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what does OA do?

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I've got a Lodge that has several events each year: Spring and Fall Ordeals(staffed by youth members, free labor for setting up/taking down summer camp), Summer Camp Dessert Fellowship(ice cream and cobblers mainly), Fall Fellowship, Winter Banquet, organizing and setting up activities for Fall and Winter Camporees, and we've also started talking about NOAC 2015. We also had trail-building work days when Latimer Reservation was under construction(Latimer is our Council HA Base and, if I might add, AWESOME!).

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Yeah! I've seen some positive input in the last few readings, and this is what I like to see... Scouters who are still involved in all things Scouting, with good experiences to share. These are the things that novice Scouters search out for in forums such as this to see. Its a downer when we see the folks in the Honor Society of Scouting downing the program. It makes those of us who are looking to advance in our Scouting endeavors wonder "why bother." I am new to being a Scoutmaster and I speak with my young Scouts regularly about Scout Spirit. I believe that Scout Spirit is about making the best of whatever is put before us. I also believe that Scout Spirit is not just for the Scouts, but for us as Scouters as well... I hope that I haven't offended anyone here with my comments.

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In our council, they do pretty much nothing. They go through the motions for call-outs, ordeals, etc and help a bit around the camp. When they came to do an OA election in my last troop, the OA member showed up in blue jeans and school sweatshirt. My SPL told him he can come back when he finds his uniform. He never came back, ever and that was the end of the OA program for that troop.

 

Hopefully other forum members can add something more positive.

 

Stosh

Kudos to your SPL, may his tribe increase

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My lodge's calendar...

January...Winter Ordeal / Vigil Honors and Officers Installed

February.....BBQ Fund (mainly Adults who Cook and Deliver the Racks of Ribs)

June.....Summer Ordeal/ Officer Elections for Next year

June Call Out Ceremony (watermelon social after Call out)

 

We Fit in Sectional Conclave sometimes

This Year only 3 Adults have registered to Go to Regional Conclave...Seems Wood Badge split weekends interfere this year. No youths are attending. I offered to pay for a New Member to go if a First timer.....No Takers

 

NOAC and Jambo in those years they occur..Of Course we have to have 2 Patches Designed for Trading

No Idea where we spend our Money each year.

Our Camp is barely kept up. We have been working on a Smokehouse for over 2 years for sure but it keeps getting put on the Back Burner

We have no Permanent OA Call Out Ring, Very Little Regalia

Our Ceremonies Ring are poor excuses for Rings...Nothing except Vigil has much in it permanently placed, any Only Named "in Honor" ring

 

I tried to get several Pot Luck dinners and some Fellowships going but as an Adult who is not a Lodge or Assistant Lodge Adviser, my ideas get shot down.

 

I was gonna donate some challenge coins to Lodge..Candidate, Ordeal, Brotherhood, Vigil. .Idea was shot Down because Lodge said they could not afford them....Hummmm My Gift What Cost?

 

I was having a Lodge Hiking Medallion Made to Donate first batch...Again Lodge Says they Could not afford the free Gifts.

 

I was the Only Lodge Member to Help with Disaster Relief in Oklahoma..No one had time

 

 

In the Days of Old we had Ordeals which covered Friday Night to Sunday Evenings..including Dominoes and Spades Tournaments, We had Monthly Camp Outs, We had Holiday get togethers, We attended Conclaves, We Had Fund Raisers, We had a Great Tap out ring with Arbors, Tepees, Fire Ring which Magically Lit on its own, We had Regalia

Can you share how the fire "magically" lit? Sounds like a impressive thing to do at a tap out. urr call out

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We plumbed a propane line into the pit and had a spark ignition

Sometimes We also had a thin wire line on which a Lit weighted Arrow would shot from a Tree during the Winter Months. We used this in the Winter because of early darkness obviously

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Its a downer when we see the folks in the Honor Society of Scouting downing the program. It makes those of us who are looking to advance in our Scouting endeavors wonder "why bother."

