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OA Camping/Joining [Adult]

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Hi all,

I read through a few threads here but still have questions about how an adult gets connected with OA (and some camping night questions).  The context is that I have a few friends in the OA and they're all wanting me to join, but they're in different lodges so they don't know my true next steps.  Also, they joined as youth so didn't have to navigate this as an adult.  I've been told my pro musician skills/experience will come in very handy for them, and I think it'd be fun to get into OA since I missed out as a youth.

I've purposefully avoided researching too much about OA, since I know that it is often better to let folks tell you than to do possibly incomplete research, but if there are things I should read do let me know!

Question 1: For camping nights, I'm currently registered with the District as UC + MBC, and also just put in an app for 91U (scouter reserve) with the troop I'm assigned to as UC so I can camp with them per the Sept 1st rules (the troop committee is highly supportive of this since the 80 scout troop only has 1 ASM + the SM*).  I've seen on here that training such as Wood Badge should count...but does it not count because I'm not registered yet with the unit and have already done my Wood Badge nights?

Question 2: The troop I UC for has 0 involvement in the OA...so I'm unsure who to connect with outside of emailing the addresses on the Lodge's page with "help me get in touch with the right person" especially in regard to putting in the app or however else that process is handled.  Would hitting up the Lodge's advisor be at least a solid first step?

Question 3: When camping, must it specifically be unit-focused camping?  The DC wants me to be camp commissioner next summer if I'm willing to take a week off work to volunteer & camp*,  but since that's not "with a unit" it seems like it'd not count even if that's where the district/council folks may have more need.  Would this apply to any camporees and other events I assist at?

Also, if the above makes you think "yeah...maybe OA isn't for you," that's extremely valuable to hear as well.  I'd like to contribute and love getting to flex my skills (and my in-OA friends tell me they'd love to invite me to their events as well), but totally get it if it's not in the cards.

Thanks in advance...just trying to navigate & sort while also being as helpful to my units/district/council (and someday lodge) as possible!

*The "single ASM + SM" is the SM's choice, rather than an inability to get other adults to register.  The troop committee is huge and often has to send folks to camp as well, but the SM is adamant that only he and one other individual (the single ASM since 1996) wear uniforms and hold those positions.

**In past years I've done non-BSA type volunteering, but I do always take a week for "give back" activity of some kind so it's nothing unusual in how I manage my PTO

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From the Guide for Officers and Advisers.


Adult membership qualifications. All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Orderof the Arrow who are 21 years of age or older and who are registered members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be considered adult members or candidates for adult membership. Individuals shall be selected as candidates
based on the following:

1. Adult leaders in units: Each year, upon holding a unit election for youth candidates that results in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may nominate registered unit adults, 21 years of age or older, for membership in the OA to the lodge adult selection committee, composed of the lodge adviser, the chair of the council committee on which the lodge adviser serves, and the lodge staff adviser.

The number of adults nominated can be no  more than two-thirds of the number of youth candidates elected, rounded up where the number of youth candidates is not a multiple of three. In addition to the two-thirds limit, the unit committee may nominate the currently serving unit leader  (but not assistant leaders), as long as he or she has served as unit leader for at least the previous 12 months. Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with the  approval of the Scout executive, will be candidates for induction, provided these conditions are fulfilled:
               • Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the OA fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service,
                 including current or prior achievement and positions.
                • The individual will be an asset to the OA because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order.
                • The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.                                                                                                                                                                                     • The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.

2. Adult leaders in council and district positions: The lodge adviser, district chairs, council president or board chair, or members of the professional staff may nominate adults to the lodge adult selection committee. All requirements set forth for adult leaders in units must be fulfilled, with the exception of the camping requirements, which may be waived at the discretion of the lodge adviser and Scout executive. Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with the approval of the Scout executive, serving as Supreme Chief of the Fire, will become candidates for induction. 

Adults may be nominated for membership only one time per year as either unit Scouters or district/council Scouters, but not both. How they are nominated depends on where they maintain their primary registration.

Because the Order of the Arrow is principally a youth organization, unit, district, and council Scouters are not selected for membership as a recognition. Selection should take place only when the adult’s position in Scouting will make OA membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership.


There is a third category for professionals, but since this is not the case, I won't post it.

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