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Tachion

Staying active in Scouting after 18?

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Hi,

 

I recieved my Eagle about 2 years ago, and never had my Court of Honor for it (which I regret) and dropped out of the scene ever since. I have just recently moved to another state and plan on getting involved in Scouting again, but I will be 17 in about 2 months and that doesn't leave much time. I was wondering what I could do to remain active in Scouting after I turn 18.

 

Oh, and one more question... are most Eagle Scouts also in OA? I was never in OA and was wondering if it was common for an Eagle Scout not to have been in OA.

 

Thanks!

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As a pure guess (based on personal observation), I would guess about half the kids obtaining Eagle do not participate in OA.

 

As for staying active in Scouting...as soon as you turn 18 you can become a registered adult leader (Assistant Scoutmaster). I can't imagine any Troop not wanting your services as such. If they reject you as an ASM, there's probably something wrong with that Troop. Simply look around for another one...Believe me, most Troops would be glad to have you.

 

By the way, should you make a lot of friends with a new Troop (boys and adults), there's no reason you cannot have an Eagle Court of Honor (even after turning 18). Mention this thought to your parents and your new Troop (after you've been around for a few months). I'm sure both (your parents and your new Troop) would be happy to make this happen for you. While we're discussing an Eagle Court of Honor, you should know that the ceremony (every element of it) is up from grabs. In other words, whoever pays for it can basically dictate how the ceremony is layed out and conducted. There are no required elements, oaths, or pledges. From everything I can gather, there are only two rules pertaining to an Eagle Court of Honor - 1) no alcohol, and 2) it must stay within the Spirit of the Scout Law (honors God, country, and family).

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Welcome Tachion and I agree with Rooster, Most troops would love to have you, just look around a bit for the best fit.

 

And Rooster, You have defined the essentials for an Eagle Court of Honor with the upmost accuracy.

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I got my Eagle and three palms as a youth, but somehow missed out on OA as well. I did just about everything else.

 

I asked my former Scoutmaster why OA never came up when talking to him about what I had been doing recently a while back (starting a troop among other things), and he said it was just because the troop never got into OA stuff much.

 

I did finally become a member as an adult. Hopefully I can accomplish something in there, possible with my own sons as well.

 

As to the Eagle COH question: Certainly! I took a class on ceremonies and COH this weekend and that exact question came up, and it was pointed out that you can have the Eagle COH whenever you want. As pointed out elsewhere here, you can also make it pretty much how you (and your parents) want it.

 

Brad

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It is true that many scouts achieve the rank of eagle and are never elected into OA. I would not venture a guess at a percentage. As one poster noted, some units do not bother to have elections for OA. This is unfortunate as it deprives youth of access to another level of activity in scouting, and the possibility of a genuine honor. Even where units have annual elections it is possible for a scout to become an eagle and never make it onto the ballot for OA if he does not meet the "nights camping" requirement.

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Thanks for all of the responses, and I have one more question.

 

andrews, you said you joined OA after you were a Scout, so does this mean that you can become a member of OA even if you never were elected into it and are older than 18?

 

Thanks again!

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Tachion,

 

It is possible for an adult volunteer to be elected by a unit committee. It is a fairly involved process. It is also possible for adult volunteers at the district or council level to be nominated in a separate process. It happens with great regularity.

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Yes, you can get selected as an adult.

 

You still have to meet the camping requirement.

 

Each troop can select one adult each year they have at least one youth who is elected. The guidelines say the adult's selection is not supposed to be a reward for the adult, but should rather serve to encourage the youth to be involved with the OA and such.

 

I was originally selected by the troop committee, but we were told my camping had to be as a Boy Scout leader and without my time as a Webelos leader I didn't have enough for the original tapout. I then was nominated by the district and got selected at summer camp.

 

Politics can play a bit of a role in this, though hopefully the focus is on getting the boys involved. The camping requirements do narrow the field, but only having one per year can make it harder.

 

Brad

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Tachion,

One other branch of scouting that was not mentioned so far is Venturing and Sea Scouting. Sea scouting is a special brach of Venturing. Both are for youth age 14-21, so you could have years of more scouting fun as a Venturer/Sea Scouter before just taking on adult leadership responsibilities in a regular troop or in addition to leadership in a troop.

 

My own experience is as an advisor to Sea Scouts. All our older sea scouts have found their rank and participation and ranks in sea Scouting was received very favorably by college recruiters. And the Venturing program has several awards you can earn--BRonze, Gold, Silver and Ranger as well as Quartermaster in Sea Scouting. And Venturing and Sea Scout Crews are often co-ed.

 

So another way to continue to participate in scouting is to look into the Venturing program in your new area.

 

Another point about the Eagle ceremony, it can be a ssource of inspiration to the younger scouts as much as a recognition of your accomplishments. So do consider having an Eagle Court of Honor to show the newer scouts what can be in their future as they continue on the trail to Eagle. Good luck

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andrews' most recent post needs an amendment re OA eligibility for adults. For many years the rule was no more than one adult per year per unit. Recently the OA has loosened this somewhat for larger units. If a unit has 50 or more youth members, the unit may nominate two adults provided all the other requirements mentioned by andrews are met.

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Thanks for the clarification. It seemed to me rather unfair to adults in that aspect.

 

We had a couple who managed to stay in our smaller troop just long enough to get their OA nominations, and then left. :(

 

Since they were the only ones eligible at the time, they made it in. They probably would not have done so in a larger troop.

 

I wonder if that ratio should be lower, like 25 per adult, since the goal is to encourage adults to be involved, with the end goal of encouraging the youth to be involved.

 

Brad

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One more question (I know, I know... I must sound like an idiot =) )

 

I did some searching around about age requirements for OA and discovered that, in OA, a "youth" is anyone under 21 years of age (http://www.oa-bsa.org/qanda/qa-02.htm.) My question is this: Since 2 years have passed since I have attended any camping trips, if I were to obtain the required 15 nights with my new troop anytime while I was still under 21, even though I would not actually be a Scout after 18, would I be eligible for OA election? If I understood that page correctly, anyone under 21 can still be elected to OA as a "non-adult" member, but would have to still be active in the troop as a ASM or other position of some sorts...

 

Thanks yet again...

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Do the camping nights have to be "recent?" I would think you would be ok as long as your nights were as a boy scout youth, assuming you still fit in the "youth" category.

 

Brad

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You are correct in that OA considers anyone under 21 to be a youth. It does seem strange for a person 18 or over functioning as an ASM to be considered a youth for this purpose. I doubt that those under 18 in the unit would look at it that way.

 

One still has to meet the nights camping requirement currently, that is, within the preceding 24 months. For example, if you are 19, nights camping when 16 clearly do not count.

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