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  • OA qualification requirements

    Sorry I actually already typed this in another section, but I thought it might get answered if I started its own thread. Thanks in advance!

    I have a question for all you guys in the OA. I am not in it yet, but I had a question reguarding being in it. I heard that with the OA you are a youth member until you are 21. So I was wondering, do the females that get into the OA have to have the same requirements as well as the guys? For example, can a female leader from a boyscout troop who is between the age of 18-20 be in the OA? Because technically that would make them a youth in the OA but a leader for boy scouts? I was just curious on how that process works. And also, do adults in the OA get selected the same as the boys do? Thanks.

  • #2
    Women in the OA must be 21 and over. They would be selected as adults. Youth membeship requirements include achieving First Class, and neither males nor females who have not done so cannot be selected as youth.
    Aside from the rank, yes, unit adults fulfill the same requirements for eligibility.
    BDPT00

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    • #3
      Is it also true that venturers can be part of the OA? I might of heard some rumors about men and women from a venture crew in the OA as youth?

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      • #4
        Yes, Venturers can be Arrowmen. However, one cannot be selected for the OA as a member of a crew. The two entities are unrelated.
        BDPT00

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        • #5
          You might have heard about the Corps of Discovery, which includes pocket flaps that look very similar to OA lodge flaps.

          There are others on here who know more than I do about the program, but the National Venturing Youth Cabinet seems to have a good summary:

          "It should be noted that the Corps of Discovery is not an official part of the Venturing program but is a grassroots program in Venturing. The Corps of Discovery, a Service Society within the Venturing program, has been created at the local level to recognize Venturers and adult Venturing Leaders who provide exemplary service to their Districts and Local Councils. It is a local decision to use the Corps of Discovery pocket flap for this purpose, and the Corps of Discovery and its pocket flap are not intended to replace or compete with Order of the Arrow, a program of the Boy Scout Division for a different age group and purpose. Corps of Discovery is not a camping nor a Local Scout Camp program. It is not an honor society, but is dedicated to the promotion of and service to the Venturing Program within the local Council and District."


          Other sources of information (though non-canonical):

          http://www.sageventure.com/COD/
          http://www.geocities.com/ritter_me/codindex.html

          Comment


          • #6
            "Is it also true that venturers can be part of the OA?"

            Yes and no.

            The Venturer would have to have joined the OA while a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout (youth elections are ONLY done in those 2 units). Once you're in the OA, you mearly have to maintain your BSA registration in SOME BSA program, whether its in a Cub Scout Pack (adults only here), Troop, Team, Crew or Ship.

            "I might of heard some rumors about men and women from a venture crew in the OA as youth?"

            The term is "Venturing Crew", NOT "venture crew".

            Only male Venturers who had joined the OA while a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout would be in the OA. Female Venturer can't be in the OA because they can't met the youth joining requirements (First Class and 20 days/nights of camping) and elections are not done in Venturing Crews.


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            • #7
              There has been a rumor going around in my council that the OA is considering opening membership to all Venturers as well. What emb21 posted is the current policy for the OA. The story I hear is that National is concerned about the growing decline in membership in many OA lodges and that making the OA a "scouting camping and service group" instead of a "boy scout" group might revitalize it, again this is just an unsubstantiated rumor but it would have some interesting conotations. Imagine inducting female Venturers as well as Venturing adult leaders into the fold, it might bring some new life into those chapters struggling to stay afloat. Personally I think the idea has some merit. especially when I see our councils lodge about to go under for the third time in three years. I would be interested to hear what others here think.

              Comment


              • #8
                Nothing against Venturing, but I don't believe they have substantial enough numbers to make a significant difference in OA membership. Besides, I'd venture (no pun intended) a guess that the majority of adults and youth who came from Boy Scouts into a Crew are already OA, so you would mostly be gaining youth females with some adult females.

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                • #9
                  Interesting rumor... sure would make the inductions logistics an much more challenging task.

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                  • #10
                    "There has been a rumor going around in my council that the OA is considering opening membership to all Venturers as well. What emb21 posted is the current policy for the OA. The story I hear is that National is concerned about the growing decline in membership in many OA lodges and that making the OA a "scouting camping and service group" instead of a "boy scout" group might revitalize it, again this is just an unsubstantiated rumor but it would have some interesting conotations. Imagine inducting female Venturers as well as Venturing adult leaders into the fold, it might bring some new life into those chapters struggling to stay afloat. Personally I think the idea has some merit. especially when I see our councils lodge about to go under for the third time in three years. I would be interested to hear what others here think."

