Jump to content
ScouterJLM

Eligibility to be Elected

Recommended Posts

Looking for advice on OA elections for my troop, I have a couple of scout that are technically eligible, meeting the rank and camping requirements.  But their attitude and 'Scout Spirit could still use some work.  The good kids, but just not always very enthusiastic and helpful to other scouts.  Also, they go on camp outs because their parents send them more than because they want to.  So, as I understand it they also need their scoutmaster's approval, that's me, and 'm not sure I approve.  But I also don't want to seem like I'm being an a%# about this.  So tell me am I being to picky on this, I do believe it to be and honor to be elected into the OA, and don't think we should be too loose with who we allow on the ballots.  

 

What do you all think.....  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever an a%# is, your being it. Comes with the SM patch. Your frank appraisal might be the kindest thing anyone has done for those boys.

If it is still nagging you, give your lodge advisor a call. Ask if any other SM's in your council have had to deal with a situation like yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure how long you've been a Scoutmaster or if you guided your troop through any prior OA elections, but every year my old troop had OA elections, we'd all sit down and review the candidate qualifications for being nominated for an OA election. And as Scoutmaster, I made sure that the "Scoutmaster's approval" requirement is discussed.Several times over a 33 year SM career, we did not have an OA election because there were no qualified candidates.

 

sst3rd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you do anything else sit down and talk to the scouts.  Do they know you see them as not enthusiastic and helpful?  Do they know you believe they go on campouts because their parents want them to more than they want to?

 

Did you talk to either of them about these things during your last SM conference?

 

Adolescents are rarely so self aware that they will recognize their deficiencies on their own.

 

If you want them to improve, or think they need to improve, then tell them what that improvement would look like.  Give them concrete examples of when you've seen them being unhelpful and unenthusiastic and give them ways that they can specifically demonstrate that they have made the improvements you're looking for.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have the scouts who are interested in running come to you and ask to be on the ballot. Tell them that they need to make the case why they deserve this honor. That should limit I to those who value camping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scoutmaster exemplifies the character and integrity expected of the troop. Whether we like it or not, being the gatekeepers of Scout Spirit is part of the job. I'm not suggesting what you should do; age, maturity and experience must be part of the equation. I'm only saying that your actions are the standard by which everyone will know how they are to treat each other. 

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've struggled with this same issue as I am sure we all have. We know when our elections are each year so managing Scouts' expectations starts right after the last election. I met with the OA Rep and the PLC to discuss the whole issue of "worthiness". While my personal feeling is the OA is nothing more than a popularity contest, the PLC came up with the idea to note each month who the best campers and "volunteers" were when it came to overall service hours. Combined with monthly SMCs with the potential OA candidates (thanks to TroopMaster running these reports is easy), we were able manage the expectations of those potential candidates early. 

 

This method allowed the SM to essentially put on notice those Scouts who might be "on the bubble".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking for advice on OA elections for my troop, I have a couple of scout that are technically eligible, meeting the rank and camping requirements.  But their attitude and 'Scout Spirit could still use some work.  The good kids, but just not always very enthusiastic and helpful to other scouts.  Also, they go on camp outs because their parents send them more than because they want to.  So, as I understand it they also need their scoutmaster's approval, that's me, and 'm not sure I approve.  But I also don't want to seem like I'm being an a%# about this.  So tell me am I being to picky on this, I do believe it to be and honor to be elected into the OA, and don't think we should be too loose with who we allow on the ballots.  

 

What do you all think.....  

 

If you're the SM, you shouldn't approve them, IMHO.  Our SM a few years ago recommended boys for OA that he had doubts about. He regrets that decision with every one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're the SM, you shouldn't approve them, IMHO.  Our SM a few years ago recommended boys for OA that he had doubts about. He regrets that decision with every one of them.

 

I agree, but if you hit them just before elections with the fact you don't think they should be approved it better be something that just happened to cause them to not be a candidate. It would be unfair to let the last few months count against them with the SM not saying anything.

 

Just like with PORs, you cannot deny them UNLESS you have been managing their expectations over a period of time by counselling them on how they are not living up to the Oath and Law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just like with PORs, you cannot deny them UNLESS you have been managing their expectations over a period of time by counselling them on how they are not living up to the Oath and Law.

Oh, I don't  know. Most scoutmasters don't set specific expectations for OA candidates like the PORs. Nether are OA expectations set in the unit leadership training or in the Scouts' Handbooks. Living the Scout Spirit is pretty much accepted as a constant all-the-time expectation. If the Scoutmaster feels the program has faltered in a minimum standard that should be expected for an OA candidate, he/she is not obligated to allow substandard behavior qualifications just because they weren't given a specific set of expectations six months prier.

 

The Order of the Arrow doesn't want these types of scouts anymore than a Scoutmaster who doesn't want to send them.

