Boy Scouts who were elected into the Order of the Arrow (OA) by their troop must complete an induction within one year, in order to become a member of Ut-In Sélica Lodge. If a candidate does not attend an induction within one-year, then the candidate has to be re-elected by their unit. Because fall weekends are busy with football games, band competitions and other outside obligations, the lodge recommends attending one of the inductions earlier in the year, if possible. A candidate can only complete his induction in Ut-In Sélica Lodge.
Purpose of the Order of the Arrow
The purpose of the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America’s National Honor Society, is to:
Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, and through that recognition, cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why all the secrecy around the OA activities?
A. The Order of the Arrow recognizes that an aura of mystery not only stimulates interest in the OA, but also helps new members feel proud of an accomplishment that is not achieved by every Scout. Most candidates receive fewer benefits, if they know about the induction in advance. Knowledge of the induction events lowers expectancy, and dulls the edge of experience. In other words, you hurt candidates by telling them about the “induction.” After the induction is completed, parents should feel free to discuss the experiences their Scout had at the Induction. The Order of the Arrow is happy to share any pertinent information about our activities with parents who are not members.
The OA is not a secret society, and does not support hazing in any form. BSA has officially stated: “The induction is not a hazing or an initiation ceremony. The Order is not a secret Scout organization, and its ceremonies are open to any parent, Scout leader, or religious leader. There is an element of mystery in the ceremonies for the sake of its effect on the candidates. For this reason, ceremonies are not put on in public. The ceremonies…are not objectionable to any religious group.”
Q. Can parents or non-OA members attend ceremonies?
A. Parents and non-OA siblings are strongly discouraged from attending OA ceremonies. The concern is that the future experiences of participants, who may one day have an opportunity to join the lodge, will be spoiled.
Q. What happens during the induction?
A. The induction starts with an inspiring ceremony, where the candidate is presented with four activities to help him understand the obligations of a member of the Order of the Arrow: brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. Once the four activities are completed, the member takes an obligation of service, and becomes an ordeal member in the OA. Note that nothing in the induction is considered hazing; the induction activities are intended to promote self-discovery and inspiration, while providing service to our Scout camps. All ceremonies are reviewed regularly by Scouting and religious leaders. The experience of the induction is to challenge the candidate to understand an obligation of life-long, cheerful service.
Q. How do Scouts benefit from the OA?
A. Over 500 Arrowmen in Ut-In Sélica Lodge give more than 3,600 hours of service to their units, districts, council and communities every year. The Order of the Arrow program provides additional opportunities for a Scout to develop leadership talents and motivational skills; improve speaking, planning, and motivational skills; fellowship with older Scouts; and achieve a deeper understanding about cheerfully and unselfishly giving of himself in the service of his fellow Scouts.
Q. What is expected of a new OA member?
A. OA members are expected to stay active in their unit, set an example by living the Scout Oath and Law, promote camping and provide service to Scouting and the community. In addition, OA members should attend chapter meetings and lodge events, pay annual dues and provide service.
Q. How do new OA members get involved?
A. Besides the personal experience of being part of an honor society, Arrowmen can sharpen their leadership skills, work with others to solve problems, and brainstorm with others to help make the organization as strong as it can be. Getting involved is easy. OA programs provide a variety of innovative leadership opportunities, and fun events not found anywhere else in Scouting. New Arrowmen should first find out when and where their chapter meets in their district.
Arrowmen can serve as an Elangomat or “friend” at ordeals, to make new candidates feel welcome. Serving as an Elangomat is a wonderful leadership experience, as well as an opportunity to make new friends.
Scouts can help their unit and earn credit for rank advancement leadership by becoming a troop/team OA representative. The troop/team OA representative serves as a link between the lodge or chapter and the unit. In the unit, the troop/team OA representative makes sure that fellow Arrowmen know about upcoming OA events. In addition, the Troop OA Representative takes information back to the chapter and lodge on how the OA can help the unit. The OA Troop Representative is a very important role to the OA. It is a way to serve the lodge and unit at the same time, and fulfill a leadership requirement for advancement towards Eagle Scout.
Chapter ceremony teams conduct inspirational Arrow of Light, pre-induction, induction and brotherhood ceremonies. In addition, ceremony teams have many exciting opportunities to participate in competitions at lodge, section and national level events. Joining a ceremonial team is a rewarding experience.
The OA was founded upon camping traditions. Every chapter has a camp promotions team to improve interest in our local camps and promote the excitement of camping and adventure. Serving on summer camp staff at Camp Wolfeboro is an outstanding opportunity to serve Scouting.
Every year there are lots of awesome opportunities for Arrowmen to participate in lodge and section events:
• Lodge Leadership Development is a dynamic training event held each February. Arrowmen learn more about the OA and Ut-In Sélica Lodge and how to become better leaders. Youth and adult training classes include leadership development, event planning, tools needed to improve chapters, and communication skills, to name a few. This important training is open to all Arrowmen.
• OA Banquet is a night of celebration, to recognize award winners and celebrate the past year’s accomplishments. Arrowmen gather to look back at all of fun that was had over the past year.