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4 hours ago, Protoclete said:

I was active in OA as a youth in the 90s and we had the age requirement of 14 then. To be honest, I had just assumed it was still a requirement. 

Must have been a troop requirement. I was inducted in the late 80s, served on the election/camp promo team (my lodge combined to two activities into 1 visit) in the early 90s, and was a chapter adviser/chapter staff adviser in the mid to late 90s. in that time there was never an official age limit.

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18 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Must have been a troop requirement. I was inducted in the late 80s, served on the election/camp promo team (my lodge combined to two activities into 1 visit) in the early 90s, and was a chapter adviser/chapter staff adviser in the mid to late 90s. in that time there was never an official age limit.

Maybe. More likely a Lodge/Council requirement, as I mostly remember that from my time as a chapter officer. But then, it was more than 20 years ago so I wouldn't put it past a mixed memory either! 

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As an example of how Scouts have adapted, I know there is the Disabilities Awareness merit badge badge.  That was not available at the time of my Eagle.  I doubt anyone would dispute the need and desirability of disabled boys and youth to bring great value and opportunity.  Clearly that was a response to social pressure and legal requirements.  
it may be that trying to understand how the changes of those forces changed scouting can be useful to the future.  I accept they are not apples to apples in comparison but the process of handling new forces can be.  

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I'm a little older. I was elected in 1974 and to be elected you had to be 14.  Another thing is that women or girls could not be members. I am looking forward to seeing how young ladies contribute to the Order. I didn't know much about administration back then but there were no members of Lekau Lodge #77 who were under the age of 14. I would like to return to that requirement .

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I like the idea of Rovers and I like the idea of proficiency for Rovers.  I even like the idea of a Scout proficiency award (perhaps mandatory for the "Instructor" position), requiring some form of re-testing to maintain currency.

Yet I'm hesitant to require currency of all scouts.  The reason is Baden-Powell's attitude toward proficiency as described in his "Aids to Scoutmastership":

Quote

[Badges are] merely intended as an encouragement to a boy to take up a hobby or occupation and to make some sort of progress in it; they are a sign to an outsider that he has done so; they are not intended to signify that he is a master in the craft he is tested in. If once we make Scouting into a formal scheme of serious instruction in efficiency, we miss the whole point and value of Scout training, and we trench on the work of the schools without the trained experts for carrying it out. We want to get all our boys along through cheery self-development from within and not through the imposition of formal instruction from without.

… The object of the Badge System in Scouting is also to give the Scoutmaster an instrument by which he can stimulate keenness on the part of every and any boy to take up hobbies that can be helpful in forming his character or developing his skill. It is an instrument which — if applied with understanding and sympathy — is designed to give hope and ambition even to the dullest and most backward, who would otherwise be quickly outdistanced and so rendered hopeless in the race of life. It is for this reason that the standard of proficiency is purposely left undefined. Our standard for Badge earning is not the attainment of a certain level of quality of knowledge or skill, but the amount of effort the boy has put into acquiting such knowledge or skill. This brings the most hopeless case on to a footing of equal possibility with his more brilliant or better-off brother.

That's from The Boss, himself.

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26 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

I like the idea of Rovers and I like the idea of proficiency for Rovers.  I even like the idea of a Scout proficiency award (perhaps mandatory for the "Instructor" position), requiring some form of re-testing to maintain currency.

Yet I'm hesitant to require currency of all scouts.  The reason is Baden-Powell's attitude toward proficiency as described in his "Aids to Scoutmastership":

That's from The Boss, himself.

That is a very good post I think.  It’s amazing how things change slowly over time.  Ideas often move little by little and take on a whole new character.  People do like recognition and awards with a sense of accomplishment.  
 

This mindset has changed a lot of things and a lot of activities.  One only has to look at baseball, soccer, gymnastics etc and see how expensive equipment, camps, training and so forth have made activities just about too expensive for many people.  That could be competition run amok.  Scouts, as I have always seen it, has been a competition for ones self to betterment.

Frankly, I’m not sure what the environment has changed to but it’s almost certain the founder and founders in the states would be appalled.  The boys are certainly the victims of circumstance and should never be caught up in culture wars to this scope and degree.  I read about Braden Powell’s Traditional Scouting that may still be around.  That seems like a winner.  I like your idea of proficiency.  I would hasten to add that it seems we need a merit badge that included and an adult knot for conflict resolution.  That could lead to a lot of cooling of temps.  It ought to be part of citizenship but maybe it needs its own category.  It’s a skill set and does not have to wrap itself in destructive politics.