 

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to mentoring the candidates ... You need to think about mentoring the troop.

... good kids, but just not always very enthusiastic and helpful to other scouts.  ...

 

We've had our share of bad kids. Our SM, to my knowledge, has never discouraged a boy from being a candidate, yet Scouts like this never get elected.

 

At least twice before the election we remind the boys to think about each candidate along two very important dimensions:

1. Does he serve cheerfully?

2. When you or your patrol needs help is he there?

 

It really helps to hold elections immediately after they've been camping together for a couple of nights. That way, the boy's behavior over 48 contiguous hours is fresh in everyone's memory. (That's why I favor summer camp Tuesday elections.)

 

One more reason to give your Lodge Advisor a call. Maybe he can send an election team to meet you when you all return from a weekend camp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I don't  know. Most scoutmasters don't set specific expectations for OA candidates like the PORs. Nether are OA expectations set in the unit leadership training or in the Scouts' Handbooks. Living the Scout Spirit is pretty much accepted as a constant all-the-time expectation. If the Scoutmaster feels the program has faltered in a minimum standard that should be expected for an OA candidate, he/she is not obligated to allow substandard behavior qualifications just because they weren't given a specific set of expectations six months prier.

 

The Order of the Arrow doesn't want these types of scouts anymore than a Scoutmaster who doesn't want to send them.

 

Barry

 

Hi Barry, I probably wasn't clear. I meant to say that, like PORs, a SM needs to give constant and consistent feedback on the status of OA candidates just as he does on his leaders. You cannot go six months with a poor PL, not give the lad any feedback, and then deny him his POR served toward his rank. That's just not right. The SM has failed in his job to help that Scout fix any problems he's been having demonstrating his leadership and fulfilling his obligations.

 

Similarly, if an OA candidate is not living up to the Oath and Law then the SM owes him the feedback and allows him time to adjust his behavior to meet those expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Barry, I probably wasn't clear. I meant to say that, like PORs, a SM needs to give constant and consistent feedback on the status of OA candidates just as he does on his leaders. You cannot go six months with a poor PL, not give the lad any feedback, and then deny him his POR served toward his rank. That's just not right. The SM has failed in his job to help that Scout fix any problems he's been having demonstrating his leadership and fulfilling his obligations.

 

Similarly, if an OA candidate is not living up to the Oath and Law then the SM owes him the feedback and allows him time to adjust his behavior to meet those expectations.

Ah yes, well said.

 

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're being too picky.

 

You say these scouts don't always show enthusiasm and helpfulness to other scouts - that suggests that they show enthusiasm and helpfulness at other times.  Scouts aren't going to be perfect, and there are times every scout won't be enthusiastic about something and may not be in the best frame of mind to help other scouts (these are adolescents after all - the hormones don't shut off just because they put on the uniform).

 

So they go on campouts because the parents are sending them and not because they really want to go?  First, they're still going on the campouts - unless they're holing up in their tents with an iPad or Tablet all weekend, I think you should cut them some slack there.  Second, have you talked to them about why they don't seem interested in going on the campouts?  This would be a good SMC discussion - there may be reasons they don't want to attend and are just waiting for someone to ask.  Maybe the campouts are to the same places over and over and over again and choosing some new places to camp and explore will generate more enthusiasm.  Maybe the campouts have the same program over and over and over again. 

 

You say they're technically eligible - unless their Scout Spirit is so bad that you would deny them rank and need to have a discussion with the parents over it, I would put their name in nomination and let the boys vote - you'll know pretty quickly if the rest of the Troop feels the same way about these boys as you do.  Trust your Scouts to know if they really deserve it or not.

 

There are a few things out there that require the Scoutmaster's "approval".  In almost all of the cases, the approval should be considered automatic unless there are absolutely egregious behavior issues that need to be addressed.  Being less than enthusiastic and helpful at times, and not being very enthusiastic about going camping doesn't reach that level for me.  When faced with a Scoutmaster's approval, I always give the benefit of the doubt to the Scout.

Edited by CalicoPenn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aye, there's the rub.  Qualifications.   If the Scout meets the qualifications (days/nights camping, etc. ) and haven't actually broken any of the Scout Law, but merely bruised a point or two,  then the SM needs to make it clear in his introductory remarks to the Troop before the elections, as to what is expected, how to choose between the various candidates.  They are electing a Scout as an "Honor", not a "Reward".  ((? Is there a limit as to the number of Scouts that may be elected to the OA in a Troop? I forget).

 

  I like  Q's comments:  ""At least twice before the election we remind the boys to think about each candidate along two very important dimensions:

1. Does he serve cheerfully?

2. When you or your patrol needs help is he there?""

 

Do not make it specific to the Scout, except privately , in your SM Conference, how he has not met your expectations in being a "Good Scout", but let all the Scouts know, what is expected of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×