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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

Like what? What do you do that the units don't?

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I guess I am lucky--we have a pretty good lodge here.

 

I was real proud of my son for going to bat for the boys with the Scoutmaster. The SM wasn't a bad sort just overstepped the bounds on this one IMHO. I have noticed some of the lazy but popular boys never get around to doing the Ordeal (especially when they hear rumors of work and doing service) and the rest are Sash and Dash (I love that term). But we have a core of boys 'that get it' and bring back youth-led experience and new ideas to the Troop.

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I think our OA Lodge is improving.  I got a newsletter from them after 15 years of asking to be put on their mailing list.  It was addressed to SM - GUEST, so we still have a ways to go.  :)

Edited by Stosh

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I was approached the other day by the SM of my son's troop about whether my son and I would be going to summer camp in the spring.  The reason being that my son will be the only scout eligible for OA and it is traditional with the troop that the boys father be inducted into OA as the same time if the father is active and in good standing.  I said we would both would be a camp if at all possible, it was my son's decision about him being in OA, but I had no real interest in belonging.  Thinking I was joking, the SM had a chuckle until I said I serious and didn't see that OA really did anything other than a few extra meetings and campouts each year. 

 

I asked what does OA really do?  I am not talking about ceremonies and such.  I mean what does it offer to me that makes me better able to do for the scouts?  The only answer that the SM was able to give is that OA is supposed to be about service, but what I have understood that in the past few years OA service and the "ordeal" has been straightening rocks on a trail and racking leaves. 

 

Maybe I don't understand, but why?

 

Eventually, I'll read this whole thread too.  But for now, I'll give my thoughts on the OPs initial questions.

 

I'll start with, that is a really strange tradition, the father son thing.  Every lodge is different, but what we look for in adults is adults that can help us deliver the OA program.  Can you act as an adviser in some capacity or fill some other adult rule like, health and safety?  Can you spare those extra camping weekends and drive scouts from your chapter / area to and from camp?   I suppose it is our lodge's way of limiting the sash and dash on the adult side of things.  Yes, for those who are active, it is extra meetings, activities, and camp outs.  Any additional program would have that.

 

What the OA does really depends on your lodge and / or chapter.  Service is the big thing.  Exactly what service depends on some factors, what projects are available, what the youth want to do, and that may be, raking leaves.  My son's first year in the OA went like this (off the top of my head)

 

Ordeal - the built a new trail in a national park

Section Centennial Conclave - a lot of fun was had, awesome shows, awesome food, over 600 of his fellow arrowmen and he started a new hobby, patch collecting & trading

Lodge Spring Fellowship - more fun, service to camp, set up a lot of tents and cots

Camp Bus Loading (our council's main camp is over 3 hours away, so they have a bus)

National Order of the Arrow Conference - he really lucked into this one picking up a late drop out spot from a neighboring lodge

County summer camp dance demonstration (our county hosts a week of camp locally, geared toward first year and merit badges)

Lodge Fall Fellowship - more fun, his first time on water skis, and service, not sure what he did, might have been making A frames

Webelos Mountain Staff - our chapter runs an annual weekend where Webelos and Patrols camp together (he's actually running that this fall)

Lodge Banquet

They had the Carolinas Indian Seminar on their schedule, but snow cancelled it

Arrow of Light Ceremonies for the cub scouts

Lodge Spring Fellowship (they moved it before the ordeal this year) - service, setting up camp cots

Call Out Ceremony

Ordeal again - Ceremonies team

 

I'm sure there were a few things I missed.  Maybe this sort of thing wouldn't interest a scout, but it did for me when I was a youth, and my son can't get enough of it! 

 

The why for a scout I think really comes down to, do they want to do more?  If yes, that's why.

 

The why for an adult is really is, do I want to help them do more?  If yes, that's why!  And by help, I'm being more general, maybe it is just driving to that camp out, maybe it is helping a scout that rushed through the personal management merit badge handle an actual budget, for an event, events larger than one would expect at the troop level.  Maybe you are a certified Range Safety Officer and help facilitate shooting sports at a fellowship!

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I think I was nominated for OA as much because my son was nominated as for my years of service. I suspect the practicality of trying to make sure a father member is more likely to ferry his son and other OA members to OA events.

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Our council camps could use a ton of upkeep, yet our Lodge "clears brush"...and in areas that really don't matter. It is not like they are clear-cutting or removing scrub brush to reduce flash fire risks. It is busy work. We've got a ton of Oa members, yet the projects getting done are small, simple and less than most Eagle projects I've seen done.

 

Would love to see them do more. I suspect OA is just seen as just one more thing to take up peoples' time.

 

Take that up with the camp ranger. The camp ranger should be supplying meaningful projects for the ordeal candidates to perform.

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I think I was nominated for OA as much because my son was nominated as for my years of service. I suspect the practicality of trying to make sure a father member is more likely to ferry his son and other OA members to OA events.

. Precisely. It is a youth organization and that is all adults should be in OA, chauffeurs and maybe a little advising. It is a great honor being selected because you have a car and money for gas, you are helping to fulfill the purpose of the OA.

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In fact, in my OA handbook (given me in 1970), it said something about adult nominations were not to be construed an honor, rather to be in support of furtherance of the Order's youth objectives.

  • Upvote 1

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KC,

 

    That's what I remember. Don't know if it's the same today. I will admit over the years, that I applied the same requirements for the adults as the youth candidates. I also ask them if they're interested in serving in the OA as I do the youth candidates. Some say no, some say yes. I think it's a courtesy.

 

sst3rd

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Was nominated to OA this year.  As it was explained to me at the Ordeal, "you have been nominated not because of what you have done, but what we hope you will do in the future."

 

My son was also elected this year.  I'm actually surprised at his level of excitement.  He signed up for Conclave, he wants to go to the monthly chapter meetings (which are at the same time as the Roundtable).  He loves the idea of doing OA high adventure for Philmont.  Best of all, last week he was commenting on how other guys didn't help out with a project.  He acknowledged that he used to be that way and then said, "but OA taught me that the service part of servant leadership means actually doing something to be helpful."  Priceless.

 

I'll let my role be determined by my son's level of activities.  At the very least, I can provide transportation for him and some other guys and promote OA within the troop. I suspect I'll also be a resource at the chapter level to beging with -- but that will have to be balanced with my changing role in the troop.

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Like what? What do you do that the units don't?

Provide opportunities at the council, regional and national level. Our lodge chief and adviser sit on the council board. The chief does a state of scouting address each year to the state legislature. We've had boys in the last few years be elected to section and regional leadership positions. A good number have become trail crew foreman at Philmont and Northern Tier. One young man from our lodge runs the entire Philmont trail crew operation. All opportunities that they would never have at the troop level.

Edited by SR540Beaver

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Provide opportunities at the council, regional and national level. Our lodge chief and adviser sit on the council board. The chief does a state of scouting address each year to the state legislature. We've had boys in the last few years be elected to section and regional leadership positions. A good number have become trail crew foreman at Philmont and Northern Tier. One young man from our lodge runs the entire Philmont trail crew operation. All opportunities that they would never have at the troop level.

 

To me, this is why. The OA enlarges a scout's scouting world and provides opportunities for the scout to grow that world, not only as a participant, but as a leader.

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