We have encountered some confusion as to when someone can be awarded the Vigil Honor. Are the two years of service required at the time of selection for Vigil or at the time of the Vigil induction ceremony?
A. Hello Mark,
Thank you for your question. In the new OA Handbook, on pages 48 and 49, the Vigil Honor discussion includes unselfish interest, exceptional service, and the ability of Arrowmen to conduct themselves, at all times, in accordance with the ideals of scouting. On page 49, the OA handbook further states that an Arrowman needs to be a "Brotherhood member for a minimum of two years", "at the time of recommendation" to the national Order of the Arrow committee.
According to the OA Guide to Officers and Advisers, on page 31, it states,
"In selecting candidates for the Vigil Honor, keep in mind that all candidates must have been Brotherhood members for two years or longer at the time of selection by the lodge Vigil nominating committee."
So, the OA handbook uses the word "recommendation," while the Guide to Officers and Advisers uses the word, "selection," but the meaning is the same. An Arrowman must have served for at least two years as a Brotherhood member before being eligible to be considered, selected, or recommended to the national OA committee.
I understand certain individuals, in the past, may have been inducted before this time by their respective lodges due to calculation errors. There is no national waiver of this two year requirement. We do leave it up to the individual lodges, and the individual Arrowman, to be certain that this two year requirement is fulfilled before an Arrowman is bestowed the Vigil Honor.
However, those individuals who were previously bestowed the Vigil Honor should still be treated with the courtesy and respect of an Arrowman and honored as a Vigil member of the Lodge.
Yours in Service,