Ask the Chairman - Electing a deceased Scout
Q. Greetings Ray,
Our troop recently lost a Scout due to a climbing accident. Trevor had completed his Eagle Scout this spring at the age of 14. Our troop did not have a spring election this year. One of his goals in Scouting was to be part of the OA. He was a great leader and mentor to other Scouts. He did much volunteer work in the community. I have personally known Trevor for 7 years and can vouch for his dedication to Scouting. I have been an Arrowman since 1982 and would have been honored to have him as a fellow member. Is it possible for him to be elected since he is still registered with our troop? If so, could another member such as myself complete an Ordeal in his stead to have membership bestowed upon him posthumously?
Thank you for your kind note and the warm tribute it included to the life and legacy of Trevor.
I am sad to learn of his passing due to a climbing accident but the creation of a posthumous induction is not possible. There are no honorary members of the Order. Nor may someone go through the Ordeal process for another. The idea of induction has to do with a person’s commitment to a life of future service, which is not possible in this case.
However, the sentiment of what you are trying to do is clearly honorable and deserving, so I would use the occasion of your next troop election to prepare the boys to carry on the legacy of their friend, Trevor, by participating in seriously selecting their next group of peers to proceed through the induction process and then by carrying forward Trevor’s legacy of service to others. This would be a great way to remember a great life of a kind and generous Scout.
Let me make another suggestion. When a dear friend of mine, national vice chief of the Order of the Arrow, Josh Sain passed away in October 1997, members of the Order worked hard to help the National Council create the Spirit of the Eagle Award.
Members of your troop may wish to look over the requirements to see if Trevor’s situation is appropriate for this honor and keep the fires burning in Trevor’s memory by applying on his behalf. The certificate is beautiful and meaningful and can be presented to the family in a solemn environment and evoke the proper memory of the legacy of love and support Trevor shared with his friends in Scouting. The strong connection with the Order is very present in the Spirit of the Eagle Award, as it was created specifically to help address this kind of situation we experienced through Josh’s death and looked for ways to remember him.
Please look into it on behalf of Trevor.
And may God bless you and the members of your troop as you hike down the Scouting trail together.
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