Bobwhite

Bobwhite Blather

Information, Observation, and Inspiration for Scouters

The OA and Cub Scouting

Cub Scouting is for boys in kindergarten through fifth grade or up to age 11, and the membership of the Order of the Arrow is largely made up of Boy Scouts, all of whom are First Class or higher. It would seem that they have little in common. After all, Cub Scouts can’t become OA members just yet.

So what does the OA have to do with Cub Scouting? Plenty!

Since the Order of the Arrow is all about service, there are lots of opportunities to put that ethic to work for our little brothers in blue and gold. There are benefits for both the Cub Scouts and the OA in doing so. Continue reading

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