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6 minutes ago, satl8 said:

With the new Polestar process, election/selection results are to be announced immediately.

 

The way it was explained to me at NOAC, it is no different than a Scout sitting on their BOR and not being told for months whether they passed or not.

 

That is what we have done for the last couple of years.  

Ideally an election team has at least 3 members, each of whom has a specific script to read verbatim.  At the end of the third script (at least I seem to remember it being the third person) the team announces those scouts who were elected.

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This is an opportunity to make OA relevant while bringing BSA back to the experience that most of us Scouters want for our kids.  It's not hard to imagine... The arrow flies true, just as the o

Wow, with friends like this, who needs enemies. I’ve been active in scouting one way or another for almost 60:. In all those years, I have never seen AO show disrespect to the American Indian/idigenou

I am sure that all of us could find some group of people that we have never met, that does not mean that they do not exist. I was a part of our ceremonial team for 6 years as a youth, well over h

2 minutes ago, satl8 said:

With the new Polestar process, election/selection results are to be announced immediately.

 

The way it was explained to me at NOAC, it is no different than a Scout sitting on their BOR and not being told for months whether they passed or not.

With the new Polestar process, election/selection results are to be announced immediately.

 

The way it was explained to me at NOAC, it is no different than a Scout sitting on their BOR and not being told for months whether they passed or not.

Tap out was always one of the fun parts of the process that scouts looked forward to. Especially at summer camp in front of hundreds of observers. 

Saying that, the Ordeal is where the scout finds out if he/she are ready and mature enough to be an Arrowmen. Rather that is how it used to be.

Barry

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Ok guys, I am a lodge advisor and my support of youth leadership is unwavering.  If a national OA Committee made up of mostly youth members the decisions that they make would be more palatable.   As it is that committee is made up of adults.   These far reaching choices should be made by the kids who are affected by these choices.  If the pieces keep getting chopped off, soon there will be nothing left, and to me, it looks like that may be the goal.  

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The BSA is the adults program with a vision of developing the youth into moral and ethical decision makers. Most here who know me know I am very pro youth run. But, I cringe when I here leave it up to the youth. While the main principal of the program is scouts developing character from their free choices, the program has guidelines that the units must work within. That doesn’t mean the scouts can’t be a part of making the decisions, it means they should be part of the team with adults who have experience and wisdom that they can contribute to discussion to provide more content. The point of the discussion shouldn’t letting the scouts choose, the discussion is how to discuss the complexities as a team and work toward solutions as a team. It won’t be easy, but the questions aren’t easy either.

Barry

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5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

… just because a culture decided to be offended …

To be clear, “cultures” don’t “decide” to be offended. Some who associate with a culture claim a privileged position to speak for all of its members, and assert offense on their behalf. The may go so far as to demean those of their fellows who on record as seeing things differently.

It’s a big country. It’s been that way long before European conquests and waves of immigrants.

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5 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

The program belongs to the young adults who are involved.  We cannot go wrong by letting them take the lead on what form the Order of the Arrow needs to take in the future.

Respectfully, and vehemently, disagree. While the program SHOULD BELONG  (major emphasis) to the young adults who are involved, it doesn't. While chapter and lodge youth leaders have an impact, sadly I have seen some chapter and lodge advisors take over and rule with an iron fist. Worst example was when the Scout exec and lodge advisor wanted to amend the of the lodge's by-laws, which required a majority vote of lodge members to amend. When the overwhelming majority voted against his proposal, the LA point blank stated to all present and voting that "I don't care what you think, this amendment will go into effect." sparking protest and outrage.

As for professionals, I have seen a SE take OA money designated by the Lodge Executive Committee to improve camp for conclave being turned into the lodge's FOS contribution because the money was sitting there.

