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  • OA and Venturing

    This weekend I was at SM/Outdoor Leader Training. I was talking with one of the other staffers who was his districts OA chapter advisor and the talk turned to OA and Venturing Crews.

    I've found the answer on these forums for one of my questions about female Crew members joining OA.
    They can not because one of the requirements is to be 1st Class.
    Is there any thoughts being given to changing this to allow female OA memebers under 21?

    I think that the youth-led concept in OA could do nothing to help a Venturing Crew and female Crew members could benefit from this.

    The other question I had he couldn't answer was:
    If a Venturing Crew has eligable members for OA can it hold elections?

    I know I have some Scouts interested in joining the Sea Scout Ship but thier troops haven't done OA elections in years.
    Again I think being involved with the OA can do nothing but help the Ship in the long run.

  • #2
    as I recall...

    The OA is a Boy Scout organization, as such a Crew cannot hold elections, now, if a Venturer is also in a Troop, there is no problem if he qualifies, for him to be elected in the Troop as an OA member and even wear the Lodge flap on his Venturing uniform (A move I disagree with but whatever)

    I don't think allowing female members (read Venturers, I am not talking about adults) in the OA would be a good idea and before I get stoned as a knuckle dragging neanderthral, let me s'plain.

    Lets say that Venturers were allowed in the OA, and that the nights camping requirement was the same, but that the Venturer had to earn the Bronze OutDoor award instead of first class. Sounds good so far? Ok, now to the crux of the issue.

    You have to be 14 to join a Crew, if it takes 18 months to 24 months for a Venturer to get the required camping nights in and earn the Bronze Out Door award (no mean feat I will tell you), the earliest a Venturing youth could qualify for the OA is roughly 15 1/2 - 16. What is the average age in your area of Boy Scout ordeal candidates? Would this be a workable situation?

    On a completely sexist note, if they let Venturing Girls be OA members, I predict 6 years from that date the National Chief with be a Cheiftess and just about every Lodge Chief will be female. Its got to do with Ages and Stages(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)


    • #3
      I've been an Arrowman since 1970.

      The problem is that Camping and the outdoors is NOT the single program delivery vehicle for Venturing.

      Many crews do camp as part of their program.

      Others, such as Sea Scout Ships, are focused around the water. How do we count time for them?

      What about Crews that are focused around HS bands?

      I know a Crew that focuses on high altitude balloon launches (near space ventures). They don't camp much. How do you deal with them?

      To repeat: Venturing has huge diversity in its program delivery. To adapt the Scouting Honor Camping Society to Venturing is not one of the wisest moves in the world!

      Of course, here's my question: If a young lady, 18-21, who is an ASM, is selected by the youth of a Troop to enter the Order, where do we go from there?


      • #4
        The topic of allowing Venturers to be elected in the OA is one that can only be answered/approved by the National OA Committee. The Nat OA Committee is a subcommittee of the National Boy Scout Division. Since the Boy Scout Division is NOT a co-ed youth program, they really can't allow the OA to be a co-ed youth program.

        We can discuss/argue on whether or not the OA should allowed Venturers to be elected in. The decision is made by the above groups, and presenlty they aren't going to change.

        Aside. When I joined the OA, it was the National Honor Camper Society. Today is "Scouting's Honor Society". If its scouting's honor society, how can it exclude a large portion of scouting (Venturing)?


        • #5


          Regarding your second question... If a Venturing Crew has eligible members for OA, can it hold elections?

          I think this too has been answered here in this forum as well. In the page. There is the manual Guide to Officer and Advisors.

          It is possible for a male Venturer to be a First Class or above, and have 15 camping days within the past two years. But by virtue of being in that type of unit. The unit is not eligible to conduct elections.

          The manual continues to say that the youth must be a registered member of a Troop or Team and either a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout.

          It seems similar to a boy and family living in extremely rural conditions in an isolated small town. A Lone Scout is not eligible for the OA, because he is not a member of a Troop or Team.

          Scouting Forever and Venture On!
          Crew21 Adv


          • #6
            Thanks for letting me know where to get the answers for my questions. I had looked at the OA site but didn't know what publication it would be in.

            After seeing the OA in action and talking with some of the lodge advisors over the weekend I can see nothing but good being involved with the OA and was trying to find a way to get these scouts involved as their Troops can't seem to get around to have OA elections.


            • #7

              I understand and empathize. Sometime there are very deserving Scouts who serve their units, but somehow thru the akward elections (not remembering candidates names, new to the Troop, etc) or the lack of elections, they never have the opportunity to enter the OA.

