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Eagle94-A1

Has the OA Lost It's Luster?

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All I know is that when I tried to renew my membership with the OA, it took me no less than 6 MONTHS of e-mails and phone calls and pushing and shoving just to find somebody to accept my dues. I was trying to give them money, and it took me 6 months?! And now I have been submitting one request after another for an OA Arrow of Light Ceremony to be done at a future pack meeting, which they advertise with bells and whistles on their webpage, to no avail. 

 

I have great respect for the purpose, history, and traditions of the OA. I have been an Arrowman for almost 20 years. But I am sadly frustrated by the slothfulness of my local chapter; I pray we are an exception still and not yet the general rule.

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All I know is that when I tried to renew my membership with the OA, it took me no less than 6 MONTHS of e-mails and phone calls and pushing and shoving just to find somebody to accept my dues. I was trying to give them money, and it took me 6 months?! And now I have been submitting one request after another for an OA Arrow of Light Ceremony to be done at a future pack meeting, which they advertise with bells and whistles on their webpage, to no avail. 

 

I have great respect for the purpose, history, and traditions of the OA. I have been an Arrowman for almost 20 years. But I am sadly frustrated by the slothfulness of my local chapter; I pray we are an exception still and not yet the general rule.

I'm sorry to say, you are in good company re your observations and experiences.

 

When I was still on active duty, I moved a lot.  

 

One location, I was there 1.5 years.  Served on the district staff.   Though I asked several different folks, not one of them would tell me how to become a member of their lodge.   The big brush off every time.  From what I could see, they didn't do much other than operate as a social club/patch designing society anyway.   Still...!

 

The location previous to that:  signed up, paid my dues...then radio silence.   No events, no news, nothing.   Until it was time to pay dues.   I paid but didn't sew on the lodge flap.  

Edited by desertrat77

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Would agree it has lost its meaning and its aura of mystery.  There were limits on how many could be voted in based on rank eligibles and troop size.  Ordeals were meaningful, and mostly fair if adults did their job to avoid black balling or hazing.  Much was kept out of view of the general public, though was available if people needed info legitimately.  

 

Much of the problem it seems to me is related to the larger issue of over protectiveness and nobody should possibly feel bad should they not make the summit of the challenge.  I would also submit that there are too many adults that have been ushered into the lodges, again due to changes in the manner of selection, as well as a certain element of you cannot keep me out because it is my right or even I will cause trouble types if you shun me in some way.  But would agree that there is far less interest by the average scouts.  Our lodge has not had a real dance team in decades, and most ceremonies are read, rather than learned.  

 

Lots of challenges, but some lodges find a way if the right people get involved.  There are many challenges for the program nationwide, but its image is a bit better locally than a decade ago, and there again are some coming back that left.

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I find it interesting that you would describe my Chartered Organization's decision to not participate in cultural appropriation as adult bias and prejudices.

Call it what you will, the statement is accurate. Scouts limitations on the decisions in the program are only limited by the adults.

 

Barry

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Regarding OA and "special forces," yep growing up the OA was the "best of the best."  When I didn't get elected the first time, I had no problems as  those who did get in were definately worhty, and I just turned First Class before the election. Not every Eagle Scout got into the OA as a youth either. My cousin didn't get in as youth, he got in when his son did, 20+ years after earning Eagle. And I know several other Eagles who didn't get elected.

 

And it wasn't so much as "I'm better than you." attitude, but more , "MAN HE"S GOT HIS ACT TOGETHER AND CAN HANDLE ANY OUTDOOR SITUATION!" (caps for emphasis)

 

 

I find it interesting that you would describe my Chartered Organization's decision to not participate in cultural appropriation as adult bias and prejudices.

 

While I admit, there are Arrowman who really screwed up things. I've seen it first hand. But you do know that when the OA was founded, native Americans were not US citizens, and could be punished for practicing their languages and religion? Some Natives actually encouraged folks to learn their ways, including the OA, as a way of preserving their heritage? Did you know that you have Arrowman in a variety of field: anthropology, archeology, history, etc who got their interest in these areas because of the OA. And they have made impacts in helpign various Native tribes get recognition, reintroduce languange and crafts an other aspects ofg native culture that would be lost today if these Arrowman hadn't helped out?

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If you only want to hear the opinions of OA members, why did you post this topic in the Open Discussion forum?

