Your son or daughter has been elected to be a candidate for membership in the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s National Honor Society.
We appreciate your support! While many organizations have specific commitments for every member, the Order of the Arrow is unique because it offers each Scout a multitude of opportunities to serve, and your child can tailor his or her involvement accordingly.
What is the Order of the Arrow?
The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society. The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:
- To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives
- To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit
- To promote Scout camping
- To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others
Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow unit members, following approval by the Scoutmaster, Venture Crew Advisor, or Skipper.. To become a member, a youth must be a registered member of a Scouts BSA Troop and have earned the First Class rank, a member of a Venture Crew and have earned the Discovery rank, or a member of a Sea Scout Ship and obtained the Ordinary rank. The youth must have experienced fifteen days and nights of Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The fifteen days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Scouts BSA. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps. Nights on a ship count towards the camping requirement for Sea Scouts.
Adult selection is based on their ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and is not for recognition. Selected adult Scouters must be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities, and provide a positive role model for the youth members of the lodge.
The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership. During the experience, candidates maintain silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and are required to sleep alone, apart from other campers. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values.