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One of the OA member Scouts in my troop doesn't want to wear his OA flap. The problem is that one of our Adults who has been in OA since before the bow was invented, keeps telling him that he has to wear it.


What is the official stance on OA flaps?

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I have never seen anything that says a Scout MUST wear a particular patch. I'd say a boy is not properly uniformed without a council patch, unit numeral, position patch (if any) and rank badge... I guess the World Crest is required now... the American flag comes with the shirt but may be removed for religious reasons... and that's it as far as I know. For other patches, the uniform and insignia guide says WHERE you must wear them, but I don't know that it says you MUST wear them.


Plus, if the boy was admitted to membership in the OA but has decided not to be active, that should be the end of it in my opinion. If he IS active in the OA, I think someone could legitimately question why he isn't wearing the flap.

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So, in the famous words of Gen Ted Roosevelt Jr on Utah beach on D-Day when the first waves landed and everyone was assembled in the wrong spots, he said, "We'll start the war from right here." I can't have half my crew wearing an OA flap and the other half not only not having one, but not even eligible. I'll start this campaign from right here.



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Here is a link to a "Mike Walton page" which is primarily about the way the flag patch is designed, but the fifth bullet point down (if I counted correctly) explains that some boys' religious beliefs will not permit them to wear the flag, and that is why it is not mandatory:




This discussion mentions "several religious organizations and faiths" that have this belief but does not say who they are. I am fairly certain that one of them is the Society of Friends (Quakers.) I know that Quakers also will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance nor will they "swear oaths." (Which is one of the reasons that the "Scout Oath (or Promise)" is not just the "Scout Oath," and why when someone takes an oath of office or is sworn in as a witness, they are permitted to "affirm" rather than to "swear.") I know that there are other groups who share some or all of these beliefs, but I don't know who they are. I think I heard the Jehovah's Witnesses mentioned in this regard once, but I cannot swear (ha ha) to that.


As to the reasons for these beliefs, I have an idea but I do not feel knowledgeable enough to try to explain it. I looked at www.quaker.org but there did not seem to be a quick and easy explanation on the front page. There may also be something on this site www.pym.org

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Warning, thread hijack in progress...


TrailPounder and OGE: I am not familiar enough with Venturing to express an opinion on what you have said, but I have a question for you:


If female Venturers should be able to join OA, should they also be able to earn Eagle? And if not, why not?


Maybe there is a difference between the two issues, but I do not know what it is.


On a related note, how would female Venturers satisfy the requirement of having earned First Class before being eligible for OA? Would you allow them to earn all the ranks as Venturers? Or would you eliminate the requirement of being First Class before being eligible for OA? Would you substitute in some other eligibility requirement? (This is related to the Eagle issue because the same "First Class" impediment exists; in other words if a female Venturer could be OA-eligible without earning First Class, then why shouldn't she also be (say) Star-eligible and eventually Eagle-eligible without earning First Class?)


I am not expressing my opinion, I am just asking for yours...

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Now, I don't want to cause to a "flap" over hijacking a thread, but I had to agree with Pounder and "Lodge" an objection to the prescence of the OA on Venturing Unfiforms when not all Crew members are eligible for membership is a "Chief" beef of mine.


And yes, this is exactly like a Venturer earning Eagle. I have stated on this forum that I beleive that Eagle is a BSA rank and should stay in the Boy Scout program.

The Venturing Program has Outdoor Adventure, SeaScouts, Arts and Hobbies, Sports, and Religious Life Bronze Awards along with the Ranger and soon the Quest and Trust along with the Gold and Silver awards. Why we need to steal a rank from Boy Scouts, when its professed Venturing has no ranks is beyond my comprehension. Maybe we should "TeePee" National in protest


However, to spare the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune, I "bow" to the original intent of this thread and promise no more posts on this topic in this thread.


BTW, Not wearing a Lodge Flap has got to be number ten on the uniform police's most wanted(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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I consider the OA to be a program "within" the Boy Scouting program. As long as the venturer is currently registered in his lodge (as well as a troop), then I don't have any problem with wearing insignia that some venturers are not eligible for. I assume that Venturing awards (past or present) can be worn on the tan uniform of a boy scout. There shouldn't be a problem with boy scouting awards worn on a venturing uniform. Cub training patches (or their square knots) are worn by scouters on uniforms in all program areas.


One half of the crew is already eligible for membership in a program (Boy Scouting) that the other is not. Between the ages 14-18, that is. Shall we prohibit male scouters from wearing the Eagle square knot because female scouters were never eligible for it? A lot of people are not eligible for a lot of awards in scouting. But to have female venturers perturbed that they can't have membership in the OA until 18 is absurd. They should be perturbed that they can't have membership in Boy Scouting (part of which is OA) until 18 first. There are a lot of insignia that I will never eligible to wear, but I am not going to insist that others remove any patch or medal that I can't have.


Perhaps OA could be made a part of the Venturing program. I don't see any reason to, however, any more than I think it should be made part of the Cub Scout or Sea Scout program. It's origin and function seems rooted in boy scout summer camping and the support thereof. It's possible, of course..


On the other hand, if a crew's OA members wish not to wear the flaps out of solidarity with their mates and recognition that it isn't part of the Venturing program, then I have no problem with that. They just shouldn't have to suffer glares from their mates if they choose to wear insignia representative of their experience and membership in the BSA. That's just envy in a rather ugly form.

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