 

Perhaps you should move this topic over to the OA forum where you guys can slap each other on the back and tell yourselves how special you are.

Edited by David CO
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David CO,  If  arrowmen are doing nothing more than backslapping and self praising then they have totally missed the point of the Order.  

 

If the only ones you have met are like that then I am truly sorry.    I admit that they exist, I have meet them as well.  But around here anyway they are a small minority.   We try hard to correct them when we find them.

 

It is about serving, helping, leading by example, and yes there is a certain pride that comes with belonging to the Order.  But it should be a humble inner pride,  not a " I am better than all of you " 

 

 

Oldscout448

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If you only want to hear the opinions of OA members, why did you post this topic in the Open Discussion forum?

 

Perhaps you should move this topic over to the OA forum where you guys can slap each other on the back and tell yourselves how special you are.

If you didn't want your opinion contradicted why post on an internet forum? They have their opinions, you have yours. There's no need to be rude.

 

The troop program you are running doesn't utilize the OA. Thats fine. OA is an optional part of the program.

 

This probably should move to the OA subforum, but I think its in a good spot because it encourages non OA members to opine.

Edited by Sentinel947

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This for the non-OA'ers:

 

It can be hard to get the Lodge to respond to dues and questions because the structure of OA Lodges is (to my eyes) self-supporting and all volunteer by already busy scouters. There is no national database (thought that may change) and each Lodge keeps its own records--this makes transfers a pain by the way. Seems to me a Lodge is very much akin to a Cub Scout Pack though each 'Franchise' seems linked to a Council. 

 

In general if the Lodge is doing its job right it will be boy-run with some old Gray Beards sitting back and making sure nothing dangerous happens. If a Scout gets more involved in OA he will start networking with some really good youth leaders and pick up some skills. But he needs to get active and the time demands can make it really hard. In my experience only the more service oriented boys stay in.

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David CO,  If  arrowmen are doing nothing more than backslapping and self praising then they have totally missed the point of the Order.  

 

If the only ones you have met are like that then I am truly sorry.    I admit that they exist, I have meet them as well.  But around here anyway they are a small minority.   We try hard to correct them when we find them.

 

It is about serving, helping, leading by example, and yes there is a certain pride that comes with belonging to the Order.  But it should be a humble inner pride,  not a " I am better than all of you " 

 

 

Oldscout448

 

I really don't see the difference between saying "I am the best of the best" and saying "I am better than all of you."  It sounds pretty much the same to me.

 

Most of the youth OA members I meet are the "sash and dash" types who only join the order so they can wear the pocket patch.  Are they really a small minority of the youth membership of the OA?  I don't think so.

 

Even with the boys who stay active in the OA, I think the numbers would drop off dramatically if they couldn't wear a pocket patch.  

 

I do think OA is basically a mutual admiration society.

Edited by David CO

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I really don't see the difference between saying "I am the best of the best" and saying "I am better than all of you."  It sounds pretty much the same to me.

 

 

Your perspective is backwards, "best of the best" are observations of outsiders looking at the actions of Arrowmen. OA is about selfless service. "I am better than you" doesn't fit the selfless ideal of the OA. 

 

Barry

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I do think OA is basically a mutual admiration society.

There is a much mutual admiration in OA as there is in a Patrol and Troop adult leaders. The consistent behavior of scouts are a reflection of the troop adults. The BSA program guides scouts to live by a code of the Oath and Law. How the adults interpret the oath and law is what outsiders will observe from the scouts.

 

Barry

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Your perspective is backwards, "best of the best" are observations of outsiders looking at the actions of Arrowmen. OA is about selfless service. "I am better than you" doesn't fit the selfless ideal of the OA. 

 

Barry

 

I disagree.  At least on this forum, the comments about OA being the "best of the best" are not coming from outsiders looking at the actions of arrowmen.  They are coming from the arrowmen themselves.

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There is a much mutual admiration in OA as there is in a Patrol and Troop adult leaders. The consistent behavior of scouts are a reflection of the troop adults. The BSA program guides scouts to live by a code of the Oath and Law. How the adults interpret the oath and law is what outsiders will observe from the scouts.

 

Barry

 

On this point, I have to agree.  There is a lot of this behavior in adult unit leaders as well.

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I disagree.  At least on this forum, the comments about OA being the "best of the best" are not coming from outsiders looking at the actions of arrowmen.  They are coming from the arrowmen themselves.

Please give an example.

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