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Eagle94-A1

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY Brotherhood Time Requirement Change

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Wow, Eagledad, I wish they would just make you in charge.  

Here is where I expect these things came from. Someone at national asked some scouts who stuck with the program (11 to 18) what made them stay.  They got a large number of "the OA" answers.  I think this is true of many Arrowmen.  I also think that the rate of people sticking with the OA after Brotherhood is much higher than those who only ever complete the Ordeal.  National must have concluded that getting scouts to brotherhood with help them stick with the OA longer, sticking with the OA will make them stay in the program longer.  

I am not sure of the logic as it seems to me that OA lodges are all so different.  I hated our chapter because the chapter chief was the same guy for my first three years there.  He was a bully that got in "trouble" for smoking at camp. I hung around just enough to complete my brotherhood though.  I don't know if it really matters how much of an "honor society" the OA is.  

 

For reference, our lodge only had two weekends for ordeal, one spring and one fall.  They also did the brotherhood ceremony during summer camp after the ice cream social/lodge meeting.  If your lodge doesn't have ceremonies to match this requirement then it is your lodge that is going to have to change.  

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It was once the most prestigious group of any size within Scouting - the SPL/Silver Award/Eagle Scout Club.  Your heart pounded as the Tap Out Team worked its way slowly  towards where you stood in line at the campfire - to the beat of a drum.  "Thump, thumpo, thump"  - Gary got it!   Is someone behind me, silently holding his hand over MY head?!  Could I be an Arrowman?  

Leadership in Service.

 

 

 

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Thanks @Eagledad

My gut tells me that these are some a key lines:

2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Where I think OA is failing is the adults advisers don't have good vision for the program. Tehy don't encourage activities that develop above average skills. They don't understand the comradery of working together, so the work camps don't have enough personal social activities. There isn't enough of outdoors development mixed with the service.

...

As I said, the problem I saw with OA lately is the lack of vision from the adults. No real expectations for honor campers and servants. They were just repeating what they always did.

Between what I see locally and what I read here, this is I suspect the root of the problem.

I'd love to find a way to capture your ideas and turn them into some specific recommendations for chapter advisors.  One could certainly just print out your post and share it.  I'd love for the community to create something that we could share with advisors.  A sort of "Guidelines to OA Chapter success".

Edited by ParkMan
Added a few clarifying words

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Two things I have noticed.  Changing the elections so that all eligible youth can get in, cheapens the program.  The ceremonies that are mandated by National are so lame.  Last year at the tap out ceremony, I asked myself the question.  If I were a first year scout who knew nothing about the OA, I would have left the ceremony still not knowing anything about the OA.  The legend is non existent.

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I guess times have changed.  I grew up in a family that went out of their way (looking back on it) to help in the community.  My dad was a Lion, club president for some years. My mom was deep in the PTA, other local clubs,  wrote a column in the local paper,  They just did stuff, and I tagged along, helped out where I could , I remember many of my friends were of the same sort, not just in Scouts. 

Finding satisfaction in DOING and finishing a job.  We mowed the church lawn (now it's a pro outfit),  served at the church /VFD dinners,  variety show raised money for various charities,  the Lion's Club Horse show (I ran messages, watched the gate, led horses, ) school service club (Key Club? Leos?) were active.  I remember it was fun, doing "adult stuff" , with my parents' friends.   Have the kids lost the example from "millennial" parents who forgot what their parents did?  

When I was elected/tapped for OA, it seemed to be another step in that growth. The ordeal was a camping test (it RAINED !), and the service just a continuation of what seemed to be an expectation.  Help at the Camporee?  The Salamagundi?  At the Scoutaree?  That's what we did for the other Scouts coming up. The OA were senior, older Scouts.  We taught. We led, but not so much with a finger point as with a glance over our shoulder, if you catch my meaning. 

I still see some of that , but maybe this thread/discussion has made me think that such civic mindedness is not as prevalent as it once was?   The volunteer fire company cannot be staffed so easily any more by local businessmen and farmers who would drop their tools at the sound of the siren and come running to the firehouse.  Now, the county has a professional core of wonderful "first responders" that smile and nod at the volunteers that still work to equip the fire companies and keep up the training standards, all because they think they "should".  

Perhaps the perceived OA "crisis" is another symptom of the friction between the Scout Led/Patrol Method and the adults who sign the check book  that are afraid the kids won't do it right the first time..... 

