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SM Discretion on OA Elections

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For clarification, our SM did not speak to the OA election team. He inquired with the Adult Advisor on both occasions. Last year, the Scout was added. This year it was a different and “older” Advsior, with a different outcome. Going forward, we now know what is right and as Scouters we will not interfere. Learning lesson for all.

Thanks again for the advice and comments. 

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1 hour ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

. Even though I am in the Order I had an adult member from outside of troop present for my troop's election. I even delayed my Troop's election for two weeks after I found that someone "edited" the camping nights on our Troop Web Host site for an adult and their scout. 

@Scoutmaster Teddy the Election Team should have had an Adult Advisor with them for the election. All of them should have been from another troop.

what I am really curious about is how somebody edited the nights on the troops web site. Who had access to that? If you don’t mind sharing...

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3 hours ago, an_old_DC said:

@Scoutmaster Teddy the Election Team should have had an Adult Advisor with them for the election. All of them should have been from another troop.

Yep, that's the rule. An adult from the Lodge was going to be there anyway. The two Scouts from another troop had to cancel so we made do. We had the Chief's and the Election Team Adviser's blessing. My Troop is located at the far Southern end of our council. Sometimes it's hard to get people down there with us Southerners. Ya'll know that.

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5 hours ago, Chisos said:

Wow.  You mean they went in and added some nights so they'd qualify to be on the ballot?  I'd be livid at that!

I couldn't sleep for a few days. A Scout is Trustworthy, right? That should go for adult scouts also.

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1 hour ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

I couldn't sleep for a few days. A Scout is Trustworthy, right? That should go for adult scouts also.

Yup.  I'd even hold the adults to a higher standard.  I'd honestly consider having them dropped from the troop charter.  Or at the least, not have them go through Ordeal, and make sure it was a long while before they might be considered again.

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On ‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 9:37 PM, an_old_DC said:

Yes, absolutely agree. The SM was clearly wrong last year, the election team should not have acquiesced to the request, and Adult Advisor should have been running interference.

So, if that is actual policy to have an adult advisor at the elections, where is that documented in the by-laws or policy? I would like to know this, because if that is the requirement then I know of a lodge who does not enforce that policy of the chapters. Thank you for the insight.

On the other point about the nominations of the boys to pick out the best scout, I totally disagree that the election system works. I can show for fact, in many instances, the best scout was not nominated, sometimes due to the scouts parents being involved in the Troop as leaders. I will argue that point until a cow jumps over the moon. So, any debaters willing to take me up on this?

I can easily point to the leadership not having a well working troop and having cliques within the troop. Oh, you say, that is not suppose to happen? Yes, amazing how that thought works, as you turn your cheek to the red flags that prove otherwise.

Year after year, scouts hear the same saying, "Think back and reflect on your actions as a scout, and see how you can better yourself to be one of the chosen, that stand before you". If that is not condescending, then what is? Just thinking of all the boys that this is being recited to, and wonder how many of those will drop out of scouts because of this one incident.

And, what is the percentage of sash and dash scouts, that have no desire to do anything but brag about being in the OA vs. the scouts who really would make a significant contribution to the OA.

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@silent-warrior, ditto the welcome.

Form any nomination scheme you like (including the one that many of us experienced in the 70s), and I can show you examples of disappointments. The question is, are there more disappointments than successes?

Take my family for example. By the books, both I and my sons are what you would call sash-n-dash. Our lodge saw nothing of us after the ordeals. On another, very few would doubt our commitments to scouting, supporting camps, being of service to scouting activities, respect for native tribes, and introducing people who've never gone camping or hiking before to extended time in the out-of-doors. Much of which was inspired by our ordeal membership.

We launched a venturing crew, and it caught a lot of kids that Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts "missed". Doing so consumed tremendous time and energy. We were left with choices: devote time to O/A or devote time to teaching girls and boys who never experienced troop life its principles. The Arrowmen in our lodge did not begrudge our choosing the former, so that is where we put our time.

All that to say, I don't ask O/A to provide me with a better elections system, because it's very difficult to really prove. They lack any credible metric to test the success/failure of one vs. the other.

