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Oldscout448

Can a SM ban OA elections?

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Don't let the internet fool you. There aren't hoards of disenfranchised boys out there looking to hop to a troop that will allow them to run in an OA election. But, from time to time you will have a boy who realizes that OA is really important to him and his family, and a troop that won't "bend" to accommodate him. There are three basic options, stick with the troop and abandon aspirations of being elected, transfer to a troop that holds elections, or sit around pouting making everyone miserable.

 

In those cases where a scout transfers, the boy isn't necessarily leaving the unit in pursuit of a sash (or "pocket rocket", or really cool lodge flap, or whatever). The boy is choosing a troop that performs scouting as he understands it. He may return service to his new unit -- and maybe even his old one -- in any number of ways as long as we scouters don't bear any hard feelings.:cool:

 

Really, it's like a boy transferring from your troop because all your PLC does is backpack and the troop down the street canoes! It's not that the canoe outfitter is encouraging your boy to leave, it's just that the other troop is using the outfitter to create a program that suits the boy.

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Epilogue

 

Scoutson #4 made it through his Ordeal,  joined the ceremonies team,  did a wonderful job doing one part in the pre, and another in the Ordeal ceremony the next year,  also got two bars on his sash.  The next Ordeal he did three parts.  Also did a number of AoL ceremonies, and callouts.

 

He also threw himself into his new troop, serving as QM, scribe, and TOAR. while earning Life, then Eagle, with 8 days to spare ( and they ask me why I drink!   :)

 

He also made it a point to attend four Eagle CoH for his buddies from his old troop, and invited the old troop to his as well.  Including the SM.

 

Some of the scouts came, some were off at school by then.     None of the Scouters from the old troop attended.

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Along with the adult run troop having the SM ban an OA election, there is also a possibility of a boy-led troop not having the OA do elections as well.

 

My former troop contacted the OA to have them come and do an election.  The OA person came wearing a school sweatshirt and blue jeans.  My SPL let him know that was unacceptable and that he expected the OA person to be in full uniform to set the example for the boys.  He told the OA person to make arrangements for the election when he has gotten his uniform in order.  The OA never reschedule and the boys never did an election after that either.  I have no idea if that ever changed after I left. 

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Without going into a blow by blow history of the last three years, where OA elections were "next year, then if the PLC votes for them, then next year again, now the SM has decided no elections this year or ever on his watch. seems the Order is "a popularity contest, something that will take the older scouts away from the troop, a clique, all the old excuses ( sigh) I have tried to convince him there fears are unfounded, asked him to talk with the chapter adviser ( who is more than happy to meet with him ) offered to work with the elected scouts to insure they place the troop first. to no avail. Some of the older scouts don't care, some are downright irked, and some are so angry I'm afraid they will just quit or start some sort of low level rebellion. I just don't understand how a SM who refuses to do his job (deliver the scouting program to the scouts) can expect any junior leader to do his. The CC is new and thinks the SM is his "boss" and has no intention of rocking the boat. I really feel for some of the oldest scouts, 16 or 17 years old, if they change troops now they won't be in a POR long enough to advance, for them is now a case of OA or Eagle. Dammed hard call to make. any advice?

Well,

 the Scoutmaster can just refuse to recognize that any Scouts are worthy of OA.  That is the one of the criteria for OA.  That said, I agree the older Scouts should revolt.

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"Welcome to the "campfire" Be_Prep! always room for another. I guess some scoutmasters were never told that the word scout master is like unto school master. to wit a teacher, a mentor, a friend, not the lord and master of all scouts, sad."  Oldscout448

 

I remember reading somewhere that Baden-Powell wasn't happy about the BSA when it used the term "Scoutmaster" for it's adult leader.  He saw the negative in the term "Master".  If you look around the world, the term "Leader" is used to reflect this (Troop Leader, Cub Leader, etc)

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Only a matter of time before BSA removes the term "master" due to the historically injurious connotations.  :rolleyes:  ;)

 

Lol, that wouldn't surprise me at all.

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In 1915, it was very common for young men to learn a trade through apprenticeship.  If a boy wanted to be a carpenter, he would learn his skills under the supervision of a master carpenter.  A plumber's apprentice would learn under a master plumber.

 

BSA was started by a newspaper publisher.  In the newspaper business, back in 1915, there were many skilled jobs that used the apprentice system to teach young men and boys.  For example, a printer's apprentice would learn his trade skills from a master printer.

 

I believe this is the meaning intended by the founders of BSA.  

 

I am not a big fan of political correctness, particularly when it involves people reading into a word something that was never intended.

 

I don't think any "historically injurious connotations" were ever intended, so I have no problem with using the term Scoutmaster.

Edited by David CO

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I remember reading somewhere that Baden-Powell wasn't happy about the BSA when it used the term "Scoutmaster" for it's adult leader.  He saw the negative in the term "Master". 

 

 

I like the Venturing term "Advisor."  At summer camp when the staff would say "Adult Leaders" I'd inform them that the term is an oxymoron.

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Not only that, the adults aren't supposed to be the leaders in a properly run troop.

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Seems to me, as quite often, people forget that the SM does not run the troop. It should be run by youth. Command decisions in general should be consensus of a committee if one exists. 

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I am not a big fan of political correctness, ...

 

 

Sometimes when I need to decompress, I watch a youtube video of Don Rickles at a Dean Martin roast. 

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Not only that, the adults aren't supposed to be the leaders in a properly run troop.

True. But in this instance, if an SM does not want to recommend anyone that's one time an adult can with in the rules derail a program. Of course he's going to have to explain why.

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Some changes have taken place since this topic was first introduced.  It is now possible that a unit could have significantly different membership standards than the OA.  This might cause a unit to shy away from OA.

 

But my answer stays the same.  If the Scoutmaster has the support of the CO, then yes, he/she can ban OA elections.

Edited by David CO

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Unfortunately the answer is yes.  And I say unfortunately because the OA is a great tool to retain older Scouts, and invigorate the troop.

 

Me personally, I would like to know why and have a chat. The SM may not know a lot about the OA.

 

Real situation occurred to me when I was an OA chapter advisor. I found out that one Scout's mother would not let her son join the OA. Spent over an hour and a half on the phone talking to her about her concerns, what the OA really does, etc. She got a lot of malarky off the internet, and wanted to know if the OA is so special why no one in the troop was in the OA, nor the old long time SM or the new SM (whom I didn't know as they just took over), if the OA was so special. I told her don't know why the members of the troop were not active (sash and dash), nor who the new SM was. But the old SM was not only a member, but a Vigil Honor member who served as a lodge chief, and section chief when he was a youth in the OA.

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