Order of the Arrow: Scouting’s Honor Society

For over 100 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth.

Our Troop OA Scouts are members of Caddo Lodge 149.

Troop OA membership requirements:

  • Be a registered member of BSA.
  • Have experienced 15 nights of camping while a registered Scout within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each.
  • At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, and be at least First Class rank, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
  • Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee.

Following election by their Troop, OA candidates attend either Spring or Fall Fellowship. The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership in the Order. During the experience, candidates maintain silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and sleep apart from other campers. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values and give Scouts the opportunity to demonstrate cheerful service. All candidates for membership must complete the Ordeal to become members of the Order of the Arrow.

Suggested packing List for Ordeal:

In one package/backpack:
Ground cloth/Tarp—large enough to sleep on and cover you top to bottom
Sleeping bag
Water bottle with water

In a second package:
Weather-appropriate gear
Personal hygiene items
Towel and wash cloth for showering
A change of clothes
Scout uniform (Class A)
Work gloves
Work clothes
Sturdy comfortable footwear (boots)
Anything else you want to pack for a weekend at camp. You will be able to set up your tent after registration.

Also bring:
Current BSA medical form—a must (bring a copy with you to Ordeal to be turned in at check-in)
Personal tent—for second night
Extra money—OA items will be on sale for purchasing

Ordeal Candidates should plan to arrive on Friday by 7:30 pm (eat dinner before arrival) and not depart before Sunday morning’s New Member Orientation meeting.

After completing their Ordeal, active OA members attend Spring and Fall Fellowship Weekends as campers and complete service projects and fellowship with other OA members. Packing lists would be the usual for a weekend campout. Dates for OA activities can be found on the Norwela.org calendar.

A typical Fellowship weekend schedule is:
Friday: check in between 5:30-7:30 pm and set up camp (eat dinner before arrival)
8:30 pm, Pre-Ordeal Ceremony (attend in uniform with OA sash)
Saturday: 7:15 am Breakfast in the mess hall
8:00-noon, complete service work projects as directed
Noon: lunch
1-4:00 pm, additional work projects or rest and fellowship
4:45 pm, Ordeal Ceremony (attend in uniform with OA sash)
6:00 pm, Dinner, followed by evening activities and fellowship
Sunday: 7:30 am Breakfast
8:15 Chapel, if desired
8:45 Lodge Business Meeting

For more information about the Order of the Arrow, visit https://oa-bsa.org