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On 6/15/2020 at 9:02 AM, Eagledad said:

Our troop in the 70s had the 14 year old restriction and limited to two scouts per year

The age restriction could have been a SM thing.  As to two scouts per year, that would have depended on the size of your troop at the time, and whether it was prior to the elimination of the old quota system.

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Posted (edited)

I have never head of an age limit from National. I just checked our records and we have several that were 13 when they went through Ordeal from 1954 to 1981. One was actually 12 (Ordeal 1966). They are from at  least 6 different councils.

The only limitation on the number of Scouts elected, that I am aware of,  was the percentage rule which was done away with in the late 1990s. And it was not a strict number that could be elected, rather a restriction that a Scout could vote for no more than HALF of the Scouts on the ballot.

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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40 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

I have never head of an age limit from National. I just checked our records and we have several that were 13 when they went through Ordeal from 1954 to 1981. One was actually 12 (Ordeal 1966). They are from at  least 6 different councils.

The only limitation on the number of Scouts elected, that I am aware of,  was the percentage rule which was done away with in the late 1990s. And it was not a strict number that could be elected, rather a restriction that a Scout could vote for no more than HALF of the Scouts on the ballot.

Correct.  I have never seen any older version of the handbook that states there was an age requirement.  It was always on merit of rank and camping nights that one could become eligible and voted in by the troop youth.  Women were allowed to become members- as adults anyway- beginning in 1988.

If we are concerned about the quality of the youth that are getting elected, and I too share those concerns in my role with my Lodge, we ned to look at the programs that are putting these youth forward.  A 12 year old Star Scout that can't tie a bowline is a product of the unit they belong to.  "Do Your Best" is a Cub motto, and that motto ends when they are no longer in the Cub program, in case anyone didn't get that memo.  You don't go after that Scout, you go after those who signed him off to reach that level.

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You can argue the age limit thing all you want, but wether it's in a book, there was an age limit because some of us were subject to it. Weather it was troop imposed, district or council imposed, nationally imposed, or a presidental decree, it doesnt matter because there was an age limit. And this isn't intended to create a discussion on who can do what or what the proverbial "they" can't do.

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25 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

Weather it was troop imposed, district or council imposed, nationally imposed, or a presidental decree, it doesnt matter because there was an age limit.

Yes, it can be argued and has. You said we should go back to an age limit. There wasn't a policy of an age limit for the organization. You may have been subjected to one, but it isn't something the "organization should go back to" because it didn't exist. That is the argument. 

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It did exist, and I  dont think the OA was ever an agency.  No book, paper, note, picture, form, or video ever called the OA an agency so it was never an agency and did not exist. 

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3 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

It did exist, and I  dont think the OA was ever an agency.  No book, paper, note, picture, form, or video ever called the OA an agency so it was never an agency and did not exist. 

What are you talking about "agency"? Also, it has been clearly shown it wasn't a policy. You may have been subjected to an age limit, it wasn't part of the program on a national basis.

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4 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

Yes, it can be argued and has. You said we should go back to an age limit. There wasn't a policy of an age limit for the organization. You may have been subjected to one, but it isn't something the "organization should go back to" because it didn't exist. That is the argument. 

We had it when I was a scout and after my involvement of working with the maturities of youth, I believe there should be and age limit of 14. There is even and biological reason for it; 14 is the the average age when puberty changes the maturity of at least the male brain from the instinct of learning to survive to the instinct to protect and provide. Based from my experience, I believe strongly that scouts aren't ready for the real responsibilities of leadership or role modeling adult maturity until 14 years old, give or take. In fact, we didn't allow scouts to participate in NYLT until 14 because of that reasoning. There are exceptions of course for exceptional scouts, but they had to apply and prove their maturity.

If we really want OA to get back it's Noble reputation back, we have to start by only accepting qualified scouts of maturity.

Barry

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2 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

It did exist, and I  dont think the OA was ever an agency.  No book, paper, note, picture, form, or video ever called the OA an agency so it was never an agency and did not exist. 

Your unit placed that.  It was never a National requirement.  Councils/Lodges cannot place anything on what National does, so it was your SM that used that rule as to who he would give SM approval to for the ballot.  The troop you were in as kid is certainly welcome to resurrect their history and do that if they want, but it will never get imposed as a policy.

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