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Joining the Order


The Order of the Arrow is Scouting's national honor society. It recognizes those campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and by such recognition, cause other campers to conduct themselves in such a manner as to warrant similar recognition, to promote camping, and to crystallize the habit of helpfulness as a life purpose.

There are six steps to join the Order of the Arrow in Catawba Lodge:

  1. Hold a Unit Election.
  2. Have unit leaders approval (if a youth).
  3. Meet the membership requirements.
  4. Be elected by the youth of the unit in an election conducted by the lodge/chapter unit election committee (if a youth) or nominated by the appropriate people / committees (if an adult).
  5. Be called out in a call out ceremony conducted by the lodge/chapter.
  6. Attend an ordeal within one year of the unit election date.

Hold a Unit Election:

"To become a member of the Order of the Arrow a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout is chosen by vote of the youths in his unit. This is a unique feature of the Order since the majority of those who select their candidates for this honor are not members of the lodge. However, lodge members in the unit have a vote as well as nonmembers. In this way membership is controlled by the youths in their own units and not by those who are already Arrowmen.

It is important that the members of the unit have the membership requirements properly explained to them." - (p. 21-22 Guide for Officers and Advisers)

A unit election can only be held once a year. The election usually is held at one of the units weekly meetings but it could be held at other times as the unit has worked out the schedule with the lodge/chapter (other times may include during summer camp at Camp Grimes by the OA Camp Chief).

To find out how to have a unit elections team visit your unit please have your OA Troop / Team Representative contact the Vice-Chief of Inductions, his adviser or your chapter chief:

Vice-Chief of Inductions: Steve Mazur
Adviser: Rob Seate

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Unit leader approval:

"To become eligible for election, a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of his unit leader prior to the election. The unit leader must certify his Scout spirit (i.e., his adherence to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activates). The unit leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election." - (p. 20 Guide for Officers and Advisers)

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Membership Requirements:

Youth membership qualifications (under 21 years of age):

"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 or candidates for youth membership, subject to meeting the following 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 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The 15 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 Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.

Candidates for youth membership shall be elected by other youth members in accordance with policies set forth by the national Order of the Arrow committee. Election of any person under 21 years of age as a candidate for membership shall be based on fulfillment of the youth membership requirements.

Adult membership qualifications (21 and over):

All members of or candidates for membership in the Order of the Arrow who are 21 years of age or older and who are registered members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be considered adult members or candidates for adult membership. Individuals shall be selected as candidates based on the following:

  1. Adult leaders in units: Each year, upon holding a troop or team election for youth candidates that results in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may recommend one adult to the lodge adult selection committee, composed of the lodge adviser, the chairman of the council committee on which the lodge adviser serves, and the lodge staff adviser. Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with the approval of the Scout executive, serving as Supreme Chief of the Fire, will be candidates for induction, provided the following conditions are fulfilled:
    • Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purposes, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and position.
    • The individual will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order.
    • The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.
    • The adult leader's membership will provide a positive role model for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.
  2. Adult leaders in council and district positions: The lodge adviser, district chairman, council president, or members of the professional staff may recommend adults to the lodge adult selection committee. Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with approval of the Scout executive, serving as Supreme Chief of the Fire, will become candidates for induction. All requirements set forth for adult leaders in units must be fulfilled, with the exception of the camping requirements, which may be waived at the discretion of the lodge adviser and Scout executive.

Adults may be recommended for membership only one time per year as either unit Scouters or district/council Scouters, but not both. How they are recommended depends on where they maintain their primary registration.

Adult members shall be elected to membership at the discretion of the lodge adult selection committee. All members of the Order of the Arrow, both youth and adults, must successfully complete the Ordeal experience and participate in the induction ceremony.

Because the Order of the Arrow is principally a youth organization, unit, district, and council Scouters are not elected to membership as a recognition. Election into the Order should take place only when the adult's job in boy Scouting or Varsity Scouting will make the Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership." - (p. 20-21 Guide for Officers and Advisers)

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Call Out Ceremony:

"The purpose of a call-out is to recognize each elected Scout as a candidate for membership in the Order of the Arrow. The call-out is a form of public recognition used to communicate the honor of being selected for membership into our Order to members, nonmembers, and others. It must communicate the high ideals and standards of the Order. It should intensify a Scout's desire to become a member." - (p. 17 Guide to Inductions)

Within Catawba Lodge those candidates who have been chosen for membership into the Order of the Arrow must be called out prior to their ordeal.

There are several chances for a newly elected scout to go through their Call Out ceremony.

During the designated Chapter call outs in the spring:

Sehwatu - February 22 - Klondike festival - Camp Grimes

Sehwatu - March 27th at BackCreek ARP Church - BARN
Apache - April 3th at Belk Scout Camp at 7:30

Etowah - April 16th at Belk Scout Camp at 7:30 

Or during summer camp at the OA campfire.

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Attend an Ordeal:

Information about the ordeal and can be found at the Ordeal webpage.

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