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OA to end AoL ceremonies?

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I have never seen an AOL ceremony with OA members present;  I did see one AOL ceremony where the cubmaster wore a headdress.  We do use face paint and paint the cheeks of the boys crossing over. 

Curious about what OA does at crossovers and how common this is. 

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1 hour ago, mashmaster said:

Why do we have to pretend to be anyone else?  That is the question.  Does it make the experience better if we dress up as someone else?

That's kind of what I've always thought, but I've failed to offer up a good alternative option to Native American culture and regalia. 

What is it about OA that is so intriguing, especially to AoL scouts? I always thought the mystery of it was the coolest part, not knowing exactly what it was about, the "secret society" aspect, the brotherhood, etc. All of which can (in theory) be achieved outside of NA-specific themes. 

So what does that look like without NA symbols and ceremonies? I'm not totally sure. But it could be done. 

My point is we could move away from NA themes and not lose OA. It's just a matter of whether anyone wants to make the effort. 

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7 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Why do we have to pretend to be anyone else?  That is the question.  Does it make the experience better if we dress up as someone else?

Well, in "pretending", we seek to aspire to the noblest traits of who we're dressing up as. That is why we encourage buys to dress up as scouts long before they have any real idea of what Oath and Law really mean.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Well, in "pretending", we seek to aspire to the noblest traits of who we're dressing up as. That is why we encourage buys to dress up as scouts long before they have any real idea of what Oath and Law really mean.

It comes from within, not the clothes.  I know plenty of Eagles, that aren't worth their weight in salt.  And plenty of people that only made it lower ranks that are amazing.

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8 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Why do we have to pretend to be anyone else?  That is the question.  Does it make the experience better if we dress up as someone else?

It’s part of what makes it interesting. We have to rename OA next. I’m sure just using that symbolism will offend someone. Just having an honor society with any mystique will be like NHS for Scouts. Big deal. NHS is already boring so now we have another boring Scout thing? What many adult keep forgetting is that kids like this stuff. We dress up for Halloween because it’s fun. We liked OA for the mystique and the ceremonies. We were on ceremony teams because they were fun. Now all that goes away and we just meet to do service projects? You’ll have to create something pretty amazing and special to get me and my friends out. We can stay in town and do service projects. Why go two hours away to camp?

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You guys are thinking like adults. Remember what it was like to be a boy? OA was special because of the Native American stuff. Take that away and you have yet another service organization but one that wants you to travel hours from home to help. Good luck getting teenagers interested. 

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20 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

You guys are thinking like adults. Remember what it was like to be a boy? OA was special because of the Native American stuff. Take that away and you have yet another service organization but one that wants you to travel hours from home to help. Good luck getting teenagers interested. 

Then make it Avengers based.  Relax, most don't do it for the NA tie in, most of the boys in our troop that are in OA want nothing to do with the ceremonies because they dislike it.  I am not saying it is fun for some people, just not so tied to that being the fun and why we do it.  If I go for fun, I would probably look at things not allowed in the guide to safe scouting.

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59 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

Remember what it was like to be a boy? 

Sure do. Nude swimming at the Y. Shooting off firecrackers (legally) in the vacant lot. Riding in the back of pickup trucks. Burning piles of leaves in the fall. Good times.

Edited by David CO
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Well all I can say is for all the discussion here on the patrol method and allowing boys to lead all I hear are adults making decisions about what impacts this boys program. How about letting the scouts make the decision and the adults live with it. Wouldn’t that be more in line with what you all say you want for boys in scouting? Or is that just talk. 

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44 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

Well all I can say is for all the discussion here on the patrol method and allowing boys to lead all I hear are adults making decisions about what impacts this boys program. How about letting the scouts make the decision and the adults live with it. Wouldn’t that be more in line with what you all say you want for boys in scouting? Or is that just talk. 

OA is both a youth and adults organization so adults get a say too. But our if Lodge and National youth leaders are OK with a policy I'd abide with it. Or leave.

No one is forced to be in OA. If the Indian thing really bothers you then just don't do it.

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13 hours ago, Back Pack said:

You guys are thinking like adults. Remember what it was like to be a boy? OA was special because of the Native American stuff. Take that away and you have yet another service organization but one that wants you to travel hours from home to help. Good luck getting teenagers interested. 

You are spot on.

