Shotgun Lodge Merger?
Ben Parker [IL] (71450.2735@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Mon, 22 Feb 1993 21:53:15 EST
To all on Scouts-L:
I have been reluctant to post this message, because I was waiting for events
to develop at the local level. They have, and now I need some response from
others on the List with more experience than I.
Our new coucil has just been formed by the merger of two previous Councils.
Among the questions to be worked out are many things such as realignment of
district boundaries, operating 2 summer camps, and adjusting the various
committees, etc. but near and dear to me is what to do about the 2 OA lodges.
The elected (youth, of course) Officers and Advisers of the 2 lodges met
recently to discuss this, among other things. The newly appointed Staff
Advisor (now of both lodges, formerly of just one of the lodges) made very
clear to all assembled that it was the express desire of the Scout
Executive that both lodges merge themselves by December "or else..."
The 'else' is that the S.E. says he will refuse to sign _either_ lodge's
charter renewal then, effectively killing both lodges and leaving all
current members of the OA with no home at all. The S.A. (who is also Council
Program Director, and may be conveniently though of as the S.E.'s
"Right-Hand Person") also stated that it is the S.E's desire that the
advisers direct the youth as necessary to achieve this end as quickly as
Now, I am asking members of the List if this sounds like a reasonable way to
conduct the affairs of what is supposed to be a youth-run organization, or
indeed any organization.
Knowing about the intended Council merger and while at NOAC in August, we
consulted with the OA National Committee and directly with Mossman and
Marchetti about the National OA position/recommendation/guidelines, etc on
mergers. Their explicit word is that there was and is not any National
guideline or directive that says lodges must be merged nor any time line for
doing so. Their only statement is that a decision to merge can only be made
by the voting (youth) membership of the lodges concerned. Marchetti even
said that the OA National Committee does not even want to discuss this issue,
preferring to leave it entirely up to the local level.
The issue here is not whether or when the lodges might grow together and
merge of their own accord or whether that is a good idea or not. What I
have a real problem with this kind of shotgun forced approach, and I have a
even bigger problem with the Scout Executive threatening youth in this
manner. It seems to me to go against all of the basic principles of
scouting as a form of training in ethical responsibility we hold near and
I have avoided being specific about names here because I want to focus on
the issues. I'd appreciate it if anyone could respond with your thoughts.
Yours in Scouting,
--Ben Parker Internet: email@example.com
ASM Troop 16 (founded in 1916)
Lodge Camp Promotions Adviser
Council Camping Committee
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City