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shelton129

OA Sash at Court of Honor

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In a word...No. OA sashes should be worn ONLY at OA events or when representing the Chapter or Lodge (ie., as the OA Troop Representative or as a member of an election team). Also, the sash may NOT be worn folded over the belt.

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Shelton,

Welcome to the boards. This exact question has been asked before and caused lots, and I do mean lots of controversy. IMHO there are two schools of thought: Yes you can and No you can not. The reason for these two schools of thought is based upon the wording of the OA Book and how it is interpreted.

 

I do not have the most current edition, but I do have my 1987 and 1995 printings easily available. Both 1987 and 1995 printings state the following

 

The sash is worn at all Order of the Arrow functions and special Scouting activities including Courts of Honor. It is not to be worn at troop meetings nor is it to be worn draped or folded over the belt. It should only be worn on occasions when members need to be identified as rendering special services."

 

Again this is from older printings. And this is the basis for the Yes school of thought on this topic.

 

Prior to the 1977 editions of the OA Handbook, which 1987 and 1995 are printings of, the COH terminology was not in the book. I believe the current wording also dropped the COH phrase, but states special occasions when members need to be identified as rendering special services termnology.

 

This leads to my argument for wearing the sash: Didn't the troop elect you into the Order if you are a youth, or committee select you if an adult? If so then isn't it appropriate to wear the sash at COHs since the unit selected you for your service to the troop? And isn't continued service to the troop the primary role of an Arrowman? The answer is yes to all the questions above, so yes wear the sash.

 

I've been honored by my old troop to be an OA member, at a time when election rules were stricter. I've been honored by my old lodge with both the lodge's honor neckerchief, and the Vigil Honor. I wear my sash to COHs, Blue and Gold Banquets, district banquets, and to council banquets as it was something I did not earn, but something I was honored with.

 

 

(This message has been edited by eagle92)(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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In reference to wearing both sashes from the other thread, I agree you don't do it. In reference to the Insignia control guide from the other thread, it doesn't tell you when to wear the sash, only how to wear it, so I agree. As for wearing the sash on special occasions, I have to disagree and state that you are wrong. I quoted the handbook, grant you it's an older printing, that stated COHs were appropriate. I also paraphrased the latest statement and asked several questions pertaining to troop COHs and OA sashes in support for wearing the sash. SO why is it wrong to recognize those OA members whom the troop has chosen as rendering outstanding service to the unit at COHs? Again it comes to one thing: interpretation of the wording in the handbook.

 

Personally I would wear the MB sash at the COH as a youth. Adult can wear the sash.

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The issue to me of wearing an OA sash at COT is less of 'no you can't', but 'no, you shouldn't'.

 

As already noted, unless you are there representing the OA, you really shouldn't wear the sash. We know you are an Arrowman by your lodge flap. You don't also have to wear the sash. To me its less a matter of 'recognition', and more of being show-offish.

 

Also, as we've noted that you can't wear the OA sash and merit badge sash at the same time, its important to realize that COT are really one of the few times a scout CAN (and should) be wearing his merit badge sash. So, please wear the merit badge sash at your troop court of honor and not your OA sash.

 

Personally, as an adult I never wear my OA sash at non-OA formal events UNLESS I am there representing the OA. Again, I feel doing so is show offish.

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*sigh*

 

Order of the Arrow Handbook, 2007 printing.

Page 57 - 58.

"The Order of the Arrow sash is worn with the official Scout field uniform or Scouting's official adult dress ( a blue blazer and gray slacks). The sash also may be worn by Elongomats who are not in uniform at an Ordeal, youth wearing ceremonial attire, and in such other instances as approved by the Scout executive. The sash is worn over the right shoulder so the arrow is pointing over the right shoulder. The sash is worn diagonally across the chest. It is not to be worn in any other manner.

"(paragraph about pins and patches)

"The sash is worn at Order of the Arrow functions and special Scouting activities, when members need to be identified as Arrowmen rendering special services."

 

That's all about HOW and WHERE to wear the sash.

 

I also do not favor wearing the sash on the belt. "It is not to be worn in any other manner".

If the Arrowman is to represent the O/A at the CoH in some manner, then yes, wear the sash. If not in an O/A capacity, then do not wear it. The flap patch is sufficient identification. Our purpose is not self identification but service, after all.

 

""... I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash...""