                    Interesting.

                    I know there are many in the OA and Venturing worlds that have wanted the OA to open its doors to female Venturers. Any attempt to consider this, even at the national level was blocked because the OA was part of the Boy Scout Program Division. With the demise of the BSPD, I've wondered if there might be a chance in this with the OA.

                    As to the OA being a "scouting camping and service group" vs. a "boy scout" group, some comments.

                    The OA was NEVER specifically a 'boy scout' group. During the 30s and 40s, it more or less fell under the Senior Scouting division, along with Explorer Scouting, Sea Scouting, etc. For many years, Explorers could be elected into the OA without having earned First Class. During the 50s, 60s, and 70s, the National OA Committee was under the National Camping Committee (this is why the OA Lodge and Chapter Advisors are part of the council & district camping committeess...). It wasn't until 1975 that the OA was moved under the Boy Scout Committee. When I joined it in the 80s, the OA was said to be a "honor camper society", not a 'boy scout society'. In recent years it has shifted to being more of a honor/service organization. It's now touted as "Scouting's Honor Society". NOT a "Boy Scout Honor Society", but "Scouting's Honor Society". There are some who don't like the fact that the OA turns away female venturers. Are not venturers (male and female) part of Scouting???

                    But, we'll see if this is true. Personally, with the recent re-org at National, I can't see them making such a radical change so soon after.

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                    • #11
                      I tend to agree with emb021.

                      My one thought pertains to the ethic of the Arrow: Cheerful Service. I see more than a few young women, Venturers, members of Crews, serving on staff at our Council Reservations or at our National HA bases.

                      Many of these women, under 21, are doing orders of magnitude more to promote the ethic of Cheerful Service than many 12-16 year olds who take their Ordeal, maybe seal their membership, and are never seen by the Lodge again. I'd rather see many of the young women undertake the Ordeal than many of the "one pass, haul ###" boys.

                      OTOH, young women are often more socially mature than young men ... and one of the things the Arrow does is provide expanded (scale, scope, and duration) leadership opportunities beyond the unit.

                      Finally, I'm over 30 years past the age where my vote in the Order made a difference.

                      So yes, I'm of two minds.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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                      • #12
                        If the sole purpose of allowing female venturers into the OA is to increase numbers, I say it's for all the wrong reasons and would be against it..

                        Now if the purpose is to recognize those venturers, both male and female, and leaders who are worthy of the ideal of Scouting and the OA, I could live with it. I already know of chapters and lodges that have heavy AIA activities that have venturing crews affiliated with them, Aracoma Lodge having one of them.

                        It will cause lots of problems, and there will be some who will not like it, especially the old guard. I remember the complaints I heard when ladies were allowed into the OA.

                        Just my.$.02 worth, and as someone stated before me, my vote don't count. (This message has been edited by eagle92)

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                        • #13
                          I would agree with Eagle92 that if the main reason is membership boosting, that's a poor reason.

                          As noted, the right reason to open up the OA to Venturers (male and female) would be to recognize those who hold to the values of scouting & the OA.

                          Yes, there will be those opposed to the OA going co-ed. Don't be surprised if it more then just certain 'old guard' types. A recent thread on this topic on facebook gave some 'interesting' responses from younger types. One felt that having girls in the OA somehow 'undermines the principles of the OA' (not sure how) as well as it being a 'step toward decay'. A request for an explanation of this didn't get too far. go figure.

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                          • #14
                            So what are your opinions then about allowing all BSA registered leaders join the OA reguardless of sex or age? For example, many of you were talking about the possibility of females from venturing crews, but what about female boy scouts leaders between the age of 18-20? Because then, they would be considered youth in the OA. It is true that those females cannot be a part of the OA before they are 21?

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                            • #15
                              XTREME,
                              interesting situation situation you brought up. Up until a few years ago, I thought that 18-20 YO ASMs had to be nominated, only to find out that isn't the case. They need to meet the First class rule and be elected. So may not be possible for them to get elected b/c they cannot get first class.

                              Then again the only 19YO female ASMs are also venturers in the affiliated crew. They do a great job BTW.

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