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Youth OA Leaders and the Use of Silver Epaulettes

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  • Youth OA Leaders and the Use of Silver Epaulettes

    When exactly is a youth allowed to wear silver shoulder loops? The actual BSA policy says anyone holding a council or district position can wear them. Does this include youth?

    What is actually considered a district position a youth can hold?

    Is an OA Chapter Chief and Vice Chief allowed to wear them?

    The idea has been tossed around by some chapter members. Although I think it is a bit of an "I hold a chapter position, you don't" idea,There's some merit to the idea. OA officers have no way of actually showing they're heavily involved in their chapter or lodge. I can see some other benefits to allowing it. They would promote holding a leadership role. They would also signify an OA youth leader at council/District events.

    Which positions, if any, allow the use of silver district shoulder loops? Does the OA leaders in your district wear the district/council shoulder loops? (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

  • #2
    In my lodge, the chief is a youth member of the council executive board, so we'd wear the silver loops when doing chiefly things. Technically, at troop meetings or places where the Scout is not acting in the capacity of lodge chief, the "regular" loops should be worn.

    That's how we did it in my lodge, at least.

    We don't currently have chapters, but will with the formation of our new lodge within the next month. I don't know what the youth will decide to do.

    At the same time, there may not be official rules about this (also think about the fact there's no Lodge Chief position patch) because of the servant leadership aspect of the OA... they shouldn't be doing it for the patch, if you will. One should be able to distinguish a leader by his character, not by his uniform.

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    • #3
      I thought the rule was to wear the loops for the position you are registered in. If the Chapter Chief is listed on the District Committee membership roster, then silver. I served (registered) as a unit CC and a District Committee member at the same time. So when participating with the troop, I wore red, and when I was representing the District, I wear silver. That being said, some things are not really worth worrying about. I'd be happy if the youth wore complete uniforms.

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      • #4
        On the Venturing side, those youth who are Council Venturing Presidents & District Venturing Presidents (and there ARE office patches for those positions) can wear silver loops.

        Those youth who are Area, Region, National Venturing Presidents/Vice-Presidents (and there ARE office patches for most of those positions) can wear gold loops.

        The caveat I always go with, is these youth should NOT be wearing silver or gold loops UNLESS they are doing stuff in those positions. If that OA youth leader (or Venturing leader) is doing stuff as a 'regular' troop/crew member, they shouldn't be wearing the loops (or the office patches).

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        • #5
          Chapter Chiefs are not part of the District or Council leadership - they are part of the OA hierarchy. Chapter Chiefs wear the loops for their units, they do not wear the silver tabs.

          Lodge Chiefs become part of the Council leadership as a youth member of the Council Executive Board. He could wear the silver tabs when serving in his capacity of Lodge Chief but should wear the tabs of his unit when not serving as Lodge Chief. The other Lodge Officers should wear the tabs of their units, not the silver tabs. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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          • #6
            The caveat I always go with, is these youth should NOT be wearing silver or gold loops UNLESS they are doing stuff in those positions. If that OA youth leader (or Venturing leader) is doing stuff as a 'regular' troop/crew member, they shouldn't be wearing the loops (or the office patches).

            I might go with EMB's take if our crew used the national uniform for its unit uniform. As it is, the only youth who have green shirts are/were VOA officers, and they only pull them out for multi-unit activities. Even if my crew were "kelly greeners," I wouldn't be bothered with seeing silver or yellow epaulets at a unit meeting or public activity. It would remind everyone of the different levels at which they may serve.

            Same thing with troop ware. Lot's of parents don't have a grasp of how much responsibility a boy may take on. So, if there's something about the uniform of one or two boys that may cause a parent to ask a question, I consider that a good thing.

            Obviously, if someone seems to be having a power complex because of the patches they are carrying, I'd take issue with them. If it was a youth, we'd be having a conference. Still, I'd rather ask for a change in behavior than ask for a change in uniform.

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            • #7
              Until the end of the month, I'll have been a Chapter Adviser for the last 3 years. Beginning in January, I'm an Associate Lodge Adviser. I can't recall ever seeing any of our youth leadership at the Chapter or Lodge level wearing silver.

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              • #8
                ""The caveat I always go with, is these youth should NOT be wearing silver or gold loops UNLESS they are doing stuff in those positions. If that OA youth leader (or Venturing leader) is doing stuff as a 'regular' troop/crew member, they shouldn't be wearing the loops (or the office patches)."

