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Oldscout448

OA to end AoL ceremonies?

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

The point isn't moot. I think you may be having some confusion over the term "direction."

Yes, adults "allow" you to make decisions but that doesn't mean that they cannot or do not provide direction in the process. If your adult leaders chose to not comment at all, then perhaps they don't feel the need in your specific situation.

Providing direction could be something as simple as making a suggestion as to how one aspect or another is more authentic (or more respectful) than another. That doesn't make it any less boy-led or boy-run. A good leader should often seek the advice and wisdom of others. That doesn't mean that the leader becomes a follower in the process.

 

Actually our adults have discussed this issue with us. They’ve given the team their views on both sides of the argument and then let us decide what we wanted to do. 25 scouts voted unanimously to keep the regalia and keep doing what we do. The team even contacted our local nation to get their perspective. They had no problem with it. So that’s why I think National is jumping the gun. How many other nations feel as our local one?

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I think that's ultimately the key here - educate the Scouts on the traditions, the peoples, the cultures and the controversies - and then let them decide. I don't think National - nor any one Native American nation - should have the right to dictate what they can or cannot do from there. 

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17 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

I think that's ultimately the key here - educate the Scouts on the traditions, the peoples, the cultures and the controversies - and then let them decide. I don't think National - nor any one Native American nation - should have the right to dictate what they can or cannot do from there. 

Well said. 

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2 hours ago, Back Pack said:

Actually our adults have discussed this issue with us. They’ve given the team their views on both sides of the argument and then let us decide what we wanted to do.

Sooo, you are saying they provided direction? :p:laugh:

My personal opinion is that if your local tribe or local Tribal Org. is OK with how you run your ceremony, then I think you are provided all the coverage you need from any national criticism - inside or outside of BSA.

My hope is that all units would seek out such advice and consent. My guess is that they don't; otherwise I would think this minor controversy would quickly go away.

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3 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Sooo, you are saying they provided direction? :p:laugh:

My personal opinion is that if your local tribe or local Tribal Org. is OK with how you run your ceremony, then I think you are provided all the coverage you need from any national criticism - inside or outside of BSA.

My hope is that all units would seek out such advice and consent. My guess is that they don't; otherwise I would think this minor controversy would quickly go away.

I think he said that all along. What he seemed to be asking was "Did national (adults) just make this decision about regalia? Or did they ADVISE the youth and the YOUTH made the decision."

If the former, that's adult-led. If the latter, that's boy-led. 

I suspect it was the former.

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I can unfortunately confirm that the rumor is true. I received the new ceremony procedure today and it clearly states that "at no time should any member wear Native American costumes". 

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On 11/18/2018 at 2:07 AM, nate5 said:

I can unfortunately confirm that the rumor is true. I received the new ceremony procedure today and it clearly states that "at no time should any member wear Native American costumes". 

Is there any mention of a suggested replacement for these costumes/ceremonies?

I'm actually ok with not using Native American costumes, but I'm still completely confused as to what the symbolism of the OA will become if we're supposed to remove some of the NA regalia. The OA is deep in symbolism and Native American imagery plays heavily into that. If we start removing some of that stuff, it has to be replaced with something else, otherwise OA just becomes another bland honor society.

 

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40 minutes ago, FireStone said:

Is there any mention of a suggested replacement for these costumes/ceremonies?

There was extensive thread here a few months back about the new policy concerning Arrow of Light ceremonies performed by OA chapters.  It included a couple of videos of the approved ceremony.

 

42 minutes ago, FireStone said:

I'm still completely confused as to what the symbolism of the OA will become if we're supposed to remove some of the NA regalia. The OA is deep in symbolism and Native American imagery plays heavily into that. If we start removing some of that stuff, it has to be replaced with something else, otherwise OA just becomes another bland honor society.

The key here, and it caused a bit of confusion when posted a few months ago, is that the no Native American imagery is in regard to OA chapters performing Arrow of Light ceremonies for Cub Scout Packs.  At this point in time, it does not remove the NA aspect for Ordeal, Brotherhood, or Vigil Honor ceremonies, OA call out, etc.  Our chapter ceremonial team just performed a Brotherhood ceremony last weekend, and will be conducting our chapter call out at the district Webelos Woods in a couple of weeks.  (we have not had a fall camporee in a few years, and the chapter will be supporting Webelos Woods, so that is the logical place for call out, with Ordeal in January)

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I am a Lodge Adviser.  In the past, there were four official OA ceremonies that must be conducted as written.  These were the Pre-Ordeal, Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil.  Crossovers, AOL and callout ceremonies were homegrown affairs.  There is now an officially recognized crossover/AOL ceremony.  It and only it is to be used for crossover/AOL ceremonies.  It is done without regalia and has a backpacking journey theme to it to recognize the Cubs journey to Boy Scouting.  It is done in uniform with backpacks, compasses, etc. as props.  All Lodges are required to use this ceremony or don't do them at all.  Those are your options.

The future of regalia in the other ceremonies is an open question.  My personal opinion is that with our ever increasing politically correct environment and concerns over cultural appropriation, we may end up having to give it up someday.  My other observation is that with the coming of girls to the OA in 2019, how do we handle regalia?  If there are Native American nations out there who question our use of regalia, how will they feel when girls put on male regalia as the mighty chief to perform a ceremony.  Will that not only be cultural appropriation or a "perversion" on top of appropriation?  Time will tell.

