Adults in the Order of the Arrow

As we’ve been discussing, the Order of the Arrow is an organization for youth members in Boy Scouting. Its governance and activities are all conducted by members under 21, and because they are the top tier of Scouts, they do it very well, with a sense of commitment to the principles of the Order as well as a big share of fun.

There is an adult presence in the OA as well. As in all other areas of Scouting, it takes adults to make things happen. Some are more direct roles in program planning and execution, while others are a back-seat advisory role. The role of the adult in the OA falls into the latter category.

How adults come into the Order of the Arrow doesn’t make a big difference in their level of involvement. Continue reading “Adults in the Order of the Arrow”

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 “The OA and Cub Scouting”

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 “How the OA enriches Scouting”

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: Objections and elections”

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