                "I might go with EMB's take if our crew used the national uniform for its unit uniform. As it is, the only youth who have green shirts are/were VOA officers, and they only pull them out for multi-unit activities. Even if my crew were "kelly greeners," I wouldn't be bothered with seeing silver or yellow epaulets at a unit meeting or public activity. It would remind everyone of the different levels at which they may serve."

                If the only time those Venturers were wearing a Venturing uniform, then my comments don't really apply, do they? If they are wearing a crew t-shirt when doing stuff as a crew member, and the green Venturing uniform as a council or higher leader, that's fine. The comments are for those youth whose crew does wear the Venturing uniform (something many around here do).

                "Obviously, if someone seems to be having a power complex because of the patches they are carrying, I'd take issue with them. If it was a youth, we'd be having a conference. Still, I'd rather ask for a change in behavior than ask for a change in uniform."

                Not so much as 'power complex', but an ego thing.

                We had a Venturer in my council who took on a Venturing position beyond the council. But the funny thing is, they really never did the job (a whole other issue). We NEVER saw him at any Venturing event, but EVERY time I saw him at an OA event, he was always wearing his gold loops, tho he wasn't doing anything there AS that position. (vs. if we had a section/regional/national OA officer who might do the same. I WOULD expect them to be wearing gold loops and the appropriate office patch). It seemed more of an ego thing that he could run around with gold loops.

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                • #9
                  Yep, that's where we'd have a discussion. I think I would offer two options. Either:

                  1. Always be prepared with a summary of what you've done in the last month for your council/region, and do something (even for just one minute) to represent council/region by way of sharing information, recruiting, asking for assistance, etc ...., or
                  2. Shed the pretty colors until you do.

                  P.S. - That also applies, IMHO, to a dual-registered boy who shows up at troop meetings in his crew uniform or vice-verse. That I have had some experience with, and the boys seem to have figured it out on their own just fine. (Adults on the other hand ...)(This message has been edited by qwazse)

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                  • #10
                    In my neck of the woods, OA chapter chief is a member of the district committee. They can wear silver loops and either a reproduction of the unofficial Chapter chief patch, or district committee member patch.

                    Lodge chief is on council board, and wears silver loops and exec board patch. Haven't seen one of the Lodge chief patches on one in a very long time.

                    I personally think it was a mistake to not have chapter chief and lodge chief patches, especially now that Venturing officers on the district and council levels do have them. Wish national would reissue those two patches.

                    And I am glad that I gave the word to my old lodge to buy them all up because they may be recalled when I worked for national

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                    • #11
                      Graham,

                      Greetings!

                      Chapter chiefs are also members of the district committee.

                      From the 2010 OA Guide for Officers and Advisers. "The lodge adviser and lodge chief serve as members of the council camping or Boy Scout committee, while the chapter adviser and chapter chief serve on the district camping or Boy Scout committee."

                      Scouting Forever & Venture On!
                      Crew21 Adv

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                      • #12
                        If a chapter chief is a district committee member, what about a chapter vice chief? Is a lodge vice chief a council committee member as well?

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                        • #13
                          "If a chapter chief is a district committee member, what about a chapter vice chief? Is a lodge vice chief a council committee member as well? "

                          Only if the local people decide to do so.

                          As per the literature from National, only the Lodge/Chapter Chiefs are on these committees more or less automatically.


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                          • #14
                            I really wish that all of these silly loops could be done away with for good and never darken our doorstep again.
                            I hate these things!!
                            For people who are not involved in the BSA these loops mean nothing.
                            So the message they send isn't so much about telling others it becomes more about feeding egos.
                            If it really mattered and I wanted to know what someone was doing? I'd look on the uniform sleeve to see the patch.
                            These loops are a silly waste of time.
                            Eamonn

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                            • #15
                              As a Lodge Advisor, I would encourage my Lodge Chief to have a separate uniform for Exectuive Board meetings that did not have unit numerals and use the Executive Board patch and silver loops. For a youth, that gives him a little "standing" with the old farts on the Executive Board.

                              Amen, Eamonn! At the 2010 National Jamboree I had some old guy yelling at me because I parked to deliver his ice where he didn't want me to park. He kept yelling and even decided to throw in "I have more power because I wear gold loops". Little did he now that I also wore gold loops at that time. He was a silly, grumpy old man.

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