2017 Order of the Arrow

Order of the Arrow Overview

The OA and Its Role in Quality Units

by Patch Henderson, Soo’nkahni Chapter Adviser D17 Great Salt Lake Council

Download the materials for this course:

How to Reconnect with the OA

I was inducted into the OA when I was a Scout. Do I need to be inducted again as an adult?

No, once an Arrowman, always an Arrowman. Adults are needed to support the Chapter and Lodge events. Just pay your dues with the Lodge at the El-Ku-Ta Lodge website: http://www.elkutalodge.com. Or you can pay dues by calling the Camp Desk at 801-582-3663 Dues are: 1 year $15, 2 years $30, 3 years $45, 5 years $60 (BFGO)

Which lodge flap do I wear?

The flap of your current lodge, El-Ku-Ta flaps are $5.

What Does OA mean?

  • Overeaters Anonymous
  • Office of Audits
  • Ordinary Annuity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Operator Assistant
  • Olympic Airways
  • Open Architecture
  • Operating Agency
  • Office of the Administrator
  • Opportunity Analysis
  • Outdoor Adventures

What is the OA?

  • An integral part of Scouting
  • BSA’s National Honor Society
  • Youth Leadership Training
  • Youth Leadership Experiences
  • A Service Organization

Why Does the OA Exist?

  • Promote Camping
  • Recognize Scouts
  • Develop Youth Leaders
  • Instill Cheerful Service

How Does the OA Do these Things?

  • Presentations on Camping
  • Training
  • Membership Levels
  • Sashes
  • Patches
  • OA Troop Rep
  • Chapters
  • Coup Trail – NYLT
  • Service Projects
  • Ceremonies
  • Events

Org Chart

See slides

Why is the OA Called the National Honor Society of Scouting?

Scholarship, Camping, Character, Leadership, Service

Will the OA Take Scouts Away From Their Unit?

“Let it be remembered that the Order of the Arrow was created to help the unit – to help it present its membership a beEer ideal of the inner qualities of the good Scout camper. Qualities of character, like cheerfulness and service, are hard for a boy or a man to understand in the abstract. They come easier when seen in human life.

Let us realize the significance of the Order in the unit – for the unit is our best hope in Scouting.” ~Dr. E. Urner Goodman — Founder of the Order of the Arrow

So, will the OA Take Scouts Away From Their Unit? No! Unit events trump OA Events. The Arrowmen are to bring back to their unit the training, experience, leadership, and ideas gained through their OA involvement.

Obligation of the Order of the Arrow

I do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, WINGOLAUCHSIK, WITAHEMUI. I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, as lasting, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.

What are the Joining Requirements?


  • Registered with BSA
  • 15 nights of Scout camping in last two years, (only count 1 long term camp)
  • First Class Rank
  • Approved by Unit Leader
  • Elected by peers


  • Registered with BSA
  • 15 nights of Scout camping in last two years, (only count 1 long term camp) OR by position
  • Helpful to the Order
  • Nominated by Unit Committee
  • Approved by Lodge

LDS Unit Election Video


Supporting Units through Really Great Elections


What are the Benefits to the Scout?

  • Honored by Fellow Scouts
  • Leadership Training & Opportunities
  • More Camping Opportunities
  • New Friends
  • More Adult Association
  • New Perspectives
  • High Adventure Program Discounts
  • OA Obligation Values
  • Cheerful Outlook
  • Confidence
  • College Application Item

Help for Older Scouts

OA Opportunities on the Trail to Eagle and for Those Who Just Enjoy Scouting

  • Monthly chapter activities usually on Roundtable nights.
  • There are 10-12 nights of camping opportunities a year.
  • The OA Troop Representative position qualifies for Eagle.
  • Leadership opportunities in the Chapter and Lodge.
  • Numerous service projects and experiences.
  • The Lodge provides Merit Badge earning opportunities.
  • Really great and fun annual lodge activities.
  • The National OA Conference every few years.

What are the Benefits to the Unit?

  • Experienced Youth Leaders
  • Youth Retention
  • Additional Service Opportunities
  • Unit Training Resources
  • Scout Oath & Law Examples
  • Troop OA Rep – Eagle Leadership Position
  • Camping Traditions
  • Camping Promotions
  • Service from Arrowmen
  • Improved Camping Skills
  • Access to Chapter Adult Resources

What are the Benefits to the District & Council?

  • Scout Camp Improvement Projects
  • Event Staffng and Support
  • Service from the Chapters
  • Camping Traditions
  • Ideas / Camping Resources
  • OA Ceremonies

How Do I Get My Scouts Involved?

  1. Gets Scouts Qualified / Go Camping
  2. Schedule an Election
  • Contact Your Chapter Chief or Adviser (see handout)
  • 20-30 Minutes at a Scout Meeting
  • Conducted by the OA
  1. Hold the Election
  2. Help Scouts get to the Induction Weekend
  3. Support their OA Involvement
  • Establish Troop OA Rep Positions
  • Provide Adult Leadership Support (ASM)
  • Consider Lodge Activities in Annual Planning
  • Create a camping / OA tradition

OA Troop Rep and ASM

OA Troop Representative Background

  • Position Created in 1999
  • First time in the history of the BSA that the Order of the Arrow had a formal role in unit operations
  • Official unit leadership position that counts towards rank advancement
  • Also a role for an adult Arrowman in the unit to serve as the Representative’s adviser

OA Troop Representative


  • Under 18 years old
  • Appointed by SPL with Scoutmaster approval
  • OA Member in good standing
    Rank Advancement Positions of Responsibility
  • Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics guide.
    OA Troop Rep reports to:
  • Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (or SPL)

Annual Lodge Events

  • Lodge Banquet – January
  • Spring and Fall Induction Weekends – March, April, May, September, October, November
  • Conclave (5 Lodges) – April – 2 nights
  • Scout-O-Rama – May
  • Fellowship – June – 2 nights
  • Kickoff – September
  • Trade-O-Ree / Auction – October
  • National OA Conference – every few years

OA Resources

  • El-Ku-Ta Lodge Website
  • Official National Order of the Arrow Website
  • Your Chapter Chief and Adviser (see handout)
  • Lodge Adviser – Blair Hope
  • Council OA Adviser – John Garrett

Scott’s Brotherhood Blog

  • #1: The Order of the Arrow: WHY? February 26, 2016 – See
  • #2 The Ties of Brotherhood
  • #3 Why Cheerfulness in Service is Such a Big Deal
  • #4 Selfless Service is the Heart of the OA
  • #5 We, Who Love the Woods and Camping
  • #6 A New Culture Beckons
  • #7 Helping Boys Learn to Love Leading in Service to Others
  • #8 How an Arrowman Serves His Unit
  • #9 How the OA Prepares YM for Temple Worship
  • #10 Once an Arrowman . . .
  • #11 How the OA Prepares YM for Missionary Service
  • #12 How the OA Prepares YM to be Church Leaders
  • #13 Salting the Earth
  • #14 The OA Helps LDS Scouts Serve at the District Level
  • #15 How OA SURGE Can Help Your Troop
  • #16 You Can Help Boys Who Wish to Continue in Scouting
  • #17 “Service is much more than a project; it is a way of life”
  • #18 Developing Servant Leaders
  • #19 The Vigil Honor

The Brotherhood of Cheerful Service

“Things of the spirit are what count: brotherhood – in a day when there is too much hatred at home and abroad; cheerfulness – in a day when the pessimists have the floor and cynics are popular; service – in a day when millions are interested in getting or grasping, rather than giving.” ~ E. Urner Goodman


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s