Ask the Chairman - Crossover Ceremonies Performed by OA Members
Q. Dear Ray,
We are trying to pull together enough OA members from our troop and the local lodge to conduct the Four Winds Ceremony for our Cub Scout crossover which is quickly approaching. We have been told by folks at our council that the Four Winds Ceremony can be staffed by any Scouts, whether they are OA members or not. The OA members within the troop are disagreeing with this piece of information, stating that only OA members can conduct the Four Winds Ceremony. We are reluctant to damage the pride of ownership the troop OA members take in conducting the ceremony; there are not currently enough of them to staff the ceremony fully. We need to look to the lodge - or other Scouts within the troop - for additional staff, but are in need of confirmation just who can conduct the ceremony. Your feedback on this matter would be extremely helpful.
Thank you for your question and your service to your troop. There are many ceremonies that have been developed by local lodges for crossovers, as well as for deceased Arrowmen, Eagle Scouts and other special occasions. These ceremonies, including the Four Winds Crossover Ceremony, have not been approved or promoted at the national level by either the Order of the Arrow or the Boy Scouts of America. There are a number of versions of this ceremony out there, many of which do not specifically require OA members to conduct them.
So, you can either use a version that doesn't require Arrowmen, or you can approach your local OA chapter or lodge to see if they are willing to do the ceremony for you. In any case, the folks at your local council are correct in that this ceremony in general can be conducted by those who are not Arrowmen, assuming that the version of the ceremony used does not specifically state that the performers should be Arrowmen.
I hope this helps you as you move forward. Again, thank you for your service to Scouting.
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