About The Order of the Arrow

What is the Order of the Arrow?

The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society.

Purpose of the Order of the Arrow

The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is four-fold:

  • To recognize those campers–Scouts and Scouters–who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and by such recognition cause other campers to conduct themselves in such manner as to warrant recognition.
  • To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit.
  • To promote Scout camping, which reaches its greatest effectiveness as a part of the unit’s camping program, both year-round and in the summer camp, as directed by the camping committee of the council.
  • To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
How do I become a member of the Order of the Arrow?

To be eligible for the Order of the Arrow, a Scout must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  2. Hold the rank of First Class Scout as a minimum.
  3. After registration with a troop or team, have experienced 15 days and nights of camping during the 2-year period prior to the election. The 15 days and nights must include 6 consecutive days and night of resident camping at an official Boy Scout camp, approved under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.
  4. The unit leader must certify the nominee’s Scouting Spirit, his adherence to the Scout Oath and Law, his participation in unit activities, and his completion of all specified requirements at the time of the annual election.

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 and are subject to the above requirements for election. Note the discrepancy between the minimum age of an adult in a Scout troop (18) and the minimum age of an adult in the Order (21). Before an Order of the Arrow unit election can take place, at least 50% of the unit’s active membership must be present.

Upon holding a troop or team election, the unit committee may recommend to the Lodge Executive Committee 1 adult per 50 registered youth in the unit. A unit may only recommend adult nominees if at least 1 youth nominee is elected to the Order in that year’s unit election. This recommendation should be based on ability of the adult(s) to perform the necessary functions to help the Order of the Arrow and not as recognition for prior service or achievement. The above camping requirements (#3) also apply to adult nominees.

Levels of Membership

The following levels of membership should not be interpreted as ranks, but rather as degrees of involvement. Brotherhood members are not “better” than Ordeal members, or Vigil Honor recepients “better” than Brotherhood members. Each member has simply displayed a different level of commitment to the Order and the lodge.

ordeal_sash Ordeal – This is the first membership level and the first step in the Order of the Arrow. Elected to the Order by the members of his or her unit, each candidate becomes an Ordeal member upon successful completion of the Ordeal ceremony.
brotherhood_sash Brotherhood – Upon completing the requirements for Brotherhood membership in the Order of the Arrow, an Ordeal member rededicates himself or herself to the Order and lodge by becoming a Brotherhood member. When an Ordeal member becomes a Brotherhood member, it is referred to as “sealing the ties of Brotherhood.”
vigil_sash Vigil – When an Arrowman has actively served the Order as a Brotherhood member for two years, he or she is eligible to receive the Vigil Honor. Lodges are only permitted to present the award to one Arrowman for every fifty Arrowmen registered in the lodge. Recipients of this prestigious award have displayed continued exceptional service in the Order of the Arrow and maintain a cheerful spirit while providing leadership and unselfish service. When a brother receives the Vigil Honor, he is given a Native American name that reflects their characteristics. Osceola Lodge’s Vigil Call-Out Ceremony is conducted the Friday night of the Busk/Banquet weekend.

(Source: Osceola Lodge First Year Arrowman Orientation Guide for the 2005 Lodge Year)

The Mission of the Lodge

The mission of Osceola Lodge, and every other registered lodge in the Order of the Arrow, is based on the following:

The mission of the lodge is to achieve the purpose of the Order of the Arrow as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America in the council through positive youth leadership under guidance of selected capable adults.