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CalicoPenn, the number 17 was reserved for an OA lodge in Cleveland in 1924.  However, Scout executives were so opposed to OA that an actual lodge was not formed until 1955.  Several SEs thereafter refused to have any involvement in OA and the Lodge sank into largely being an adult club.  A few years ago, there were no Lodge activities of any kind for one full program year.  The Lodge is much more active now, with a very impressive Lodge Chief.and super Lodge Adviser.  I wish they would publish a camping directory or do something along those lines to more concretely answer the SMs' question "What's in it for my troop?"

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"The Work Is Done By Whoever Shows Up."

 

Thoughts:

1)   The OA was originally intended as an AWARD, not something that could be directly EARNED or CAMPAIGNED for.  The boys of the Troop/Post/Ship were supposed to elect the fellows that DESERVED the recognition.  Is this still understood, has that expectation changed, or have the ADULTS somehow forgotten to explain this to the Scouts?

2)  Thru its own events/program/training/stuff, the OA encouraged the ideas of Cheerful Service To Others, that such service was it's own reward, "without thought of recompence".  Or has  "what's in it for me"  gotten the upper hand here?   

3)   The OA members ("Arrowmen".  Never heard that term until I was an adult. I was " OA", that was all.)  were , as recognized, duty bound to help the younger Scouts along the way they themselves had traversed.  Camping, hiking, nature study, conservation, service to the Charter Org.    This was explained , to me, by the older OA, and by the adult advisors.  Set expectations?  Express disappointment?  Who does that any more....

4)   Ya gotta make choices.  Scouting, OA, school band, Xbox,  football, traveling softball league,  camporee,  Philmont, Summit,  family lawn mowing,  college visits, uncle's fishing trip,   Kids know about this, and sometimes the choices do not sit well with the adults.  Sometimes the kids don't realize the results of their choice until years later (what,  no pro baseball contract?) .

5)  Youngsters tend to learn (remember waaaay back when?)  by the EXAMPLE of their elders.  Elder adults, elder kids,  elder TV shows, elder politicians.   What happens when you act a certain way?   Do others appreciate it?  Is the action appreciated?   Does it really matter who fixed the hinge on the door if it helps folks going in and out? 

6)  When kids go to camp, do they really think about who set up the tent for them on that platform?   It might matter to them that the last Troop before them  retied all the ropes neat, and cleaned up the site and put up some firewood , but not who initially set things up.   It would be the leadership of the previous Troop that reminded their Scouts how the site looked when they arrived.  

7)   That's all. Now I have to go down to my wife's office and fix their restroom faucet.  

 

See you on the trail....

Edited by SSScout

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Man ! ! How Active are your Lodges?

Troop Activities Vs Lodge Activities... These days around here it is 2 OA Activities..Winter Ordeal and Summer Ordeal...

Same Scouts go to Philmont and Jambo...as NOAC..most are all in OA..

Every OA Fundraisers last few years Boy Lead .... Canceled

The Other Major Fundraiser is Adults due to what we did...Haul Water Tanks on Trailers for a Major National Bike Ride...

They Canceled the Adult driven "Super Bowl Ribs" due to several issues.

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Man ! ! How Active are your Lodges?

Troop Activities Vs Lodge Activities... These days around here it is 2 OA Activities..Winter Ordeal and Summer Ordeal...

Same Scouts go to Philmont and Jambo...as NOAC..most are all in OA..

Every OA Fundraisers last few years Boy Lead .... Canceled

The Other Major Fundraiser is Adults due to what we did...Haul Water Tanks on Trailers for a Major National Bike Ride...

They Canceled the Adult driven "Super Bowl Ribs" due to several issues.

 

Further east we do 4-6 ordeals (two in spring, 1-2 during the summer [i know, right], 2 in the fall and one at winter camp). Never seen an OA-only camp out. A few projects, not many. Maybe an ice cream social at council summer camp during the last week.

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Two ordeals - one in late Spring (early June - to help get the summer camp in shape) and one in fall (usually late September or early October to do work at the local camp).  OA Service projects at summer camp, once a week, 4 hours in one afternoon - participants invited to OA ice cream social.  Winter banquet.  Fundraising Haunted Camp every year at very local Methodist camp.  Each Chapter does their own call-outs. 

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Back in pre history, my OA always had a "Salamagundi", which was touted as a campout to show off your camp skills.  Awards were made, medals and trophies handed out. 

Camp gadgets, neatness, campfire building (not how big, but how),  displays, camp gateways, street names, cooking tastings,  emergency readiness (fire stand? first aid station?), home made tents, creative tarp use.  Lots of things. judged. 

Haven't heard of anything like that in many a moon.   