 

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Why the OA matters to my son:

1. As a scouts ages, they relate less and less to the scouts in the unit.  OA lodge gatherings bring youth in similar phases of life to together.  Arrowmen talk about college, and other aspirations.   It is not uncommon for the entire chapter to pile in one adirondack while at a lodge event, and talk until 3 AM.  See #2

2. Brotherhood...not the recognition.

3. OA High Adventure programs.  These programs are more affordable and much more accessible to middle class folk then the generic scout HA programs, and do not require adult (parental) involvement.  

The local chapter has meetings once a month, but they are a snore.  Most of the active arrowmen are reliable participants at lodge and section events.  Yes, there are many kids who go through ordeal, and they are done, but they are faceless unknowns that have marginalized themselves, and are not legit.  They may be statistic on a computer spreadsheet, but if they are not attending chapter meetings, lodge activities, NOAC, and HA, then they are not really arrowmen.

My boy is planning on going on a OA HA every year until he ages out.

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I'm one of the Scoutmasters "allowed in." I fumed out as a youth and missed summer camp and what would have been my tapout. I joined Scouting with my son when he became a Tiger. Attended with him all the way to the troop.  I had my 15 nights camping (more like 30) and was nominated by my committee. That was Summer 2017. Got Brotherhood. I'm still very active, having advised for a Winter Dinner (Jan 2018) and still serving as a Chapter Adviser since May 2018. No freebies here.  Founder's Award Jan. 2018. Haven't missed a work project or Fellowship/Conclave. Not bragging... Just trying to set a good example.

We offer Brotherhood at the May Fellowship, Thursdays during Summer Camp (five to six opportunities), and at the August Fellowship. Plenty of opportunities. As much as I try to live the Scout Oath and Law and provide cheerful service and a good example I still fail to convince some of my own Scouts to reach for Brotherhood. They get their pocket flap and sash and dash. Some don't even pay dues after year one. The dynamic has shifted. 

Edited by Scoutmaster Teddy

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On 6/9/2019 at 12:29 PM, ParkMan said:

That's a delivery problem.  It's supposed to be an elite group.  If we want it to be elite, we need a program that attracts elite Scouts.  As mentioned above, the OA national leadership needs to strengthen the core program. At a local level we need to have strong lodges and chapters that deliver strong programs.

The National Lodge needs tor to reevaluate the history and find a way to reinstate the mystique and actual "honor" in being a member.  It has been beaten to death, but there need to be more actual limits on eligibility that make it less a "gimme".  They sill have a purpose and in ur council do help, though, as noted, getting higher participation is difficult.  But that has as much to do with the lesser honor issues than simply the over-scheduled lives of the scouts in general. 

 

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3 hours ago, skeptic said:

The National Lodge needs tor to reevaluate the history and find a way to reinstate the mystique and actual "honor" in being a member.  It has been beaten to death, but there need to be more actual limits on eligibility that make it less a "gimme".  They sill have a purpose and in ur council do help, though, as noted, getting higher participation is difficult.  But that has as much to do with the lesser honor issues than simply the over-scheduled lives of the scouts in general. 

 

Fully agree.  I've been wondering of the OA would be better off by ncreasing the requirements and then combining chapters and perhaps even doing away with them.  

 

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4 hours ago, skeptic said:

The National Lodge needs tor to reevaluate the history and find a way to reinstate the mystique and actual "honor" in being a member.  It has been beaten to death, but there need to be more actual limits on eligibility that make it less a "gimme".  They sill have a purpose and in ur council do help, though, as noted, getting higher participation is difficult.  But that has as much to do with the lesser honor issues than simply the over-scheduled lives of the scouts in general. 

 

We had 3 scout eligible this spring and two were elected then a short time before the Call Out ceremony out Chapter adult leader call to tell me that he could put the third scout in since he can put in deserving scouts that don't get elected.  I told him that I have never heard of that before and no the troops vote can stand but he replied that there weren't many scout elected for our chapter.  Sometimes it feels like they want more Arrowmen just to have a larger audience to sell all of their OA swag to.

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52 minutes ago, my_three_sons said:

We had 3 scout eligible this spring and two were elected then a short time before the Call Out ceremony out Chapter adult leader call to tell me that he could put the third scout in since he can put in deserving scouts that don't get elected.  

No he most certainly can not.

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2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Fully agree.  I've been wondering of the OA would be better off by ncreasing the requirements and then combining chapters and perhaps even doing away with them.  

 

While most do, it is not required for a Lodge to have Chapters.  Most that have them set it up as each District has a Chaper, but I have seen some that have a Chapter for every two Districts, or divide it entirely unique from the District division.

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