Ask the Chairman - Guidance on the Vigil Selection Process

Q. Mr. Capp,

I have a few questions about the Vigil selection process that you could help me better understand.

We currently are creating our Vigil selection committee and due to the lack of youth Vigils in our smaller lodge we are looking to reach out to non-eligible candidates to be a part of selecting new Vigil members this year. With that being said, the lodge chief is among those eligible for Vigil. He is on the top of the list when it comes to looking at our youth and how much they have committed themselves to the Order and the council overall. The only problem is his eligibility date is in the end of June and our first week of possible callouts is a little over a week later. Keep in mind we do have five Friday nights that we are able to schedule for callouts during the summer camp and our Vigil Ceremony doesn't take place until the second or third week of August during our pow wow as well. We are not trying to make exceptions, we are trying to pick the most deserving candidates for the 100th anniversary. If he is not eligible, we would like to have him on the selection committee. That is why we want to make sure he has a chance at getting such a deserving honor.

Here are few questions that would help me wrap my mind around this entire situation:

  • How long do you have to wait to callout Vigils after submitting your petitions to national?
  • What is the deadline for submitting your Vigil petitions to national once they are completed?
  • Are you allowed to submit more than one set of Vigil petitions or do they all have to be submitted at the same time?
  • What is the best way to go about this?

I appreciate you taking your time out to help my lodge. I'm open for any suggestions and thank you for all of your service.

In brotherhood, cheerfulness and service,
Ryan

A. Ryan,
Thanks so much for your questions related to the Vigil Honor selection process. I've provided some answers below:

  1. How long do you have to wait to call out Vigils after submitting your petitions to national?
    The answer to this question can be found within the Guide for Officers and Advisers, 2012 printing, page 32, #7,which reads: "Forward the Vigil Honor petitions with the Vigil Honor fee for each candidate to the director of the OA. Make the check payable to the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America. If a petition is not approved, the fee will be returned. A minimum of 30 days must be allowed for the national Order of the Arrow committee to consider the petition and advise the lodge of its acceptance or rejection. Do not assume approval or make a public announcement until certificates have been received."

    The Vigil Honor petition, also provides the same guidance within the last sentence of the first paragraph: "Do not assume approval or make public announcement until certificates have been received."
     
  2. What is the deadline for submitting your Vigil petitions to national once they are completed?
    The answer to this question can also be found within the Guide for Officers and Advisers, page 32, #5, which reads: "The petition must be used during the current charter calendar year. Unused quota may not be carried over to future years."
     
  3. Are you allowed to submit more than one set of Vigil petitions or do they all have to be submitted at the same time?
    This answer is also found within the Guide for Officers and Advisers, page 32, #6, which reads: “A lodge’s Vigil Honor petitions must be submitted as a group, and only once per calendar year.”
     
  4. What is the best way to go about this?
    If your lodge is planning to begin calling out Vigil Honor candidates on a particular date, then according to the guidelines, your selection would have to be finalized at least one month prior to that callout date in order to allow for the approval of the candidates and your receipt of the Vigil Honor certificates. Since the petitions may only be submitted as a group once per year, only candidates eligible at the time the petitions are submitted may be considered. If it is a priority to recognize your lodge chief this year, your lodge may consider postponing the Vigil callout in order to allow for all candidates to be eligible. The timing of when to complete the selection process is up to your lodge to determine, as long as the guidelines for submitting your petitions and receiving the certificates are followed.

    After completing your lodge’s group of Vigil Honor petitions, and as indicated on the bottom of the current Vigil Honor petition, you may:
    1. Scan and email the group of petitions to: Stephanie.Jordan@Scouting.org
    2. Fax them to (469) 331-8279
    3. Mail to them Boy Scouts of America; Order of the Arrow; 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane; P.O. Box 152079; Irving, TX 75015-2079.

Ryan, thank you so much for your service to Scouting and the Order and for ensuring a proper Vigil Honor selection process.

Ray

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