Re: OA elections...long
Robert Haar (rhaar@RUST.NET)
Sun, 9 Aug 1998 09:41:15 -0400
Kent, I'd like to present an "opposing" opinion.
I used to have a similar opinion and still have some disappoints
in the way OA elections are run. but that isn't enough to make me
give up on it. Instead, why not work to make it better.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scouts-L Youth Group List [mailto:Scouts-L@tcu.edu]On Behalf Of
> Kent Wilkins
> The best solution would be to skip elections altogether and admit ALL the
> boys that meet the requirements. Its totally ludicrous to expect kids of
> that age (and most adults) to elect peers to an "Honorary" organization
> without basing their vote on popularity. We all know..even if we wont
> admit it....that the elections are a farce, and only the popular kids get
> We make the OA into such a big deal..we tell the boys what a GREAT honor
> it is to be elected...then we swing the hammer down on their hopes and
> dreams when they dont get elected by the boys in the troop who just vote
> for "Mr Cool" or their best buddy.
Why not tell the scouts in your troop what OA really is - a service
organization? Tell them about the real obligations that are involved
with OA membership and emphaisze that they should vote for candidates
that meet the "honored camper" ideal AND who can be expected to continue
service to scouting.
> We set requirements for merit badges..and ranks... and all other honors
> in scouting that by fullfilling them earns the boy that recognition. Why
> cant we do the same for the OA???? if the boy is living by the scout
> oath and law...he IS AN HONORED CAMPER.....and an honored everything
Don't the candiates need Scoutmaster's approval? Why does your SM
approve scouts who don't meet both the letter of the minimum
requirements and to the ideals? Also, I suggest a SM conference
with each potential candidate to see if they really know what
they are signing up for? We have had some boys decline to run in
the election because they knew they wouldn't be living up to
the promise of service.
With the current OA election procedures, it is possible (and practical)
for all candiates to be elected.
In our troop, the OA elections used to be popularity contests. But we
have been working on educating the scouts a bit more each year about
what OA means. Over time, this does work. I have been surprised how
good the decisions have been.
Why not let the process work? Not all decisions will turn out to be
the best, but that's life. Not everything that your SPL and PL's
do always turns out to be the best decision. The troop can learn from
expeience just like individuals, and this involves learning from
Robert Haar email: email@example.com
home page: www.rust.net/~rhaar
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City