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Ask the Chairman - Can an OA Membership be given Posthumously?

October 29, 2016     Ask the Chairman

Q. Ray,
Has there ever been an OA membership given posthumously for an adult leader?

We would like to recognize a member of our lodge who, due to physical limitations, was unable to complete the Ordeal. Unfortunately, since that time he has passed away. I am inquiring because I know that it would be an honor for this to be bestowed upon him and the membership certificate given to his widow.

Any assistance you can offer would help me rest my mind and know that I tried to see if this was ever considered before by any other member.

Thank you for your time and attention to my request.

Yours in Scouting,

A. Francis,
Thank you for writing, and I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.

To be clear and definitive, then, The Order of the Arrow does not confer membership on Scouters posthumously.

There is a reason for this. An adult Scouter is selected for what he or she WILL DO to mentor and advise youth members. We adults in the program only are in place in order to deliver the program to the youth in a healthy, safe and growth-oriented way. In this case, that is simply not a possibility with your friend.

Let me suggest that a couple of ways to keep his memory alive would be to consider making a campership in his honor with his favorite local camp, or to bestow a James E. West Fellowship in his name on an exceptional youth.

In these ways, you can carry on his commitment to our young Scouts in meaningful way, with real kids who could use the help and to whom you can tell the story of your friend, directly.