February 1st, 2019 marked several great beginnings for the Boy Scouts of America. Through these changes, the opportunity for family scouting has never been greater. The introduction of Scouts, BSA includes not only introduction of females to traditional troops and formerly known as, “Boy Scout” troops, but an opening for Venturing and Sea Scout youth to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s National Honor Society.
This change is imperative to a productive future and essential growth within local lodges and eventually on section, region, and national levels. This can be related back to Venturing female youth, as many Venturing male youth, if involved with a troop has likely been elected to the OA.
An aspect worthy of mention is diversity. Diversity is a term that is thrown around, but people may not realize the true potential it offers. A diverse group of individuals can become a cohesive team if the right ideas are shared and a connection takes place through a group of diverse persons.
The Order of the Arrow is, in my opinion, the membership retention program of the BSA. And, it gets the job done. Crews are in a different position than most troops, in that High Adventure and uber-tactile programs are available and more easily accessible because that is the foundation of the program.
The OA offers training, more camping opportunities, positions of leadership which vary depending on how much or how little work you want to put in. The OA offers a deep connection and brotherhood with amazing scouts from all different units throughout your council. A focus on cheerful service, fun and fellowship are well represented.
Venturers in general should work to become an active part in their district, council, local camp, really anywhere that an opportunity to serve and better an individual or entity is offered. Promotion and more involvement in the OA just makes it that much more enjoyable.
I encourage you all to get more involved. I’m involved with a lot, more than bearable for most people scouting-wise and still find the time to spend with family and friends. I just recently joined a Sea Scout ship and can’t wait to see what the future holds! Hopefully the OA will be one of the few stepping stones on the way to a better Ship.
“To me the Order of the Arrow represents a chance to challenge myself to give more back to my community (scouting and otherwise), and to spend time and learn from other scouts that genuinely enjoy service work. I strongly encourage other venturers to join the Order of the Arrow; if not for the personal growth opportunites and strong sense of community, then purely for the chance to experience a new aspect of scouting.“ says Lauren Skarbe from Crew 100, Indian Waters Council.
“When I first learned about the Order of the Arrow, I recognized it as a tight-knit community of scouts who want to go above and beyond to give back to their community and who uphold the values of the scout oath and law. I was excited when I learned in February that Venture Crews would now be allowed to join, because scouting to me has always been a way for me to improve myself and really get involved with others who share the same passions. Joining the OA will let me do that to an even higher degree. I also believe that the incorporation of Venture crews and Sea Scout ships into the OA is a very important step in further uniting the BSA’s programs to let us learn even more from each other and to foster a stronger sense of community and brotherhood within the organization.” Says Elizabeth Shaffer from Crew 108, Georgia-Carolina.
So Get involved!
Section Vice-Chief, SR-5
Indian Waters Council:
Crew President, Crew 553
Sea Scout, Ship 1