A gentleman on the live show which is done on the first Sunday at nine o’clock on our YouTube channel asked this question. If you were going to get into scouting more as an OA representative… how would you go about doing that? There’s a lot that you can do. In a previous YouTube episode, I think it was just last season. We talked about Unit Service and we briefly touched on the actual positions inside of a Troop. Where a youth and an adult can be recognized as representing the OA. We briefly talked about it. A lot of the episode was about camping and service. To answer the question, let’s get more into the Troop Representative positions.
Unfortunately, many Troops (Crews and Ships) don’t have any kind of youth representative for the OA. Because of that, it follows through to the adult position of Assistant Scoutmaster OA representative. This is often thought of as an advisor for the Order of the Arrow youth representative inside the unit. This is something that can be done as a recognized Order of the Arrow unit representative is an adult and act as the mentor, coach, and advisor for the youth that represents the Order. Now a lot of units don’t realize it, but the Order of the Arrow youth representative is a leadership position within the unit and qualifies for leadership service for Star, Life, and Eagle ranks. The one big drawback to it is that they are committing themselves to attend most of your chapter meetings. This might be going to Roundtable or some other event every single month.
This monthly chapter meeting keeps the representative up to date on what is going on with the order and this is true for the adult. The youth, at the unit meeting… the Scout acting as the OA Rep and the adult advisor are the representatives of the Order of the Arrow for your unit. When they are not representing they do not wear the sash. However, when the youth goes up on the stage or is asked to report to the unit they can put their OA sash on. Once they are done and they would leave the stage they take the OA sash off and put it in their pocket. It’s when they are representing that’s when they wear the sash. That way there’s a clear line between their responsibilities.
Now one of two things that the adult OA unit representative does is that they represent the OA at the committee meeting. In addition to supporting the youth position. Any requirements, any questions that they’re not able to answer they could easily talk to the Scout about. There could be questions about the calendar. There could be questions about campsites. These are things that come up all the time within the OA. When that happens the adult acts as an advisor. They’re there to help the youth find resources of information.
The OA Representative for the adults is a position that has its own patch which has an arrow through the BSA logo. That’s very significant to recognize adult leaders. Of course, the OA youth representative has their own patch. This troop position should be recognized by the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) as participation increases with your unit. Typically the Order of the Arrow has up to three or four different events in the year. The representatives of the unit should know the information the dates and the times and the fees. In addition to anything that might be involved with it. That’s something that they handle. That’s the information that should be flowing from your unit OA reps. There also involved in OA elections (inductions) that go on within the unit annually.
As the unit grows and gets more involved in the OA it’s quite simple that the schedule needs to be considered. Because the older youth that is involved with the OA will want to do the Order of the Arrow events. This is something that needs to be coordinated. Don’t take the OA for granted as an adult leader. The Order the Arrow Representatives are incredibly important to your unit. It’s very important to keep your older Scouts involved in the OA and the unit. Something to seriously consider… and I know you put in so many hours of work. You work hard for your unit. You work hard and I appreciate it. We know that Scouting is going to help these young people succeed in the future. We must keep up the good hard work… and I will see you on the trail. YIB🔺