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Two years BSA registered for Ordeal Req?

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As "Acting Scoutmaster" at this summer's camp, I may have erred when approving the list of scouts who were eligable for election to OA.


According to the printed info I was passed out by the OA rep who came to our campsite, the potential candidates had to:

* be a registered member of the BSA

* hold the rank of at least First Class

and (I'll quote this one exactly as written)

* "After registration with a troop, team or post, have experienced 15 days and nights of camping, including 6 consecutive days and nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America, within 2 years immediately prior to election to candidate status".


I know that the 3rd part's =intention= is to address the scout's camping experience, but I also interpreted the phrases "After registration with a troop" and "within 2 years", as meaning that the candidate had to have been registered for at least the two prior years with a Boy Scout TROOP.


One of our scouts had crossed over from a Cub pack 15 months earlier, had achieved First Class and had well over 15 days/nights of camping while with the troop. However, on the grounds that he had not been registered with the Troop for 2 years, I removed him from the candidates list.


So... did I do this right, or did I misinterpret the requirements?


(By the way, the scout is my own son.)


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Also... he would have been one of eight candidates, the others being older/experienced/mature, and I think it highly unlikely that he would have been elected anyway. So, I don't feel that I've denied him anything this time.


And, yes, I could have asked the OA rep about this at the campsite, but I didn't begin to question my interpretation until long after camp was over.

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This does not mean you must be a registered scout for two years. It means that your 15 nights of camping must have occured "within" the last two years. So, Camping only 7 nights per year won't get you there, even if you are a scout for 7 years. I see it as a way to measure activity level and commitment.



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Scouts do not compete against each other, so being "one of eight" does not matter. They are selected without regard to the qualifications of the others. If all eight are qualified, all eight can be elected, or it's possible that none will be elected. This is a hard concept to get across to the scouts, and the election teams don't always do a good job of explaining it.

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They're right - the 2-yrs clause is to ensure they've been actively camping lately (i.e., within the last 2 years). This clause is in there because too many scouts drop off on the camping as they get older and OA membership is for "honor campers."


Scoutldr's right, too. They aren't actually in competion with each other - there are no limits to the number of candidates each scout can vote for - each is supposed to be evaluated based on their own qualifications as a scout. But as a member of our local Chapter Election Team, I can tell you it's human nature to compare and it's extremely rare for a ballot to have all names checked off. The more older/experienced/mature candidates are more likely to get in.


In short, yes, your son was eligible for consideration, but I wouldn't sweat it. It's great that your son is an active camper - encourage him to keep it up. In the meantime, he'll continue to grow in the eyes of his peers and will be in excellent shape next year. I also personally think he'll get more out of it later. There's a lot of meaning in the ceremonies that are hard for very young guys to grasp. I didn't make it the first time I was eligible, either. Back in the day, you had to be 14. I was so excited to get in at 15 that I jumped in with both feet - becoming involved in dance team and ceremonies - and was awarded the Vigil Honor at the end of high school. That came as a surprise to me, but I think I was determined to make up for lost time and never looked back.



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I do not think there has ever been an minimum age requirement for OA membership. I have a 1961 copyright OA handbook. There is no age requirement there for being nominated , but the election rules (how many may be elected, how many to vote for, etc.) have changed over the years. Now more can be elected from the pool of eligible in the units than ever before.

I have known of units or unit leaders adding (not really allowed) to the requirements. There was one in our district who wouldn't let anyone who wasn't an Eagle stand for election.

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