Jim Sleezer (JHS8@OSUVM1.BITNET)
Tue, 2 Mar 1993 10:22:44 CST
I have to respond to Fred Roger's post re OA Elections and explaining to
a Scout that he doesn't have enough nights of camping to be eligible.
First, let me say that I grew up in a non-OA council and have no official
connection to OA. However, I have observed numerous OA elections and the
same problem occurs in most of them.
The OA team arrives to conduct the election and everyone scrambles to
determine who is eligible. It is as if eligibility cannot be determined
until the instant of the election. Are the elegibility requirements
published, can they be shared with the boys, can the troop check eligibility
in advance and publish it before the election. What I'm really asking is why
there should ever be a problem explaining to a boy on election night that
he is not eligible--shouldn't he be aware of this much earlier and, perhaps,
have an opportunity to "make himself eligible."
I was particularly outraged when I observed an election several years ago.
Only four boys were declared eligible. Several others were dropped because
they didn't have enough camping. They protested but to no avail. After the
meeting, the scoutmaster apologized to them saying that an error had been made
and that they had not been credited for a recent campout--but, the election
over and they would have to wait until next year. One of the five did wait
and I am told was named on every ballot the following year. The other four
--most of whom would have (in my opinion) been elected--left the troop. I
don't think it is really fair to say that the election was the only reason,
but they all said that they got the "shaft".
Perhaps there is a desire to eliminate campaigning, but it seems unfair to me
that the above situations (the one I describe AND the one Fred describes)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City