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Unit refuses to hold elections


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1) The Order of the Arrow is meant to be: A) a recognition of the quality of a Scout's skill in camping B) care of his/her fellow Scouts C) a means for the more experienced Scout to work with and socialize with other Scouts D) help example the idea of "cheerful service" to others, without thought of personal recognition. Except sweat and dirt, perhaps.  Popularity contest?  In some respects. What leads to that popularity? 

2) Was it possible that some few  adult leaders responsible for oversight of OA activities  might be guilty of sexual abuse of the Scouts?  Yes, possible.

3) If and when the National BSA became aware of such abuse, what did the NBSA do about it?   What , if anything, did the local Council do about it?   What, if anything, did the sponsoring CO do about it?  Promote criminal prosecution or merely try to deny the "alleged" perpetrator further membership in the BSA?  There is plenty of  lax responsibility to share .  The rugs under which to sweep such have been eliminated . 

4)  It is unfortunate that some COs (Methodist Church comes to immediate mind) seek elimination of possible liability by cutting off the Unit Charter now.  Such will not eliminate their alleged responsibility back in 1989.  If a UMC Deacon was found guilty of child abuse in 1989, that church back in 1989  has that responsibility , not the UMC today.... Any abuse back then cannot be disavowed by cutting the contract today.   But the liability  NOT accepted by BSA on behalf of the COs   is what's leading to this  abandoning of the ship.  Or rather the ship's abandoning of it's passengers? 

5) Any word on the rumor of a "new"  settlement condition offer that might  ameliorate the UMC disaffection? 

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As I recall my days in OA, the Scoutmaster begins the process by developing a list of scouts who are qualified for election, based on rank, # of nights camped, and last but not least, "Scout Spirit". 

Let me preface my comments by saying that as a youth, I was a Brotherhood member of the OA, and in my senior year was simultaneously SPL of my troop and editor of the Lodge newsletter, so I know from

My problem with OA today is that the program drivers (adult sponsors) don't plan a program where the activities practice growth toward the honor of serving others and camping. As a scout in the 70's,

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Okay everyone, I asked nicely before.  If this thread continues to be bankruptcy part 5b - the OA, then maybe it's time to lock it as it's nothing that hasn't been hashed out elsewhere.

If you want to talk about CSA in the OA, then go ahead. If it's not specific to the OA and why you won't participate in the OA, then please take the conversation to one of the hundreds of pages that have already covered it.

 

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On 9/16/2021 at 1:42 PM, David CO said:

People sometimes just argue for what they want, and ignore the CO's need to have broader, more consistent policies that cover multiple programs and a variety of activities.

The OA is not a unit activity. Not at all. So, it has nothing to do with the CO. 

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3 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

The OA is not a unit activity. Not at all. 

I totally agree.  OA is not a unit activity.  Not at all.

 

3 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

So, it has nothing to do with the CO. 

Except when the CO needs to clarify its position that OA is not a unit activity. 

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On 9/16/2021 at 4:35 PM, MattR said:

Getting back to the OP, my experience with the OA has been fairly neutral. It has helped a few scouts but most don't get much out of it. Unfortunately, it has become nothing but cheap labor for the camps and AOL ceremonies.

That said, I like the idea of a place for scouts to up their game and, more importantly,  bring that back to their troops. Done right that might really help smaller units and complement nylt.

I think you get out of the OA what you put into it, like most things in life.  If you view it as a chance to get a new patch for your uniform, then that's what it will be - a harder version of eBay.  If you view it as a vehicle for networking with Scouts from other troops, you're likely to get more.  If you take the time to sit down with the ceremonial texts, read them, and think about them, you'll understand that the organization is about servant leadership.  As a youth, my chapter was small in number and large in geography.  It wasn't super active simply because most of us didn't have transportation, and we were spread out across 4 countries.  As an adult, my chapter covers about half a small city.  We meet monthly.  I don't know that our lodge is going about things the right way, especially when it comes to improving camping skills and whatnot.  There are some things that probably need to be modified.  Our Fall Fellowship was so packed with overlapping events that none were very effective.  I'm relatively new to the organization, so I don't want to be the guy that walks in and starts upsetting things.  I'm going to note my observations and make recommendations, and see where that goes.

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On 9/15/2021 at 10:09 AM, MattR said:

@Oldscout448, I'm happy for you. It sounds like you had a great experience in the OA and it must have been a well run lodge. 

I wish more were run like that and more people would volunteer. That just doesn't seem to be in the cards right now.

I guess that's why I'm still hanging around trying to help out with the ceremonies six years after my youngest scoutson headed off to college.  I'm going to have to step back a bit next year. I'm just not physically capable of getting by on 4-5 hours of sleep after a day spent in arduous labor.  

"That's just the cold hard truth."

 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...
On 6/6/2021 at 4:22 PM, fred8033 said:

I am betting there is another path.  

I've interacted ... "worked with" would over state my invovlement ... I've interacted with the local chapter adviser and youth lodge chief.   They have much more flexibility than officially published.  

