Happy new year, brothers! 2013 has begun, and your Lodge Executive Committee is already hard at work to put together an excellent year for you. There will be some changes this year regarding how we select adults into the Order of the Arrow. I hope you will take a moment to review these procedures.
Things that have not changed:
Youth are elected and adults are selected into the order of the arrow for very different reasons. Youth members are elected as a means of recognition and to help them develop as leaders in a life of cheerful service. Meanwhile, adult members are selected based on their ability to help continue and support the program of the Order of the Arrow.
For youth, the Scoutmaster has the final say on the eligibility of a candidate for the Order of the Arrow. And, that youth’s peers have the final say if he is elected into the Order.
An adult may be nominated for membership into the OA by the Unit leader and Unit Committee Chairman, or by a District leader. And the final say for adults rests with the Lodge Adult Selection Committee. Adult candidates must meet the same camping requirements as youth candidates.
The lodge has always asked all units to make every effort to have their elections completed before summer camp. It is the responsibility of each unit’s OA Unit Representative to organize their unit elections in cooperation with the Unit Elections committee. Each OA Unit representative is also expected to participate on the unit elections ceremony team for neighboring units. Units may not conduct their own election.
What has changed for 2013:
Beginning in 2013, a unit may nominate one adult for every three youth that are elected into the Order from that Unit, rounded up. So, a unit that elects 4 youth into the OA may nominate up to two adults.
Additionally, if the currently-serving unit leader has been in his position for at least the previous 12 months, he may be nominated as a member of the Order regardless of the unit’s adult quota (camping requirements still apply).
Regretfully, we have seen evidence that some units have not been following the proper procedure for election or selection of their members. Allowing this to continue would not be fair to those units that do properly follow the rules. Therefore, we will be taking additional steps in 2013 to verify that only those that have been properly elected or selected into the Order of the Arrow are invited to participate in the Ordeal Ceremony.
How this affects your unit:
The adult selection committee will be meeting prior to the start of summer camp. If your unit election forms and adult nominations have not been turned in by that time, you will not have any of your adults selected for membership this year.
Although we will still make every effort to conduct an election for the youth of any troops that fail to have theirs completed before coming to camp, it will be impossible for the Adult Selection Committee to consider any adult nominations by that time.
Our goal remains to keep the Ordeal induction process something that is honorable and memorable for all that participate in it. With anything new, there can always be growing pains. But we hope that in the long run, these will be positive changes that enrich the Ordeal process for everybody that participates in it.