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Jameson76

Why do you need 50% of troop there for an election??

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2 hours ago, David CO said:

I am often annoyed by people who try to take the competition out of sports, but I am even more irritated by people who try to put competition into scouting. Not in my unit.

A lot of scouts really respond well to competition. It's a form of challenge. A lot of games have competition that's based on challenge.

Is it that you see competition go so far that it takes over and replaces the scout oath and law? That I'd understand. At our klondike I added a few patrol vs patrol competitions because the scouts asked for them. I gave awards for patrol spirit and teamwork, but not for winning the competition. That was a nice balance.

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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Aren’t you the adult who doesn’t allow OA in your troop?

Barry

You must mean my CO's troop. ;)

Yes, my CO's unit has never participated in OA.

 

Edited by David CO

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20 minutes ago, MattR said:

Is it that you see competition go so far that it takes over and replaces the scout oath and law? That I'd understand. 

Oh no. Nothing like that.

I don't mind scouts playing games and having skill competitions at meetings and events. That's fun.

It's only when people start ranking the scouts, and claiming that someone is a better scout than the other boys, that I get upset. If a boy is behaving himself and having fun at scouting, he is a good scout.

Scouting is about self-improvement and having fun. It is not about outperforming the other scouts. 

 

Edited by David CO

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5 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Prior to 1996 Scouts could vote for 1/2 of those eligible. If it was an odd number, you rounded up to the next even number. So if 2 Scouts were eligible, you could only vote for 1. If 3 or 4 Scouts were eligible, you could vote for 2. Etc.

 

From 1980 Handbook, pg. 49 under Unit Election Procedure

"There is no fixed quota. All eligible boys who receive votes from at least 50% of those who turn in ballots are elected."

I have never read anything that differed from that, from prior material or in the interim. I have never even heard anything materially different stated before.

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6 hours ago, Eagledad said:

I think what OA represented is dead. OA used to recognize the above average scouts. They were experts with woods tools and felt very comfortable alone in the woods. They were givers of their time an represent Friendly, Courteous, and Kind to a fine art. Todays adults prefer mediocrity so that nobody feels bad being the below average scout. Advancement is more desired in groups and leadership is given so that each scout gets a turn. OA was a program that gave the above average scouts a bigger arena to expand dreams. Now it's just another boring program that is challenged to fit in a troop agenda.

Barry

I do not agree that what OA represent is dead.

I do agree with what you say about today's adults.  But that is, in fact, an opportunity for strong SM's to lead.

I make no bones that I believe Eagle Scout is NOT a participation Trophy and that I do not expect every Scout, or even very many, to achieve that distinction. I preach the same about OA, it is where hard work and service is not just the expectation, it is an obligation. And if you want to be part of it you better work your hardest to prove you are a first-rate Scout. 

I get some dirty looks from adults, and the occasional objection/argument, which always falls flat because there is no real argument against it.  The youth buy in almost universally to the concept.

Regardless of where you serve in Scouting, you have the opportunity to strengthen the whole. Hold the standard and others will eventually follow. Som will follow because they see the effects, some will follow out of embarrassment. But most follow or give up and get out.  We have a Scoutmaster in this area like that, he sets such a good example I have even heard the SE say we need to get this right because we don't want to get the stare from the SM.

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5 hours ago, qwazse said:

We really emphasize this point with the boys. If they don't know a scout, abstain. (Yes, we have to teach them what the word means and how to spell it!)

Some first class scouts in a troop that's only been doing patrol-oriented activities may only be known to their patrol, SPL, and ASPL. For them, 6 honest votes (up or down) out of 10 is all that should matter:cool: ... unless between school and meetings other scouts know that he robs liquor stores to buy drugs.:mad:  The opposite could be true. A scout could be in a patrol full of bullies, and he's going against their current. The thugs don't notice it, but boys in other patrols do. Either way that's why you want as much of the troop as possible to weigh in and vote: yes, no, or abstain.

 

The is a very good approach.

Last year I was to oversee 2 different elections in one night, with different elections teams. We scheduled one for the first half of the meeting and the other for the second half.

