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Was emailed via several individuals all older programs are being terminated

From the current Guide for Officers and Advisers:


BSA members under 21 are youth for OA purposes. How they are registered (adult participant vs adult leader) is not, as far as I can tell, a factor in what roles they can play in the OA.


This is reinforced by the way that members eligible to vote in unit elections are identified:


It doesn’t say registered active Scout/Venturer/Sea Scout, but rather “member” which is a more generic term used in most places to refer to anyone registered with the BSA in any of its programs.


I suspect if the membership regulations for Venturing & Sea Scouts change, the regulations for OA will change to match.

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Wow, what a great idea! I LOVE the idea of having the SCOUTS teach the adults!

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You’re likely correct, @edavignon. Just clarifying that, at the moment, arrowmen < 21 are youth for purposes of voting and holding offices, with no mention of how they’re registered in terms of their BSA membership. Just a requirement that they be registered.

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Well, this thread is under “Venturing Program”. The working assumption is that “more experienced” is not 100% correlated with age. The stuff I learn from young people …
If we really pounded once a scout, always a scout into our heads, then asking a 12 year old 1st class scout to help a couple 40-ish tenderfoot scouts master a few lashings would make perfect sense.

No joke, when BSA rolled out EDGE, I was blind-sided. All of a sudden my scouts had it as a requirement. I asked a 12 year old to go look it up and tell me what it was. He came back to my hammock and, after looking up the reference (which by the way, is the real first step in mastering any skill), explained it to me. In doing so, he demonstrated it to me, and I felt guided and enabled. So, I thanked him and told him his PL could sign him off on that one.

I think R (for References) would be a good addition to EDGE. In many cases, knowing where and how to find the information is just as important as the information itself.

We could call it the HEDGE Method:


OK. I had too much fun fiddling with that acroynm until I got something to fit. :rofl:


LOL, Charley! :joy:

The reference(s) might be something other than the Handbook, though. I was thinking R-EDGE or EDGE-R.

I like REDGE… how many votes can we get

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Continuing the off-topic slide, if we’re going to stick with the more general “References”

call it the RIDGE Method:


It’s even kinda fits the outdoorsy theme.


@Stephen_Hornak, for what it’s worth some of us have been discussing this for a very long time here’s a protracted eight-year rambling from a bunch of curmudgeons on the topic I could give you more, but my bottom line:

It’s the looking at references (and building tools to accurately replicate them in large volume) that brought Western Civilization out of the dark ages.

@Qwazse - that is awesome. I may well have to join that forum if I have not already… at my age I sometimes forget what I have joined or not joined.

Thank you for coming up with that, @CharleyHamilton. Honestly, I don’t think we need an acronym at all. This stuff doesn’t translate into other languages well. But, if we’re going to use one, RIDGE sounds cool.
There might be some who say “instruct” is basically EDGE, and that “demonstrate” should come before “enable”, but I disagree. Instruct is what scouts do best. It’s basically figuring out what someone doesn’t know and filling in the gaps. So, a lot of times after talking through a reference, we say “try it” with a little hand-holding. After that we figure out what they don’t understand.and demonstrate and enable that step.

I think the “Churchill Project” was likely a good starting point. Quite honestly I would like to know some statistics for the 18 to 21 group. Last start with the elephant of YPT. Keep in mind violations here are the most likely since one day a member can hang with their troop/crew member and the next day BSA says that activity can’t be done.

Personally I would be in favor of making 19 or 20 the age of adults. Or perhaps add an element of the school year. Seems crazy to me that we cut some youth off just as they enter their senior year of HS. Every portion of the program except this has a grade component.

While we are looking at this, let’s talk about cost. And then also talk about what the demographic wants/needs.

But it would appear to be:
Ready, Fire, Aim or
Fire, Ready, Aim

The Order of the Arrow regards those between the ages of 18 and 20 registered as assistant Scoutmasters in troops as youth members for all OA purposes. They even get a vote in unit elections.

@SteveCagigas - I believe the 2020 OA national chief is only registered as an ASM with his home troop in Virginia. The 2019 national chief was registered as an 18+ youth in a Sea Scout ship.

I’m not currently involved in Venturing, but, when I was, I felt it was a terrific program for the 18 to 20 year olds. They are still getting used to being adults. It would be a shame if they lost this and Sea Scouting for the sake of saving money. Let’s be honest. They can vote and enter into contract, but, in many ways, they are still youth.

If this is extended to the Order of the Arrow, the logistics will be hard to overcome. The national chief would have to have his or her 17th (or earlier) birthday during his or her term. The national officers do so much traveling around the country to represent the Order, it has to be convenient that the officeholder is a YPT adult. In addition, how can a high school student manage that schedule? It would also likely limit candidates for national office to those who made Eagle 16 or younger. There are many great young people who are only 16, but could the OA identify six of them every year that can make the type of commitment required of a national officer?

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Girl Scouts of the USA considers the girl a youth member until September 30 after she finishes high school, even if she has turned 19 by then. That’s the deadline for completing Gold Award requirements.

All GSUSA registrations are on an October 1 to September 30 fiscal year. So, her adult tenure starts with her first adult registration on October 1.

As a Sm years ago, I recall a pair of twins who turned 18 in the fall of their senior year. Their mother had held them out of kindergarten for an extra year, because they were a bit small. They felt like they had one less year to earn Eagle than everyone else.

They both made it.

This could happen in most any program including GSUSA. I personally believe that this is an area we could learn from the Girl Scouts though. I also think their Ambassador Program is a great idea.

As one who went into the Army (active duty) at 17 I can assure you that it was weird. Even as I became an NCO it was weird because in some ways I was way more mature than “youth” and other ways I was not.

I personally strongly believe the 18 to 21 age range should have its own rules even if it makes life more complicated. But I haven’t seen evidence to believe BSA will correct their course in the area. And making such a change probably shouldn’t occur until after the law suit(s) have settled down.

It would not really happen in Girl Scouts. If a girl is held out of kindergarten for an extra year by her parents, that decision buys her an extra year to earn the Gold Award, because a girl “ages” out by grade, not by chronological age.

Had my twin Scouts been Girl Scouts and I their Girl Scout troop leader, instead of needing to finish Eagle by early December of their senior year in high school, they would have had until September 30 after they graduated and would have been just over two months shy of 19 years old.