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octo

Attending Events Solo

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So I am the SPL of a small troop from in the ONSC. I am the only member of the OA in my troop that is still active. I would love to start going to events but I'm not too sure about going to fellowship and conclave solo is the best idea. I just recently got my ordeal membership last August and I plan on getting brotherhood so I would like to be active In the OA. Any Ideas or stories of doing OA events like these solo?

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Welcome to the forum, @octo.

Assuming you have time to be both SPL and join the OA, then go for it. I would assume many scouts go to OA events solo. Are you active in your chapter activities? You can meet other scouts there that might be interested in going to lodge events.

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If your lodge is anything like mine, they will have chapters camp together at conclave or fellowship.  I think you will find that jumping in feet first and attending whether solo or with someone you know from another local troop, is a great way to get to know other members of your chapter.

Our spring conclave begins tomorrow, and I am sure that there will be several chapter members who will enjoy the fellowship while being the only member of their troop in attendance.  This is actually the first time in quite a while that I will not be the only person from my troop, as I have 2 new Arrowmen who will be attending their second lodge weekend since being inducted in January. 

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Welcome @octo.  You will find that much of your involvement with OA will be of a "solo" nature.  That doesn't mean you won't find other members of your troop participating, but it would be a rarity that if you chose to be part of your lodge ceremonies team you would be with members of your troop, or if you ran for an officer position that you would have other members of your troop also on the same officer group.  Look at the OA as the brotherhood of scouts, and consider it an opportunity to be around scouts from other units/backgrounds/interests to learn and form new bonds beyond those you have with just your troop members.  

As a youth, I wasn't a terribly active Arrowman, but I did form bonds with a few guys from my lodge outside of my troop.  Today, as a dad and seeing things through my sons eyes, most of the strongest bonds of brotherhood he has made through the OA are with Arrowmen from other lodges, which is incredible to see as a parent - and such a unique opportunity that OA has given him as a youth.  How many youth organizations can you think of that would allow you to have so many opportunities to spend time with youth from different towns/cities/counties/states on a semi-regular basis?

I can appreciate that it may seem daunting to take that leap, but I say go for it! I hope that you find it rewarding.  WWW   

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Like I said to my kids ... go out there, have fun ... be sure to talk to strangers!!!! ;)

I wasn't that involved with O/A, but as I became an older teen I did a good bit of scouting stuff on my own ... that is, with guys who weren't in my troop. It's kind of natural ... expanding your circle of friends like that. It gets you ready for college or military life.

Son #1 ... he did scouting with the guys and girls in his troop/crew (and really they were scouts/venturers from his school) or not at all. And, they were good kids mostly, and that worked out well for him. So, I can respect that feeling of "If I got good people who are building me up, I'm sticking with them."

But Daughter and Son #2 really needed to branch out. So, they connected with many scouts who weren't in their neighborhood (or town, county, state ...). They still kept their school friends, but for scouting to work for them, they had spend time away from their unit. So, I can respect that feeling of "Maybe I should find more good people to build me up."

So, I'd encourage you to set aside a weekend or two for events where you're the only one from your troop. Keep an open mind. If it suit for you, don't be discouraged. You'll still have your troop. But odds are you'll enjoy branching out. Rumor has it that scouts are friendly. :D

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You will find the OA is very accommodating to solo Scouts as well as groups.

You should absolutely go. My son was the only one active from his troop at first, now other go as well and he is now Lodge Chief. He has made friends with hundreds of Scouts in the Lodge and in several other Lodges as well.

Join your chapter meetings as well if they are active. Volunteer with the Lodge, join a committee and try different tings. Odds are you will find something you enjoy and can have a positive impact on the Lodge and Scouting. 

Most importantly, have fun, and don't worry about being solo or who else does or does not attend. 

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I attend NOAC when I was a rather scrawny introverted 15 year old, solo of sorts. No one else from my lodge was headed there but I was able to travel with a Lodge 3 hours from me. The other Arrowmen went out of their way to include me and I had a blast. I even joined them on a basketball team and we came in second place for our region. OA is kind of like the magic school bus, you won't always know what you are going to be doing, but you know you will probably get dirty, and probably have tons of fun. And the key to that is to communicate. With OA members in your unit, or chapter, or lodge. Your solo plunge may turn you into the spearhead leading the charge.

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