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Oldscout448

Can a SM ban OA elections?

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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.

ah, I understand the confusion. My mention of the 10% referenced those scouts who do much more than attend the ordeal got a lodge flap, a sash and are nevermore seen at any lodge/chapter event. unlike the other 90%.

Frankly I had forgotten the old percent election rule. I think that has been done away with for some years now

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Update: Had troop meeting last night, Son went into the room, I stayed in the hallway. was pretty clear the SM and CC were not going to budge, and if I stayed I would be seem to be giving my support to their position. Figured it was best if I just moved on. I had told my son he was old enough to make his own decision, and he seemed ok with that. CC came out and asked me if I could sit on a tenderfoot BOR. told him no ( that was a first for me ) since I was leaving I didn't think I should. two of the ASMs overheard this and asked me why. Figured I owed them an answer, we had hiked more than a few miles together. Asked them to step outside, and we talked for 5-10 minutes. they went back in. I drove off. Came back to pick up son an hour or so later. He wanted to talk to the SM so I went and stood by the car. I couldn't hear all that was said, but at the end SM got pretty loud, something like this: A decision has been made! and I don't like you and your father talking to other people about it! A few replys went through my head at this point but somehow I said nothing. He jumped in his car and drove off. I guess my bridges just got burned.

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All lodges are not created equal, My sons chapter stinks, so he attends another chapter and attends the lodge level events.

 

Is the Lodge just slave labor for the councils camps???? Is there any program to speak of.???? While it is the Brotherhood of cheerful service, Many councils abuse this. This may be the case.

 

Has anyone actually sat down and asked the SM why? Not try to change his mind but just why???

 

 

As an SM I have a hard time sending my guys to set up and tear down camps and work the for profit council events.

 

 

But honestly the OA is nothing more than a lodge flap to 90% of the OA members.

"But honestly the OA is nothing more than a lodge flap to 90% of the OA members."

 

This sums up about 95% of all problems I ran into as a youth officer and now as an adviser.

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Update: Had troop meeting last night, Son went into the room, I stayed in the hallway. was pretty clear the SM and CC were not going to budge, and if I stayed I would be seem to be giving my support to their position. Figured it was best if I just moved on. I had told my son he was old enough to make his own decision, and he seemed ok with that. CC came out and asked me if I could sit on a tenderfoot BOR. told him no ( that was a first for me ) since I was leaving I didn't think I should. two of the ASMs overheard this and asked me why. Figured I owed them an answer, we had hiked more than a few miles together. Asked them to step outside, and we talked for 5-10 minutes. they went back in. I drove off. Came back to pick up son an hour or so later. He wanted to talk to the SM so I went and stood by the car. I couldn't hear all that was said, but at the end SM got pretty loud, something like this: A decision has been made! and I don't like you and your father talking to other people about it! A few replys went through my head at this point but somehow I said nothing. He jumped in his car and drove off. I guess my bridges just got burned.
Interesting that the SM has that reaction and comments. Guess your son just got the Communications MB...;)

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Update: Had troop meeting last night, Son went into the room, I stayed in the hallway. was pretty clear the SM and CC were not going to budge, and if I stayed I would be seem to be giving my support to their position. Figured it was best if I just moved on. I had told my son he was old enough to make his own decision, and he seemed ok with that. CC came out and asked me if I could sit on a tenderfoot BOR. told him no ( that was a first for me ) since I was leaving I didn't think I should. two of the ASMs overheard this and asked me why. Figured I owed them an answer, we had hiked more than a few miles together. Asked them to step outside, and we talked for 5-10 minutes. they went back in. I drove off. Came back to pick up son an hour or so later. He wanted to talk to the SM so I went and stood by the car. I couldn't hear all that was said, but at the end SM got pretty loud, something like this: A decision has been made! and I don't like you and your father talking to other people about it! A few replys went through my head at this point but somehow I said nothing. He jumped in his car and drove off. I guess my bridges just got burned.
Old448 - I'm sorry that didn't turn out better for your son. Don't you think he'll be better off with a better SM who can defend his positions with reason?

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That is pretty pathetic.

 

A lad has enough guts to walk in and plead his case for something reasonable and actually part of the BSA that doesn't violate the G2SS, ethics or any laws and the SM says NO....

 

I give your son Kudos and a big pat on the back for me.

 

I wonder if it will give the other adults pause or reason to follow where ever your scout goes.

