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@@k3egl, thanks for taking this personally.

Unfortunately, much of the problem has to do with professional staff (who have dwindled in number and become burdened with more tasks) not having the lodge in their radar at all. I'm sure (just like with districts or councils) there are some clique's who have made fiefdoms of their lodge to everyone's detriment. In those situations, scouts "vote with their feet."

 

All of us in councils with outstanding arrowmen can't control what others do, but we can have kind words to your pros and volunteers who added facilitating a healthy lodge to their job description. We can also give props to our boys when they are representing their lodge well through their behavior.

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When most can have it, it's not as exclusive as when only a few could have it.

 

When 6-7 times as many get an award, it's not as prestigious.

 

I don't believe those statements are subject to dispute.   The significance may, of course, be disputed.

 

 

The OA lodge in my oldest council was about dead.  One recent year, it had no - 0 - activities.  Then the lodge got a new Lodge Adviser and a very impressive Lodge Chief.  Like flipping a switch, the Lodge came to life.  Leadership is once more proved to be the "magic" ingredient.   

 

Good elections teams can raise an OA election above a mere popularity contest, as can an orientation speech by the SM.  The troop I am with now had an election and could have elected 16.  Instead, they elected 3.

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Good elections teams can raise an OA election above a mere popularity contest, as can an orientation speech by the SM.  The troop I am with now had an election and could have elected 16.  Instead, they elected 3.

 

I am curious. Exactly how can an election team do this (bolded above)?

 

They don't know the candidates. They don't know their camping, leadership or service to the unit, district or community. For me that should come from the unit and the scouts.

 

Our election team comes in, shows a video about OA (very boring), gives an overview of the election process, conducts the balloting, and then talks about summer camp and why we should go to our local summer camp (despite the fact we make our summer camp decision six months earlier).

 

What we as a unit have done is to monthly updated in front of the scouts about the top campers, service project participants and leadership office holders. We also highlight them at all COHs. This raises awareness of who the elite campers are, who the elite and active leaders are, and who the super service project volunteers are.

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Sad but true.  The OA elections the lodge runs are pretty lame.  In the past, the OA leadership in the troop has given supplemental information on what the order is, and what good members do.   When we did this, we saw the popularity contest diminish.   Not all candidates were automatically elected.

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I am curious. Exactly how can an election team do this (bolded above)?

 

They don't know the candidates. They don't know their camping, leadership or service to the unit, district or community. For me that should come from the unit and the scouts.

 

Our election team comes in, shows a video about OA (very boring), gives an overview of the election process, conducts the balloting, and then talks about summer camp and why we should go to our local summer camp (despite the fact we make our summer camp decision six months earlier).

 

What we as a unit have done is to monthly updated in front of the scouts about the top campers, service project participants and leadership office holders. We also highlight them at all COHs. This raises awareness of who the elite campers are, who the elite and active leaders are, and who the super service project volunteers are.

 

Have you never been convinced of anything by effective speech?

 

Is it possible for someone other than "we" to do so?

 

As for bad examples, they are just that.

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Have you never been convinced of anything by effective speech?

 

Is it possible for someone other than "we" to do so?

 

As for bad examples, they are just that.

Yes I've been convinced by great speeches. Sadly no one in OA In my area is capable of that.

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I am curious. Exactly how can an election team do this (bolded above)?

....

Step 1. Memorize the speech.

Step 2. Practice the speech to one another on the team.

Step 3. Evaluate who presented the speech the best. Decide what everyone liked about it.

Step 4. Practice again.

Step 5. Practice introducing yourself to leaders (adult and youth).

Step 6. Practice holding an election.

Step 7. Knowing that you're prepared to do your best, go forth.

 

Every scout notices when someone takes their job seriously.

Scouts who've memorized the perfunctory elements have room in the brain to address individual problems.

It won't look like you're looking for the answer in a piece of paper if the piece of paper is tucked safely away in your pocket.

 

Our district's O/A reps meet at round-table just so they can approach that level of proficiency.

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Step 1. Memorize the speech.

Step 2. Practice the speech to one another on the team.

Step 3. Evaluate who presented the speech the best. Decide what everyone liked about it.

