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Ask the Chairman - Service Hours

October 29, 2016     Ask the Chairman

Q. Ray,
A Scout's parent would like to know if the required service time with the Order of the Arrow counts as service time towards their child's rank. Local OA members and our unit commissioner have told us that it is a time of cheerful service. What is the OA's policy?

It would be much appreciated.

A. Hi Marti,
Thanks for writing.

There is no OA rule that tells a Scoutmaster what to accept for service hours for Rank Advancement. It is completely a troop matter to discern, in compliance with their best understanding of the requirements.

I can tell you that as a Scoutmaster for 23 years, I started talking with the Webelos as they crossed over and with their parents about the importance of service, stressing that one hour only "counted" for one purpose or the other. My personal opinion is to agree with your commissioner and local OA brethren. But, ultimately, the Scoutmaster is the person with the authority to decide what "counts" as a service hour.