New OA Literature
New editions of the Order of the Arrow Handbook, Guide for Officers and Advisers (GOA), and Field Operations Guide (FOG) are available at NOAC 2004. The new Handbook and GOA can now be ordered from the National Supply Division through your Local Council Office. The new FOG is also available for download at http://www.oa-bsa.org/resources/pubs/fog/. Besides fixing typos, updating the Tables of Contents, and adding the new National Chiefs, there are several important changes in all the new editions.
The "American Indian Customs and Traditions" section of the Handbook has been updated along with all the references in the "American Indian Bibliography." New protected species and flag policies have been included in the FOG and are duplicated in the GOA. The "Face paint policy" in the Guide has been restructured to match the policy in the FOG.
Changes have been made to the Brotherhood requirements in the Handbook and GOA to clarify that the only responsibility of a new Ordeal member is ten months of service to his unit before sealing their ties. The modifications explain that taking on the Brotherhood obligation includes an additional pledge of future service to the lodge and the work of the Order.
The statement in the GOA which implied that there was a Brotherhood calling-out ceremony has been removed, since there is to be no such ceremony. The "Sample Letter Announcing Brotherhood Eligibility" in the Guide has also been significantly modified.
A cross-reference to the "Vigil Honor" section of the Handbook has been added to the GOA titled "Choosing Vigil Honor Candidates." A more complete explanation of the meaning and selection criteria for Vigil membership is now provided in the Handbook.
The references to an Order of the Arrow area organization and the role of an area coordinator have been removed from all three publications. Each region chairman is now free to appoint whatever region personnel he needs to carry out his mission.
The due date for National Service Grant applications has been changed to October 31. A leadership development committee has been added in the GOA as a lodge operating committee. The "Scouts with disabilities" section has been replaced by a new "Scouts with special needs" section along with a new "Appendix - Guidelines for Assisting Scouts with Special Needs." Furthermore, a description of the Lifetime Achievement Award has been added to the Guide.
The first and second paragraphs of the GOA "Unit Elections Procedures" have been revised. The changes encourage lodges to complete all unit elections prior to their troops/teams going to summer camp. This insures that the maximum number of troop/team members can be present to vote in the election. A statement has also been added that election team members must be trained and in proper uniform during an election.
These changes should clarify National OA policy, aid lodges in conducting their day to day business, and serve as an asset to all members.