Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ScoutDad2001

Paraphernalia wearable by "inactive" OA members

Recommended Posts

I became an Ordeal member at the age of 17. Now, 35 years later, I am an ASM of my son's troop, and, at this time, I have not re-registered with my local OA lodge.

 

I have read the back topics in this group in an attempt to determine what of my old OA stuff I am still eligable to wear. This is what I have determined...

 

OA sash and right-pocket arrow/ribbon - Yes. These are national OA insignia. The common comments regarding these seemed to be "Once elected to the OA, you are a member for life."

 

Lodge flap - No. You must have your current dues paid up to the lodge in order to wear your lodge flap.

 

Am I correct in my assessment?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any of my paper work handy, but if memory serves, the sash is only to be worn either at an OA event or when representing the OA or the Lodge at another scouting event. Because of this, a member who fails to be in good standing (i.e. not registered or dues are not payed) is unable to wear his sash.

 

You are correct in regards to Lodge flaps, and although I'm not sure on the ribbon, I believe it is acceptable for a member not in good standing to wear the ribbon.

 

In the end, there is one realy easy way to solve the problem, register and pay up dues to your new councils lodge, don't worry, they probably won't charge back dues. ;-) All you need is proof of your membership, often times a sash is enough, although they may ask for the year of your Ordeal and the Council/Lodge it was in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OA paraphernalia (oh, that has a strange connotation for those of us who grew up in the 60/70s) is not any different that other BSA items. To wear ones uniform, one should be a member of the BSA. To wear ones OA "stuff", one should be a member of the OA. Similar to the BSA, one is not a member of the OA unless the membership fee is paid.

 

Now to digress. I'm a member of my alumni association (Go Mizzou!). I had the option of becoming a life member by paying an exorbitant fee and not having to pay every year. I took it. I wish the BSA and the OA would have a similar option. So instead of paying $10/year or so one could pay something like $250 to become a lifetime member. The net effect would benefit the BSA/OA if they just invested the $250, sort of like an endowment, and used the interest to pay for year to year operating expenses and I would not have to be bothered with forms every year. Besides, being "boy run", my OA membership usually gets "snafued" every year with lost forms, bad record keeping, etc. Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how many lodges have paperwork from 35 years ago. That was before computer record keeping. On top of that, many lodges of the 1970s and before are no longer extant. That was my situation. No one had any records of my 1968 membership, so my current lodge just took my word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still wear my lodge flap from when I was the OA staff advisor, my lodge is no longer in exsistence since my former council was absorbed by another almost ten years ago. So the flap for me is more for sentimental value than anything else, even if it breaks some uniform rule. I also wear the arrow ribbon. If I become involved with the lodge in my new council then I will swap flaps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note to ScoutDad2001, "once elected to the OA, you are a member for life." This is not entirely true. According to the Guide for Officers and Advisers, there are no honorary or life memberships in the OA. You do not have to be elected again, you just have to pay your dues. The same thing goes for the scenario in which you do not pay your dues for years, once you pay your dues back to the lodge, youre back in. Just letting you know. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many in my area that continue to wear OA flaps and ribbons, even though they habe not paid their dues in many years. I'm sure that is probably true in other areas of the country.

 

It is true that once someone is selected and takes their Ordeal, they are an OA member forever. However, once they stop paying their dues, they become an inactive member. Most Lodge have by-laws that state only active members may wear any OA insignia.

 

The OA Handbook and Guide for Officers states that only active members may wear the flap, ribbon or sash. If you have not paid your dues, then you do not have the right to wear any OA insignia.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I had pretty much already determined that the "proper" way for me to resume wearing my OA sash, was to re-join the lodge. But just in case I couldn't arrange for that prior to the OA tap-out at summer camp, I wanted some guidance on what alternatives I had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note to acco...while the "Life membership" idea is not bad, the real reason for yearly re-registration of adults is to be able to do a new background check.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×