Ask the Chairman
Q. Good morning Ray.
After many years away from Scouting and OA, the time has come for my son to
join. Is there anything that I can or should do to renew my membership in the
I look forward to your response and assistance.
A. Hi, Mike.
Thanks for writing and welcome back!
My story is similar. I was not active in Scouting early in my marriage and
returned as an active member only once my older son became involved.
As to the OA, membership in the BSA is a requirement. Assuming that you have
re-registered in his troop, all you have to do is take any old membership
letters, patches, or cards you may have to your new lodge, show that you were
inducted, pay your local lodge dues, and they will welcome you back with open
arms at the membership level (Ordeal, Brotherhood, or Vigil) you were when you
were last registered.
Membership has always been a locally managed function, so there are NO old
national records except for those who earned national honors (the Vigil Honor,
the Founders Award, and the Distinguished Service Award).
Having said that, most lodges operate on the assumption that a “Scout is
Trustworthy”. My lodge, at one point, had to take my word on my honor because I
didn’t have any documentation to verify my past membership in the OA.
I would take them what you have and I imagine they will welcome you back into
the fellowship with open arms. There are NO national databases on membership,
since the councils own the files, especially old ones.
If your council and lodge have survived without mergers or changes of territory
since your boyhood, you may ask for them to search old files, but I would not
assign a high probability to success in finding old registration information.
Ask your relatives to see if any of them has an old photo of you in a Scout
uniform with an OA flap?
Best wishes to you; I am confident that you will be active in your new lodge,
soon. Have a great Scouting experience with your son!