Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: New OA Election process
Re: New OA Election process
Mon, 13 Dec 1999 12:53:12 -0800
I frankly do not understand some of the viewpoints that are expressed here.
I'm sure that they are all valid, but they overlook the big picture. OA
(for youth) is an HONOR. It is not supposed to be something that everyone
gets, nor should everyone get it. I quote from the Purpose of the Order of
the Arrow, found in many OA publications and the new BSA Handbook, I think:
"To recognize those campers--Scouts and Scouters--who best exemplify the
Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and by such recognition cause others
to conduct themselves in such manner as to warrant recognition." There are
three other parts as well, and if you want them, email me at
Take a look at the words used:
"in their daily lives" : it is not good enough to simply follow the Oath and
Law at scouting events, you must, as I've heard it described, "Live it,
Breath it, Sleep it." Not everyone does this, so not everyone is worthy of
"cause others to conduct themselves..." : when put in Scouting context,
obviously there must be SOME that are not elected that need to be "caused to
conduct themselves" better.
I am a youth member of OA, and a Vice-Chief of Tsisqan Lodge #253 in Oregon.
OA is not an elitest society, nor is it a secret society (it is
safeguarded), though one may say that the members (youth) are the best
Scouting (the Boy Scout division) has to offer. It IS possible for everyone
to be worthy of election, though highly unlikely. A lot of people arguing
about this seem to be missing one crucial, non-quantfyable requirement. If
it were not for this, the whole election process would be wasted. It is
that a Scout must live up to the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life. This
is why their is an election. Anyone can camp 15 nights out with one week of
summer camp, if they can afford it. Anyone can get first class, if they
study enough. But it takes a special type of scout to live up to the more
obscure requirement. That type of scout is a scout worthy of OA membership.
To all of those out there who complain about not everyone getting elected,
what honor would that be, seriously? You might as well hand them their sash
when they've completed all of the quantifyable requirements. If everyone
got elected, the safeguarded ceremonies would be purposeless.
As many have stated, losing is part of life. A few have talked about how
devastating it is to not be elected. There is a message in not being
elected. It is that they need to work harder to live up to the Oath and Law
in their daily lives. For some reason, no one talks about how it can be
devastating to a Scout to not receive Eagle, even though they tried. Eagle,
though not officially an honor, is an honor in itself. There is no reason
that everyone should get in OA, just as everyone shouldn't get Eagle. If
the OA elections teams do everything right, all worthy will be elected, all
not worthy won't. In the end, it is the elections team that makes or breaks
a good election.
To sum it up: Most agree that not a lot more people are getting elected
after the change in 1/97. So that has been answered.
Obviously, not all should get in OA, and those worthy tend to be elected.
So let's drop this and get onto something else.
Yours in Scouting,
Membership Vice-Chief, Tsisqan Lodge #253
(If you want to flame me, please send it directly to email@example.com)