Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Thu, 3 Feb 1994 22:39:26 CST
Chris Harwell <charwell@ACME.HIGHPOINT.EDU> writes:
>Cheerful Greetings scouters,
> In lieu of a traditional introduction I will ask for response
>about two issues involving both scouting and Alpha Phi Omega.
>Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a co-educational service fraternity
>affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America.
Alpha Phi Omega is a co-educational service fraternity ROOTED IN THE
PRINCIPLES AND IDEAS of the Boy Scouts of America. At no time has
APO ever been "affiliated" with the BSA except in principle.
> I know it was in the
>previous edition of the Boy Scout handbook. Is it in this one?
On page 627, there is a full-color picture of the APO Crest, between
the National Eagle Scout Association crest and the Exploring "Big E".
There is that same paragraph that appeared in previous editions of the
Scout Handbook about the ideas of the Fraternity and the Fraternity's
address, along with a invite to join us.
> Scouting is familiar to me. Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow,
>Junior Leader Training, Summer Camp Staff, N. Tier High Adventure
>Trail Staff, Assistant Scoutmaster and District Camporee
>Chairperson make me familiar with both the principles and the
>practical aspects of scouting. As a scout, though, I never
>encountered Alpha Phi Omega except in a blurb in the back of the
That's unfortunate. I remember as a youth going to something called a
Councilree in 1976. It was a Council-wide Camporee held in
Louisville. There, I saw for the first time men of Alpha Phi Omega,
all in blue and gold teeshirts with the fraternity's letters, and
wearing Scout shorts. They ran the concession stands and some of
the events during the weekend event. This was something that many of
them apparently love, because I've NEVER seen a group of people (other
than Scouters in general) that are more enthusiastic and engertic than
those guys were.
This was one of the reasons why, later on as a college student, I
unsuccessfully pettitioned our University administration to get APO on
our chapter...I even went as far as getting our Regional Director of
APO to come and do a presentation at the school. The response was to
start a Scouting Club instead. We did, and many of the elements of
that club are based upon the same elements found in APO. I later on,
along with another brother, became members of APO at the University of
Kentucky, the closest school to EKU.
I went through the pledging process again, along with my fiance', last
semester, because I wanted the two of us to "join together".
> I understand many chapters coordinate service projects
>of a large variety from volunteering as an over 18 adult for
>Webelos 1:1 ratio or scouting two deep leadership or helping with
>parking at large events. Do any of you know of projects involving
>APO and scouts?
There are lots of APO chapters that do Scouting-related projects, and
some of them were posted here. There are others that are illustrated
in the APO's publication, called "The Torch and Trefoil" (or T&T).
Still others are told on the APO-L discussion list and on the
APO-SOC-L talk list.
> Here are the issues I am curious about your opinions. First,
>the ties with National Boy Scouts and APO are looser now and in
>danger of ceasing altogether - not the projects the official status
Jerry Schoeder, our National President, has resolved differences with
the BSA, and there is a stronger and fully-understood agreement
between the two as a result. It don't hurt that our present Chief
Scout Executive, Jere Radcliffe, served as a APO advisor many moons
ago and understood the impact that APO has on many local Councils,
particularly smaller ones.
> Currently we are no longer allowed to display the
>fleur de lis scout symbol on our literature - this change is
We are not allowed to show the BSA logo (different from the fleur de
lis, or the "flower of the iris", or the "international Scouting
symbol") because the BSA wants to separate their programs from those
of APO. See, there's a lot of people out there that assumed that
since APO started the way it did, that the BSA had to be behind it
and therefore, the BSA "sponsers" or "charters" APO chapters, which it
does not. But we can and do show the fleur de lis on ALL of our
items (and we're NOT going to redesigned the Crest because of it!)
> From rumors I understand one reason may have to do with
>our open membership policy. Though APO is discriminatory in
>requiring certain objective requirements like knowledge fraternity
>history, chapter operations and such we have an open membership
>policy which is approx. APO does not discriminate on the basis of
>race, creed, color, sex, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
>It's the last two that have apparently raised some eyebrows in
>National Scouting Circles. Again most of what I stated came word
Nope, it hasn't raised eyebrows as much as it has raised questions
about the "connectivity" between APO and the BSA. Many longtime
Scouters thought that the BSA "ran" APO, and therefore, they should
have the same policies that the BSA has. This started LONG BEFORE
the current "god and gays" contraversies, when the National Convention
allowed girls full membership into the Fraternity. Other Scouters
were mad because APO members don't have to adhere to the BSA's
policies about drinking or partying, because each chapter is free to
develop their own policies and procedures in those areas (as a student
organization of a college, and NOT as a BSA unit). As a result, many
local Councils deny APO Chapters the usage of camping or other
facilities unless a BSA unit "sponsers" them at the facility and stays
on-site (forcing conformance to the BSA policies). Other "hardcore"
Councils don't allow APO members or chapters to take part in ANYTHING
with the local Council AT ALL although they are free to do something
with local units if the chartered partner organization agrees.
> How do you as a scouter feel about those ties nationally
>between Boy Scouts and APO? Project? There has also been some
>talk of making ties with the national Girl Scout organization. Any
I feel that the ties between APO and the BSA can be made stronger, and
there's much to be done on BOTH ends, not just on the APO end. I also
feel that APO should expand it's base of "service partners" to include
4-H, the Girl Scouts of the USA, Junior Achievement and other
organizations that can use the leadership, brotherhood and service of
hundreds of young men and women willing to give of themselves and
their free time to "be a leader, be a brother, be of service".
Yours in L, F and especially Service,
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
AIS/MR Recreation Specialist, LifeSkills Inc. ___)_
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