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sherminator505

Venturing Eligibility for OA - An Idea...

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A question occured to me - why don't we have a route for Venturing youth to become Brothers in OA. Yes, they can get in through the regular Boy Scout channels, but female Venturers are completely excluded by this.

 

I have an idea to solve this dilemma. Have the Order of the Arrow open to Venturers who have earned the Gold Award and satisfy the camping requirement. I am curious to get the thoughts of the group on this one...

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Initially Sherm, I was for letting young ladies in the OA, but I am not so sure anymore. Take your requirments, Earn a Gold and satisfy the Camping requirments, those are great requirments actually. To earn Gold a Venturer has to earn a Bronze and do quite a few other requirements. I don't think its a stretch to say it would take most youth 12-18 months to earn Gold. If a young lady joins on her 14th birthday and take a year to get her Gold, she gets it on her 15th birthday and now its time for the OA Ordeal. So, the 15 year old young lady will go off with the mostly 12-13 year old boys who were elected. 15 year old young ladies and 13 year old boys, yeah, only a 2 year difference, but I think that is quite a difference in maturity.

 

If girls are allowed in the OA, I predict in less than 5 years we will have a female National Chief, not that there is anything wrong with that

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Good question. That is up for the national chief, VC and the regional chiefs to make. IMHO they aren't listening to the youth though as seen with doing away with lodge numbers for registration at national events, which some think means there are no longer lodge numbers at all anymore, and the doing away with distinctive borders on flaps. Lots of upset Arrowmen wiht the lodge number thing, and a lot of youth protested the removal of distinctive borders from flaps by either not wearing the OA sash at all, or wearing them inside out so that it was a plain white sash, as protest to this decision.

 

The folks who made out on this policy are the collectors as the distinctive border flaps are now priced high due to demand.

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No. OA is part of the Boy Scouts which is one of the programs offered by the BSA. Venturing is a separate program offered by the BSA. Just because they are both programs of the BSA, does not mean they should share elements of their programs with one another. OA is the Honor Society of Boy Scouts. If Venturing desires to have an honor society, they need to create one unique and individual to them. I have nothing against Venturing. I am not involved in Venturing. I've watched Venturing struggle and the tendency is for Crews and Councils to glom onto Boy Scouts and Troops to keep it alive. They need to find their own way rather than exist on life support. I'm not trying to be mean or closed minded. I just don't see the justification foir further blurring the line between Boy Scouts and Venturing by making OA a shared honor society.

 

That being said, NYLT is currently being revamped to be "program neutral". It will now be shared between scouting and venturing, male and female. I assume that youth can attend up to 21 if in Venturing and only 18 if in Boy Scouts. This is further confused in that Wood Badge has been opened up to 18 year olds. So you could go to NYLT one week and then off to Wood Badge a week later.

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SR540Beaver-

 

I'm not sure that there is as bold a line between Boy Scouting and Venturing as you suggest. For example, male Venturers are allowed to continue working on Boy Scout advancement until age 18. Den chiefs are Boy Scouts who work with Cubs. Both of these are "bleed-overs" that have existed between different Scouting programs for decades.

 

Also, the Order of the Arrow is known as Scouting's National Honor Society, not the "Honor Society of the Boy Scouts." If the latter were the case, then following that line of logic would lead naturally to the preclusion of nominating any District-, Council-, Regional-, or National-level Scouter or professional Scouter to the Order who is not currently registered with a Scout troop. This would be particularly true with regard to professional Scouters as their role as employees of Scouting would require them to provide assistance and support to the Order with or without nomination, thus making their nomination to the Order superfluous.

 

Finally, the exclusion of Venturing youth from the Order on the basis that Venturing is a separate program runs counter to the concept that Scouting is a continuum extending from Tiger Cubs at the basic end, to Venturing at the advanced end, in that Venturing youth members are somehow ineligible for membership in the Order because they had the misfortune of entering Scouting at a more advanced level.(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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I agree Sherm.

Look there are already female leaders in the OA so why not let the Venturing girls in. I agree with emb021 that the Bronze Award in the Outdoors would be more applicable than the Gold Award, for the OA for both the girls and the guys not previously in scouting.

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Good points Sherm and BP. As I recall back in the day, OA membership was also open to male Explorer scouts. It was and should be Scouting's National Honor Society. As stated, Bronze Award should be sufficient prerequisite for Venture scout (male or female) to be elected.

 

My $0.02(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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"That is up for the national chief, VC and the regional chiefs to make."

 

Not, its not. They really don't get to make such decisions. The power lies in the OA National Committee, and even then, they have been overruled. I heard (FWIW) that there HAD been dicussion about opening up the OA to female venturers, pushed by the youth, but this was overruled by the Boy Scout Committee which was (at the time) over the OA Committee.

 

"I assume that youth can attend up to 21 if in Venturing and only 18 if in Boy Scouts. This is further confused in that Wood Badge has been opened up to 18 year olds. So you could go to NYLT one week and then off to Wood Badge a week later."

 

Actually, what they want is for those under 18 to go to NYLT, those over to go to WB. I'll leave it to others to discuss the good/bad of making NYLT program neutral and allowing 18-21 into WB.

 

"As I recall back in the day, OA membership was also open to male Explorer scouts."

 

Yes, quite true. I reviewed my collection of OA Handbooks, and they allowed for male Explorers (and Sea Scouts, etc) to be elected into the OA without needing any Boy Scout rank from the begining until sometime in the 1980s, long after Explorers went co-ed.

 

 

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Having looked over the Outdoor Bronze requirements, I would rather make it Ranger. You have the number of days camping covered if you use Ranger.

 

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Sea Scouts could join OA? Then why do the Sea Scouts currently have such an anti OA position today/

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A different angle. Maybe the desire to keep OA boy scout-specific is seen by some as a way to reduce the bleeding in boy scouting registration stats. I know at least one boy who is currently planning to stay registered with a troop ONLY so that he can remain involved in OA. If he could join a Crew and also be active in OA, he might have gone that route instead. I have heard the same thing from some other parents of older boy scouts/OA members, too.

 

 

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