Yes, I remember what it was like to be a boy in OA, and I am old enough to remember wearing tasteful warpaint and also old enough to remember when it was a true honor to be inducted because only one Scout could be nominated from each troop (as opposed to every Scout who is eligible). And yes, being on the ceremonies team was a real honor and we had tons of fun. We try to make it fun for the Arrowmen in my chapter, and ceremonies in full regalia is part of that.

Fellowship weekends in my Lodge and conclaves are very well attended. Straight up work weekends or service projects? Not so much.

Edited by an_old_DC
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1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:

OA is both a youth and adults organization so adults get a say too. But our if Lodge and National youth leaders are OK with a policy I'd abide with it. Or leave.

No one is forced to be in OA. If the Indian thing really bothers you then just don't do it.

But boys run the lodge just like boys run the troop. So why are adults so involved in what happens. I could say too that if the Indian thing bothers you guys then don’t join. Why do we always have to stop doing fun stuff because new joiners don’t like it. Why join a club where the costumes or practices offend you. That makes no sense. You join things you like not things you don’t and then try to change them. Make your own group and get people to join it. But make no mistake OA is for boys. Adults are part of it like your part of Boy Scouts but it’s not about adults. I can’t wait for someone to be offended by wood badge. I’ll bet adults finally stand up and draw a line if someone wanted to mess with their program.  

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This all has to do with the "Ideal". 

BSA has all but eliminated the  Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling "Ideals" referenced in Cub Scouting (what is an Akela again??).

To eliminate the "Ideal"  referenced in the OA ceremonial Native American stories is the same thing, IMHO.   How do you talk about ideals  to youth if not with story and metaphor?  Yes, Cubs should be fun, but how to introduce the Ideals?  By "education"? by "talking AT them" ?    No, you make it "important". You make it a memorable "ritual".   If you can do this with a generic,  idealized Indian ceremony, then be careful and respectful, but make it worth seeing and remembering.   Cherokee?  Seminole?  Cree?   Specialize if you can.  Patuxent?  Lenni Lanape?  Mohawk?  Make that connection if you can.   

((** What stories do you read to your kids/grandkids for bedtime?  "Star Wars"??  or Treasure Island and Jungle Book and even  Rocket Boys??  ))

Anyone remember the Straight Arrow Injun-uity Cards in the Nabisco Shredded Wheat?   Wish I had all of them....   Really Scouty stuff.  Was that insulting to the Nations?  Straight Arrow was if nothing else, "generic"   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/45458277459038282/ 

Our Native American nations were certainly given a raw deal in the past (I had one friend explain it to me by noting the Europeans were not here as "new Neighbors" but as "conquerors" ).  The Canadians are still trying to correct their mistakes in the boarding school issues.  I might like to think that our adopting the  use of the Aboriginal Nations'  "Ideals"  as our own as a true compliment .  Perhaps we need to add some further understanding of our mistreatment in our borrowing.  

Any time you are in the neighborhood of Cherokee, North Carolina , south of the Great Smokies (camp, hike, etc.), please visit the Museum http://www.cherokeemuseum.org/exhibits  and learn the history from the other side.

 

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20 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

Why join a club where the costumes or practices offend you. That makes no sense.

It isn't about offending members, it is about potentially offending members of the community you are trying to honor.

And, having adult involvement in that aspect (establishing proper direction, coaching and training) is a completely appropriate role for an adult in a boy-lead program.

 

https://www.scouting.org/Home/BoyScouts/TheBuildingBlocksofScouting/leadership.aspx

Quote

Boy Scouts is a boy-led, boy-run organization, but the boys must be trained to be leaders. One of the Scoutmaster's most important responsibilities is to provide the direction, coaching, and training that empowers the boy with the skills he will need to lead his troop.

 

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@Back Pack, I appreciate your frustration and understand the points you are making.  The Order of the Arrow is a camping honor society meant for the advancement of the ideals of a brotherhood of cheerful service.  The youth (until age 21) are the ones leading the show, albeit under the guidance of adults--just as Scouts in a Troop are guided by an adult Scoutmaster.  Honestly, I don't think any adults are intentionally trying to make the OA experience less fun.  Rather, I'm pretty sure this particular issue at hand, no Arrow Light ceremonies in perceived Native American regalia, is due to lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits, which would bring a further financial burden upon the BSA.  

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