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Scoutmaster Teddy

Order of the Arrow for Females?

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Any scuttlebutt on the OA equivalent for girls? Will there be a separate OA-type organization for them or will the current system be altered, as in female Chiefs? Kichkinet? Nutiket? Meteu? Allowat Sakima?

 

Just curious.

 

Scoutmaster Teddy

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@

 

At this time, the National Council and its committees are reviewing this topic. Per the October Family Scouting decision, an honor society component is required for parallel program for 12-17 year-old girls. We can only speculate if the Order of the Arrow will fill this component or if a separate organization will be established.

 

On a related note, the Venturing program's proposed Silver Circle honor society has been tabled and is no longer being considered. Take that how you will...

Edited by 4CouncilsScouter

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I'm not expecting anything until conclaves and NOAC.

 

Read plainly, the current membership requirements (https://oa-bsa.org/pages/content/membership-and-induction) would allow a young woman to be nominated after 15 camping nights and a first class rank while registered in her BSA4G troop. I'm not sure if her odds would be greater or less because it would be a troop of just girls doing the voting.

 

The current chiefs and advisors could

  • revise the requirements to explicitly specify that only boys may apply, or
  • drop the ridiculous "Boy Scout camping" gerrymander that carved Venturers and Explorers with things like Ranger awards out of being recognized as honor campers, or
  • keep things as they are and welcome candidates from BSA4G troops, leaving lodges to adapt as they see fit, or
  • go the extra mile and allow - as soon as her BSA4G troop charter is submitted - elections for any girl who had been camping regularly in a boy scout fashion for the past two years.
Edited by qwazse

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True.

 

We currently understand the parallel program for girls will have a similar advancement structure that will allow young women to pursue the Eagle Scout Award. However, there could some parsing here that would prevent elections/camping from counting. For right or wrong, if the parallel programs units are called something other than troops or teams, then current Order of the Arrow the policies would not permit membership in the OA through these new units. 

 

Unfortunately, until we receive more information about how Family Scouting is going to implemented in the field and handbooks/literature are released, we will be twiddling our thumbs for a while.

 

My advice, reach out to the National Service Center and voice your suggestions. The National OA Director, Matt Dukeman, or the Boy Scouting Director, Garfield Murden, could be excellent resources. If all else fails, send an email PR@Scouting.org describing your ideas, suggestions, or experiences.

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I think if they leave this at the Lodge level there will be uneven and possibly discriminatory behavior that will blow back toward OA...I hope for a uniform and fair set of guidelines from National. If asked I would be opposed to any 'camping credit' towards a candidate who camped outside a BSA organization. 

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I think if they leave this at the Lodge level there will be uneven and possibly discriminatory behavior that will blow back toward OA...I hope for a uniform and fair set of guidelines from National. If asked I would be opposed to any 'camping credit' towards a candidate who camped outside a BSA organization. 

I feel you TT, but that goes against my rule #1 (never ask for a rule) on so many levels. :eek:

 

You do realize that the guideline we have was expressly written to exclude female youth? Until some lodge chiefs invited a few gun-ho female explores to be tapped out, no distinction was made. It's not like there were hundreds of candidates getting elected by their troops while camping exclusively with Gramps at his deer stand for two years straight.

 

I would be fine if O/A explicitly said "boy only" and trimmed the nonsense out of membership requirements. Some enterprising individuals could then establish O/A4G, possibly allowing a pathway for venturing females. Then the two honor societies through combinations of joint and segregated activities could compare notes and figure out best practices after a little real-world experience. In fact, had someone offered such a possibility to GS/USA decades ago, we might have avoided this current mess.

 

I would also be fine if O/A left the requirements unchanged. If BSA4G organizes in troops, then those units could rightly hold elections. Activities would necessarily be co-ed, and current G2SS rules apply. Norms on modesty vary by region, but I'm sure we're not letting these young ladies run around dressed like Pocahontas at Jamestown (hint: it probably wasn't the Disney princess cover-up). The chiefs and advisors will have to hollow out this new canoe slowly.

 

But, expecting National to bang out a set of best practices in one year with no idea how popular it will be among young women or any real vision of the character of those young women who a BSA4G troop would nominate ... that is just setting the whole thing up for failure. Those practices won't stand the test of time.

Edited by qwazse
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(My OA Lodge already has a number of women and it is not that big a deal.) I just don't want OA to create a mess that will strain the love-hate relationship between OA and BSA National. 

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The following reply explains why I'll never be in the key-three ...

(My OA Lodge already has a number of women and it is not that big a deal.) I just don't want OA to create a mess that will strain the love-hate relationship between OA and BSA National. 

Some messes are just better cleaned up after the cake is in the oven.

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My Wood Badge course director is female, and she is outstanding.  She wears an order of the arrow pocket flap patch so I assume she's an OA member.  She also has been awarded a silver beaver.  So, there are definitely adult females in OA already.  I don't know much about OA but women are a part of it.  A Google search shows that female adult leaders were welcomed starting in 1988:

 

https://history.oa-bsa.org/node/3403

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My intent was to gather information on the OA equivalent for females. The topic was mentioned in the video sent to councils and the recent town hall by the CSE. Chapter, Lodge, Section, Regional and National Chief positions and their staffs are male. Following the Native American tradition, all Chiefs are male.

 

I'm curious as to what the female equivalents will be. As well as how the two groups would interact by Section, Region, etc.

 

I would hate to see the OA be abandoned for a new organization.

 

Scoutmaster Teddy

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My intent was to gather information on the OA equivalent for females. The topic was mentioned in the video sent to councils and the recent town hall by the CSE. Chapter, Lodge, Section, Regional and National Chief positions and their staffs are male. Following the Native American tradition, all Chiefs are male.

 

 

Scoutmaster Teddy

 

http://www.powwows.com/matrilineal-societies-women-with-power-and-respect/

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_roles_among_the_indigenous_peoples_of_North_America

 

 

Lots in the second link, in particular the Hopi, that could be used to create a female version of OA. Keep in mind that if the girls are going to have their own honorary society, it need not look anything like OA. Chiefs or some female equivalent need not be recreated or duplicated.

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@hawkwin, that may be one way of preserving the "boys-only" tradition, but I don't think a "girls-only" society in BSA4G will pan out. We've seen that happen with Venturing societies.

 

And besides, I've found mixed sex drum circles to be thoroughly enjoyable. I think O/A missed the boat by avoiding giving girls and boys the chance to work this out decades ago.

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I'm our current Lodge Adviser. That doesn't mean I know anything of what the future holds. But if I were a betting man, I'd guess that we will see OA elections in Girl troops in 2020. Just a feeling.

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I look forward to integrating girls into the program. There are some venturing girls who are exceptional scouts and they deserve th honor. 

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