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Momleader

Vote by peers the only way in?

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There are lots of good answers here, but I think I can clarify things a bit:

 

Yes, the only way for a youth member of BSA to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow is by being elected by his peers, in his troop. This is a carefully designed, well thought out mechanism, with a purpose.

 

The OA was started to put forward outstanding scouts as role models to their peers, and this remains an important part of the order. The idea is to motivate scouts to become more like those scouts who are honored by being inducted into the AO. By having the scouts in each troop decide who best exemplifies the virtues of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and unselfish service, the principles of the OA, scouts both become aware of the standards they most aspire too, and the progress of each scout toward these goals. As some of your troop members are lodge members, likely they temper this judgment, when voting, with the expectation that the scout in question will, or will not, take the obligations of the order, and the commitments that go with those, seriously.

 

The Order of the Arrow does recognize scouts for who they have became, and what they have done, and scouts are elected on this premise. However, troop members who are also OA members, know scouts are not only elected for what they have done, but also for what they will be expected to do. Many scouts see nothing more then a cool patch and sash, and opportunities to have fun and socialize; and although inducted, never truly become members of the Order of the Arrow. In short, a desire to be elected into the Order of the Arrow drives scouts to be better scouts, better men, and holds them to a ridged standard. The scouts actions are judged by his fellows, to determine if he meets this standard, and will continue to grow well beyond these expectations.

 

Your son should speak with senior scouts in his troop, and ask in what ways he can better himself, how he grow to meet this lofty standard. With all due respect, the best place for you in this is on the sideline. Share these insights with your son, and let him handle things.

My sons are both OA members (Brotherhood). Before OA, they were pretty mellow about electing OA members. Now, they are pretty hardcore, and actually voted against most of the candidates this year. All the boys got in, but not from my sons' votes. Their main criteria was how hard they work at campouts.

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Well could it be he is to helpful? You know a "kiss up", either way it is all political he can always try the "If you don't vote for me I won't vote for you" or even better he should get the younger scouts to like him then he can use their support, and maybe even become a leader.

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As far as my leadership training goes, I have a short and sweet training program.

 

If you become PL, the training is "Take care of your boys."

If you become APL, the training is "Take care of your boys and your PL."

SPL = "Take care of your PL's."

ASPL = "Take care your PL's and your SPL."

etc.

 

When they ask, "How do I do that?", the answer for all of them is, keep asking, "What can I do to help?"

 

End of lesson.

 

As SM, that's the only question I ever ask my boys, after I tell them I'm not going to do it for them.

 

The only time boys get into "trouble" is when they aren't doing this.

 

Stosh

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Shakin my head here.....

 

Just as I said in the other thread a mom pushing her cub scout to the front of the line.

 

You using the excuse of schools, my boys come from 4 different middle schools and two different high schools....so your argument isn't valid

 

 

 

If he was the only one on the ballot and still not elected you have to ask why? I have had a solo scout not get 100% of the vote but still have enough to get in....

 

Remove the mom glasses an look at your son honestly...........He has really made some boys angry to not elect him when he is the only choice. Or could he be a wimp, slacker, no skill, book smart no practical skills, brown nose, bully or Low Drag high speed Eagle sort. Bottom line is I think your view of your son is jaded.

 

No idea how the election was held, did OA reps come in and hold the election or did the troop leadership. How was it presented???? National Honor Society for scouting???? Maybe his peers don't view him as a high quality of scout.

 

 

 

As Scoutmaster, before I recommend a lad for election I will hold an SMC with him and ask him if he is interested and if he is going to commit more than a Sash and Dash to the OA. The OA is about more than just a lodge Flap.

 

 

 

Your not gonna listen, but you really need to butt out of the troop. you have no business meddling in position of responsibility or troop OA elections.

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The most important thing (and hardest for us to remember as Scout Parents) is that the GOAL of Scouting isn't to amass recognition, that's a method. The goal is boys growing into self sufficient, self reliant men. As parents, we are always torn between our desire for the best for our children and our need to help them grow to make their own decisions.

 

As one gets older, the responsibilities get harder, and more lasting.

 

So if you meddle in the OA elections with the SM, you MAY get your son into the OA, which will get him some bling and an opportunity to do some OA activities, but you'll deny him the opportunity to earn his way in.