 

Sadly Some of Us have a Reason to put down the program. As Several People have already stated..Lodges Vary Greatly...Not All Lodges can Count the Memberships in the Hundreds instead of the 10's. Very Few can count memberships in the 1000's

 

Not Every Lodge has countless activities. You can't always be asking people just to pay to work

 

Scouting is Like a Sport...Which team do you want to play for...The One who wins or the One who loses? The Ones who Plays games win or lose or for One who Forfeits every game and only Practices?

 

There is a Reason we have what is Called Sash and Dash..For Many the Flap is just a $15 Yearly Trinket. You pay to wear the Flap and Sash because Your Lodge Does Nothing..

My Lodge went from having Routine Campouts, Philmont Trips, Regular Dinners and Ordeals which started on Friday Night for with a Cracker Barrel with a Spades and Dominoes Tournaments while Vigils were Selected..Saturday Morning Vigil Steak Breakfast...Saturday Candidates came out and Started their Ordeal...Saturday Night Brotherhood did their Ceremony while Candidates were staked out Saturday Night and Sunday Evening Candidates did Ordeal Ceremonies...Now We start Friday Night..just a Cracker barrel while Vigils do their things.Saturday Night The Ordeal have their Ceremony and then have to go back to chow hall While Brotherhood get their Ceremony. We don't do steak for Vigils anymore, we don't do Steaks any More for Ordeal...If We are Lucky it is Spaghetti now.

 

Our Numbers are limited to only a few who can go to NOAC, not everyone who wants to go and will pay.

Our lodge is either doing 8 youth 3 adults or 9-10 youth and 4-5 adults in 2015 for 100th Anniversary. And the Same ones always go..Why Should I pay to be a Member if I can't Participate in everything I want to.

 

We Routinely attended and put on Dance Shows for Scouters at Events, now Nothing.

 

There are several larger More Active Lodges about 150 Miles away..I can not simply join their Lodge and Live where I do. I can not pay them my Dues and Be a Registered Scouter where I live. Although those Lodges have repeatedly asked me to attend Events and I do. I Volunteered to Work after the Oklahoma Tornadoes as a Disaster Relief Member with their Lodge..Mine did nothing. Although we are in the Same region.

 

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Yeah... jpstodwftexas...I understand... Its just hard to motivate the Scouts/ leaders to become involved, as I am a new (1 year old) Scoutmaster, with a Troop that I have been working to revitalize (a top age of 12, with 4 brand new 1st class/ 20 night in the woods this past year Scouts). My Scouts have hiked, camped, whitewater rafted, climbed, sailboated, been caving, and backpacked over the past year. They have had a ball, and have bee aiming towards the goal of OA, as their next short-term endeavor. I believe in the promise that Scouting provides, and I cheer them on in their endeavors. I search out information to help back my advocating for Scouting, and have, on occasion, come here to review, as this site has a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.

 

It just saddens me to see those who have been around the Scouting world for longer than me being so critical. I thought that one of our roles as Scouters is to teach our youth how to problem-solve. That's a part of the reason I was drawn to Scouting, and encouraged my son to join. We need more problem-solvers in the world, and I have been of the belief that Scouting was the best extra-curricular activity to offer this skill.

 

I come to the OA thread, thinking the best of the best hang out here, and the first post that I read is about all of the problems... That's discouraging. I thought Scouters, especially OA Scouters, were of the "Great!... We have a challenge! Let's figure out how we can overcome.... Not, "hey, we have a problem... Lets all complain about how bad it is." Voicing issues is healthy.. It gets the issue out on the table... but the next step is to brainstorm through the wealth of knowledge throughout this site, to work towards overcoming the challenges... That's kind of what I thought Scouting; and the OA was about.

 

I look forward to when I am called out; when my son is called out, and when the other Scout 1st Class boys are called out. I look forward to Ordeal, and if the lodge is not the greatest; then I will do what I did when we entered Cub Scouts into a 6 boy Pack, that rose to 50 boys and well respected throughout the District and Council. I will do what I am working to do with the Troop that was about to fold; having 1 boy left at time to recharter last December, and now holds 17 active Scouts, recruited over the past year, with 100% retention. I will systematically work to strengthen the Lodge that we enter into one of the great lodges in the region.

