Re: Service from the Order of the Arrow?
Jonathan Dixon (dixonj@ROCOCO.COLORADO.EDU)
Sat, 9 Dec 1995 16:11:46 MST
> Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 08:38:16 -0500
> From: "Norman J. MacLeod" <gaelwolf@SSNET.COM>
> I am sure that I will be told otherwise if I am wrong, but, shouldn't
> the OA members be pitching in to help strengthen Scouting in their
> communities? Certainly, we are talking about people who have full
> schedules, and I will grant theat the individual OA member might not
> always be prepared to do this sort of thing - but shouldn't part of the
> Lodge's function be to teach them how to help build other units to a
> high level of success?
One thing to consider is whether it is more appropriate for the OA to do
this as a group or as individuals. For example, when I was on JLT staff as
a youth, most of the staff were OA members -- they weren't necessarily
active in the OA, and this wasn't done under the direction of the OA, but
it was still rendering service. I believe most if not all of the members
of the SMF staff out here are OA members as well.
If I remember correctly, the OA emphasizes that your first responsibility
of service is to your troop, and then to the lodge/chapter and its
activities. Since the OA emphasizes camping, the lodge/chapter activities
will generally center around supporting the camping program of the council
and its troops.
I think it would be appropriate for people starting up new units to come to
an OA meeting (or write a note for the newsletter) asking for experienced
scouts to help with the start-up. They would probably find a lot of
willing helpers. I would also think that asking at roundtable might result
in some willing boys/adults as well.
One thing that I've never been in position to put in place, but might be a
good idea for people to try, is make a discussion time part of the lodge
activities. This idea comes out of a session we had when I was the leader
for a Brotherhood conversion class (part of a test program that I believe
was discontinued). After we finished discussing the things they were
supposed to be learning for the conversion, we sat around and discussed
various problems we faced in our troops and gave each other suggestions on
ways that might work to fix it. Everyone agreed that that was the most
useful part of the evening, and wished that they could have them more
often, but as far as I know nothing further ever came of it. I think this
would help supplement the leadership skills from the JLT and would help
scouts build their own units to a higher level of success.
> Maybe a Cub Pack has Dens that need help in running outdoor activities
> or games. (Do you have ANY idea how much good that will do when a BIG
> Scout comes to help them do something?)
This is why having den chiefs from local troops is such a good thing (plus
it teaches the boys a LOT about leadership). I would think that this would
be something that was easier to accomplish directly between the pack and
one or more troops (why add another level of communications where things
can get fouled up?). I don't imagine most troops would turn down the
opportunity to do a bit of recruiting!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City