Ask the Chairman - Can a unit election be conducted in American Indian regalia?
Q. Dear Ray,
A unit has requested that our election team conduct their election in American Indian regalia. I have never seen this. Is it okay for our team to do an election out of uniform?
An Adviser Seeking Advice
A. Dear Adviser,
Our Unit Election Rules and Procedures specify: "All OA election team members must be trained and in proper uniform during the election." (See top of page 2 of 3 in the new Guide to Unit Elections).
We conduct unit elections in order to select Scouting’s honor campers. As part of the election we conduct in the unit, we tell the unit members that:
"American Indian lore is an attractive sideline in our Order. American Indian dances and ceremonies add color to our program of service, and members often make American Indian lore their hobby. However, one does not need American Indian attire or skill in American Indian lore to become a valuable member of the Order of the Arrow. In fact, most do not."
As representatives of the lodge and the Order, we need to set an example by properly wearing the Scout uniform, lodge flap, universal arrow ribbon and sash. In another part of the same ceremony we state:
"The lodge flap, universal arrow ribbon, and the distinctive sash identify the Order of the Arrow member. They are symbols of service. Our lodge has its own activities and projects, but our program does not replace the member’s responsibility to his unit. Indeed, each Arrowman is expected to give richer service to his own troop or team in return for the honor his unit extended to him."
The use of American Indian regalia should be reserved for use during a call-out ceremony and the induction ceremonies.
I hope this clears up any confusion.
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