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Oldscout448

Can a SM ban OA elections?

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If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either.

 

If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?

Is it just me, am I the only one who thinks if the committee over-rules the SM, it is over-stepping its bounds in this regard? The committee isn't supposed to micromanage the SM's decisions. The committee's responsibilities are to support the SM, not to over-ride (except in the case of safety or policy of which this does not appear to be). If the Chartering organization has an issue, they can find a new SM, but they also shouldn't be micromanaging the decisions. This seems like a slippery slope to me.
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If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either.

 

If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?

To forbid an OA election is a policy decision, something that is well within the committee's purview. This would be the same as banning out-of-council summer camps, or in-council summer camps, or participation in district training or events.

Can an SM forbid earning Hiking or Camping merit badges, because they place a boy in the woods?

 

The OA is part of BSA. An honor camping society that renders service to the district. This SM needs to brush up on his Scouter's Spirit, because he;s certainly NOT setting a good community example for his men.

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If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either.

 

If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?

The issue as I see it is that this is not the SM's troop, it is the boys' troop, and the boys want the chance to participate in OA. The scoutmaster is not acting in the expressed desires and interests of the boys and is therefore not acting properly in his capacity as SM.

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If the CC won't step in your only choice is the chartered org, who may not have any idea what's going on (or care to) either.

 

If the PLC got the troop to present a completely unified front, would the SM still stand in the way?

The SM should be deferring to the boys, to that I completely agree. However, the idea of going to the committee to over rule it appears to be a slippery slope. I disagree it is a BSA policy decision, unless someone can point to the BSA regs which require the SM to hold the OA election. What is the purpose of the SM signature on the blue card, or the SM signature on the OA election? It is BSA policy the decision is to be left to the SM. As I said, if the decisions he is making do not fit what the charteing organization desires, they can find a new SM.

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I would leave the Troop and find another. Who knows whatelse is afoot within the Troop.
You need to help out with those older boys. Talk to your DE and see if there is a troop that can help them out with the PORs and OA.

 

I think there is someone else on this board who appoints patrol leaders.....who is that ?

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I would leave the Troop and find another. Who knows whatelse is afoot within the Troop.
I was thinking the same thing as the final option on the continuum of options. Less than full resignation from the troop and failure to convince the SM to change, a scout may register jointly with another troop and participate with them as well. This may provide the opportunity for recognition into the OA as well as other potential opportunities.

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I would leave the Troop and find another. Who knows whatelse is afoot within the Troop.
The only way to fully make the Adults within the Troop to stand-up and take notice is vote with your feet. All the emailing, talking to the committee and other stuff won't do much since it more than likely will stay the same.

 

When the Scouts start leaving for other Troops, the SM should get the idea. The CC/COR/Treasurer will start to ask questions since they have to transfer Scout ISA's to other Troops.

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I would leave the Troop and find another. Who knows whatelse is afoot within the Troop.
The problem with leaving for another troop for an OA election is that they probably won't get elected in a new troop where no one knows them. By the time that they're in a new troop long enough to get elected, their service window has dramatically shortened or they have aged out.

 

SM's are not demigods, we just play one in the movies. This SM needs to be enlightened or circumvented..

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Just curious; what would this SM do if the PLC invited an election team to an event other than a troop meeting? Gotta have 50% attend and requirement #4, SM certification of Scout Spirit could be waived or delegated to an ASM. Summer camp free time? Camporee?

 

If the boys really want an OA election, Indians can be sneaky. It is the BOYS troop, right? Maybe elect the SM, too.

elect the SM?!?! I would just love to see the look on his face. Doubt he would go on the ordeal though

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I would leave the Troop and find another. Who knows whatelse is afoot within the Troop.
JoeBob true, but a slim chance is still better than no chance.

