Ask the Chairman - Can the camping requirement be waived for a unit level Scouter?

Q: Dear Ray,
A unit in my chapter recently had an election, and one of the adults they want to nominate is 79 and disabled. She used to be an avid camper when she was younger, but in the last two years, hasn't been able to camp at all to meet the camping night requirements for member eligibility. I know the camping nights can be waived for district or council nominations, but does the same apply to units in circumstances like this?

A: Dear Matt,
Thanks for writing. One way I always explain to people is that the OA eligibility requirements are similar to the Eagle Scout requirements in that they are not mutable by well-intended Scoutmasters, councils or even the President of the National Eagle Scout Association! As the result, the esteem with which the Eagle Scout is held by Americans has remained unimpeachable.
So too is it with the OA requirements. While I understand that people sometimes wish to honor a Scouter with a recognition, the Ordeal is not an award to be bestowed on what sounds like a wonderful Scouter.
The following conditions must be fulfilled for an adult to be recommended to the Scout executive by the adult selection committee:

  1. Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the OA fulfill its purpose and is not for recognition of service, including current and prior achievements and positions.
  2. The individual will be an asset to the OA because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the OA.
  3. The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.
  4. The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.

While a district Scouter certainly may have difficulty meeting the camping requirement due to the responsibilities of their position, this unusual waiver is not available to a unit Scouter. I think you have to ask yourself how the individual you describe meets all four conditions. Camping is only one, here.

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