I do not know what happens at the section and regional levels, but look at the current  National OA Committee at the link posted above. Of the 36 members, only 4 are youth members of the OA. As I stated previously, that is better than the 3 youth members on a 60+ national OA committee. That committee made the decision to mandate the cheesy ceremonies for AOL and Cross Over that sparked outrage in my neck of the woods. We had one of the 3 members attend a lodge function since he is from our section. He was constantly being asked why the decision was made, and he refused to discuss to answer the question.

So no, the OA does not belong to the youth.

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Regarding Natives being offended. Yes, some are. AND some aren't.  One of the best powwows I attended had an elder talking about dance to people and showing his regalia over the years.  He had 50+ years of regalia, with one item looking vaguely familiar an Ordeal sash: He started dancing as an Arrowman. We had a wonderful conversation about Scouting, and the OA over the years. Best part was for me when he showed up to Grand Entry with his Old Style regalia and is Ordeal sash, and singled me out to show how proud he was of being an Arrowman. Yes, he wore that outfit and sash the entire session.

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I used to think there were two things that one could never change in Scouting:  our properties and OA.  That is really not true.  Evolving these aspects of Scouting does happen in a positive manner when the first and final analysis prioritizes the best interests of our young people.

The regularly-involved unit leader perspective is that OA is “twisting in the wind” with regard to its long term role and continuing relevance.  This is solely because the controversial aspects of the program have not yet been processed.  I can see why this is so, because we have all been dealing with so many fundamental issues these past years that to process OA’s programmatic difficulties might have been too much.  But letting these issues hang out there is a problem, and we need to clear ourselves of these problems so we can recover our overall organizational effectiveness.

Organizations need program elements and narratives to bind them together.  It is a fact of life that organizations using Native American customs and history for this are attacked and sued until the practices end.  The broad social rejection of this is not going to reverse.  If the purpose of the OA was to teach Native American customs or history, we would have a big problem.   But that is not its purpose.  An honor organization for Scouting that promotes camping and cheerful service is not forever reliant upon the current narratives to thrive.

Asking adults who are motivated to continue as-is to determine what should bind the OA together does not sound like a good process.  Rather, a special task force overwhelmingly dominated by our young members can be guided to resolve these matters within a concentrated time frame.

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7 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

The regularly-involved unit leader perspective is that OA is “twisting in the wind” with regard to its long term role and continuing relevance.  This is solely because the controversial aspects of the program have not yet been processed. 

This is not true.  OA is struggling for many other reasons.  One is council mergers.  OA meetings prior to our council merger were a 30 min round trip away.  Now they are 1 hr and 45 mins.  OA ordeal used to occur at our council summer camp.  Our council no longer has a summer camp.  Service was at a local camp (35 mins away).  That camp has been sold and service is now not linked to camps.  

Yes, AIA is one aspect that should be discussed, but changing that won't mean OA has solved it's long term role or relevence.  In fact, removing AIA without lodge involvement could kill OA.

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5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

This is not true.  OA is struggling for many other reasons.  One is council mergers.  OA meetings prior to our council merger were a 30 min round trip away.  Now they are 1 hr and 45 mins.  OA ordeal used to occur at our council summer camp.  Our council no longer has a summer camp.  Service was at a local camp (35 mins away).  That camp has been sold and service is now not linked to camps.  

Yes, AIA is one aspect that should be discussed, but changing that won't mean OA has solved it's long term role or relevence.  In fact, removing AIA without lodge involvement could kill OA.

I agree with this post. A council in southern Oklahoma merged with the Central Oklahoma council in the early 90s. The southern Council's OA program was considered the hallmark of OA programs in all of Oklahoma while the Central Council's program struggled. The merge required OA members of the southern council drive 90 minutes to meetings in central Oklahoma. The southern OA struggles to survive now.

Barry

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5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

This is not true.  OA is struggling for many other reasons.  One is council mergers.  OA meetings prior to our council merger were a 30 min round trip away.  Now they are 1 hr and 45 mins.  OA ordeal used to occur at our council summer camp.  Our council no longer has a summer camp.  Service was at a local camp (35 mins away).  That camp has been sold and service is now not linked to camps.  

