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John-in-KC

As we approach 1 Feb 19...

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Has the National Committee issued guidance on the conduct of ceremonies including youth women?

My specific question is to regalia for youth members:  Will there be a requirement to put a shirt on for boys, since when we have girls joining C Teams in a year or two, they will have to be shirted...

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You mean "Appropriate attire is required for all activities." is not an adequate statement? (I am being somewhat sarcastic)

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My prediction is that within short order there will come the directive that all ceremonies will be conducted in a full class A uniform.

And honestly, as a former lodge chief, and as a former section chief - I have no problem with that. 

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7 hours ago, shingobeek said:

My prediction is that within short order there will come the directive that all ceremonies will be conducted in a full class A uniform.

And honestly, as a former lodge chief, and as a former section chief - I have no problem with that. 

Then we are going to need totally new ceremonies. 

My current worry is Will there even be an Order in 10 years? 

Edited by Oldscout448

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Oldscout448,

 

Our lodge shut down all chapter ceremony teams last year. We barely have a lodge ceremony team. OA has now become nothing but a service group. The mystique of the native American culture used in the OA was the pull. It's gone. To this day, one of my favorite scouts still refers to the OA as free labor. He's since joined the Air Force, got married, become a dad, and retired from the Air Force. His mom was my long serving committee chair. He loved scouting with his friends, and although he had fun in the OA too (as a chapter ceremonialist), "free labor" was what he remembers most of the OA.

Call this service group anything but the OA. That's gone. Just like the Boy Scouts are gone. The spirit has left.

sst3rd

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I too am worried about the OA. Neither one of my sons who are eligible are interested. The loss of the Native American theme, the spirit of the OA, is slowly dying. And in all honesty, I can no longer do the things I have done in the past to revitalize and reinvigorate chapters I have worked with as it has always been AIA and Ceremonies. 

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:26 PM, sst3rd said:

Oldscout448,

 

Our lodge shut down all chapter ceremony teams last year. We barely have a lodge ceremony team. OA has now become nothing but a service group. The mystique of the native American culture used in the OA was the pull. It's gone. 

sst3rd

@sst3rd

The fire is indeed burning less brightly than it was,  and National may be filling a big bucket of water  but I plan on keeping watch as long as there is an ember glowing.

I think I owe this to the memory of the  four advisors who showed me the meaning of the three Obligations.  Three  of them are gone now,  the fourth is living with the Comanche in Oklahoma.

Sometimes I feel like I am the last of the Mohicans,  old and worn out,  But the some of  scouts truly  love the ceremonies and that keeps me going.

Oldscout448   consultant to Standing Bear Ceremonies LLC

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Aside from a few pockets of excellence, the OA bears little resemblance to the original vision of E. Urner Goodman and Carroll Edson.

Scouts now routinely decline to join, even if elected.  Ordeals are now "experiences."  Etc.  Boggles the mind.  Unheard of back in the day.

This is what happens when the special aspects of an organization are watered down.  Or removed entirely.

 

 

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I'm not OA - so please forgive the question.

When I was a Scout, I always heard that the OA was the group of elite scouts.  Reading the comments over the past year, I hear more about ceremonies and regalia.  

I'm gathering there's more to the OA than ceremonies and council camp maintenance.  Could perhaps this be the next chapter for the OA?  Perhaps a focus around advanced camping?

Edited by ParkMan
Finished the thought

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1 hour ago, desertrat77 said:

This is what happens when the special aspects of an organization are watered down.  Or removed entirely.

UNDERSTATEMENT! I've seen the OA slowly deteriorate since National decided some aspect of the Ordeal is 'hazing." and had to be stopped. Now there are no consequences for not following the challenges. Nor are there any consequences when one defiantly and deliberately violates the Ordeal challenges except to create a separate work party by themselves. Whereas once the lodge could have sent the problem home, now the lodge has to accept the problem as a member.And they will be a "sash and dasher."

