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Must be present to be elected?

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During this spring's OA elections, the person representing the lodge and overseeing the elections was adiment that Scouts had to be present to be considered eligible for election. Unfortunately one of the boys who the Scoutmaster wanted included in the election couldn't attend the Troop Meeting that night.


I can't find anything in the on-line election rules that states the Scout must be present to be on the ballot.


Your feedback? Your experience?


By the way, kind of referring to another thread, during this spring's OA election one boy who did NOT get enough votes has Asperger's Syndrome, which means he can be a irritating to the other boys at times. I felt bad for him since deep down he is a hard worker. It hit close to home since my own son, who just earned his First Class rank, also has Asperger's Syndrome, which also makes him not very popular with some of the other Scouts. I asked my son what he thought about it and he said that it was OK if he didn't get voted into OA. We'll see how it goes in the next few years. I suspect eventually he'll get voted in if he stays in the troop long enough.


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kenk, I think its up to the chapter. We've never required that a fellow be present at the election, just the ordeal ;)


OA membership is not for everyone. Some very worthy fellows are not elected for a variety of reasons. It's not a predictable progression in the scouting path, unlike T21SLE.

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First stop if you have questions about the integrity of an election is the Scoutmaster. Did he/did he not certify the Scout for eligibility to election? Ask if he is satisfied the election was fairly established and correctly run? Without the SM's support, you will be pushing a wet noodle uphill.


The second stop is the Chapter Chief and Adviser. Ask for a clarification of procedures. Ask for citation of procedures against BSA/OA official documents.


If at this point you still believe a grievous error happened, then a registered, return receipt letter, countersigned by you and the SM, to:


Lodge Chief (a youth).


Make copies (also registered, return receipt) to:

Lodge Adviser

Professional Staff Adviser to the Lodge

Scout Executive (Supreme Chief of the Fire)

Council Special Needs committee chair

Chairman of the Board of the local United Way.

Chapter Chief

Chapter Adviser

Chairman of the Council Camping Committee


Will you get action? Don't know. You will however, cause some consternation in the Lodge and Chapter Chiefs: Few of them have ever received registered mail correspondence "of the record". Their stomachs should be in knots.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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I can't imagine this being a Chapter/Lodge option.


Our Troop has it's annual OA Election every August. Lots of Scouts could possibly be out of town during this time of the year. In the past, we've had OA nominees out of town during our election. It's not a problem. Their names are up on the board with everyone elses. If the Scouts want to vote for a Scout who just happens to be out of town, they'll vote for them. It's never been an issue with us. Their qualities haven't changed, just because they couldn't make the meeting for an appropriate reason. Yes, I said "appropriate." If a potential OA Scout knows that there is an OA election at a certain meeting, and they decide to go to a movie, I'll (SM) take their name off the ballot (yes, Scoutmaster's Approval).


Certainly this issue is somewhere documented.



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John in KC,


Wow! I'm not saying what you suggested is wrong or bad or anything like that... but Wow! The old saying "if you're going to be a bear... be a Grizzly" came to mind for some reason.




Good luck getting this figured out. When I was on an OA election team as a youth, I don't remember requiring a scout's attendance to be elected. If the SM said they were eligible they were on the ballot.



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This happened to one troop in our district. The election team said that you had to be present to run, when in fact you don't (or at least nobody that anybody talked to could find anything saying that you did). The election team went back and did another election. I think a phone call to the chapter/lodge advisor/chief might be a good first step.

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I can think of a lot of good and valid reasons why a Lad might not be at a meeting. (Note I did say reasons and not excuses!!)

I know how hard and how much time the OA Election Team puts into the elections. I have had the joy of having to drive OJ from Troop meeting to Troop meeting in the past!!

Still at the end of the day the OA when they visit a Troop meeting are "Invited Guests", I suppose if a SM wanted to be a pain he/she could say "I'm sorry, not all the Scouts are here tonight, come back next week!!"

Of course I don't see that happening!!

I really fail to see why a Scout who is registered and meets the requirements has to be at the meeting.

Tony Blair wasn't in the US,when I vote for him and I wasn't in the UK!!

Yet again it seems some well meaning people are making up the rules as they go along.


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Thanks for the replies everyone.


The Scout involved was eligible and the Scoutmaster approved including his name in the ballot (not sure of the specific terminology), but because of the Scout wasn't present at the meeting his name was removed from the ballot.


The actuality is that the Scout was not included in the ballot. The Scoutmaster didn't seem too concerned about it figuring the boy will have another chance next spring, so I stayed quit about it (I'm an ASM). Of the three boys voted on, only one received enough votes.


I'm not sure if the Scout would have been elected by the troop, but my own interpretation of the voting rules is that he should have been included in the ballot whether he was present or not.


My plan this fall is to ask the lodge about the voting rules so that we have things straight for next spring's elections.

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You do not have to be present to be elected. Since there is no campaigning allowed there is no real reason to be there. The boys who are eligible should be known to the troop anyway since there is a rank and camping requirement. Most of the time they do not find out that they are elected until they are at the call out ceremony anyways.


Secondly, the SM decides who is on the ballot because one of the eligibility requirements is that they have SM approval and then they may be voted upon.


These are all National Policies and Lodges cannot override them with there own rules on this matter. Everyone in the country who is an OA member that are youths have to meet the same requirements. This all can be found in the Order of the Arrow Guide to Inductions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

LodgeChief is correct. If the SM certified that the youth was eligible and placed his name on the ballot, only the SM can remove it, or essentially de-certify the scout. The chapter election team doesn't have that authority.


There should be another election held to make amends IMHO. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.



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