March 15, 1998
Order of the Arrow
The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:
The Order of the Arrow (OA) was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council. 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 national camping program of the BSA.
The OA has more than 176,000 members located in lodges affiliated with approximately 336 local BSA councils.
To become a member, you must be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop and hold First Class rank. You must have experienced fifteen days and nights of camping during the two-year period prior to your election. The fifteen days and nights must include six consecutive days (including five nights) of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the BSA. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps. Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow unit members, following approval by the Scoutmaster.
The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is 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 teaches significant values.
After ten 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 OA Committee, a Scout 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 fifty members registered with the lodge each year.
Each OA lodge is granted a charter from the National Council, BSA. The OA lodge helps the local council provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, youth leadership development, service, and enhanced membership tenure.
Contents of this page synthesied from the U. S. Scouting Service Project Website by Ryan Thorpe.
©2017 Boy Scout Troop 849, Manhattan Beach, CA. http://troop849.org/