Finally, to your point regarding what is said to scouts who weren't elected:

2 hours ago, silent-warrior said:

... Year after year, scouts hear the same saying, "Think back and reflect on your actions as a scout, and see how you can better yourself to be one of the chosen, that stand before you". If that is not condescending, then what is? Just thinking of all the boys that this is being recited to, and wonder how many of those will drop out of scouts because of this one incident. ...

Condescension, by definition, occurs when one who is elevated speaks to one who is not. So yes, the phrase is condescending. But it is not necessarily inaccurate. Nor is all condescension immoral or harmful. How many boys quit because of this particular act of condescension? Of the boys in our troop who have heard those words (about 5 or six, I think, over quite some years), all of them stayed in the troop to run again and eventually get elected. The scout who lost multiple times became one of the more active in his lodge.

Your mileage may vary.

Edited by qwazse
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5 hours ago, silent-warrior said:

 If that is not condescending, then what is? 

An OA advisor thinking he has the right to confront a scoutmaster at his own meeting.

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24 minutes ago, David CO said:

An OA advisor thinking he has the right to confront a scoutmaster at his own meeting.

That is why any issues, concerns, or problems a SM has with the Elections Team and/or Advisor need to be dealt with privately and  calmly. I know I have had a few of those over the years.

But when a SM starts yelling and  berating the youth election team members, that is when an advisor needs to step in. And if a SM continues to make a public spectacle by yelling and berating the youth and the advisor who is trying to calmly and privately discuss the issue, then it is time for the OA election team to calmly leave like I did.

Edited by Eagle94-A1
added "privately"
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21 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

then it is time for the OA election team to calmly leave like I did.

Absolutely right. Just calmly leave the meeting.

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The easiest way to avoid OA election drama is to not have OA elections.

From a Scoutmaster's point of view, renaming free council labor as an 'Honor Camping Society' doesn't justify potentially driving away quiet scouts who have been active enough to be eligible.  There is no upside for the troop.

Ini-To. 1969

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4 hours ago, JoeBob said:

The easiest way to avoid OA election drama is to not have OA elections.

From a Scoutmaster's point of view, renaming free council labor as an 'Honor Camping Society' doesn't justify potentially driving away quiet scouts who have been active enough to be eligible.  There is no upside for the troop.

Ini-To. 1969

From this Scoutmaster's point of view, it's a shame that your OA experience has been so negative. The scouts in our troop who are active in the OA are by far our strongest leaders, and bring fresh new ideas to continually develop our program, which leads to better scout retention (and continued interest in the OA).

Done properly, the OA is far more than free council labor...

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On 3/22/2018 at 1:47 PM, David CO said:

An OA advisor thinking he has the right to confront a scoutmaster at his own meeting.

When the scoutmaster is red in the face and screaming in the OA scouts face, demanding that he fudge the vote count so that the scoutmaster's son can be elected,  I am absolutely getting between them. I call that defending a 14 year old  from a 40 year old bully. You can call it condescending  or whatever you want.

Edited by Oldscout448
Removed an unscoutlike word
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3 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

When the scoutmaster is red in the face and screaming in the OA scouts face, demanding that he fudge the vote count so that the scoutmaster's son can be elected,  I am absolutely getting between them. I call that defending a 14 year old  from a 40 year old bully. You can call it condescending  or whatever you want.

Things should never get to that point. If it does, it is a clear indication that the OA advisor messed up. He should have packed up his OA team and left the meeting long before that happened.

We have the same problem in sports. Even though coaches and umpires have been trained to call off a game before letting things get too far out of hand, many people are overly reluctant to do it. They place too much importance on finishing the game. A game isn't worth fighting over.

So, when an argument occurs at a scout meeting, who should walk away? It is certainly not the scoutmaster. The scoutmaster is responsible to the CO to supervise the building and lock up afterwards. The scoutmaster can't just walk away. The CO requires him to stay until everyone else has left.

The OA advisor, on the other hand, has no need to remain in the meeting. He has no obligation to supervise or lock up. He is usually not even a member of the CO. He and his team are free to leave any time they want to.

The only reason an OA team and an OA advisor would stay at the meeting, in the situation you describe, if foolish pride. They just don't want to walk away. They want to stay and win the argument. They want to argue and fight rather than walk away.

It is more than condescending, it is prideful and arrogant. 

 

 

 

Edited by David CO

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