If the scout really wants to be in OA, that scout should write a polite mail (or email) to the lodge chief and copy the lodge adviser.  State that he/she would be proud to be an OA member.  Explain his troop doesn't hold elections.  Communicate how he fulfills requirements (rank, nights camping, troop involvement, etc).  Further state why he/she would want to be a member.  IMHO, the perfect answer would be "to serve" and to learn from other scouts.  

My only fear is the scoutmaster response.  BUT, the ideal scoutmaster should say congratulations and let the scout explore OA.

I am betting the lodge adviser and lodge chief would find a path in for that scout.  

I'm not saying this would work every time, but I suspect it would work a good number of times.

been there, done that, got an email back from them saying they would contact me to set up an election🤣

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On 6/6/2021 at 10:27 AM, Oldscout448 said:

There is a long thread on this very topic that I started in October of 2013. I think the title was  "Can a SM ban OA elections?" The short answer is he has three options.  1. Change the Scoutmasters mind.  2. Get the CoR to overrule the Committee and SM.  3 Change troops.

My son and friends ended up with option #3 after trying their best at #1 and #2.  

Any words you would use to explain to your SM why the OA is good? I think my SM is ok with me joining but doesnt want to introduce the rest of the troop to it, which would make it very hard to have an election.

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1. The Order of the Arrow is Scouting's Honor Society.  Tell him that your Troop can use this opportunity to recognize your best Scouts.

2.  Tell him that he has a great deal of influence in the process:  The Scoutmaster must approve all candidates for OA.  That is, even if a Scout meets the rank and camping requirements, the Scoutmaster (not the Committee or the COR) can say Yes or No to letting the Scout enter the selection process.  There is danger here for the Scoutmaster!!!  My advice is that he should not show favoritism, and always strive for consistency in selecting candidates.  Over the years, I have learned to trust the Scouts.  If there is a Scout who is not "worthy" of the honor, the members of the Troop know it and usually (not 100% of the time) select accordingly.  Tell him that he can select those Scouts who he believes would carry out the purposes of the Order of the Arrow, which focus primarily on the unit.  "An Arrowman's first duty is to his unit." https://oa-bsa.org/about/mission-purpose

3.  Tell him, that Yes, it is possible he will lose Scouts to the OA.  But, have him ask himself why they would leave?  What does the OA offer that your Troop isn't?  And why isn't your Troop offering that?  There could be many reasons...I won't list them here.  

4.  Tell him that this is not a "once and for all decision."  He can decide next year, or the year after, etc. to turn it back off.  Tell him he can speak to the entire Troop and tell them this.  That is, he can find a way to tell the Troop, that if they turn this into a "popularity contest", or something that does not meet the purposes of the Order of the Arrow, then he can shut if off again.  This would send a strong message for the members of the Troop to not abuse their privilege of being able to select OA members.

5.  Tell him that the Troop can use this opportunity for adults as well.  (NOTE: adult selection is based on a different mindset... see page 19 of https://oa-bsa.org/uploads/publications/GOA-202103.pdf

• Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the OA fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and positions.

• The individual will be an asset to the OA because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order.

• The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.

• The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.

So, the committee gets to select the adults...and there is a nomination form.  The lodge/council decides whether to accept adults.

Hope this helps...

In the Wimachtendienk,

Amangiechsin

 

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InquisitiveScouter covered it well.  I would offer only two other reasons both from personal  experience in the Order.

Firstly, the OA gave me ready access  to SPLs and JASMs in other troops, that I could go to with my problems eg; I have a patrol leader who isn't leading.  Or my troops Scoutmasters minute is taking 15 minutes!  You  guys ever run into this? What worked?  What didn't?  The 20 year old ASMs were especially helpful.

Secondly,  in my little chapter it was simply expected that a scout who wore the white sash would be cheerfully, enthusiastically, serving his patrol and troop.  My older brothers in the order were not at all reluctant  to point this out whenever and wherever needed.  " Hey Allen!  There's work to do, and you wear our lodge flap right? Remember what WWW means?  So either get off your butt and get busy or take it off"   My SM  loved us because we did most of the heavy lifting in the troop.  Obviously  this culture of leadership in serving others won't  appear overnight, but it is what every Arrowman should aspire  to.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This might be slightly off topic for this, but if I am considering option #3 right no. Does anyone think that another troop would take offense if I do a dual membership thing just to join the OA?

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1 hour ago, jscouter1 said:

This might be slightly off topic for this, but if I am considering option #3 right no. Does anyone think that another troop would take offense if I do a dual membership thing just to join the OA?

I think that you are missing the point that you are elected by your fellow Scouts.  If the Scouts in the other troop don't know you, why should they vote for you?  If you want to be in OA, I suggest you transfer to a troop that supports it.  I do encourage OA membership...it was a great experience for me as a youth and adult.

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2 hours ago, jscouter1 said:

This might be slightly off topic for this, but if I am considering option #3 right no. Does anyone think that another troop would take offense if I do a dual membership thing just to join the OA?

I think that's a fine idea. I'm sad you would have to do that, but it seems reasonable. 

The desire itself to serve in OA when your troop does not support it is a sign of a good scout.  IMHO, your local chapter should be the one to help you find a way in.  You should not need to work legalisms to get into OA.

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