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Eagle94-A1

Discouraged: A Very Poor Call Out Ceremony

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Just now, desertrat77 said:

@HashTagScouts, thank you for your insights!

It seems the root causes aren't OA unique, but extend throughout the BSA:  units don't camp as often as they should.  And if I can take it a step further, they don't camp as they should.  From my observation, there is almost no emphasis on patrol method, woodcraft skills, or adventure.  Camping is infrequent and usually at an improved campground with plenty of amenities and a giant horse trailer full of gear.  Not much of a chance for a scout to grow. 

Thanks- that is my feeling.  The OA, in many areas, is only suffering the effects of what is going on in the program as a whole.  BSA culture overall is far too # fanatical today than it was just a few decades ago.  Ever heard the "First Class-First Year" rhetoric? I'll take a troop of 10 kids who are really interested in outdoor activities, that don't whine about a 5 mile hike, that know what it is like to wear out the soles on a pair of hiking boots before they outgrow them, who aren't afraid to be out of range of a cell=phone tower for an entire night any day over a troop of 50 kids that is fortunate to have half of them on a campout in the local park.  

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51 minutes ago, Saltface said:

What does that even mean? Cabins?

So, here in Eastern MA, November temps can range quite a bit.  One weekend it could be 60 during the day, 40 at night.  The next weekend could be 40 during the day, 20 at night.  Weekend after could 50 during the day - you get the point.  I do know of units that cabin camp only in November.  Not at all what I would do.  December/January/February are pretty assured of having temps that are below freezing at night, so I can appreciate having cabin camping in the winter.  I know at least one unit that has gone so far as having pizza delivered each year to camp during their January cabin weekend.  I don't suggest every scout should be a Daniel Boone, but getting through the elements at least once in their time as a scout doesn't feel like an earth shattering expectation for me.

I also know of units that do lock-ins at the church hall, and count that as a camping night.  Others that do lock-in at indoor climbing facilities (we have like 4 around here that do overnight programs for scouts), and count that as a camping night.  

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I I certenly agree with what you have said.  I recently attended the "National OA Webinar" and when one of the national officers said that the members should engage the new members after the ordeal and "WE HAVE A SCRIPT TO USE" I tuned it out.  For christmas sake, they actually developed a SCRIPT to use when someone walks up to somebody to say hi!!!!  I am a current lodge advisor and the more "National" jambs down my throat or tyres to jamb down my throat, the more resistant I become. They have forbidden the use of regalia for crossover ceremonies because "a Native american was offended".  Who was this individual, where was he from, and what offended him/her?  Those questions are never answered.  Soooooo, fine we'll take of the bonnets, put on coon skin caps and conduct the ceremony as mountain men, and leave the OA out of it.  They try to regulate ceremonies, regalia, verbiage, site set up and anything else that the lodge does.  Then they spout rhetoric about how they support the lodges.  Now, each section will be required to put on a 6 hour block of training for every elected officer, every year.  The even want to tell us what we can have on our patches.  I can't help but wonder what training, education, and life experiences this very small group of rule makers have that allows them to set regulations for young folks all over the country.  The BSA and the OA have become very corporate and number orientated and have successfully taken a lot of the fun out of scouting.  On top of that, they have greatly increased the registration fees, and they want me to sign a release so they, whoever that is, can have access to all of my personnel information anytime they want to check, and then release that information whenever they want.  My attorney advised me not to sign that.  If the whole bag of worms were to be dumped out I truly think that the Boy Scouts of America relinquished its principles, morals, and ethics in exchange for political correctness.  These recent unpopular decisions made by "them" has caused a downward spiral that may not be recovered.   I still love scouting, but I focus on our lodge and council and will support "my kids" to the best of my ability.  Perhaps the actual Lodge Advisors and Lodge Chiefs should have a national conference without any outside interference.  I just bet we could fix some things and put some fun back into scouting.

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P.S.

I apologize for appearing negative about the OA.  I think it is a grand group of young people, and our lodge is administered and run by our Lodge Chief, and his LEC (Lodge Executive Committee).  Nothing, and I mean nothing, effecting the lodge gets by without the Chief's blessing.  The hardest part of being the Lodge Advisor is making sure this happens without well intentioned adult interference. By this time almost everyone realises that this is the way things are and my common response is "that's a good idea and I'll let the Chief know and he can bring it to the LEC."  Again, I focus on our lodge and what they want to do, and I am more concerned about our guys and less about section, region, or national wants.  I want our members to enjoy their activities and be proud of their membership.

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I've said before that while National has failed OA, Arrowmen can still set themselves apart from the other scouts simply by doing scouting at a higher standard. Always in full uniform, always planning and doing service projects, doing the planning for district and council events, high time campers with the reputation of outdoors skills experts. I mention yesterday in another thread that Arrowmen used to be the go to planners for Camporees. If OA wants to be an elite organization, they only have to act like it. But, as someone who has taken on groups to raise the bar, it's a lot of work on the front end to set the vision and follow-thru. First the vision...........

Barry

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On 10/28/2019 at 9:46 AM, Eagledad said:

Being "Called Out" was a public honor in the old days because the candidates was selected by his peers as the best of the best. Getting through "Ordeal" successfully was a personal honor because the candidate had to prove himself, or fail, under high physical and mental expectations.

OA has lost respect as an Honor Program because it has taken "honor" out of being selected as a member. Who would have thought that the day has come when saying "No" might be more noble. 

Barry  

IIRC, back in my time as a youth, only one Scout was eligible from each troop each year. Failure was a distinct possibility--usually from breaking a vow of silence three times...often as a result of being tricked by a Principal or adult such as a Chapter Advisor or Lodge Advisor (summer camp director) who knew the candidate. 

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17 hours ago, an_old_DC said:

IIRC, back in my time as a youth, only one Scout was eligible from each troop each year. Failure was a distinct possibility--usually from breaking a vow of silence three times...often as a result of being tricked by a Principal or adult such as a Chapter Advisor or Lodge Advisor (summer camp director) who knew the candidate. 

Depending on the size of your troop, you may well have been limited to one scout elected, but that was not the blanket rule.  I was elected 50 years ago, and there was a chart in the OA handbook showing how many scouts could be on the ballot, based on the number of scouts in your unit. (I am at work, and that 50 year old handbook is at home, so I cannot give the exact ratios - as I recall, we were allowed up to 4 and I was the only one to be elected that year) It then showed how many of those on the ballot each scout could vote for; and how many of those scouts could be elected.  Just as today, it took a minimum of 50% of the votes cast to be elected.  Having a limit on how many you could vote for, and having a limit on how many could be elected, made the OA more difficult to get into than the 'elect them all' thinking of many current troops.

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On 10/29/2019 at 2:55 PM, Mrjeff said:

P.S.

I apologize for appearing negative about the OA.  I think it is a grand group of young people, and our lodge is administered and run by our Lodge Chief, and his LEC (Lodge Executive Committee).  Nothing, and I mean nothing, effecting the lodge gets by without the Chief's blessing.  The hardest part of being the Lodge Advisor is making sure this happens without well intentioned adult interference. By this time almost everyone realises that this is the way things are and my common response is "that's a good idea and I'll let the Chief know and he can bring it to the LEC."  Again, I focus on our lodge and what they want to do, and I am more concerned about our guys and less about section, region, or national wants.  I want our members to enjoy their activities and be proud of their membership.

" The best leaders of all are the ones that the people do not know exist.  They look at each other and say ' We did it ourselves!' '  

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