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Back in pre history, my OA always had a "Salamagundi", which was touted as a campout to show off your camp skills.  Awards were made, medals and trophies handed out. 

Camp gadgets, neatness, campfire building (not how big, but how),  displays, camp gateways, street names, cooking tastings,  emergency readiness (fire stand? first aid station?), home made tents, creative tarp use.  Lots of things. judged. 

Haven't heard of anything like that in many a moon.   

 

They don't even do camp inspections at summer camp anymore.  I don't think they had enough participation trophies.

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sal·ma·gun·di

ˌsalməˈɡəndē/

noun

a dish of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions, and seasoning.

a general mixture; a miscellaneous collection. a heterogeneous mixture : potpourri

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Solomon Grundy,

Born on a Monday,

Christened on Tuesday,

Married on Wednesday,

Took ill on Thursday,

Grew worse on Friday,

Died on Saturday,

Buried on Sunday,

That was the end,

Of Solomon Grundy.

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There's nothing quantitative for the SM to deny someone OA candidacy. The litmus test becomes to what extent a Scout lives up to the Oath and Law. For me, if you claim to have an "honor society" then you should have some quantitative measure of what "honor" means. ANY Scout that goes for an SMC or BOR for rank in any given year has to live up to the Oath and Law. So by extension, since ranks are also rarely held back, ANY Scout that advances in a year is living up to the Oath and Law. This is EXPECTED of Scouts, not something special.

 

If OA is supposed to be the elite of the elite, then making adherence to the Oath and Law grounds for entrance (along with a paltry number of camping days) does nothing to prevent an SM from allowing EVERYONE who qualifies to sit for election. It is also nothing special. Living the Oath and Law is a requirement for rank advancement, if not membership. And the very election process is nothing more than a popularity contest. So in the end the OA is not elite, for just about everyone qualifies. The OA is not fair, because it rewards popular kids and punishes the geeky kids. OA does not service, because after you are elected and go through ordeal, it is nothing more than a club with a patch that does little.

 

OA, like my district, is of little value. Sure they have cool patches, but what else? I can make cool patches too....and I won't just give them to the cool kids.

 

P.S. I have had DOZENS of kids who were not elite campers make OA. But the OA's "purpose" is not reflected in their requirements, so I had no ground to deny those Scouts membership in the OA. They met the paltry requirements and were in good standing. They were not trouble-makers, but they were not Norman Rockwell kids either. To deny them without quantitative cause (backed up by an actual policy or requirement) would have been harsh. Hence why the whole organization is a laugh. They need to change their requirements or stop taking themselves so seriously.

Our old SM did this to 1/3rd of the eligible slate last year--struck them off the ballot because he thought they were not worthy enough. I was very proud of son#2 who was an OA member intervening with the adults and having a Chapter Rep call and set the SM straight (In general trust the boys in the election). Our Troop is more careful now. IMHO the paltry campers might make nomination but are scared off by the sound of the words 'Ordeal" or 'Service' to follow through anyway. Quite a few others are "Sash and Dash" but as more boys are becoming active in OA they are being encouraged/shamed to increase their activities.

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Tampa,

 

    I'm so glad you folks "set the SM straight." So there shouldn't be a "Scoutmaster's approval" requirement on the nomination form?

 

    Wow. "Paltry campers" being "scared off" by the words "Ordeal" and "Service" and " and won't "follow through anyway." This is what the "Scoutmaster's approval" requirement is about. In the old days, votes for candidates were limited, and you really had to make good choices. You couldn't waste your vote. And now for years, the newer procedures allow you to vote for all of the scouts on the nomination list if you want to.

    I always sat down and talked to each potential nominee (before each annual OA Election) and had an OA Scoutmaster's Conference. I discussed what the Order does, and the importance of qualifying for nomination into the Order. Some outstanding scouts didn't want to be nominated. They usually have good reasons and I respect them, and encourage them to think about maybe standing for the election next year. So, their name is dropped from the nomination list. I think scouts that get "scared off" ought not to be considered for the OA Election either.

    Sash and dash scouts are a problem for all the reasons we've been discussing for years. The Order is a commitment in addition to a scout's responsibilities towards their troop/patrol. That's what the "Scoutmaster's approval" is for. Evidently, that doesn't work for you.

 

 

ss3rd

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The Order is a commitment in addition to a scout's responsibilities towards their troop/patrol.

Commitment to what? In my area they wear sashes, they clear brush a few weekends a year, they have boring meetings with PowerPoint. That's about it.

 

Not sure what we think these guys are joining. It's not the OA of yesteryear. It's a vote, a sash and a flap. Haven't seen much more than that.

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Krampus,

 

Sorry it ain't working for you. I'm sure our lodge and chapters aren't perfect, but in my opinion we're delivering a good program.

 

sst3rd

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