              Maybe someday the written policies will change or modify slightly.....



              • #8
                "Maybe someday the written policies will change or modify slightly..... "

                That's already happened. It used to be only half of the eligable candidates could get elected in. Now, due to changes in the election procedure, its possible for all candidates to get in.

                If the election team is doing their job, if the scoutmaster is doing his/her job, and if the scouts take it seriously, there is no reason why those who should get it don't.


                • #9
                  Remember, the progression using the Boy Scout rank advancement system to Eagle is NOT THE SAME as being registered in a Boy Scout Troop. A Venturer who has earned First Class, in a Troop, can continue to use the Boy Scout rank advancement system to Eagle. From my Venturing NLE specific training, Crew Advisors/Committees are NOT authorized to award Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class.

                  To enter the Order, in gneral, a young man must be a registered Boy Scout in a Troop. Once in the Order, he can be active in a lodge for his lifetime (as long as he keeps dues current). This is without regard to program membership.

                  As emb021 said, election rules have changed in the past 30 years. Remember, the youth leadership of the Order has direct access to National. They have excellent Advisor support. If they think the rules should change, they will change the rules. It's not our lane as adults to be agents of change. We support them.
                  (This message has been edited by John-in-KC)


                  • #10
                    emb021 said:

                    If the election team is doing their job, if the scoutmaster is doing his/her job, and if the scouts take it seriously, there is no reason why those who should get it don't.

                    I think this says it all about the situation I see these scouts in - people not doing their job.

                    One of the Chapter Advisors I was talking with, even after going out and contacting all the Troops in the chapter, still had 4 out of 17 Troops (almost 25%) that never responded or they couldn't get them to commit to hold OA elections.


                    • #11
                      I'm sending this.. more to tell you about a new Troop in our neighborhood in the second paragraph......

                      Our Chapter Chief, Chapter Advisor, and Chapter Arrowmen have solicited (in person, by email and phone calls) their availability to conduct elections this year. Ordeal weekend is coming soon for us. But still, the Chapter election team has been invited to less than half of the eligible Troops.

                      On a good note, A brand new Troop just recently chartered (with a dozen 11 year old first year Scouts), have requested an OA elections. This Troop has only been around for two months with a couple of Webelos dens creating this new Troop. LOL They haven't even had a Court of Honor yet, nor completed Tenderfoot, but these boys are eager for the opportunity to hold OA elections!

                      The Chapter Chief had to tell them the additional eligibility requirements, and asked to be invited back in 2007. Hopefully they are just as eager next year!!

                      Crew21 Adv


                      • #12
                        The answer to the question would be no. Crews are not permitted to hold OA elections. It wasn't until the late 80's or early 90's that women who were ASM's were allowed to be in the OA. I know some people who sit on the National Committee and we were talking about youth female venturers be allowed into the OA. They said that it had been brought up at a Committee Meeting and it was shot down immediatly. I do not think that youth female venturers would be a good addition to the OA mainly because of the point that Old Grey Eagle brought up. They would eventually be the youth leadership and the OA is a BOY scout program. I think that this would take away from the production and maybe add more drama to something that already has enough in each lodge.


                        • #13
                          I hadn't seen an answer to this question yet.

                          John-in-KC asked:

                          "Of course, here's my question: If a young lady, 18-21, who is an ASM, is selected by the youth of a Troop to enter the Order, where do we go from there? "

                          A female ASM between the ages of 18-20 would not be eligible to appear on the youth OA ballot because she has cannot meet all of the first requirement to be on the youth OA ballot, which is earn the rank of 1st Class. Even male ASMs in this age range have to meet this requirement. However, once she turns 21, she can be included on the Adult OA ballot, because the Adults do not have the rank requirements.

                          I actually witnessed this first hand. I worked with a troop while I was on summer camp staff for several years in the mid-90's that had a young woman who was an Explorer (before Venturing) and an ASM in a troop where her father was SM. While she was under 21, she could not be elected to the OA. However, the summer after she turned 21, she was elected as an adult.

                          Hope this helps.



                          • #14
                            OA is the National Honor Society for BOYSCOUTS not Venturing.


                            • #15
                              "OA is the National Honor Society for BOYSCOUTS not Venturing"

                              Sorry, but that's not the phrase that is used.

                              The phrase is "Scouting's National Honor Society". Venturing is part of Scouting.

                              (also, if its for Boy Scouts, what about Varsity Scouts?)