 

That's not to say you shouldn't help, but you should help YOUR son do it on his own. That will mean more to him than anything else.

 

Self advocacy does NOT come natural to many people, but it's an important life skill. Helping your son learn this is more important than an OA election. If he can't promote himself to win an OA election without you, what's going to happen at College/University when he needs to self advocate for leadership opportunities. What's going to happen in his career.

 

If self promotion is uncomfortable, you can learn it for OA Elections, which are VERY low stakes, learn it for summer internships (where it affects first jobs), higher stakes, learn it when it comes to jobs/promotions, with MUCH higher stakes. At some point he'll need to learn to promote himself. He can learn it at 14 when the issue involved is OA membership, or he can learn it at 35 when his career has suffered for 15 years because he won't self promote, when would you rather your son learn this.

 

College Decisions (100k+ decision), First homes (200k+ decisions), Career Track (1M + decisions), Spousal Selection (nearly infinite decisions) all have serious consequences. Scouting prepares you for life if your first decision is "Camp Out Menu" instead of "which college to I attend." It doesn't prepare you for life if you rack up awards that your parents pushed you through.

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Shakin my head here.....

Just as I said in the other thread a mom pushing her cub scout to the front of the line.

You using the excuse of schools, my boys come from 4 different middle schools and two different high schools....so your argument isn't valid

If he was the only one on the ballot and still not elected you have to ask why? I have had a solo scout not get 100% of the vote but still have enough to get in....

Remove the mom glasses an look at your son honestly...........He has really made some boys angry to not elect him when he is the only choice. Or could he be a wimp, slacker, no skill, book smart no practical skills, brown nose, bully or Low Drag high speed Eagle sort. Bottom line is I think your view of your son is jaded.

No idea how the election was held, did OA reps come in and hold the election or did the troop leadership. How was it presented???? National Honor Society for scouting???? Maybe his peers don't view him as a high quality of scout.

As Scoutmaster, before I recommend a lad for election I will hold an SMC with him and ask him if he is interested and if he is going to commit more than a Sash and Dash to the OA. The OA is about more than just a lodge Flap.

Your not gonna listen, but you really need to butt out of the troop. you have no business meddling in position of responsibility or troop OA elections.

 

I pretty much agree. He's had to irritate most of the boys voting (most meaning one more than 1/2). Our troop similarly has a lot of schools--

two middle public, two Catholic K-8, one Catholic high school, three public high schools, and a couple of homeschoolers thrown in.

 

I think he's not as diligent/perfect when Mom's not watching, and boys know it. The boy needs to figure out how to fix his problem with the other scouts or find another troop if he wants to be in OA.

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Just say No Alex,

 

Unless I missed something........

 

So your promoting yourself to enter an organization whose base principle is Selfless service?????????

 

 

If I caught a boy lobbying for votes I would immediately remove his name from the ballot.........

 

 

.If your that unsure about getting elected, then I guess you shouldn't have hid in the outhouse during camp tear down, or put a way the dishes dirty, or failed to get the grub right......

 

 

 

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Bottom line here,

 

If the lad has been in the troop for 4 years.....the other boys know him and have a very valid reason why he was not elected. The boys aren't stupid and despite my reservations on some of their decisions they do a really good job overall.

 

 

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I don't know much about this boy or the rest of his troop. It may be that the boys have a clique and he's not in it, or it might be that this boy is just shy or that he's difficult when adults aren't around, or, who knows. I currently have a scout that is 13, Star, went to jambo, goes to multiple places to get merit badges, goes on every campout he can, is very enthusiastic, always says hi to me, and still, is not in OA. When I asked some scouts why, they rolled their eyes and explained that this boy is a very different kid when the adults aren't around. I don't think he's a bad kid, he just doesn't know how to control himself. Some good leaders start off real obnoxious.

 

I'd suggest the boy in the OP start by asking his PL why he wasn't elected. If his PL replies, "you're a dork" then maybe the boy doesn't want to be in the OA with that group. But if the PL says, "you never help clean and always have an excuse to not help out" then maybe it's time to listen.

 

P18Alex, advocacy is a solution to a problem, but if the problem is not the one that needs to be solved then it might not be any different then the mom meddling.