And the deterioration accelerated when National changed the current election procedure in the 1990s. Whereas it was truly an honor to get elected  because only 1/2 of those eligble could be written on the ballot, the honor has been diminished now that everyone eligible can be written on the ballot.

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15 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I'm not OA - so please forgive the question.

When I was a Scout, I always heard that the OA was the group of elite scouts.  Reading the comments over the past year, I hear more about ceremonies and regalia.  

I'm gathering there's more to the OA than ceremonies and council camp maintenance.  Could perhaps this be the next chapter for the OA?  Perhaps a focus around advanced camping?

Parkman, good question.  Camping was the very thing that made the OA special.  It used to be called the "National Brotherhood of Honor Campers."  Only the best scouts who excelled in the outdoors were elected.   Ordeals were tough.  Big emphasis on Native American history, heritage and respect.  Staffing camporees.  Performing the most difficult manual labor in the council. 

I can't recall when, but it was the late 80s/early 90s when it was changed to the "national honor society" of the BSA.  Among other things, the outdoor element was very much de-emphasized.  It's been a grim downward slide ever since.

Edited by desertrat77
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4 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I'm not OA - so please forgive the question.

When I was a Scout, I always heard that the OA was the group of elite scouts.  Reading the comments over the past year, I hear more about ceremonies and regalia.  

I'm gathering there's more to the OA than ceremonies and council camp maintenance.  Could perhaps this be the next chapter for the OA?

While there is more to the OA than ceremonies and camp maintenance, these two  items are the heart and soul of the OA.

The original purpose was to recognize HONOR CAMPERS (emphasis) and not be just an honor society. Arrowman are charged with promoting camping and maintaining council camps. Service is the heart of the OA. When National changed  the OA from National Brotherhood of Honor Campers" to the "National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America " in 1995 or thereabouts, the OA lost some of it's heart.

The Native American based ceremonies  were created to inspire and motivate potential members and Arrowmen. The ceremonies created a unique experience to get the Order's purpose instilled in them. These ceremonies were the soul of the OA.

I still remember my first experience with the OA: my Arrow of Light and Cross Over Ceremonies. And while some memories of my Ordeal Ceremony are hazy due to exhaustion at the time and  other Ordeal Ceremonies I attended as a "Friend" to candidates, I do remember being inspired to continue my journey in Scouting and the Order. I remember as a ceremonialist the looks of those Scouts' faces and seeing them proud, inspired, and motivated. One of the ways I would reinvigorate OA chapters, or even start a new chapter, was the creation of ceremony teams to inspire and motivate others. And it worked. THAT IS BECAUSE THE CEREMONIES ARE THE SOUL OF THE ORDER. ( emphasis)

When the 63 ADULTS (emphasis) on the national OA committee would not listen to the overwhelming majority of it youth members voices, and stated no more Native American regalia for Arrow of Light and Cross Over Ceremonies, the soul of the OA was greatly diminished. And I predict that soon, the OA 's soul will be completely dead as the ceremonies will be changed to remove any Native American influence.

 

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26 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

And the deterioration accelerated when National changed the current election procedure in the 1990s. Whereas it was truly an honor to get elected  because only 1/2 of those eligble could be written on the ballot, the honor has been diminished now that everyone eligible can be written on the ballot.

I think this was a big part...now it's get 15 nights camping and 1st Class, and you're pretty much in.  Elections changed from "should I really vote for this guy?" to "is there any reason I shouldn't vote for this guy?"...

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18 minutes ago, Chisos said:

I think this was a big part...now it's get 15 nights camping and 1st Class, and you're pretty much in.  Elections changed from "should I really vote for this guy?" to "is there any reason I shouldn't vote for this guy?"...

I concur with you and Eagle94...it used to be a tough cut and there would always be some deserving scouts were not elected each year because of ratios/rules etc.  But they were worth their salt, and kept striving for another year and were eventually elected.

What shocks me are the reports of scouts who decline the nomination after election.   Many of these scouts would have excelled in the old OA.  I suspect they just weren't impressed with the OA as it is today, and had better things to do with their time.  Quite a contrast to the past.

Edited by desertrat77
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