Ask the Chairman - Does the Change in Adult Age Affect the Order?

Q. Ray,
The BSA National Exec Board has approved the revision of Sea Scouting and Venturing adult age to 18. Several news articles about the change have mentioned the Order of the Arrow as well. Does this change in the adult age affect the Order of the Arrow?

A. Since the announcement, many have expressed confusion over this issue. The resolution simply defines a uniform and national age at which a member becomes an adult for legal purposes. With the passing of this resolution, when a member reaches the age of 18 they must register as an adult leader, take youth protection training and pass a background check.  This is not a change in policy for those registered to Boy Scout units.

To clarify, there is no programmatic change with the Order of the Arrow. Participation as a youth member of the Order is still allowed until the age of 21.  However, anyone over the age of 18 will be required to register as an adult leader, meet all the necessary requirements and undergo criminal background checks.

The BSA has not announced a date for implementation yet, but it will occur in 2015, allowing for the BSA’s systems to process registrations and criminal background checks.  More specifics regarding implementation will be forthcoming from the Chief Scout Executive's Office.


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