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To those that had constructive comments -thank you. You answered the question that I asked about how youth are selected and provided some insight on how my son could do better fir next round of elections - some if it was what we tell him such as offer to help before being asked. The Scoutmaster in our troop makes a point of talking to each boy and their parents individually about the outcome of the election - must be the teacher in him. After our son left the conversation HE shared the observations I shared here. My son is learning to self advocate for himself in all kinds of situations (he has permanent hearing loss) and usually does quite well with it for a young teen. As a Mom I didn't have the opportunity to live through the OA process and gain any first hand knowledge. Which is why I asked questions about it. When I'm on Woodbadge staff next year that might be a good ticket item if there is a patrol member that is stuck for a diversity item. "The Mom's book of Boy Scouts - all the things you should be afraid to ask"

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as SM here is what I do for OA elections. I get the list of who is eligible. I sit down with each of these for a little SMC focused on what they've done for the troop, what they see doing for OA, what they see continuing to do for the troop. I give them just the basics of the ordeal that they already know like sleeping out alone, minimal food, physical labor, day of silence and ask if they feel they are capable of this. If I feel they are ready I let them know that and wish them luck. If I don't feel like they are ready then I let them know why, but normally I've done this a few times throughout the year as it pertains to regular troop stuff too. So if I still don't think they are ready we talk about it and what things they need to work even more on. For those boys I talk again one or two times before elections. If we together don't think they are ready than they are not put up for election.

 

At troop elections boys running get to give a little speech, but not for OA. For OA I give a little speech. I let the troop know that I have talked with the boys up for election and find that they are ready for such a task. I will let the troop know some of the qualities that I see in the boys. And I let them know that to me that makes them great candidates for OA, but that it is up to them. If they see something else than they should vote what they feel.

 

I think doing this helps boys that aren't always at everything know more about the boys that are at things especially if you have new crossovers.

 

And since taking on the position of SM and doing this I'd say the boys up for election are willing and able and have been voted in. There's only been one boy that together decided to wait a year.

 

Before I was SM and was just CM it wasn't done like this. All boys who were eligible were up for elections and some that weren't ready were voted in, and some that were weren't. And it was more of a popularity thing.

 

Our troop is also mixed schools. Mostly from 2 school districts, and then have 1 boy who is home schooled, and one boy at a totally different school. While at scouts you would have no clue who went where for school unless one school just beat the other in a big football game LOL

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At troop elections boys running get to give a little speech, but not for OA. For OA I give a little speech. I let the troop know that I have talked with the boys up for election and find that they are ready for such a task. I will let the troop know some of the qualities that I see in the boys. And I let them know that to me that makes them great candidates for OA, but that it is up to them. If they see something else than they should vote what they feel.

 

I think doing this helps boys that aren't always at everything know more about the boys that are at things especially if you have new crossovers.

 

 

In our troop, the boys who just crossed over or ones who aren't as involved were encouraged not to submit a ballot if they didn't know the boy and his capabilities well enough to vote. That makes more sense to me than blindly voting on someone based on what another person says rather than what they have observed with their own eyes.

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awwweee you didn't like my post.

 

 

So I reread your posts all of them.....

 

So your boy is 4 years into the troop, he has every merit badge but one to get his eagle, he attended Jamboree.

 

He will help anyone do anything when he is asked.

 

 

That is the problem. At 4 years into the troop a lad should know how the troop operates, especially one that has attended all of the outings but one and most of the meeting.

 

So As SM my expectation of a 4 year scout is understanding how we setup our camp, how we tear down our camp and how the stuff gets loaded into the van.

 

So if your scout is standing around waiting to be asked, sure the boys are mad at him for not pulling his weight.

 

 

Far as the boys making speeches before the vote....why would you do that????? A flowery speech isn't gonna change a bad scout to a good scout....A statement of fact, some of the worst scouts I have met could BS the pope out of his rosary. Serves no purpose in my book.

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BD, I pretty much agree about the work part. Most boys will do things when asked. Those who are OA material are the ones that are looking for things to do, or that see what is to be done, and do it. By age 14 and Life, he should know what's going on--not just in terms of OA, but in what the troop does.

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