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Order of the Arrow

Discussions for OA Members and those interested in Scouting's Honor Society. Also includes a private sub-forum for OA Members only.


  1. Western Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

  2. NOAC

    Been to NOAC? Heading there? Chat about the Order's bi-annual gathering

  3. Central Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

  4. Northeast Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussions

  5. Southern Region

    Sections, Lodges and local discussion


540 topics in this forum

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  1. Why?

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  2. Changing the Order

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  3. OA "Password"

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  4. OA Election Question

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    • @Cburkhardt, I think any other scout's particular written plan could send your scouts down a very wrong path -- especially if it winds up clashing with their interests. These older teens can review the requirements and plan for themselves. The venturer, especially should by now be skilled at back-dating from a target date to schedule a series of steps towards completion of an adventure. Most camp staff have similar opportunities, plus they should know how blue cards work. Scout C is a wild card. You almost certainly need to listen carefully to her interests and have her start on an MB of interest to her with a counselor you trust. Then when she comes back with her first blue card, you will have data to let her know if she needs to pick up the pace to stay on track. For mature scouts, I always suggest that they be working on an elective and required MB every month. Most scouts this age would do well with personal management, personal fitness, and family life. Weekend campouts are a must if they want to earn Camping MB in 18 months. Really, they only need to attend one summer camp so they can rack up 6 camping nights. Everything else they need for advancement they should do on weekends or evenings with their troop, patrol, or their friends. Your next few SMCs will tell a whole lot more about where to direct them than any timetable that someone claims worked for their scouts.
    • Some things to keep in mind: Cyber Chip (rank requirement for Scout and Star):  Requires Scouts to write and sign a personalized contact with a parent / guardian and also to have a discussion with parents. Fitness requirements:
      Tenderfoot - practice & track for 30+ days
      Second Class - at least 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week for 4 weeks [must be done after completing TF #6c.]
      First Class - at least 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week for 4 weeks [must be done after completing SC #7a.] Merit badges to watch out for:
      Family Life - Track chores for 90 days.
      Personal Fitness - Outline a fitness program and track fitness for 12 weeks.
      Personal Management - Track income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks.
      Camping - 20 nights of camping with specific requirements (cabin camping doesn't count).  6 nights at summer camp can count if the Scout sleeps under the sky or in a tent.
      Cooking - Not really difficult, but has some specific requirements that Scouts need to be aware of and follow.
        As far as leadership positions of responsibility go, there are around 15 PORs that count for purposes of the Eagle Scout rank, and some of them can be held by more than one Scout at the same time (Instructor, Den Chief, ASPL, one Patrol Leader per patrol, etc.).  So, the SPL can make troop-level appointments (in consultation with the Scoutmaster) and make sure that Scouts who need PORs for a particular rank get one.  Something else that can help with PORs is to have 6 month terms of office instead of 12 months.  
    • Thanks to the over 700 who have visited this posting in the last 24 hours.  Understanding how to best provide advice on this is a concern shared by many.  We are going to deliver on this.  And, Happy Easter to everyone of you, regardless of your faith. There is a clear need to provide guidance on basic scheduling and requirements/leadership sequencing to meritorious older young men and woman who have been presented the opportunity to advance through Scouting’s ranks during this exceptional period.  Thanks to those who had useful prioritization thoughts to offer.  To those who seemingly think that these young people should figure out how to do this entirely on their own, let me tell you that we are going to provide Scoutmasterly advice so that those who want to have as much of the scouting experience they can — and maybe even earn Eagle — can do so in an organized manner and not be crushed by failing to catch one of our elaborate rules. I have been considering it and believe the critical timing issue is to immediately start earning the merit badges this and next summer.  I believe at least three combined weeks at a first-rate council camp with a broad variety of offerings is the way to go.  Our 2 girls who have  gobs of experience in BSA as tag-alongside, Venturers and camp staff will each spend 2 weeks this summer at camp and probably one more next year.  The “unscouted” girl will have a more gradual start, because we need to see her learn and master the basics.  She will work merit badges as well and spend a week with us during our Troop visit to our council camp.  Next year she will likely need to do 2 weeks at camp.  For all 3 girls we will spend a lot of time to assure they are learning and exercising leadership and serve the requisite time in officerships.   That some of these girls are going to college during this period presents a logistical challenge.  As I noted earlier, we have one girl leaving our area.  She will dual register with a troop in her college town to continue her work while away — especially her leadership roles.  And, we are receiving a long-time venturer in our city who will attend college here.  She and her parents are well along the way on all of this.  Because our Troop meets on Saturday mornings it will work well for her school schedule.  Her mother is also an experienced commissioner.  Do not hesitate to have your professionals assist to find a destination college town troop for your young person.  The third girl will live here and do her Scouting work with us as a junior and senior in high school. Again, if any of you and your scouts have reduced to writing a sample schedule for rank, merit badge and leadership service, please post it for others to see.  I am aware that some good templates have been developed.  I will share our details as we develop them.
    • So...not to do a disservice to the journey, and it is each Scout's journey, basic project management, if you have hard stop to achieve something you will need a plan. We had an older teen (15 and 8 months) join the troop a couple of years ago.  Mainly he wanted to attend high adventure with friends in the troop.  As he did attend one high adventure and then camp (as a "new" scout) we talked about what he wanted to do in Scouting.  Long story short, we backdated a plan for when HE would need to attain various ranks.  HE would have to do this, HE would need to attend our second summer camps to get enough optional merit badges, HE would need to serve in the leadership, HE would need to propose, plan, and perform a project. Fast forward, he is 18 in maybe 90 days.  He has earned his 21 merit badges, served as JASM in the troop and at summer camps, went to high adventure, went to outings, and just got his project approved.  Should wrap up before 18th birthday. It can be done if THEY want to earn it, see the value, and you can support the journey.
    • I would guess it's something his parents or family must have taught him, or perhaps even just a personal conviction. But having lived my whole life deeply invested in LDS culture and religion, I would still find it unusual for a boy to think thusly - but I have tremendous respect for him if he does.  And that's the point. We have to consider the sensitivities of all who might be witnesses to such a (frankly) tasteless little number as the dreaded JCPenny Skit. I was a pretty tender little Scout, and I DESPISED the skit precisely because I found watching boys go around in their underwear to be immodest and unseemly. Making other Scouts feel uncomfortable for any reason is bad enough. Now factor in today's social climate, where supervising adults watching boys in underwear is a grave subject of controversy to be guarded against, and then add in the fact that young women will now be included in most of these events, and you are playing with fire in a vat of already-burning oil.  When in doubt, don't do it. Simple. There are a million other skits they can do; why not encourage them to explore other options so we can finally brush this long-standing, pitiful attempt at 'humor' under the rug.
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