Scouting - Fact or Fiction?

Statement The left-handed scout handshake was banned as a sign of a secret society. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments Absolutely not.

Statement All prayers at Scouting events have to be ecumenical. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments HOWEVER, if there are members of different faiths, the prayers SHOULD be chosen to not be specific to only one faith. If all in attendance are of the same faith, then prayers specific to that faith are appropriate.

Statement I don't want my scouts going to the Order of the Arrow, because all they do is take away my best scouts with nothing in return. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments The first obligation of all members of the Order of the Arrow is to their unit and support of the camping program. It is not a separate "fraternity" for older boys that removes them from the unit. Quite often membership has exactly the opposite effect. Scouts that would have left Scouting, frequently stay and in the process strengthen their units. You rarely hear the above quote from a unit with a quality program that is engaging the Scouts. You may hear it in a unit with a dull, boring program where the leaders mistakenly believe they need to keep Scouts hostage to the unit because they are afraid to let the Scout have the opportunity to do something exciting for fear that they won't want to come back to the boring program. But chances are the Scout will leave that boring unit because there isn't anything interesting or challenging. If the Scout gets to do more things that are interesting and challenging, chances are he will stay around longer and in the process help the unit.

Statement Patrol leaders, once elected, are in the job for some fixed amt of time (4 mos, 6 mos, whatever). Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments Not. You can look it up. The patrol can reelect a new one as needed/indicated/desired, and no one has the authority to stop them.

Statement You cannot be in BSA if you live in a foreign country unless your parent is working for the U.S. government. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments Direct Service BSA and the two overseas councils cover the world outside the U.S. and its territories. Aloha Council includes the former trust territories in the Pacific. No specific employment criteria exists.

Statement That transfer isn't any good without your handbook and merit badge cards. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments Not true. A completed transfer summarizes the status of the scout in the same way a transcript summarizes report cards. The transfer form is all that is needed to verify the scout's status. Besides, the information is on file at Scout HQ. That's the official record.

Statement BSA has abolished Lone Scouts. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments Not true. Still available and growing.

Statement Sea Scouts were abolished in 1965. - Not true. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments Not true. There are very active ships in Kansas and Oklahoma for example.

Statement Female leaders can't be in the Order of the Arrow Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments Not true. OA is co-ed at all levels except where the youth membership requires the individual have achieved first class rank.

Statement Exploring was abolished when Venturing was created. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments No, Exploring was spun off to a separate subsidiary corporation called Learning for Life. The outdoors emphasis, religious life, arts and hobbies, and sports oriented posts, and Sea Scouts were rolled into the new Venturing Division.

Statement OA was modeled after Freemasonry. Fact or Fiction Fiction Comments It is true that Goodman was a 32nd degree Freemason, and some of the ceremony of Freemasonry may have influenced how OA does their thing, but, no, there wasn't that much influence.

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