Re: OA elections...long
Branden Morris (morris@NET1PLUS.COM)
Sun, 9 Aug 1998 11:31:29 -0400
>Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 17:55:25 -0500
>From: Kent Wilkins <orange-eagle@JUNO.COM>
>Subject: Re: OA elections...long
I didn't see the simley faces throughout this, so I'm going to assume that
they're there. It makes this a little easier to read.
>The best solution would be to skip elections altogether and admit ALL the
>boys that meet the requirements.
Agreed! We should do the same thing for Eagle Scout, too! :) Let them all
be Eagles without earning it, without learning anything.
>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
I'm sure the same thing happens for elections for Senior Patrol Leader, or
Patrol Leader, or class president. It's always a popularity contest. No one
who can really do the job every gets elected! :)
>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.
So, let's do away with any kind of potentially painful part of Scouting,
and the lessons that are learned along with it! :) Let's not elect people
to OA. Let's not elect troop officers. Let's give 1st place ribbons to
everyone in all camporee competitions. Let's award any and all badges to a
Scout, regardless if he did it correctly or not! :) Heaven forbid that our
Scouts learn that sometimes, life can be cruelly disappointing -- and that
the answer is to give
>The Oa election is sanctioned child
Try as I might, I can't smile at that one. That's simply ludicrous
>IMHO......How many of the folks on the list cried themselves to
>sleep year after year at summer camp because they didnt get tapped out???
I've seen it happen a few times in my units; just as some kids are really
upset when they don't become SPL. Most kids seem to move on pretty easily.
>I did...in fact I stopped going to summer camp after three heartbreaks
>at the tap out ceremony...enough was enough.....I stayed active untill I
>was 18...but never went to summer camp again.
It's a shame you let something that trivial ruin summer camp. It's too bad
there wasn't someone there to counsel with you on that.
>Before you start to cry sour grapes on my part.....I will add that I am
>currently a Vigil member of our lodge...so I know a bit about the OA. I
>very nearly didnt accept the call to join the Oa though...based on the
>bitterness of my childhood experiences. Only after my wife convinced me
>that I would hurt the feelings of the adults who elected me,,and that my
>refusal to join wouldnt change the inhumane way we treat the boys...did I
>answer the tap out. I am just active enough to be aware of whats going
>on......Im not sure why I recieved Vigil.
Probably because, in spite of this big ole bunch of sour grapes, you're the
kind of person who can show leadership in service.
>I spend most of the night at
>camp after tap out reliving my horrible feelings as a boy after seeing
>the faces of the kids that "werent good enought to be elected"...thats
>EXACTALLY what they think..dont kid yourself. Next year..instead of
>watching the ceremony and the fire...take a good look in the faces of the
>kids that are left sitting there at the end.....if you can honestly say
>that what you see in their eyes doesnt bother you....then you are a cold
>hearted person indeed.
Of course it's disturbing, when we see our youth upset at anything. The
answer is to help them, to counsel them. To reassure them that they're not
failures or loosers because of it. The answer isn't to insulate them from
painful or disappointing experiences, because they're going to have them
>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
You just described the requirements for the OA above.
>the opinion expressed is mine.....you cant change it...but we can discuss
>it as long as we remain civilized.
>Im leaving for a few days vacation tomorrow...so if anyone wants to chat
>about this...Ill reply next weekend.
(snipped resume. could make a whole lot of sour wine from this :))
I'm sorry, Kent. I think you have some valid concerns that are worth
discussing -- that some kids are disappointed when they lose an election
(for OA, SPL, or class president, or whatever). I'd prefer a more
constructive discussion on how to counsel these kids, so that they return
to summer camp and stay active in Scouting, rather than ripping on
Scouting's brotherhood of cheerful service.
The OA is a great experience for many Scouts. It's not the only great
experience for Scouts. It too can sometimes provide disappointment, just as
99% of life can. This isn't a problem intrinic to the Order uniquely.
Laslty, if you were so down on the OA, you didn't have to go through the
Ordeal, seal your Brotherhood, or keep the Vigil. You had to make a
conscious choice to do all of those. Somewhere along the line, you must
have seen some value to it.
Yours in Scouting,
Inductions Adviser, Grand Monadnock Lodge #309
Associate Adviser, Section NE-1B
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City