Yes, AIA is one aspect that should be discussed, but changing that won't mean OA has solved it's long term role or relevence.  In fact, removing AIA without lodge involvement could kill OA.

At the pack level some years ago, one of the leaders excitedly brought in some OA dancers, thinking it would thrill the youth and inspire word of mouth recruitment. Instead, at least half the parents dragged their cubs out the door within minutes and pack leadership had to subsequently field some rather outraged questions from the school district since it was held in a gym, and issue assurances it would never happen again. At the troop level, interest in OA has been zero to minimal for the better part of a decade. Parents and  youth here are heavily focused on pursuing Eagle and any other accolade that will look good on a college resume. In this social media age, however, people have increasingly become sensitized about recognizing and not being associated with anything that could be construed as demeaning, questionable, or politically incorrect. Frankly, people outside of scouting and even many within it, don't know what OA is, which is maybe good. But once they understand what it is and read up a little about it, they generally don't seem to get much past a couple of the words or a stray post on Facebook before deciding it's not for them. This has come up in BORs with scouts and in conversations with parents. Personally, I think rebranding OA away from the AI imagery and language to become something more focused on the scouting trail could be a boost to membership.  I think if there was a national youth survey on how they currently view OA and its associated imagery, ceremonies, and language, it might help give a better picture of how to shape a meaningful scout honor society. 

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5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

This is not true.  OA is struggling for many other reasons.  One is council mergers.  OA meetings prior to our council merger were a 30 min round trip away.  Now they are 1 hr and 45 mins.  OA ordeal used to occur at our council summer camp.  Our council no longer has a summer camp.  Service was at a local camp (35 mins away).  That camp has been sold and service is now not linked to camps.  

Agree with the importance of camps. One of the reasons we had a decent OA chapter was because of the local camp. Between the OA and local units, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars have been invested into the camp. Now that we lost it, no one cares. Going to find out if the chapter advisor was able to divert money from that camp's OA  maintenance fund to the campership fund. I doubt it though.

 

5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

Yes, AIA is one aspect that should be discussed, but changing that won't mean OA has solved it's long term role or relevence.  In fact, removing AIA without lodge involvement could kill OA.

I can tell you that mandating the AOL Ceremony and Cross Over Commercial Ceremony helped kill off chapters in my area.

 

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22 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

No need to remove ceremonial inductions, signs, symbols, or watchwords...

All those may be observed and preserved :)

The problem I see is that if you remove all the stuff that creates the proper setting and mood, you basically have something that isn't much different than the Calvin and Hobbes club.  Realistically, the OA is basically network Scouting with a focus on service.  It is the ceremonies that make it special.  Think about Disney World.  If you took out all of the scenery in the Peter Pan ride, would people spent 120 minutes in line to ride it?  It's the suspension of disbelief that brings impact to the ideals of the OA as described in the ceremonies.  They are basically parables.  

Jay Dunbar, who wrote the current Brotherhood ceremony, seems to be supportive of the ceremonies.  Since he's from NC, I'm betting he's Cherokee.  He's definitely American Indian.  His proximity to the OA holds more weight on POV than others who have zero OA experience.  

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37 minutes ago, Armymutt said:

The problem I see is that if you remove all the stuff that creates the proper setting and mood, you basically have something that isn't much different than the Calvin and Hobbes club. 

Ceremonies are important.  I think there are many ways to do meaningful ceremonies.  If nothing else, Lord Baden Powell would be the perfect fulcrum for ceremonies.  Tell his story.  Tell the vision.  Tell the evolution of scouting.  Tell the meaning.  Tell what scouts have done for others for 100+ years.  OA is about continuing the service and honor fundamental to scouting.  

I've participated in many ceremonies in and out of scouting.  Ceremonies mark achievements and transitions. 

I fully 100% believe OA can have extremely meaningful ceremonies without the uncomfortable use of American Indian culture.

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