order of the arrow

Some of you may be wondering “just what is this Order of the Arrow (OA), anyway”? The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society. It was founded in Philadelphia in 1915, and has been a nationally approved part of the Scouting program since 1934. There are approximately 176,000 members nationwide.

The purpose of the Order or 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

The Order of the Arrow is relatively unique among honor societies, in that potential members are elected by all Scouts, not just members. To be eligible for election, a Scout must have achieved the rank of First Class, and have fifteen days and nights of camping over the last two years. These fifteen days must include six days and five nights of summer resident camp, but can include no more than that. Once a Scout is selected, he must then complete the test of the Ordeal. We encourage the candidates to complete their Ordeal at Camp Naish, but other opportunities are available if needed.

Want to know more? Visit the HOAC Order of the Arrow website, or the National Order of the Arrow website.