Jim Sleezer (JHS8@OSUVM1.BITNET)
Wed, 31 May 1995 13:15:24 CST
Interesting thread. . . .
Not being an OA member, I speak from the outside but it seems to me that one
of the problems with OA is that in many units it is seen as a once a year
phenomenon. The OA election team arrives and conducts an election--then they
go away. I asked a biased sample of Scouts if they understood the process.
Not one of them was aware that the SM had to certify the list before the
election. One SM reported that he would not allow the election of a boy who
did not meet the SM's standards for Scout Spirit. He was not aware that he
had to make the decision up front (and publicly) and just planned to not
include the individual in the list of those elected. And, of course, the
election team did not challenge him on the issue.
I have observed OA in many councils (I've been registered in over a dozen)
and clearly the election process is the most suitable when OA is a continuing
part of a troop's program. Where OA teams do unit visits and camp promotion
sessions more than the once a year time for elections, OA seems to be alive
and well and elections are usually of very high quality. When OA elections
are seen as a disruption of regular troop program, the OA is usually rather
weak and ineffective. Scouts need to be reminded from time to time that it
is their actions on a year around basis that determine whether they will be
elegible for election, and theoretically whether they will be elected. It
should never be a surprise to a Scout that he is NOT on the list for election.
I believe that any SM who removes a Scout's name from the list owes the Scout
an explanation well in advance of the election time.
BTW, I'm sure many SM's do not exercise their duty to remove candidates from
the election list. They do their units, their Scouts and OA a dis-service.
Roundtable Commissioner, Pawnee Bill District, Will Rogers Council
JHS8 at OSUVM1.BITNET JHS8 at VM1.UCC.OKSTATE.EDU (Internet)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City