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Funny thing is, we have a similar issue in our troop, but it isn't the SM, it's the BOYS! They don't want any part of OA. The adults do NOT speak ill of the OA either, but the boys won't openly tell us in BORs why they don't want to go to the ordeal when they are elected. A few years ago, at a Pack event, I chatted with some of the Lodge officers who wondered why elected boys from our Troop don't attend the ordeals, or otherwise show any interest in the OA. Eventually the SM told me that the some of the boys, once elected and inducted, would attend chapter and lodge meetings and basically be ignored; would sign up for committees and never be called, etc. It's the BOYS in our troop who don't want the OA, which is what I told the Lodge folks. Naturally, I got "yes sir"ed to death. The boys talk to each other, and there is an overall ill will toward the Order! The OA Lodge has a serious Public Relations problem with our scouts and THEY need to fix it!! They've made no attempt to do so in the past few years. None. So, the SM goes through the charade of letting them hold elections each time (when they bother to show up), no boys attend Ordeals, and the Lodge is apparently happy with that. Fine and dandy. They have their signed papers as another notch in their belts for "Quality Lodge" or whatever. Did I mention that one of our scouts is also the Lodge Chief? The past two OA Representatives appointed by the SPL have done nothing to promote the OA because the boys don't want to hear it. I do feel that the thirty minutes of Troop time could be better spent, though.

 

P.S. The scout in our troop who is the Lodge Chief? We rarely ever see him. It's been that way for about 2 years.

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Interesting read, and I would like to know how this will play out.

I had a similar issue with a friend who was the SM. He didn't understand the OA, and after a lot of poking from me (and others) he finally allowed an election. Several boys were elected, however most of them didn't attend the induction. The SM honestly was interested, however wasn't able to make it. (medical reasons) So... after all of the work, really only 1 boy was able to join OA. SM changed...and new SM said "Not worth our time...look how many didn't show interest last time." Wasn't really a fair statement, but I could understand his point of view.

I hate to say it, but I'd start looking for a new troop. Make a very loud and honest appeal at the next committee meeting, and if they vote it down... walk. (I'd have your new troop already picked out, and probably want to warn them of the possible mass emigration heading their way)

One point: You mention the 10%....which was the rule for elections several years back. Just so you know, and someone please confirm this: The 10% rule isn't used anymore. Now, if a boy has enough votes, they can attend Induction. From what I understand, this didn't open it up much...but it did help with some of the troops only having 1 or 2 boys get elected each year.

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thanks for the responses guys, I need some help to stay balanced here. One of the scouts who would be up for election is my son #4. Sons #1 and 2 spent some time on the ceremonies tram, as I was the coach all the bonnets, pipes, bows etc were stored at my house for years. so he has wanted to be a member since he was 5 or so. and it really burns me to have some one who has never been in the OA deny him this. based on what some SMs at summer camp told him (his words) The camp was in a different council by the way.

BD, I sadly agree that for most the Order is only a flap and sash. But some of us foolish idealists took/ take the obligation seriously. Perhaps because I had to recite it over 100 times a year at rehearsals all through my teenage years. I want to let the new 10% get their shot at it.

The lodge is just huge has about 22 chapters. Most of 'em are in VA, as are the summer camps. So very few of us MD chapters send many scouts to pack tents for free. Mostly the OA serves as camporee staff, helps new troops out, local stuff.

I once saw them serve as parking crew at a scout's funeral, a lighting strike at Philmont

and yeah I talked with him, I talked (and listened) for an hour he gave the reasons listed in the op and finished up with these words to my son " If you want to be in the OA, you will have to join another troop"

D-Tape I offered to set up a meeting such as you suggested, SM indicated he had zero interest and would not attend. Rarely have I met such a closed mind.

Funny thing is I like the guy, I think he is doing what he thinks is best for his troop. but there's the rub between us, he thinks its HIS troop, I insist its the scouts troop, and if they want it let them have at it

Oldscout

Sounds like son #4 needs to decide if he should transfer to another troop so he has a chance to qualify for O/A, or stick with this troop and take a pass on lodge life.

 

It is unfortunate when adults perpetrate this kind of bias. And it must be tough on you because it sounds like you were trying to keep up a family tradition. But, now it's in your son's (and maybe his friend's) hands.

 

If he sticks with the troop, he can mention at every SMC and BOR that this is his one regret about this troop. He may decide that this wont be his mantra forever. Or, he may decide to be a persistent yet respectful agent of change.

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