Simply put, the Order of the Arrow is Scouting's National Honor Society. The Order was created in 1915 and officially became a part of Scouting in 1934. Our mission is:
We SUPPORT Water and Woods Council by . . .
Simply put, the Order of the Arrow is Scouting's National Honor Society. It was created in 1915 and officially became a part of Scouting in 1934. The four main purposes of the Order were updated in August of 2009 and approved at the National Council of Lodge Chiefs in Bloomington, Indiana. These purposes are:
The Order of the Arrow is not a badge; it is recognition and a call to greater service. Scouts must be elected to the Order by the members of their unit. To be eligible for election, Scouts must be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team and hold the First Class rank. The Scout must have camped 15 days and nights with his Scouting unit or as part of another Scouting program. The 15 days and nights must include no more than one long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping.
Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson founded the Order of the Arrow (OA) in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948, the OA was recognized as the BSA's national brotherhood of honor campers and became an official part of the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America. Today, the OA is recognized as Scouting's National Honor Society.
The OA has more than 183,000 members in lodges affiliated with more than 300 BSA local councils.
To become a member, a youth must be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team and hold First Class rank. The youth must have experienced 15 days and nights of camping during the two years before his election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps. Their fellow troop or Varsity team members, following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity Scout Coach, elect scouts to the Order.
Firm bound in Brotherhood, gather the clan
That cheerful service brings to fellows man.
Circle our council fire, weld tightly every link
That binds us in brotherhood, Wimachtendienk.
The Ordeal induction ceremony is often conducted at Scout camp and is the first step toward full membership. During the experience, candidates maintain complete silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and are required to sleep alone, apart from other campers, which teach significant values.
After 10 months of service and fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the OA.
After two years of service as a Brotherhood member and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, a Scout or Scouter may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for outstanding service to Scouting, his lodge, and the community. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.
Each Order of the Arrow lodge is granted a charter from the National Council, BSA, upon annual application by the local council. The OA lodge helps the local council provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, development of youth leadership and service, promotion of Scout camping and outdoor programs, and enhancement of membership tenure.
An Order of the Arrow section consists of lodges within a geographic area of the region. Once every year, representatives of lodges in the section come together for a conclave to share in fellowship and training. All of the elected section chiefs form the conference committee for the annual Order of the Arrow program of emphasis, which is held under the guidance of the national OA Committee. The committee meets each year at the national OA planning meeting in December.
The region chief is the youth leader of the region and elected by the section chiefs in his region for a term of office specified by the national Order of the Arrow Committee, which coincides with the terms of the national chief and vice chief. This election is held in conjunction with the national OA planning meeting where the annual OA program of emphasis is planned. The region chiefs serve as voting members of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, representing youth on national OA policy and programs.
The national chief and vice chief are Arrowmen selected by the section chiefs at the national OA planning meeting each December. They serve as voting members of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, representing the youth on national OA policy and program. They also serve as the presiding officers for the annual OA program of emphasis.
The Order of the Arrow Wilderness Voyage program is an experience like no other. For two weeks, you will join together with Arrowmen from around the country and experience all that the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota has to offer.
The first week of the program is spent giving back to the Boundary Waters through portage trail restoration work. The second part of the program is a trek planned by the crew. From the 8-1/2 mile "Grand Portage" leading to Lake Superior, to the Height of Land, even the pictographs on Fishdance Lake, crews have done and seen all in the Boundary Waters.
The Order of the Arrow Trail Crew program is one of the best ways to experience Scouting's premier high adventure base, Philmont Scout Ranch. For two weeks, participants see and experience all that Philmont has to offer and much more.
For the first week, participants have the chance to make a significant difference to Philmont by participating in trail building in the backcountry. The second week of the program is spent experiencing Philmont in its finest. Unlike regular treks, Trail Crews make their own itinerary, instead of selecting from pre-planned routes. You can do and see just about anything, from the Tooth of Time to Baldy Mountain, your crew decides!
The Order of the Arrow Ocean Adventure is a unique opportunity to experience the programs at the Florida Sea Base, while providing a new type of service to the Atlantic Ocean. In a two-week period, participants will complete PADI SCUBA certification, as well as interact with undersea wildlife like no other Scouts do.
For one week, participants will undergo intensive SCUBA certification in preparation. Arrowmen will also provide meaningful service to the staff of the Florida Sea Base, and enjoy fun in the Florida sun while brushing up on their volleyball skills. The second week of OAOA is spent using the SCUBA certification to its fullest extent. Participants will spend their time taking wildlife samples in the Florida Keys, performing island restoration and other meaningful projects to the surrounding area.
The National Leadership Seminar (NLS) is a weekend training program focusing on leadership development. Run by the Region Chief and his Advisers, it provides an in-depth look at leadership skills and techniques. An NLS discusses how these skills can be applied in your role in the OA and in other aspects of your life.
The NLS program is offered several times a year at various locations in each region. Scheduled dates are given on the National OA Program Calendar, and are published in the Order of the Arrow's National Bulletin
In 2015, the dates and places include:
To register, contact Mr. Rick Todd and be ready to:
As one Arrowman described his NLS experience: