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Council VOA vs. OA Lodge

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Just came off of a week at Philmont Training Center during the commissioner week, and a conjecture came to mind with the new OA policy announcement. We're going to hit a critical mass in the near future with Venturing and the Order of the Arrow in local councils and hit some hurdles in many of our non-metropolitan councils:

  1. Over-tapped youth volunteers. We see it now with adult volunteers, now, so if we begin expecting Venturers to keep active in their VOA and dive right in with their chapter/lodge, we're going to be hitting the same people.
  2. Organization identity. Anyone who's seen VOA's operate knows there's no golden standard between councils. One VOA could do everything for Venturing from advancement training and helping with unit service, and another council could struggle just to do one event during the year. For the longest time, VOA's were billed as the next step in leadership for Venturers; except now, we have another avenue through OA lodges. From a marketing perspective, what's the best way to bill these two groups who, in-practice, are starting to overlap in councils.
  3. Inconsistent Program Support. I also just look at the amount of councils who have one. Of the four or five councils near us, less than half have a council VOA on paper. Yet, nearly every council in the country has a lodge. It seems like we have an inconsistency among program support.

Now, I throw these out here not to be a pundit but to see if this just something we're seeing in our neck of the woods, or if we're hitting a chord with other advisors and Scouters. And go!

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VOA's and lodges should have been working in lock-step all along.

There's no telling where the chips will fall with this.

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Posted (edited)

Back eons ago when OA was an elite and exclusive honor society Scouts were very eager to be members and seen as active members. In my area it was nicknamed the "SPL and Eagle Club," an exaggeration but not by much (i was a Life PL within a few weeks of my Eagle Board).  You could not be a member in 298 unless the top adult in your unit certified in writing that you were active in your unit.    Busy people are always those to look to if you want things done. 

Since "OA for anyone" has worked so well, let's make it easier to receive (forget earn) Brotherhood. 

We compete for our "customers' " time.  Competent leadership would help.  "Free" "party favors" will ultimately fail.

Edited by TAHAWK
  • Upvote 1

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