John Pannell (PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM)
Wed, 31 May 1995 05:55:02 -0400
I have read the last several posts on this issue with interest, but I think
I am going to disagree with most of the other Scouters.
In my experience, when explained what the OA is (the standard lecture from
the OA guys, as one poster said) and how candidates should be chosen, the
youth invariably make the best selections. Not only should that standard
lecture explain the purposes of the OA and how one should choose, it should
also explain the responsibilities of an Arrowman. Also, the election should
be taken seriously by the adult leadership, the OA election team, and the
youth leadership of the troop. The importance of this event cannot be
stressed enough, IMO.
There is a ceremony in the _Guide to Officers and Advisers_ for unit
elections, that IMO, although a bit wordy, explains the purposes, ideals and
responsibilities of the OA quite well. It also, IMO, does a good job in
guiding the Scouts in making their decisions on who to vote for.
Without personally knowing the situation, I cannot comment on the particular
Scout involved, but I will give my opinion on the situation as a whole.
The way the election policies are written, virtually every Scout who is
active in the troop and eligible will be elected within two or three years.
Maybe we are electing too many, and therefore diluting the importance of
this honor, but I don't think that will help the supposedly deserving Scout
who cannot get elected under current rules.
Note I said "supposedly deserving Scout." Criteria for eleciton include
devotion to the Scout Oath and Law. They also include devotion to the three
principles the Order is founded upon: Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and
Service. Is the reason this unpopular Scout is not elected due to his being
unpopular, or is his unpopularity a symptom of some other fatal character
flaw regarding these three principles. We, as leaders, often see the Scout
who lives and breathes Scouting. The youth, on the other hand, may very
well see a Scout who is self-serving and overly eager to garner glory for
himself without regard to others. We may see him abiding by the letter of
Scoutings precepts and think he is living them. The Scouts often pick out
If you or the election team have done your best to successfully instill the
criteria for election into the OA and still you think a deserving Scout is
not elected, examine the situation closely. Quite often you will find the
boys are telling you something. Listen carefully. You might even want to
*very delicately* discuss with the Scout why he cannot seem to be elected if
this continues for two years or more. Like you, he should examine the
situation and listen to the message he is being told.
As to having the leadership of the OA consenting to the selection of a Scout
who was not elected by his troop, as an Adviser I would say "no", unequi-
vocally and without hesitation. I hope my reasons are clear from the above
paragraphs. The only way for a Scout to be selected for membership is to be
elected by the members of his troop. When given the criteria, I fully trust
the boys to make the best choices, just sometimes their choices may not
agree with ours.
John E. Pannell
Alamance Chapter Adviser -- Tsoiotsi Tsogalii 70
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City