Step 4. Practice again.

Step 5. Practice introducing yourself to leaders (adult and youth).

Step 6. Practice holding an election.

Step 7. Knowing that you're prepared to do your best, go forth.

 

Every scout notices when someone takes their job seriously.

Scouts who've memorized the perfunctory elements have room in the brain to address individual problems.

It won't look like you're looking for the answer in a piece of paper if the piece of paper is tucked safely away in your pocket.

 

Our district's O/A reps meet at round-table just so they can approach that level of proficiency.

 

Then there's the situation I encountered.

 

O/A asked to come do an election, the boys said fine and set up the night.

 

The O/A gentleman showed up at the door wearing blue jeans and his high school sweatshirt.  One of my PL's met him at the door and inquired about this lack of uniform.  The PL was in full uniform.  He was invited to reschedule the election when he was better prepared.  He never called back and we didn't have an election or an invitation to do an election ever again.  That may have changed now since I'm no longer SM and I don't keep track of what's going on in that troop anymore.

 

We never found out what kind of speech the O/A gentleman had prepared, but whatever he did to get ready for it, a uniform would have made all the difference in the world.

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Step 1. Memorize the speech.

Step 2. Practice the speech to one another on the team.

Step 3. Evaluate who presented the speech the best. Decide what everyone liked about it.

Step 4. Practice again.

Step 5. Practice introducing yourself to leaders (adult and youth).

Step 6. Practice holding an election.

Step 7. Knowing that you're prepared to do your best, go forth.

 

Every scout notices when someone takes their job seriously.

Scouts who've memorized the perfunctory elements have room in the brain to address individual problems.

It won't look like you're looking for the answer in a piece of paper if the piece of paper is tucked safely away in your pocket.

 

Our district's O/A reps meet at round-table just so they can approach that level of proficiency.

 

You can practice a bad speech as much as you want, but it will still be a dry, boring speech.

 

Our OA guys come in, read a dry speech, show a dry video and then ask for OA dues and try to promote our local camps....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

 

Why can't they show up in regalia? Why can't they collect dues AFTER the election? Why can't they simply collect dues online? Why can't they have a non-boring video that highlights how cool our summer camps are (OA-made, boy-made, not depend on Council)? 

 

Our lodge has been doing the same presentation since God created woman. Any wonder the boys shutdown?

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You can practice a bad speech as much as you want, but it will still be a dry, boring speech.

 

Our OA guys come in, read a dry speech, show a dry video and then ask for OA dues and try to promote our local camps....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

Why can't they show up in regalia? Why can't they collect dues AFTER the election? Why can't they simply collect dues online? Why can't they have a non-boring video that highlights how cool our summer camps are (OA-made, boy-made, not depend on Council)? 

 

Our lodge has been doing the same presentation since God created woman. Any wonder the boys shutdown?

 

Okay, let me explain this in terms that you might understand.

You and I don't watch Doctor Who just because the dialogue's witty, we watch it because they saved the film where the actors were reciting their lines from memory ... and cut out the film (if there was any) where they were reading through the script.

 

It definitely sounds like your lodge has gone off the rails ... your lodge chief needs to learn:

  • Even a dry speech is better when recited.
  • Every video can be replaced by some personal anecdote from the presentation team and/or your troop's O/A rep.
  • Our council's elections team never collects dues during a troop meeting. That's just ridiculous.

 

As for regalia, that is for call-outs, not elections. But I think if the content of the presentation were handled appropriately, you'd be fine with the boys in field uniform and O/A sash.

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@@qwazse, I get that. Yes, the lodge is stuck in 1952.

 

If you want to invigorate a program you make it sound exciting. These guys are the insomnia prevention unit. 20 seconds and you nod off.

 

What cannot be conveyed is the intensely monotone delivery. Stunningly bad.

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[snip]

 

Maybe I don't understand, but why?

