Ask the Chairman - Are elections in a Venturing Crew possible?
Q. Dear Mr. Capp,
I am currently a Boy Scout and Brotherhood member of the OA. My troop is starting a Venturing crew so that the older Scouts can stay in Scouting longer. Most of the members that are joining are from troops all around our area in New Jersey. They all are at least First Class rank, but most are Eagle Scouts. Some of them are eligible to become members of our Order, but their troops either are not active or do not hold OA elections. My council has said that Venturing crews are not eligible to have elections. This is mainly because most crews have members who aren't eligible because they were never a part of the Boy Scout program but everyone in our crew will be Scouts. Is there any way that we can hold an election in our Venturing crew for them so that we can try to elect them or is there any other option to try to elect them?
Your question is one that I am asked regularly. Thanks for asking so we can clarify what is possible in this situation. The Boy Scout program developed an honor society (the OA) to encourage Scout retention, expand program and promote leadership development. However, the Venturing program, thus far, has not. It is a national policy of both the Venturing program and the Order of the Arrow that OA elections are not permitted in Venturing crews.
One way many Scouts have found to address this rule is to stay registered and active in their original troop as well as their crew and qualify for election in the Boy Scout program. Once elected as a Boy Scout, they can focus their energies on their Venturing role, if that is their preference. The BSA allows youth and adults to be registered in more than one unit and pay just one annual registration fee. This is known as a multiple registration, and can save at least $24/year. That is how I solved that same issue in my own troop.
For those troops in your council that are not holding elections, I recommend working with your local lodge leadership to make sure personal contact is made with the unit leadership so that elections can be scheduled for early in 2015.
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