Re: OA Elections
Woltz, Al LTC (woltza@SHAFTER-EMH3.ARMY.MIL)
Tue, 30 May 1995 13:32:00 PDT
Stan Hodge wrote:
>.... Does anyone else feel this way or am I alone? I will appreciate your
>comments because I am on the verge of recommending a complete
>boycott of the OA by our troop -- and any other troop I can influence.
Stan, you are not alone! I too feel that OA elections, in spite of the
pre-election briefings, are nothing more than a personality contest.
However, personality favorites _CAN_ (not always does, mind you) speak
highly about a boy's leadership qualities, etc.
But I witnessed an OA election recently that made my heart fill with sorrow.
It occurred in an unit in which some of the boys come to the meetings
because they are expected to be there as part of their church activities.
Rarely, will they be in uniform, and the program within this particular
unit floats along with little or no purpose. The unit doesn't even operate
on the patrol principle - there's no PLC, etc. Three boys were eligible -
two were First Class Scouts and one had attained the rank of Star; the two
1st Class Scouts had between 15 and 20 nights camping each (including two
summer camps), and the Star Scout had over 55 nights camping (including two
summer camps and a 58-mile, 7-day backpacking adventure (total hiking miles
exceeded 100 miles)). Only one of the eligible boys was in his complete
uniform (the Star Scout) and one of the 1st Class Scouts wasn't even
present for the election. Two boys were elected - you guessed it - the 1st
Class Scouts. I talked to the SM after the election for his perceptions.
The Star Scout lives and breaths scouting. Unfortunately, it's not
perceived as "COOL" to his peers. This boy also has been labeled as slow
(he's in a learning disabled classroom setting in his school), and he's a
classic ADD young man. From the scoutmaster's perception, the Star Scout
was not unpopular, he was just "less" popular. "That young man deserved the
recognition head and shoulders over the other boys, particularly when you
consider the obstacles he has overcome. However, unless the election
process changes, he will never be elected, because there will always be
someone more popular."
Yes I believe the voting system needs to be revamped to include the SM and
ASMs WEIGHTED input. They can give some maturity to the voting process.
I'm sure there are pros and cons to this approach, but it's only my humble
On another thread, I also believe that units should be able to nominate more
than one adult per year. Again, maturity would play a part, and the
district/council/lodge should have the final say. But I've seen some very
deserving scouters fail to be called out because their extremely active
units could only submit one name. Whereas, other units which only have one
or two active leaders, can nominate someone who is much less qualified.
LTC Al Woltz | Committee Member, Cub Scout Pack 677, LDS
firstname.lastname@example.org | Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 677, LDS
Ft. Shafter, Hawaii | Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 304
808-833-6599 | Roundtable Staff & Fin Comm, Aloha Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City