As the primary platform where the Scouting program is delivered to youth, the unit is the most vital and important level of the BSA for the Order to support.
The Order of the Arrow Unit of Excellence Award seeks to identify those units, and the leaders within them, who excel at incorporating the OA into their annual planning. This award is intended to provide a tool for lodges to recognize, incentivize, and operationalize unit-level participation in Order of the Arrow programs.
The OA Unit of Excellence Award criteria recognize units that invite the lodge to conduct quality unit elections, participate in lodge events and meetings, and operate a complete OA Troop/Team Representative program. Our hope is that units that complete these criteria will benefit from the support programs that the Order of the Arrow has implemented to strengthen unit-delivered program. This recognition program, along with other tools for unit support, should be distributed and promoted to Scoutmaster/Coach, OA Troop/Team Representatives and Advisers, and chapter election teams to include in communication to units.
To become a member of the Order of the Arrow a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout is chosen by vote of the youths in his unit. This is a unique feature of the Order since the majority of those who select their candidates for this honor are not members of the lodge. However, lodge members in the unit have a vote as well as nonmembers. In this way membership is controlled by the youths in their own units and not by those who are already Arrowmen.
Youth Membership Qualifications:
All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Order of the Arrow who are under 21 years of age shall be considered youth members or candidates for youth membership, subject to meeting the following requirements:
Candidates for youth membership shall be elected by other youth members in accordance with policies set forth by the national Order of the Arrow committee. Election of any person under 21 years of age as a candidate for membership shall be based on fulfillment of the youth membership requirements. Youth members must also be approved by their scoutmaster.