or a start of the solution???

I don't disagree with you BD but where are the guidelines that allow you to hold him back? He's going to ask "Where does it say that I need to be awesome in knot typing or how to cook bacon?" Guess what? It doesn't. So the scout (and his parents) are going to ask why Tommy cannot be in OA simply because the scoutmaster thinks he needs to hone his camping skills -- skills which were signed off on as completed already. We cannot add or subtract from any requirements for rank advancement or merit badges, that is clear. What is less clear is what justification a scoutmaster has for denying Tommy Crappycamper his shot at OA if he qualifies.

 

Trust me, I get what you are saying about why and how you deny him his OA slot. My point is, what policy justification do we have for holding him back? Without a codified policy that defines what should be taken into consideration during the Scoutmaster recommendation phase then it is left to somewhat arbirary reasons.

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So bottom line here is you want some sort of rule or measuring stick to justify to the parents that their little darling just ain't good enough to represent your troop in the OA.

 

Sorry pal, there isn't one.

 

The justification is in my View Tommy Crappycamper, while a member of the BSA and a first class rank scout meets two of the requirements....I, his SM, have spent countless hours camping, hiking and scouting with the young man and don't feel he is ready for the OA at this point.

 

If mom and dad complain then read to them from the OA membership page

 

[h=3]Purpose[/h]

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose 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 Scout’s 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.

 

Keep complaining about the quality of the BSA and then act powerless to do anything about it.......

 

 

The power is in our hands, but many SM's and Troop lack the backbone to use it......Scout spirit and SM recommendation.......I am guessing that the OA election and membership is an expectation in your troop???? So a boy gets his nights camping and rank he is a shu in?? It will never be that way in a troop I am SM of.

 

 

You don't want to make Mr and Mrs Crappycamper upset....that is your right......But you have now lost the right to complain about the poor quality of the youth.

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So bottom line here is you want some sort of rule or measuring stick to justify to the parents that their little darling just ain't good enough to represent your troop in the OA.

 

Sorry pal, there isn't one.

 

The justification is in my View Tommy Crappycamper, while a member of the BSA and a first class rank scout meets two of the requirements....I, his SM, have spent countless hours camping, hiking and scouting with the young man and don't feel he is ready for the OA at this point.

 

If mom and dad complain then read to them from the OA membership page

 

[h=3]Purpose[/h]

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose 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 Scout’s 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.

 

Keep complaining about the quality of the BSA and then act powerless to do anything about it.......

 

 

The power is in our hands, but many SM's and Troop lack the backbone to use it......Scout spirit and SM recommendation.......I am guessing that the OA election and membership is an expectation in your troop???? So a boy gets his nights camping and rank he is a shu in?? It will never be that way in a troop I am SM of.

 

 

You don't want to make Mr and Mrs Crappycamper upset....that is your right......But you have now lost the right to complain about the poor quality of the youth.

Actually, I do need a guidline like GTA. I have parent lawyers in my troop and they will read all the BSA docs and ask me to cite where Tommy does not make it.

 

I do like the idea of having our TC develop guidelines and adopting those.

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Well you need to resign as soon as possible.....The troop committee needs to begin a search for someone the Troop Parent trust and believe in. If the parents don't believe in your leadership that means the boys probably don't either. Far as that goes why does your troop even need a SM if your going to be intimidated by a parent, lawyer or not.

 

You can't run an effective program if your going to worry about Parents sueing you because little Jimmy Crappycamper didn't get nominated to the OA because Mr Evil Krampus with held his recommendation because in his opinion he isn't ready, whether it is skill or maturity, it is your opinion and your recommendation...

 

.Far as that goes how can the SMC and BOR be even remotely impartial or fair......

 

Your story is sad, bordering on tragic....

 

I can't wait to hear the story of this young mans crappy eagle project and your troop committee is stuck with what to do...

 

 

So it ain't so bad bein poor after all...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Krampus,

 

You're living a Scoutmaster's nightmare. You can't create enough guidelines to satisfy yourself and these parents. Get out while you can. The Cub Scouts have used an unofficial guideline for years: KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. For crying out loud, back off or back out. You're creating problems where there are none. You obviously are not having fun as a Scout leader, and it shows. Your Scouts see this as well. The level of trust parents have in the adult leaders to provide the Scout's support for their program, should be very high. This should include your ability to make a decision about a Scout's qualifications to be approved (as the Scoutmaster) as a candidate for an Order of the Arrow Election. Trustworthy.

 

sst3rd

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So bottom line here is you want some sort of rule or measuring stick to justify to the parents that their little darling just ain't good enough to represent your troop in the OA.

 

Sorry pal, there isn't one.

 

The justification is in my View Tommy Crappycamper, while a member of the BSA and a first class rank scout meets two of the requirements....I, his SM, have spent countless hours camping, hiking and scouting with the young man and don't feel he is ready for the OA at this point.

 

If mom and dad complain then read to them from the OA membership page

 

[h=3]Purpose[/h]

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose 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 Scout’s 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.

 

Keep complaining about the quality of the BSA and then act powerless to do anything about it.......

 

 

The power is in our hands, but many SM's and Troop lack the backbone to use it......Scout spirit and SM recommendation.......I am guessing that the OA election and membership is an expectation in your troop???? So a boy gets his nights camping and rank he is a shu in?? It will never be that way in a troop I am SM of.

 

 

You don't want to make Mr and Mrs Crappycamper upset....that is your right......But you have now lost the right to complain about the poor quality of the youth.

I think BD cited a great BSA doc that shows Tommy does not make it. "Spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units." They want an Eagle Mill troop, go find one.

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Krampus' date=' You're living a Scoutmaster's nightmare. You can't create enough guidelines to satisfy yourself and these parents. Get out while you can. The Cub Scouts have used an unofficial guideline for years: KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. For crying out loud, back off or back out. You're creating problems where there are none. You obviously are not having fun as a Scout leader, and it shows. Your Scouts see this as well. The level of trust parents have in the adult leaders to provide the Scout's support for their program, should be very high. This should include your ability to make a decision about a Scout's qualifications to be approved (as the Scoutmaster) as a candidate for an Order of the Arrow Election. Trustworthy. sst3rd[/quote']

 

You are welcome to come to my district any time and exercise your belief that keeping it simple works. Parents here will argue anything Tommy Crappycamper is involved in. If we don't sign off on a first year scout requirement they want to know why. They read the GTA probably more than folks here and can quote it chapter and verse. If you stray outside of that they are ready to contact the district or even council directly. And this is not just my unit but pervaisive throughout. RT is essentially where scouters go to figure out how to do our job they way we know it should be done. I have lost scouts because we have tightened how requirements are checked off and the TC has asked the scouter corps to justify this change.

 

This is a cultural thing in my neck of the woods. Just try to deny Tommy something he has qualified for and see how long your my way or the highway position holds up.

 

What you have totally wrong is not that *I* am a scoutmaster's nightmare...being in this district and having to work with this cultural mentality is the nightmare. Trust me, you know not of which you speak.

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That is sad.....

 

I don't even know what to say,

 

I would go ahead and tighten up the requirements or make the boys met the requirements and let them call and leave. I just couldn't sign off to save my scouting job.

 

They understand that advancement is only one method right????

 

 

Do they Eagle and leave?????

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Krampus,

 

My district follows the program. I said you were living a Scoutmaster's nightmare, not that you were that nightmare. Parents should trust the Scout leaders of their son's Troop, to execute the BSA program. Your parents don't, and demand documentation for all decisions made by your Troop's adult leadership. This "culture thing" evidently is the nightmare, and your whole district operates this way. Wow, how sad. How do you have time to be a Scoutmaster, when you're too busy trying to satisfy the demands of your parents? And you're not having any fun? The stress has got to be through the roof. This isn't a Scout program. There's got to be a Troop somewhere that actually runs the BSA program. Go there, fast. I wish you the best.

 

sst3rd

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I would love to see how a unit like this runs.......I bet all of the parents hang in the back of the room like the sports parents do.......

 

How sad to take something as pure as a group of similar aged boys looking for adventure and twisting it into an adult drive advancement feast

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That is sad..... I don't even know what to say' date=' I would go ahead and tighten up the requirements or make the boys met the requirements and let them call and leave. I just couldn't sign off to save my scouting job. They understand that advancement is only one method right???? Do they Eagle and leave?????[/quote']

Well, may hit Life by 13-14 and then go off and do high school and eventually try to make Eagle in the ramining 3-4 years. This is pretty much how things work in all units locally. Common problem all scoutmasters have. Standing joke really. Those who try to tighten things up get slapped down are replaced because the unit loses scouts who don't want what they perceive as the additional work. I have taken the approach that I would rather have 20 active, interested, strong scouts than 70+ where 2/3 of them are in it for the bling and then good bye. It is for that 1/3 that I stick around at all.

 

Krampus' date=' My district follows the program. I said you were living a Scoutmaster's nightmare, not that you were that nightmare. Parents should trust the Scout leaders of their son's Troop, to execute the BSA program. Your parents don't, and demand documentation for all decisions made by your Troop's adult leadership. This "culture thing" evidently is the nightmare, and your whole district operates this way. Wow, how sad. How do you have time to be a Scoutmaster, when you're too busy trying to satisfy the demands of your parents? And you're not having any fun? The stress has got to be through the roof. This isn't a Scout program. There's got to be a Troop somewhere that actually runs the BSA program. Go there, fast. I wish you the best. sst3rd[/quote']

Well, in short, we document everything well, make sure we communicate all guidelines and then, if they have an issue we have chapter and verse to point to. Thankfully I have a type A wife who does all of that (former lawyer) and so the bylaws and troop guidelines are tight as a drum and align with BSA policy. There is not much stress because I am a by the book guy (ex marine) so not an issue. I know the rules, the boys know the rules and we follow them. That said, I apply leeway when the rules (even BSA rules) run contrary to common sense and the boys have fun. We focus on boy-led stuff which po's mom and dad since they think scouting is about the adults doing all the work. My guys want to go to the moon? If they can plan it, raise the funds and build the means to get there we go. Philmont this year is 100% boy-led. I told the advisors to sit and take notes but let the guys do what they want. They did a better job than I could have done.

 

Back to OA: For me I would have loved to have kept 3-4 boys back. As soon as I mentioned that I was thinking about that one of our TC members called me to complain. Wanted to know why I had the right to do that. I told them I did not think they were ready, they were too weak in camping skills. They wanted me to point to where I get that power from BSA. Hence my question to BD. I am truly interested if there is a policy or at least guidance. Barring that, I simply don't want to fight that fight. If Tommy Crappycamper wants his sash, fine. It won't mean anything to him anyway. I am fighting for that 1/3 who give a darn.

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I agree with BD on the quality control issue. Krampus, the unit leader approves or disapproves the Scout to be nominated for an OA Election. The unit leader has no written criteria by which to make this decision: no checklist. The unit leader takes the "big" picture approach, and then makes the call. If a Scout wants to know why he didn't get nominated, he can ask for a Scoutmaster's Conference. Or, if the Scoutmaster wants to be proactive (before the OA Election), he can have a Scoutmaster's Conference with each potential candidate, and let them know his decision there. Also, another reason I've been doing it this way for years, it gives you a great opportunity to talk with the Scouts about the OA, and its expectations. I've had Scouts remove their name from nomination, because they felt they didn't have the additional time to participate. Seriously, if you're going to do a sash and dash, don't bother wasting everyone's time, including your own. It's worked for us for over 38 years.

 

sst3rd

I've also had scouts drop their names because they are too busy. I agree with that, when a scout makes a promise he should be prepared to keep it. One of my saddest experiences since returning to scouting was when a kid dropped off his ordeal sash to me when he turned 18. No emotional connection at all, just something to wear to courts of honor.

 

My take as a scoutmaster is that if the kid doesn't have a serious problem, I'll sign them off. Most kids have good intentions. Most scouts try to live the scout law. I figure that the experience will help them be better.

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As usual no one has helped you. The information you are looking for is in this publication [url=http://www.oa-bsa.org/resources/pubs/GOA-2012.pdf]http://www.oa-bsa.org/resources/pubs/GOA-2012.pdf[/url=http://www.oa-bsa.org/resources/pubs/GOA-2012.pdf]

 

This is the guide for OA Officers and advisors. Look at Page 20 (Unit Leader Approval). It states, "To become eligible for election, a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of his Unit Leader prior (bolded in the original) to the election. The Unit Leader must certify his Scout spirit (i.e., hius adherance to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activities). The Unit Leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election.

 

It is important to note that unlike advancement criteria there is no appeal process for this certification so what the Unit Leader decides goes, and you can tell the parents to pound sand if they do not agree, or better yet refer them to the CC as it is not the SMs job to deal with the parents.

 

That being said further reference is made on page 22 #4 "...who meet all eligibility requirements including attitude and participation..." I believe BSA chose the word "attitude" carefully and the Unit leader has a lot of leeway as to who has the right attitude for OA and who does not. Again, ther eis no appeal process.

 

This is definitely an area where the good Unit Leader needs a spine and needes to stand up to the parents. BSA and the OA give the Unit leader a lot of discretion in this area, and it is up to the Unit leader to maintain the integrity of the OA.

 

If not you, who?

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