Indoor shutters, indicates a high class house. Think of the damage to a slate roof of all them hoofs....

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Even in the old handbooks there is the qualification: "It should only be worn on occasions when members need to be identified as rendering special services." The current handbook has: "at OA functions and special Scouting activities, when members need to be identified as Arrowmen rendering special services."

The logic of both is the same.

It must be an OA function OR (special activity AND there must be a need to be identified as rendering special services)

 

SO why is it wrong to recognize those OA members whom the troop has chosen as rendering outstanding service to the unit at COHs?

You are likely only wearing it to identify yourself as a member of the OA. This is accomplished by the lodge patch and the pocket device.Wear the sash if you like but know that it is not correct.

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http://community.scouting.org/forums/t/215.aspx

 

Follow the above link for a rather long winded explination of my thoughts and opinions on this matter. In a nut shell I agree with Eagle92. That said I do not always wear mine to Courts of Honor, even though as our current Chapter Adviser I am usually asked or informed at the last minute to present to the audience all our Troop's Arrowmen.

 

SSScout our purpose is three fold! Honoring those Scouts......, Service, and Promoting Scout camping. Recognition is specifically listed, twice actually. in (This message has been edited by brotherhoodwww)

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Some people say the flap should be enough, but did yo know that some lodges do NOT issue flaps to new members, or member who transfer from other lodges? In my current lodge you must be a member and doe 7 hours of work to get a flap. So new members are out of luck. Also if you transfer into the lodge, you have to wait to the next OA Ordeal to get a flap.

 

Also does anyone find it interesting that the current handbook states that it can be worn in the dress uniform,i.e. grey slacks, white shirt, blue blazer, and tie? Only time I've ever worn this uniform, or seen it worn is Council banquet, District banquet, blue and gold banquets, and COHs. Most people in that uniform are in it a s professionals, with a few council level volunteers every now and then.

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Typically the OA rep for our troop will wear his OA sash to the COH as one of his responsibilities is to give a brief OA presentation to the assembled adults most of whom are entirely clueless about Boy Scouts. That way if the youth they are there to support gets elected they will see it as the honor it is. We also have each scout give a brief talk on one of the activity they have done since the last COH. The assembled families love it since each scout has their moment at the mike.

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jet526 I have not heard back from anyone at National. I have even went so far as to alert National Vice Cheif Ben Stilwill of my post on the MyScouting community linked to above. In the MyScouting community Ben and myself have become "friends". He has not given any input on this subject.

 

 

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Thanks, my guess is that no one really cares. Even if it is the case that they should not wear the sash it is unlikely that many would stop. I also doubt that it would convince others that it was okay. If national made a clear statement at best it would just upset some people. It is one of those things, like having Conclave/NOAC/whatever pins on the sash, that everyone will do as they like.

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No, this is not a big deal, it is not completely black and white, and common sense (and any local interpretation made by those in proper authority) should rule the day.

 

That said, I do not wear my sash at Courts of Honor. If I was invited to one in my capacity as the Associate Chapter Advisor (or any of the other positions I held in the past) I would certainly wear the sash.

 

Let us consider what a Court of Honor is for. Its purpose is a formal recognition for awards, advancements, etc that have been earned by unit members. Ordinarily this means wearing the most complete version of your current awards. Thus Scouts and Scouters would be justified in wearing the medals for awards. Also, wearing the Merit Badge sash is certainly appropriate to display all of those awards that a Scout has earned. Now some will say that the OA sash was also earned, but I would dispute this. The OA membership is not earned in the same sort of way (and this goes to the nature of the award, not just the method of selection), and it has already been presented in a formal fashion in an event that is set apart from the troop. Thus I will certainly wear my Eagle medal to a COH, but I do not wear my Vigil Honor sash. Now, all that being said, if a troop chooses to recognize those scouts who have recently become OA members, or completed Brotherhood, or received other OA awards at its own COH as an additional recognition, I would certainly say the troop has that right and also has the right to request such individuals wear the sash for that purpose.

 

Finally, a key point that the OA sash makes is that of service. At National Jamboree if someone is seen wearing an OA sash it is assumed they are part of the OA service corps staff. Similarly, at district and council events someone with a sash on will likely be taken as service corps member and quite likely tasked with things to do in that capacity. So if you show up to a Scouting event wearing your sash, don't be surprised if someone asks you to take the trash out or something of that sort.

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