Re: ARROW-L is now officially open
J. Thornton (jthorn@PRISM.NMT.EDU)
Sat, 9 Jul 1994 11:06:41 -0600
The OA is not a secret organization. Its 'secrets' are open to all members,
interested/concerned parents, and to other adults who have a legitimate
reason to know about the ceremonies. What the OA does is not supposed to
be secret. It is an organization of honor campers which provides cheerful
service to the Council (and to other people if the youth leadership decides
to organize and run a project to do that). It is under the jurisdiction of
the Council Camping Committee.
If you want more information, call your local council office and ask to
speak to the OA Staff Advisor, somebody on the Council Camping Committee or
for the Lodge Advisor's phone number. Those are the people who are in the
best position to explain what the OA is and does in your council. When (If)
you learn more about the OA, you will find it is not a secret organization.
It is just a portion of the BSA program that tries to keep its ceremonies
secret from non-members so that the experience is more meaningful to the
participants when they go through the ceremonies.
If you are concerned that anything violates Youth Protection Guidelines or
is offensive to any major religion (major meaning a religion with sufficient
membership to be recognized as a real possibility that a Scout troop in this
country is reasonably likely to have a member witht that religion) please
do not be. The OA is run under the BSA rules - including such things as
tour permits, etc. - and has had its ceremonies examined by representatives
of many religions for their approval. I understand that the above section
in parenthases is awkward, but I was trying to say it has been examined by
many representatives of many religions, but not by all. However, I am not
aware of any complaints about the ceremonies that are in current use.
If you have further concerns that I might address, please reply to me through
private e-mail (unless of course it is a topic of general interest to Scouting
or to Scouts-L members.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City