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The scripts can be found here: https://oa-bsa.org/resources/inductions

As stated in the AoL script: The Presenter may be a Scout from a Troop in field uniform (and sash if a member of the Order of the Arrow), the Cubmaster, or another uniformed Cub Scout leader.

From the Crossover script: The performers dress in field uniform—the summer version with shorts and knee socks is preferred as being more distinctive, but is not required. They wear hiking shoes or boots. Each carries a knapsack or backpack that appears to be full. One carries a compass; one carries a map. Additionally, they may have such things as wooden hiking sticks and/or a patrol flag, a wooden canoe paddle, flashlights, canteens, a bugle, a sleeping bag rolled and strapped to a pack—backpacking and camping items that suggest outdoor adventure. If the ceremony is conducted by an Order of the Arrow lodge or chapter team, it is at the discretion of the lodge chief if the team should wear sashes for the ceremony. At no time should any member of the team wear American Indian costumes.

 

From the above excerpts, clearly to me the intent here is that these are the scripts that should be used for these ceremonies, regardless of the OA's involvement- yet, they are on the OA website.  I'm sure others will have opinions on that, but my own opinion is that National is controlling what it feels it can have at least some control over- OA lodges- as opposed to the thousands of Pack leaders.

 

 

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In my opinion, this new 'ceremony' isn't captivating enough. This new ceremony is (at best) a REALLY boring campfire skit. I heard about some lodges doing the previous ceremony disrespectfully/more intimidating than necessary. I'm really confused why they decided to change it, aside from receiving a few complaints about the performers. My lodge is planning to dispute the change (because we have been doing the previous ceremony, and doing it well) if we have pack leaders cancelling due to the change. I absolutely hate to criticize this ceremony as much as I do, but it is seriously that bad. I've been a part of the ceremony team for two years and I can't picture this new ceremony having any positive effect on anyone. 

In short, the new ceremony is hokey in nature (even for younger scouts!) and boring for everyone involved. The previous one had everything that this one does not. (Sorry for turning this into a 'reddit rant' or whatever, but these are my thoughts on the new ceremony.)

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So we just drop the sashes and just carry on as before?     The ceremonies teams around here seem to think that's their best option right now.

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6 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

From the Crossover script: The performers dress in field uniform—the summer version with shorts and knee socks is preferred as being more distinctive, but is not required. They wear hiking shoes or boots. Each carries a knapsack or backpack that appears to be full. One carries a compass; one carries a map. Additionally, they may have such things as wooden hiking sticks and/or a patrol flag, a wooden canoe paddle, flashlights, canteens, a bugle, a sleeping bag rolled and strapped to a pack—backpacking and camping items that suggest outdoor adventure. If the ceremony is conducted by an Order of the Arrow lodge or chapter team, it is at the discretion of the lodge chief if the team should wear sashes for the ceremony. At no time should any member of the team wear American Indian costumes.

This doesn't make a lot of sense, considering the intent of the crossover ceremony and the impact that the presence that OA members (in costume) have at that event. Let's face it, it's a very visual display and because it's not something Cub Scouts are used to seeing, it really hits them. If this ceremony becomes just a scout in uniform, all of the mystique and intrigue of the ceremony is lost on the Cubs. 

This should have been replaced with something else, not reduced all the way down to a familiar image of a scout in uniform with a pack full of gear. There's just nothing unique in that, not in a room full of scouts and scouters. Everyone wears that uniform, or some variation of it. What's the draw now? What makes that same impact the previous ceremonies had? 

I don't claim to know what the answer is, but I'm disappointed that so little effort seems to have been put forth to find a suitable alternative for costumes and regalia used in ceremonies teams. Was any effort made to find some new symbolism for OA that maintained the secret-society-mystique without stepping into cultural appropriation territory? 

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18 hours ago, SR540Beaver said:

My other observation is that with the coming of girls to the OA in 2019, how do we handle regalia?  If there are Native American nations out there who question our use of regalia, how will they feel when girls put on male regalia as the mighty chief to perform a ceremony.  Will that not only be cultural appropriation or a "perversion" on top of appropriation?  Time will tell.

NOAC had a couple of sessions covering this. By NOAC 2020 all lodges should have consulted with their local tribes and transitioned to regalia that fits that local tribe. As part of that we are also to get their perspective (and accommodate it) about females in these ceremonies. From some second hand discussions I have heard, there is a wide range of responses. Some tribes have been adamant no's on regalia at all, others are OK with regalia but not females doing ceremonies. Some tribes have been neutral or ambivalent. Apparently, some have replied that  as far as this type "ceremony" goes, in their traditions have females doing them. In at least one case, the tribe considered this closest to oral history or story-telling, which has be traditionally a female role in their tribe. 

If a tribe falls into the NO females or no regalia category, that lodge is to use BSA field uniforms and sashes. There was a discussion of using black robes similar to the ones originally used at Treasure Island, but I do not think that decision has been made one way or the other at this point. There was some concern, particularly with Southern Lodges, that black robes and torches in the woods has it's own negative history.

16 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

So we just drop the sashes and just carry on as before?     The ceremonies teams around here seem to think that's their best option right now.

That has been expressly forbidden by OA National. Lodges are not to do any other ceremony or use regalia in any Crossover/AOL ceremony at all. In fact, Lodges have been told to not loan their regalia to troops or individual that want to do the old ceremony. In no way, shape or form is the OA to be involved in the use a ceremony other than the official one or in using regalia IN THE CEREMONY. I put emphasis on IN THE CEREMONY because there is one caveat, lodges may perform demonstrations similar to POW-Wow at the events, but may not perform ceremonies in regalia. 

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