Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Order of the Arrow Unit Election problem
Re: Order of the Arrow Unit Election problem
Fri, 27 Aug 1999 09:21:20 -0500
This is an interesting concern...one that I have seen before and heard from
others, but also one which I have not seen myself.
In my personal experience of voting in my troops, boys have NOT left
scouting if they weren't elected; boys have (generally) understood that, if
they asked for some input, they didn't exactly behave or live appropriately
to merit the honor; and, boys, as voters, were much more "rational" (my
professors would be proud of me for using that word) than we generally give
I have rarely seen a ballot that contained ALL of the eligible boys. After
this year's election, I had the opportunity to be participating with my new
scout patrol in an event they held. Privately, I asked them how they made
the decision to vote. They, very honestly, told me that the remembered who
seemed to know the most on campouts and who made them feel most welcome.
As it turned out, only 50% of my eligible boys were elected this year. But,
I can remember as a youth (lodge chief) seeing boys who were excellent being
left out BECAUSE of a popularity contest.
I, for one, am not convinced that changing the voting rules in the Order of
the Arrow will resolve any difficulties of determining who may or may not be
a member. Additionally, speaking from past experience, it is less confusing
to hold elections now than previously. I seem to recall that National could
never be concrete about the 50% rule--it was "tweaked" so often that
election teams could never be sure who could be elected.
Count me in as one scoutmaster, and OA member, and former OA youth leader,
who likes the new rules and who has every confidence that boys can work out
the elections themselves.
Vigil Honor Member, Nampa-tsi 216
Former lodge chief; section vice-chief