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General Information

General Information about the Order of the Arrow

National Capital Area Council’s Lodge is the Amangamek-Wipit Lodge.

Purpose

As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:

History

The Order of the Arrow was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson 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, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America.  In 1998, the Order of the Arrow became recognized as Scouting’s National Honor Society when it expanded its reach beyond camping to include broader service to Scouting and the community.

Membership 

The OA has more than 170,000 active members located in lodges affiliated with over 295 BSA local councils

Eligibility

The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are:

Induction 

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 camper, which teaches significant values.

Brotherhood Membership      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.

Vigil Honor      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.

Lodges     

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.

Sections     

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, skills, and training. In addition, the section creates a monitoring/mentoring relationship with its lodges, provides leadership development opportunities, fosters understanding and adherence to national OA policies and procedures, and coordinates OA administrative and program functions.  A section is lead by three elected youth officers, the section chief, section vice chief, and section secretary, who are advised by an adult section adviser and professional section staff adviser.

Each year the approximately fifty elected section chiefs are invited to a national planning meeting in Dallas, TX. The section chiefs form the conference committee for a national Order of the Arrow event, such as the national Order of the Arrow conference, which is held under the guidance of the national Order of the Arrow committee.

Regions     

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 Order of the Arrow region chairman is an adult appointed by the regional director. The professional adviser for the region is a staff member assigned to the position by the region director.

National Chief and Vice Chief

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 national committee specifies their term of office. The national committee chairman and director of the Order of the Arrow advise them of their responsibilities.

National OA Committee Chairman

The national OA committee chairman is appointed by the chairman of the national Boy Scout Committee. The professional adviser is the director of the Order of the Arrow, a member of the national Boy Scout Division staff.

More information may be found on the Order of the Arrow Web site, www.oa-bsa.org, or in the Order of the Arrow Guide for Officers and Advisers, No. 24-413, Revised 2012.

Last updated 1/1/2016