 

 

Read your post last friday and searched for a good answer.  Then at a multi troop scout event in our district I overheard a similar discussion between a couple of adult leaders about OA vs being an Eagle Scout.  My position would be this: You don't understand because you are asking the wrong questions.  It is not about what benefit OA can offer you or your son, or what part it might play in his resume or on a college application.  It is about Arrowmen, mainly in small and un noticed ways, providing service to the rest of society.  Many if not most of those called may never do great things, or large works, and that is as it should be.  But for those that do absorb the principles and focus on really living the Scout Oath and Law, it can be enriching even int he small things.

 

The more years that have passed since my ordeal in 1983, the more I have found that those principles - brotherhood, cheerfulness, service -  can be found and applied in almost every part of my life.

 

So, it is sort of a garbage in/garbage out type of thing.  If you don't do the work of brotherhood, cheerfulness and service, you are unlikely to get any 'benefit' from OA.  Like Pres. Kennedy said, paraphrasing, Ask not what OA can do for you, but what you can do for OA.

 

Jeff in KC 

Edited by miranthis
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Read your post last friday and searched for a good answer.  Then at a multi troop scout event in our district I overheard a similar discussion between a couple of adult leaders about OA vs being an Eagle Scout.  My position would be this: You don't understand because you are asking the wrong questions.  It is not about what benefit OA can offer you or your son, or what part it might play in his resume or on a college application.  It is about Arrowmen, mainly in small and un noticed ways, providing service to the rest of society.  Many if not most of those called may never do great things, or large works, and that is as it should be.  But for those that do absorb the principles and focus on really living the Scout Oath and Law, it can be enriching even int he small things.

 

The more years that have passed since my ordeal in 1983, the more I have found that those principles - brotherhood, cheerfulness, service -  can be found and applied in almost every part of my life.

 

So, it is sort of a garbage in/garbage out type of thing.  If you don't do the work of brotherhood, cheerfulness and service, you are unlikely to get any 'benefit' from OA.  Like Pres. Kennedy said, paraphrasing, Ask not what OA can do for you, but what you can do for OA.

 

Jeff in KC 

 

I can see that asking the right question is important, but understanding the question asked is as important.  What you say about what OA providing service is good and what I believe looking from the outside is what OA should be.  What I don't see is Arrowmen in the area I am in actually doing it.  If anything the few that are willing to work complain that there are camp buildings rotting away for lack of care but that they are not allowed to do any repairs because of fear of legal problems.  So racking leaves for 15-30 minutes is extent of the service that OA does.   Doesn't sound much like service or cheerfulness to me.  If I come to work, I want to do something meaningful.  No brass bands, parades, cheering crowds, or even a simple pat on the back is needed or wanted.  Being able to help is enough. 

 

I don't see much of the brotherhood either.  I was an "OK dude" up to the point I said I was not interested in being in OA and now I am "not worthy".  I did find out part of the reason I caused a bit of a rub.  It had to do with dues and headcounts.  Membership in the council has been dropping, close to 10% the year before last and the numbers since re-charter are more closely guarded than the crown jewels.  I was told I just have to pay the dues and all would be good.  At least I know what I can do for OA.

 

I was hoping that maybe there was something I was missing that would at least enable me to be able to a better adult leader for the boys of the troop.  That was the only benefit I was looking for.  I don't understand the references to resumes or college applications.  If I was interested I might have tried find out what that is about. 

 

I best leave it at this.  Don't want no one to think I am beating my chest about things.  I really did hope to find I was just missing something.  Other places sound like there are some great OA lodges and I wish could experience them.   

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I hear you, I struggle with the same thing here in Maryland. To the bean counters at national it is all about the numbers (read money) so the lodge is pushes to meet certain metrics that have nothing to do with leading the scouts in brotherhood cheerfulness or service. As others have noted the bar has been lowered to to point where is sometimes seems not to exist at all. I have seen troops with 80 percent wearing the arrow sash, not one of them seemed to understand what it stood for. Sad. I need to stop typing and get packing have a call out tonight for 30 Scouts. I go in the hope that five or six of them will understand and be true Arrowmen

 

Oldscout

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Sadly, the OA has out-lived its purpose.  There are so few boys that would qualify (or even want) to be 'Honor Campers', that the troops desperately need to keep them in the troops for their experience.

 

And wearing loin clothes and dancing around in the firelight is just so politically incorrect.

Probably a YPT violation.

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