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448,

 

Embarrassing is all I can say. What a baby (that Scoutmaster). Talk about setting a lousy example. It's hard changing troops if the OA issue is the only concern.So, stay with this troop and know what you've got, or take your time and help your son find a more complete Scouting program including the OA. If he's not getting ready to turn 18 soon, he'll have time to make friends and build a good reputation. For your son to want to face this adversity head on, I'm impressed. Continue to support him as he moves forward.

 

sst3rd

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There are parts of BSA I don't always like but that is part of the package -FOS and Popcorn for example. I tolerate them even if I do not actively support them. I think the SM's attitude was the tip of the iceberg of a bad attitude. Kudos for your boy for standing up for what he thought was best. Time to move on.

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Many thanks to all here, you have been more help than you know. My son asked if I knew of other troops nearby, so I guess he is considering a move too. He turns 18 in about 15 months, did Philmont last summer with this troop, so leaving his buddies can not be an easy thing for him. If I'm honest about it it isn't easy for me either. Well gotta go, there is a different troop meeting that starts in 24 minutes

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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.

Sounds like my experience. After spending all morning collecting food, I drove my first two Ordeal members to help the chapter sort food at the collection site. On our way home I cheerfully asked if they had met anyone. No, they said, no one really talked to them, but some idiot in a war bonnet kept yelling at them. I spent two years driving two different Troop OA reps to chapter meetings. They kept volunteering for stuff and never got called. One spoke with every vice chief and advisor trying to volunteer to help out in a support role with the ceremony team. There was always someone else he needed to talk to. Lost of pressure to serve on the election team and as a Langolier (whatever) for ordeals, though. Never actually saw anyone do a service project outside the Ordeal labor camps. Lot of strutting around summer camp making sure everyone knew the Lodge was really in charge of camp.

 

Currently, I don't have anyone interested in serving as Troop OA rep or advisor and I'm danged well not doing it again. Consequently, we missed elections this year. No one seemed to notice.

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Many thanks to all here, you have been more help than you know. My son asked if I knew of other troops nearby, so I guess he is considering a move too. He turns 18 in about 15 months, did Philmont last summer with this troop, so leaving his buddies can not be an easy thing for him. If I'm honest about it it isn't easy for me either. Well gotta go, there is a different troop meeting that starts in 24 minutes
Transfers only cost $1, and I'm told scouts are friendly.

Of course, being worthy of his new peers will take time. But, if he's up front about his situation, and a little humble about the fact he's serving a new troop in hope of election, and he does indeed serve cheerfully, I'm sure the boys will support him.

 

As for you, in general, fences can be mended. Folks just need a little time. Keep in mind that your son will be watching how you comport yourself and talk about this situation to others. I would suggest doing that in a way that shows everyone in a good light -- even if in the face of stark disagreements. (The meek shall inherit the earth, etc ...)

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Many thanks to all here, you have been more help than you know. My son asked if I knew of other troops nearby, so I guess he is considering a move too. He turns 18 in about 15 months, did Philmont last summer with this troop, so leaving his buddies can not be an easy thing for him. If I'm honest about it it isn't easy for me either. Well gotta go, there is a different troop meeting that starts in 24 minutes
I'm with quayzse. If the boy is a worker rather than a shirker of work, the boys in the new troop should accept him. The good thing is that it's not like the old days, when only a certain number of boys in a troop could be elected to OA.

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I find it sad that a SM has made the troop about "him" rather than the boys. OA can be a great service organization and a positive extension to the overall scouting experience. Oldscout448, I am glad that you supported your son's decision to present his case to the SM. Like life, the egos of individuals can become a hindrance to successfully completing anything. The decision to move troops may be the right step here. When I was a young scout, I was faced with a similar decision and, ultimately, moved to a different troop to get away from autocratic dictates. :-)

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just to tie up loose ends...

Son passed his BOR for star last night, and promptly told them he was quitting. Effective 9:00pm. He didn't make a big fuss about it, but all the older scouts know why. He plans on joining a nearby troop that his older brothers belonged to lo these 11 years ago. I guess I'll tag along, Ya just gotta do what you love, and the scouting bug bit me hard a long time ago. I hope I'm not to old to help out a bit. I'm pretty proud of my son tonight

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O yes, We thanked the SM for all he hours and work he had (and has) given the scouts. and parted on as good terms as possible. He really thinks having no OA is best for the troop. I still think he is 180 degrees wrong but it;s not worth getting into a barn burning vendetta over. I suspect a number of scouts may be looking for some changes as well

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