What’s the scoop on a white-on-red Order of the Arrow sash?

expertlogo1As if you needed another reason to attend NOAC next summer.

You know the National Order of the Arrow Conference is the OA’s signature event. You know 2015 is the Order of the Arrow’s 100th Anniversary. Right there you’ve got two incredible reasons to attend on Aug. 3-8, 2015, at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.

Here’s reason No. 3 (of about 10,000): Each NOAC participant will get a special-edition red sash. That’s a sash with a white arrow on a red band— or the reverse of what Arrowmen typically wear (seen above).

Scouter Craig Fosburg heard rumors about this sash and contacted me for details. I passed his question along to the expert. Matthew Dukeman, associate director of the Order of the Arrow, provided the official response: Continue reading

Ask the Expert: When should Scouts and Scouters wear their OA sash?

Ask the Expert: What happened to Bugling merit badge?Updated Jan. 29

That bright red arrow atop a crisp white band is an unmistakeable symbol that the wearer is one of Scouting’s best.

The sash is an outward sign that the man or woman wearing it is a member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society.

But when should Arrowmen wear the sash and when shouldn’t they? That question was on the mind of a crew advisor and Brotherhood OA member from Phoenix who contacted me last week. Here’s his email:

First off I know there is no hard set rule that I am aware of on when to wear your OA sash. Back in my day it was only for OA events or during tapouts at Scout camporees. I don’t want to sound like a “grumbler,” but it seems that rule has become very skewed in recent years. We currently have an adult and Scout who wear theirs to regular meetings.

Any clarification you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the question. In fact, there is a hard-set rule. To get it, I went to National OA Chairman Ray Capp. Ray also answers questions via the “Ask the Chairman” feature on OA’s newly redesigned website. Here’s what Ray said about wearing OA sashes:  Continue reading

Tuesday Talkback: Getting more Scouts to attend Order of the Arrow events

Tuesday-TalkbackThe Order of the Arrow is not a secret society, but in some troops it might as well be.

These troops go through the first steps of getting Scouts elected into Scouting’s national honor society and through their Ordeal.

But after that, these new Arrowmen become ghosts, never seen at a lodge meeting, dance event, section conclave, National Order of the Arrow Conference or any other OA function.

Too bad, because Order of the Arrow members have tons of fun and experience the brotherhood of cheerful service that can enhance the Scouting experience, especially for older boys who may feel like they’ve seen all Scouting has to offer at the troop level.

So here’s the Tuesday Talkback topic for today: How would you characterize the level of OA participation in your troop? How can you, as a Scouter, increase your Scouts’ involvement in the Order of the Arrow?

You know what to do: Leave your responses in the comments section below. Continue reading