Re: OA elections
Branden Morris (morris@NET1PLUS.COM)
Sun, 9 Aug 1998 11:13:27 -0400
>Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 14:43:40 -0500
>From: Terry Slade <TMSLADE@IPGATE.ACTX.EDU>
>Subject: OA elections
> Now that we have run out of things to say about hazing and the
>new requirements, what about those OA election horror stories.
What horror stories? ;)
>I personally hate the OA election process as it stands. Not the
>whole thing, but the actual vote taken at your troop meeting.
> We hold our election in March. About 1/4 of the scouts are
>brand new and we ask them to vote for scouts that our worthy of
>being members of the OA. They don't even know what an OA is
>and here comes the election team to "explain" it to them. Is this
>asking a little too much from a new scout with maybe one camp
>out under their belts?
Keep in mind that part of the election script is aimed towards new Scouts.
It mentions that if they are new in the troop, and don't know everyone
there, that they can not turn in a ballot, and it won't help or hurt
> Our last election had about 50 on the ballot (we have over 100
>members and only three were elected last year) and yet only 8
>were elected and of those 8, only two were senior scouts. The
>other 6 won by some kind of freak popularity thing. Several
>scouts were passed over that are great scouters and good
>campers because most of the voters did not understand the
One thing I've learned, going from a youth who ran election to an adult who
advises them, is that they youth see things differently (not more correctly
or incorrectly) then we adults do. What we see as being a natural choice
for the OA may not be their choice, and vice-versa. Keeping in mind that
this is a youth-led organization, they need to make their own choices, and
learn from them.
> We penalize some scouts because of miss-comunication at the
>election time. One local troop had to hold a second election
>following the first to try and explain to the boys how the vote
>worked as no body was elected after the first vote. Of the 8 boys
>our troop elected. I would guess that 3 might go to the Ordeal.
You might need to mention that to the lodge adviser or elections adviser.
Perhaps the youth running the election need better training.
> Is there an answer to this age old problem? Is there a fix and
>how did you fix the problem? Will this be discussed at NOAC?
Oh, this is discussed at nearly every OA event -- conclaves, NLS, NOAC,
other training, etc :) You've already had some great ideas, hold the
election before cross-overs. Remind the young Scouts that they don't need
to vote (but you can't *stop* them from voting if they want to). Work with
the lodge to make sure election teams are trained well. And lastly, have
faith in your Scouts, remembering that whatever decisions they come to are
the *right* decisions, simply because the youth are the ones who made them.
>Maybe there is no problem and I just am seeing things again. I
>get this way, you know, when I don't get my scouting shot. We
>set requirements for Eagle and for membership in the OA, we let
>a bunch of brand new scouts vote. Go figure....
Yeah, go figure. We take a bunch of young men, teach them some principles,
and give them the opportunity to learn to use those principles. What an
insane concept! :)
You've got some good concerns, Terry; but it's not as dire as you think.
Give the young men some credit and some room to grow, and they'll do fine.
Yours in Scouting,
Associate Adviser, Section NE-1B
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City