When I arrived, the adult OA member who had brought several of the team, talked the troop onto go ahead and holding the election. Initially, I was fine with that. But after the meeting, as I was talking to the Scoutmaster, he told me the adult leader insisted that everyone turn in a ballot because they only had a little over 50% of their troop there, otherwise they couldn't hold the election. Although the adult OA member was wrong, the SM had no idea.

So all of his brand new crossovers turned in blank ballots. Out of 7 Scouts on the ballot, 2 were elected, 2 more would have been had the election been run properly. The SM was not happy. There were proposed bylaws changes to prevent this in the future.

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39 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

From 1980 Handbook, pg. 49 under Unit Election Procedure

"There is no fixed quota. All eligible boys who receive votes from at least 50% of those who turn in ballots are elected."

I have never read anything that differed from that, from prior material or in the interim. I have never even heard anything materially different stated before.

Give me a few days to find my Guide to Elections and Inductions book from that time frame. Since it is out of date, it may be in storage.

 

 

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5 hours ago, qwazse said:

Don't worry HT, E94 has his bright moments.

But graft an corruption -- especially from volunteers and pros -- cause him to squeak.

 

Perhaps I am remembering the wrong poster, if so I apologize.

But the level of negativity on this board by so many toward Scouting is astounding.

I lost both of my parents when I was a teenager. Had my Scout leaders been as negative as many on this board, I wouldn't have stuck with scouting and no telling where I would have ended up. Scouting isn't perfect, but what is. 

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I’ve noticed scouters seem to be just like scouts only older and with a ton of references I need to google. You guys argue and think each is more right than the other. You get in to verbal shoving matches and most shake hands when it’s over. There are bullies and geeks and average guys. Just like scouts. I don’t see much difference just older and less hair. That’s a joke so don’t ban me. 

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2 hours ago, David CO said:

Oh no. Nothing like that.

I don't mind scouts playing games and having skill competitions at meetings and events. That's fun.

It's only when people start ranking the scouts, and claiming that someone is a better scout than the other boys, that I get upset. If a boy is behaving himself and having fun at scouting, he is a good scout.

Scouting is about self-improvement and having fun. It is not about outperforming the other scouts. 

 

Now I understand, thanks. Yes, the point is to improve. I just sat in on a EBOR. The scout was a procrastinator. He also had been through a lot. His parents lost custody, are alcoholics. He was a year behind in school. Legally he's blind. But grow he did. Not the best leader I've seen but certainly has an amazing resolve and a cheery attitude. He went and took the GED so he could graduate 3 months early and start taking classes full time at the local CC. He's one of those success stories that make you feel good about scouting.

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5 hours ago, David CO said:

Scouting isn't a competition. I don't think there is any such thing as a below average scout. 

Scouting is about having fun with your friends. It is not supposed to be like school or sports. Scouting doesn't have grades or class ranking. There is no above average or below average. There is no best of the best. There are no championships. There are no all-stars. There are no winners and losers. 

I am often annoyed by people who try to take the competition out of sports, but I am even more irritated by people who try to put competition into scouting. Not in my unit.

Mediocracy isn't about grades, ranking or competition. Mediocracy occurs because people settle for something less than what is capable. 

In Scouting, that bar is the oath and law. Not merit badges, or rank, or OA. There are those Scouts that exemplify the oath and law and there are those that do not.  There are Scouts that do not earn a sash full of merit badges or achieve Eagle or get into the OA, who absolutely exemplify the oath and law in their lives. And Eagles that do not.

But if an adult leader does not expect a Scout to live the oath and law, and lets him slide by when he is not, then the SM is settling for mediocrity and not doing that young man any favors. 

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1 hour ago, Back Pack said:

I’ve noticed scouters seem to be just like scouts only older and with a ton of references I need to google. You guys argue and think each is more right than the other. You get in to verbal shoving matches and most shake hands when it’s over. There are bullies and geeks and average guys. Just like scouts. I don’t see much difference just older and less hair. That’s a joke so don’t ban me. 

Pretty much. One of the challenges is that BSA changes policies and procedures so often, folks cannot keep up. Best example is the December 2016 Cub Scout advancement changes. We still have folks using the June 2015 - December 2016 advancement because that is in the book. Another example can be the various MB requirements. How many times did they change Cooking MB in a 5 year period?

