Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.
Today, Alpha Phi Omega is a national, co-educational service fraternity – college students gathered together in an organization based on fraternalism and founded on the principles of the Boy Scouts of America. Its purpose is to develop leadership, promote friendship and provide service to humanity. More than 500,000 students on 375 college campuses have chosen Alpha Phi Omega, making it the nation’s largest Greek letter fraternity.
I think that implementation of Alpha Phi Omega varies widely on different campuses, as do most things. As both an arrowman and an APO brother (Alpha Chi @ MIT), I would likely associate APO most closely with the OA: a service-focused organization which includes leadership and fellowship components.
You are correct, @Bill_W. There has not been a requirement to have affiliation with the BSA to become a member of APO for many decades. However, it was initially founded by former scouts who were looking for an avenue to continue to provide service at the collegiate level beyond what might have already been offered through other collegiate organizations.
This is an interesting idea. I think the 18 age limit is important, because part of the value of earning Eagle stems from making the choices to reach this milestone instead of other things you could be doing, as a teen. BUT, the idea of a “Silver Eagle” or some other designation for an adult-earned-eagle would be huge for all those guys who regret the decision not to finish that last merit badge or the service project. Not to mention all of us who didn’t have the opportunity as kids. As Scoutmaster, I have been learning alongside my daughters, but not to the same depth, because I don’t have to get “checked off” like they do. Would I go all the way to “Adult Eagle” given the chance? I don’t know, but that may motivate more volunteers.
You have to remember there’s a difference between optional efforts like a “silver eagle” and more mandatory training (as Qwazse suggested).
Given the amount of time leaders are already spending supporting their units, rolling up and saying “Hey, you’re not really position-trained until you do a whole bunch of other things that will take a couple of months to complete” is not an encouragement.
Circling back to this… Yes, after IOLS all of the adults that took the class with me (even the brand two new Cub Moms that had never camped before) could do all of those things.
And, honestly? Would a first-class badge that is easily achievable by a 12-year old make me as a parent more confident in a Scoutmaster? Nope. There’s a heck of a lot more to look for in a Troop than basic Scouting skills, and a lot of that is probably more important than whether the Scoutmaster can tie a timber hitch.
A few years ago, when people from Texas came to talk with adult volunteers about adding a girls’ program, I brought up the idea of allowing adults to earn Merit Badges. The guy said, in the early days, you had to earn the merit badge to become a merit badge counselor!
• Must have the skills and education in the subjects they want to teach
• Must have good rapport with Scout-age youth and their unit leaders
• Must be approved by the local council
Special qualifications and certifications may be required by the local council prior to teaching certain merit badges.
These qualifications provide counselors with credibility because Scouts perceive them as role models. A well-qualified merit badge counselor can enhance a youth’s attention span through effective communication, which leads to better understanding of the subject, productive discussions, and true interest.
I hope they would consider NOT changing it for at least 3 years from the date we started girl troops. If they feel the need to change it. My daughter did not have the chance to earn Eagle as she Turned 18 the October before Girl Troops started. And now you are thinking about taking Venturing away from her? I think we owe it to the youth participants to at least give them an opportunity to get the full experience they signed up for when they joined… (in her case, at 14!)
Would include Order of the Arrow? Currently it goes up to 21. Most of our local lodge’s leaders are 18+ (or commonly known as youth plus). That would really kill the program if all those 18+ are no longer part of the youth program of OA.
Most likely. The OA youth that are over 18 are technically Venturers, not Scouts BSA, even if they’re still active with a Troop, so if the Venturing progam were to end at 18, then OA youth membership would end at 18 as well.
We have a mix in our Young Adult arrowmen: some Venturers, some ASMs or other adult leader roles (some are only registered as MBCs or Unit Scouter Reserves). I don’t know that we have any who are exclusively Sea Scouts, but that’s as likely my ignorance as anything else.
I would point out, that were the ranks no longer exclusive to children, we might see a shift in requirements – not unlike when we saw Eagle being declared a “boys” award. Since scouting is not so much about school, some “bookwork” MBs (all three citizenships, family life) might no longer be required. Naturalist oriented badges, like Bird Study, might be required again. This would happen gradually over time.
I met an exchange student who was puzzled when I used the word “Scouter”. When I explained it, she said, “Why would you use a different word? We say Once a scout always a scout! don’t you?”
I’m thinking co-requisites. For most SM/ASMs that would mean trying to knock out a rank a year. Still, you might be right. That could thin the herd. But …
We do have busy adults. But, that’s the point, isn’t it? If you can’t get them to miss a camp-out with their troop to do IOLS, get IOLS to them at their troop camp-out. How rewarding would it be for a JASM to train a couple of new ASMs? I don’t know. But think about the resume line: Taught and certified a half dozen parents in their scouting skills.
Weekend scoutmastership courses won’t go away. It’s just that a lot of us won’t find ourselves in a circle watch our district advancement chair fail to start a fire. (@SteveCagigas, I guess we were molded by our experiences.)
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.
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.