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SteveMM

Troop Pressure for OA

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HashTagScouts,

 

Welcome to the new and improved OA. Anyone at anytime. No batteries required. Just get them in, and then guilt them towards their Brotherhood. Our new lodge advisor is someone I've known for a long time. Has been everywhere, and started as a scoutmaster. Great person. Has also been active in the OA. He has always attended the chapter meetings. Since becoming the lodge advisor, his tune has changed drastically. He personally was handing out lodge provided illegibility (for Brotherhood) lists to our chapter scouts just before our last Service Weekend (Ordeal). He wanted them to call them, e-mail them, text them, whatever works, but do it! Ge them registered.

The spirit has changed in our lodge. Elections for all troops are pushed hard. Quantity might be up. But the quality is way down. Lots of scouts joining, but every event I attend, the turnover rate has to be high, because I see all new faces. How young can you be to be nominated for the OA????? I know I'm getting older, but give me a break.

Oh well, I have my memories.

sst3rd

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I too would rather 10 serious Arrowman, than 100 going through the motions.

I remember upsetting a SM when I stated that those who are not interested in the OA could leave their names off the ballots, and several of his Scouts volunteered NOT to be on the ballot. This is the Same SM who had a bunch of Arrowman in the troop, but none active

I knew this would happen when they changed the election process in the 1990s.  I just didn't know how long it would take. Combined with some other decisions by national OA, specifically the new new AOL and Cross Over Policies, I do not see anything inspiring Scouts to be interested. 

And of course, the poor Call Out Ceremony I attended really upset people.

 

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On 11/14/2019 at 10:12 PM, sst3rd said:

HashTagScouts,

 

Welcome to the new and improved OA. Anyone at anytime. No batteries required. Just get them in, and then guilt them towards their Brotherhood. Our new lodge advisor is someone I've known for a long time. Has been everywhere, and started as a scoutmaster. Great person. Has also been active in the OA. He has always attended the chapter meetings. Since becoming the lodge advisor, his tune has changed drastically. He personally was handing out lodge provided illegibility (for Brotherhood) lists to our chapter scouts just before our last Service Weekend (Ordeal). He wanted them to call them, e-mail them, text them, whatever works, but do it! Ge them registered.

The spirit has changed in our lodge. Elections for all troops are pushed hard. Quantity might be up. But the quality is way down. Lots of scouts joining, but every event I attend, the turnover rate has to be high, because I see all new faces. How young can you be to be nominated for the OA????? I know I'm getting older, but give me a break.

Oh well, I have my memories.

sst3rd

I've gotta think that in a Scouting program that is contracting, this is going to be an all too common occurrence.  A lodge/chapter structure setup when Scouting had two or three times the members is going to struggle and try to figure out how to have critical mass.  Like others, I'd rather see 10 committed members than 100 members who don't care. 

I'm getting the impression that many of these chapters are at the point where there are 10 members all looking at each other and saying "where is everyone?"  So you're the chapter chief in a district with 500 Scouts and 10 members in the OA.  What do you do?

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I was one of those who was indifferent about the OA scene due to time constraints and other issues.  Over time due to arm twisting, I became more involved, and so has my son.  Yes, there are youth that should not be there, and are troublemakers, but it is no sin to rally the troops, and encourage youth and adults to serve.  We should be reminded that the chief goal of scouting is to develop young men into engaged citizens and leaders of the future.  Being tapped is not an award for the self involved overachievers, but a call to service.  Relationships and strengthening the bonds of brotherhood will develop if people serve.

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I currently am serving my second consecutive year as Lodge Advisor so I'm speaking from my personal experience and big mouth.

 Many have heard that most youth programs are struggling. Sports, Scouts, Art & Music programs. Recruitment is where the money and attention go but retention is more, "We'll get to it next year." OA National believes, and I'm certain they wasted lots of funds to research it, that if Ordeal Members are encouraged to seek Brotherhood or that if they can have Members attend 2 consecutive OA events within a 6 month period, then they are more likely to remain active. In fact they sometimes refer to Brotherhood as "Activation." They are attempting to build in a more proactive approach of membership retention. This is a good thing so far as that idea goes. How Lodges implement that idea, or even individuals...well that will require finesse and needs plenty of grace for error in application as it were. So yes it's appropriate for OA Rep's and other OA members to ask/encourage Ordeal members to grow in the organization.

I see a lot of nagging by SM's and parents in scouting. No one enjoys hearing it but the repetition factor does eventually help some things sink in. Hurry up and get Eagle before you age out. Where's your blue card? You should help with service projects for other Unit members. Where's your blue card? the OA..etc. Where's your blue card?! You get my meaning. Teenagers are not the most motivated people the majority of the time no matter how good of a scout they are. If the SM and his son are laying the pressure on thick they probably need to hear it so they at least understand how it's being perceived. The Scout in question was voted into the OA by his peers ideally to recognize his Scouting spirit and camping know-how. That is really awesome. But he didn't have to participate and still doesn't. Because like so many things in Scouting, You get out of it what you put in to it, no organization of Cheerful service wants a member working double hard to avoid work and have pity parties that drag others down. He can always change his mind later but the Arrowman needs to stop making excuses and hurry up and get Brotherhood or state plainly that he isn't interested, then deal with what follows either way. Time to nag Dad and get him off the fence.

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5 hours ago, Longhaired_Mac said:

He can always change his mind later but the Arrowman needs to stop making excuses and hurry up and get Brotherhood or state plainly that he isn't interested, then deal with what follows either way. Time to nag Dad and get him off the fence.

Thanks for your thoughts.  I have had many discussions with my son since I made the original post.  He is not going for his Brotherhood, and says the incessant nagging from the SM and his son are part of the reason.  There's another Scout in the troop (Life Scout and just finished his term as SPL) who is in the same boat.  They were both so turned off by the pressure that they aren't interested.  I disagree with my son's stance, but it's not something I'm going to push further because I know it clearly won't do any good.  He's only 15.5, so he might change his mind later.

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