Another challenge is old age, Memory goes as ya age ;) 

2 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

From 1980 Handbook, pg. 49 under Unit Election Procedure

"There is no fixed quota. All eligible boys who receive votes from at least 50% of those who turn in ballots are elected."

I have never read anything that differed from that, from prior material or in the interim. I have never even heard anything materially different stated before.

OK I am using my 1987 printing of the 1977 ed. of the OA HB.

The Unit Election Procedure  starts on page 48. On page 51, procedure 6 is the following

6. The election team determines the maximum  number of names a voter may list on his ballot by reading the illustrated chart [ note chart is on page 53, E94],  as follows

* Find the number of eligible for election in the first column (Note: Boys who are already members of the Order of the Arrow must not be counted as eligible) [sic, E94]

* The maximum number of names a voter may list on his ballot is given by the number immediately to the right in the second column. Example" Voters in a unit with 9 boys eligible may list no more than 5 names on their ballots.

* If there are more than 20 eligible in the unit, one-half the number eligible may be listed on each ballot. If the number eligible is uneven, round the figure upward before dividing by 2. 

 

The chart on page 53 looks something like this

                                               ELECTION CHART

Number of Boys Eligible                 Maximum Names on Ballot

1 or 2                                                   1

3 or 4                                                   2

5 or 6                                                   3

7 or 8                                                   4 

9 or 10                                                 5

11 or 12                                               6

13 or 14                                                7

15 or 16                                                8

17 or 18                                                9

19 or 20                                                10

21 or more                                            Ratio of 1 to 2 (round up if number eligible is odd.)

Regarding blank ballots according to Procedure 7 on page 52  they count. Only way to not vote and not hurt anyone was to "abstain by not turning in a ballot at all, and this will not affect the final result."

The 1990 edition of the OA Guide for Officers and Advisers repeats the above verbatim on pages 38 through 41. I think I got the book in 1993, but no later than 1995 when I became a chapter adviser.

 

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I think the motto of the Cub Scouts is still an essential element for any Boy Scout, or adult for that matter - DO YOUR BEST.

No true Scout will accept anything less than his very best effort in all things, whether it's advancement, personal effort, individual integrity, or whatever. Mediocrity is never acceptable to the boy with Scouting in his heart. As leaders we model that ideal in the expectations we have for the young men we work with, and in the expectations we have for ourselves.

Requiring 50% attendance at OA elections is a reflection of that principle. The purpose of the OA is to recognize Scouts who perpetually do their best and are willing to participate in a program that extends their opportunities to do good by offering extra service outings and camp experiences. But to successfully determine the Scouts that merit that kind of opportunity, there must be a viable portion of the Troop present who can accurately determine who those people are - the broader the demographic of voters, the more accurate the results will be. 50% is actually quite a low standard when you consider the point of the election. We want to know who the Troop really thinks is ready for the experiences the OA has to offer, so by requiring a large percentage of Troop members to be present, you are getting a better idea of just who those people really should be.

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On 2/14/2018 at 7:38 PM, Back Pack said:

Ours is three hours long and boring so we do our own. 

Three hours!?  That's nuts!

Good lord, how many candidates do you have?

Last year we called out about 60 scouts in 40 minutes, and we thought our ceremony  was pretty elaborate. 

As to the  50 percent rule I confess I never gave it much thought but I suppose it's there so they get a decent cross section of the troop voting a bun who is Worthy. 

Generally the OA rep and the  scoutmaster emphasized that the election is important and strongly encouraged the scouts to attend. I can only remember one troop that didn't have 50%, needed something like four more boys and they asked us to wait while they made some quick phone calls we hung around for an extra half-hour and five of them showed up so we just had the election at the end of the meeting instead of at the beginning.

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8 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

From 1980 Handbook, pg. 49 under Unit Election Procedure

"There is no fixed quota. All eligible boys who receive votes from at least 50% of those who turn in ballots are elected."

I have never read anything that differed from that, from prior material or in the interim. I have never even heard anything materially different stated before.

I have been unable to find my oa stuff from the '70s, so I can't quote exact numbers.  But there was a fixed percentage of scouts that could be elected each year.  I think it was 15 percent.  So if you had 40 scouts in the troop you could elect a maximum of 6.

It rarely made a difference anyway.

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