Bobwhite

Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

How the OA enriches Scouting

The first article in this series gave a general overview of the Order of the Arrow – what it is, how it started and how it’s organized. Last time we discussed possible objections by troop leaders and outlined the election process. This article will cover how the OA complements the Boy Scout program, the levels of membership and insignia, and how Arrowmen impact their fellow Scouts, their troop and the greater Scouting community.

Too many Scoutmasters and adult leaders are of the opinion that the Order of the Arrow siphons off the best Scouts from the troop, leaving the younger ones behind to fend for themselves. Continue reading

The Order of the Arrow: Objections and elections

In the last article, I gave a general overview of the Order of the Arrow – what it is, how it started and how it’s organized. This time, we’ll cover overcoming some of the typical objections that troops might have and how youth members are chosen.

Troop objections to the OA

Although its tradition is well established, many adult leaders don’t have a good grasp on what the OA is all about, and as a result they misunderstand what having active Arrowmen among the Scouts means to the troop. Continue reading

The Order of the Arrow: What’s it all about?

The Order of the Arrow is at once a prominent institution in Scouting and a mysterious one. The OA is nearly as old as Scouting itself, yet it is misunderstood by some and unknown to others. While this is partly by design, there’s much about the OA that every Scouter should be familiar with.

In a four-part series, we’ll do a “101” on the history of the OA, followed by what it means to your troop and its Scouts, the OA and Cub Scouting, and the adult aspects of the Order. Continue reading

Dealing with policy issues

RuleBook_200A reader writes:

Our Scoutmaster wants to make changes to the troop uniform policy, but when I said I should have been in on the discussion he told me that uniforming wasn’t something that was at the committee chair level, since it deals directly with the Scouts. I said that changes of that nature need to be incorporated into the troop handbook, and should still be discussed by the committee. Should I have a say in the matter?

Let’s look a little deeper into what you’re asking and see if we can figure out what the real issues are. Continue reading

Mid-year Cub Scout program updates

cub_scout_sign_200If you follow Scouting Magazine on social media, you might have heard about some updates to the Cub Scout Adventure program that were announced last week.

(Look in the comments for links to the updates that you can print and paste into the Scouts’ books. Thanks Tom!)

The BSA Advancement Team found that, after the Adventure program was introduced last year, there has been a decline in the number of Cub Scouts advancing. As advancement and re-registration numbers start to appear, it has become apparent that an alarmingly low number of Cub Scouts completed their rank requirements last year.

Was this due to the newness of the program and the unfamiliarity of it among den leaders? Or could the requirements have just been too complex and rigorous?

The Advancement Team concluded it was probably the latter, and so have made a few easements to hopefully allow more boys to complete their rank advancements. Continue reading