Ask the Chairman - How can an adult meet the longterm camping requirement for membership?
I'd like to ask about the adult membership requirements. Our troop has an adult who has been pivotal in leading our camping and high adventure program, including taking a group to the Grand Canyon, leading/attending dozens of weekend campouts even without his son, and spearheading our Philmont trip. In short, this adult has been a huge promoter of the goals of OA. However, as adults, it can be challenging to meet the five nights of resident camping requirements, which essentially limits it to those who have enough vacation time available to meet the requirement.
Is there any flexibility with respect to the resident camp requirement for adults, or provisions which would allow other long-term camping activities to qualify?
Thank you for your question.
The Order of the Arrow Handbook states: “The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America.”
Any long-term camp or high adventure trip “approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America” meets this portion of the camping requirement. It is very possible that he has met the requirement already.
Didn’t his Grand Canyon high adventure trip last at least five days? Didn’t he have a council-approved tour permit to go? Didn’t he use Safe Swim Defense and the buddy system for water sports? Didn’t he follow the Guide For Safe Scouting and the Youth Protection program? These are just a few of the policies and standards that must be met. Ultimately, the local council is the final arbiter of whether an encampment is in compliance and therefore under the auspices of the BSA.
In the final analysis it is important that as unit leaders, all adults meet the same camping requirements as the eligible youth candidates. The requirements cannot and should not be waived if the adult is to set a proper example.
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