My Issues with OA

In case some of you don’t know, I am in a program of the Boy Scouts of America that is co-ed for 14-21 year olds, it is called Venturing. The Order of the Arrow (OA) is the honor society for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The issue is that in order to be in OA, if you’re under 21, you have to have earned first class rank. The only way you can do that is if you’re in Boy Scouts (BSA is the organization as a whole Boy Scouts is only open to boys 11-17.) The only way to be a Boy Scout is to be a boy..

The reason the BSA claims is that OA is the Boy Scout honor society and that there is not an honor society for Venturers. The issue with this is more of how OA is run. They will allow anyone in if they’ve done the Ordeal (induction ceremony) and are a member of the BSA. That means the a boy can wear his OA lodge flap on a Venturing uniform, even if he is not still involved in the Boy Scout program. This also neglects the fact that Varsity scouts (mostly used in LDS churches) can also be inducted, even though they are not “Boy Scouts”. The other issue with it only being a “Boy Scouts” honor society is the ages. In OA, they consider everyone a youth until they are 21, but in Boy Scouts, you’re an adult at 18.

Another argument is that there is no equivalent to First Class Rank in Venturing. This is a fair point, but at the same time, there is a class called Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills where they teach you all of the scout skills from Scout (joining) to First Class. This class is only open to adults 18+ but still, if this class is equivalent to first class, why not treat it as such?  Another solution would be to either allow Venturers who have earned the highest award in Venturing, the Summit Award (or Silver Award pre-2015) or the highest award in Sea Scouts, the Quartermaster Award to join. Most say that these awards are equivalent to Eagle Scout, so why doesn’t BSA act like they are? The Quartermaster Award has been quoted as being the hardest award to earn in BSA.

Though I could spill their secret passwords and such, I will not. I do wish to be admitted into the Order at some point in my life, but because BSA doesn’t want girls who are under 21, I’ll have to wait a while.