 

I just have to continue to learn what a lodge is supposed to do...:D

 

Thank you all who serve in the OA... With hope, you are making a positive difference for our Scout youth.

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There are many good posts here explaining what the Order is, has been, and should be. I don’t see the value in restating what the order is, or does. There is one thing I’d like to clarify:

 

The Order of the Arrow is not now, nor has it ever been a secret society. The Order was by intention, knowing it would appeal to adolescent males, cloaked in a pretense of secrecy. Nothing about the Order has ever been concealed for any adult with a true desire to know and understand what the does and what it’s about. In recent years the illusion of secrecy has been watered down by the ease of accessing information on the internet, and by those who misunderstand why everything should be kept from scouts who may be inducted.

 

Simply put, nothing make a young person what to do, or be part of, something then being told he isn’t allowed to. By trying to meet the criteria of membership the youth becomes a stronger scout, a leader in his unit. If you ask me that’s a whole lot of motivation for no effort, but not letting the youth learn about the order and its ceremonies until they are inducted … pure genius.

 

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Past: OA was a society of honor campers; it wasn't easy to be elected. It was also a service organization.

 

Present: OA is neither.

 

As some posts point out, there are active lodges. But not many.

 

Most places, the OA is as dead as a door nail. Some operate their chapter/lodge like a private club, focused on their own social activities and designing an endless number of lodge flaps.

 

The day-to-day activities of your troop are far more important.

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In our council the OA is simply slave labor to set up and tear down the Councils Summer camp.

 

One of the 8 chapters has a ceremony team. They do not do AOL presentations out of their district. not much else other than ordeal weekends to set up the camps and fall ordeal tears them down.

 

My son was excited about the NOAC. but has since lost interest.

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Yeah! I've seen some positive input in the last few readings, and this is what I like to see... Scouters who are still involved in all things Scouting, with good experiences to share. These are the things that novice Scouters search out for in forums such as this to see. Its a downer when we see the folks in the Honor Society of Scouting downing the program. It makes those of us who are looking to advance in our Scouting endeavors wonder "why bother." I am new to being a Scoutmaster and I speak with my young Scouts regularly about Scout Spirit. I believe that Scout Spirit is about making the best of whatever is put before us. I also believe that Scout Spirit is not just for the Scouts, but for us as Scouters as well... I hope that I haven't offended anyone here with my comments.
The quality of the scouting program across the country ranges from barely existent to vibrant and full of life.

 

What you read on the forums, is like many on line reviews, the people with issues post up and the ones with programs that are fine go along with their business.

 

My local OA program stinks as does my districts program.

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Desertrat77 posted:

 

Past: OA was a society of honor campers; it wasn't easy to be elected. It was also a service organization.

 

Present: OA is neither.

 

Desert, those two things are cause and effect. The OA has lost much of its appeal due to ease of obtaining membership, and a rebranding as "A National Honor Society". A mere change in name caused a huge shift in perception, from an organization based on skills, and passing on that skills, to a group who is honoring inductees.

 

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Desertrat77 posted:

 

Past: OA was a society of honor campers; it wasn't easy to be elected. It was also a service organization.

 

Present: OA is neither.

 

Desert, those two things are cause and effect. The OA has lost much of its appeal due to ease of obtaining membership, and a rebranding as "A National Honor Society". A mere change in name caused a huge shift in perception, from an organization based on skills, and passing on that skills, to a group who is honoring inductees.

Good point--I concur.

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Our Lodge has a lot of dash-n-sash arrowmen, but what is left is a great group of scouts who are mature and enjoy scouting on all levels. We have six yearly activities, two service days, and monthly chapter meetings. This is a good amount of activities so that it does not interfere with troop activities. We have a Native American Weekend - open to all scouts (Cub and Boy), Ordeal, Spring Fellowship, Conclave, Fall Pow Wow, and Winter Banquet. There are leadership training opportunities and good campouts. Most of my troop become arrowmen and love the activities as they seem to be even more "Boy-Led" because they scouts are a more mature lot and generally a little older. I agree that anything one participates in is what you make of it, but good programs require time and dedication. We have several adult leaders that provide a very consistent level of service to the program and keep it vibrant as the scouts pass through the program.

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