Ask the Chairman - How should special needs Scouts be considered for election to the OA?

Q. Ray,
We have a young man who was elected to the Order of the Arrow this spring. He is a special needs Scout and is 21. Does it matter if the appropriate paperwork is filed with the council to allow the Scout to continue working on alternate required merit badges and to continue working on youth advancement? Should he be counted as a youth during his induction into the Order? Or as an adult?

Yours in Cheerful Service,

A. Bruce,
Thank you for your question regarding special needs Scouts.

Page 21 of the Guide for Officers and Advisers states: “In the case of special-needs troops, election teams should follow the same procedures, keeping in mind that any Scout who is classified as a youth member of a troop, regardless of age, will be considered a youth (voting) member. All other membership requirements remain the same.”

So if the young man is classified as a youth member of the troop and was elected to the Order in a youth election, he should be inducted as a youth member of the Order. The advancement paperwork situation you mention has no bearing on the Order of the Arrow election/induction procedure.

Thank you again for caring enough to ask.

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