The Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow is B.S.A.’s national honor society which recognizes those campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, leading others to follow their example.  It is an integral part of Boy Scouting, intended to help strengthen units and develop youth leadership skills. Many more senior Scouts and leaders are active members . 

Eligibility.  The standards are high for membership in the Order of the Arrow.  All troop members under the age of 21 to be considered candidates for election must meet these requirements:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Hold the First Class rank of the Boy Scouts of America, as a minimum.
  • After registration with a troop or team, have experienced fifteen days and nights of camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The fifteen days and nights must include six consecutive days and 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.
  • The unit leader approves of their candidacy by certifying their Scouting spirit, adherence to the Scout Oath and Law, and participation in unit activities, and that the Scout meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election.

Election.  During an official election held only once a year, all eligible youths who receive votes from at least 50 percent of those troop members who turn in ballots are elected.  Here are the voting guidelines all Scouts should follow:

  • Select the candidates who, in your opinion, have set the best examples of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service.

  • Vote only for those you believe will continue in unselfish service to your troop. If you feel that no one is worthy, turn in a blank ballot.

  • If you are new in the unit and do not know the candidates well enough to vote wisely, you may abstain by not turning in a ballot at all.

  • Youths eligible for election also vote, and they may vote for themselves if they feel they are worthy.

Order of the Arrow Unit Representative.  This troop member has an important leadership role in the troop.  The Senior Patrol Leader, upon consultation with the Scoutmaster, appoints the OA Representative.  Here is the OA Troop/Team Representative Scoutmaster/Coach Start-Up Kit to help understand this contribution. 


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