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Momof

Elections for OA

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Posted (edited)

If ballots are handed out,  if two names on the ballot are ALREADY OA members, how is this an issue?   

Edited by RememberSchiff
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1 minute ago, RememberSchiff said:

@Momof welcome to scouter.com. Sounds like a easy fix, how did this happen?

Folks not being prepared or really up to par with knowing OA, the requirements and significance of it which is sad.  No prior discussions building up to elections and last minute notice.  Two boys overheard stating 'no I don't want to be in it', were put on the ballot, voted in and other parent heard SM tell them 'tough, you're in.'   Very discouraging and that's being kind.  

What's the easy fix?  Was the ballot acceptable?  For the 'honor society of Boy Scouts' you would think those having their hand in this would do better in respecting the process..........

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If a scout is elected into OA but for whatever reason decides it is not for him, all he has to do is to courteously inform the Lodge with a thanks but no. Granted some  elected scouts just do not intend OA and in a year, the Lodge removes them. 

Above is my understanding.  Hang around to hear from better informed forum members.

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Was a representative from your Lodge present and running the election? As far as a Scout getting on the ballot who doesn't want to be elected, it happens.  They are not actually part of the OA after election, they need to go through the Ordeal weekend within 1 year of election to be considered members.  As far as there being "already OA" members, are they actually truly members? Or, were they elected last year and did not complete Ordeal?  

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Thank you for taking the time to reply.  Parent pressure on this one and I don't see them hanging in there, hope they do, it's an honor.  To have scouts that truly want to get in and don't, just makes no sense.    There has to be a better way, looking for more input for sure and thank you again.

 

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4 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

Was a representative from your Lodge present and running the election? As far as a Scout getting on the ballot who doesn't want to be elected, it happens.  They are not actually part of the OA after election, they need to go through the Ordeal weekend within 1 year of election to be considered members.  As far as there being "already OA" members, are they actually truly members? Or, were they elected last year and did not complete Ordeal?  

Precisely.

If a kid gets voted in but doesn't want to be in OA, all he has to do is just not go through the Ordeal. 

But then, if he later decides he wants to be in OA, he'd have to get voted in a second time. 

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2 minutes ago, Momof said:

... To have scouts that truly want to get in and don't, just makes no sense.    ...

I'm confused. Were they not on the ballot?

If they were, all they would need was for half the scouts to vote for them. There's no limit to the number of candidates a scout can vote for, so the scouts who didn't get elected need to learn what it was that made more than half their fellow scouts conclude that they were not worthy.

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The OA is unique, that both members and non-members vote on who can be eligible to become members.  Unfortunately, it isn't perfect, and some kids will vote for who they are buddies with, not necessarily those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law.  

I ask if a representative of the Lodge was present, as I know in some areas units run elections without the Lodge (though that is not supposed to happen).  Lodge election representatives are supposed to give a short talk before the election on what the qualities are that an Arrowman should be expected to represent.  That doesn't mean it keeps it from being a popularity contest, but it could.

As Qwaze stated, each youth who is eligible to vote can vote for as many on the ballot they want.  If there are 7 kids on the ballot, they can vote for all 7 if they want.

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15 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

Lodge election representatives are supposed to give a short talk before the election on what the qualities are that an Arrowman should be expected to represent.

I have found that not all election teams are equal.  Some do nothing but read a script, others are not very adept at answering any questions scouts may have, and then you have the team that comes in fully prepared and on top of their game.  (the team that did our election this year did not mention that the boys could vote for both of our eligible candidates, even when asked, so I stepped up and made sure they were aware of that)

55 minutes ago, Momof said:

 Two boys overheard stating 'no I don't want to be in it', were put on the ballot, voted in and other parent heard SM tell them 'tough, you're in.'

No scout who is not interested in being elected should be on the ballot.  We begin talking about elections a month in advance, spending a few minutes at the beginning of the meetings explaining what OA is and does for the district and council, and what we expect of anyone who is elected.  We also speak individually with each eligible scout to gauge interest, and if they indicate that they have none, we respect that and do not put them on the ballot.  As several others have stated, even if elected they do not actually become members until they complete the ordeal ceremony, which must be done within 1 year of election.  There is no 'tough, you're in'.  

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Posted (edited)

OA, its elections, its importance, and how it's viewed, is wildly inconsistent and varies greatly from council to council and troop to troop.  Our lodge isn't particularly strong and sometimes has trouble getting election teams to troops, and the quality of those teams is as inconsistent as you would expect for an organization run by teenagers.

In our troop, the PLC schedules an election during April or May and invites the lodge to conduct it.  As Sm I look at who is eligible and print up a ballot for the election team to use.  I must admit I've never asked if anyone does or does not want to be on the ballot, and no one has told me they don't want to be.  We don't perfectly track who is already a member so it's possible the ballot could contain someone who already is.  I assume anyone who doesn't want to be on, or who is already a member, would just tell their fellow scouts.  Other than when the SPL tells the troop what the general schedule is for the month it probably doesn't get talked about ahead of time.

Edited by T2Eagle

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