Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who receives the information about requesting an Order of the Arrow election?logo 125

A: The Scoutmaster or Varsity Coach, according to the Council Service Center'’s record, is the person within a unit to receive information regarding elections. Since the election information is only sent to the leader of record, it is imperative that the Council is informed of any leader change.

Q: May a Troop/Team conduct its own election?

A: No! The Guide for Officers and Advisers [GOA] states:

  • Order of the Arrow elections are held in qualified troops and teams only under the direction of the lodge in the council where the unit chartered. The lodge, through the unit elections committee, should work with the unit leader in establishing the actual time and place to conduct the election.
    The Order should be represented by a two- or three-member team from the lodge or chapter unit elections committee.
Q: How are adults recommended for candidacy in the Order of the Arrow? 

A: Operations Update 12-07 states: 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 nominate adults to the lodge adult selection committee. The number of adults nominated can be no more than one-third of the number of youth candidates elected, rounded up where the number of youth candidates is not a multiple of three. In addition to the one-third limit, the unit committee may nominate the currentlyserving unit leader (but not assistant leaders), as long as he or she has served as unit leader for at least the previous twelve months. Recommendations of the adult selection committee, which consists of the lodge adviser, the chairman of the council committee on which the lodge adviser serves, and the lodge staff adviser, 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 purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and positions.
  • 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 example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.
Q: How many adults can our unit nominate? 

A: Operations Update 12-07 states: The number of adults nominated can be no more than one-third of the number of youth candidates elected, rounded up where the number of youth candidates is not a multiple of three. In addition to the one-third limit, the unit committee may nominate the currentlyserving unit leader (but not assistant leaders), as long as he or she has served as unit leader for at least the previous twelve months.

Q: Who is responsible for scheduling a unit election? 

A: The lodge, through the unit elections committee, should work with the unit leader in establishing the actual time and place to conduct the election. [GOA]

A letter from the Lodge Secretary was mailed to the Unit Leader [of record] in February. The letter lists each District Chapter Chiefs and their Advisers. Unit leaders are requested to contact their Chapter Chief to arrange an agreed upon date and time. In addition, the Chapter Chief or a representative from election team will make a diligent effort to contact the Unit Leader in their District.

Q: Who is responsible for submitting the youth election and adult nomination forms? 

A: At your Unit’'s OA youth election the election team leader will provide a Youth Unit Election Report, a 3-part “carbonless” copy form, different from last year’s report. The election leader will turn in the white copy to the Lodge Secretary: the pink copy goes to the Chapter Chief: the Scoutmaster must send the yellow copy to the Scout Office. [LSL]

An Adult Recommendation is a Unit Committee responsibility. The completed form should be received at the Scout Service Center before May 31th. [Note: the Youth Election Team Leader should sign and date a blank Recommendation form at the time a youth Unit election is conducted.]. [LSL]

Q: May my troop/team have an election at summer camp? 

A: No! Troop/Team elections will not be conducted at summer camp.

No elections will be held at summer camp. Elections are to occur at a Unit’s meeting site. The Ingersoll staff has enough duties and responsibilities at summer camp and to add an additional burden of carrying out an OA election is uncalled for. [LSL]

Q: May my Troop/Team undergo a Call Out at another council’s camp? 

A: Yes! If certain procedures are followed.

If your Unit plans to attend an Out-of-Council [OOC] summer camp and desires that a candidate, adult/youth, be Called Out at this camp, the bottom of the Youth Election Report and a similar section on the backside of the Adult Recommendation Form, should be completed. Thus the Lodge will know where to mail the Call Out request. [LSL]

Q: May my Troop/Team have an election done at another council’s camp?

A:No! Order of the Arrow elections are held in qualified troops and teams only under the direction of the lodge in the council where the unit chartered. No unit may visit outside its own council and hold an OA election under the auspices of an OA lodge of another council. [GOA]

Q:May a Scout/Scouter be inducted into the Order at another council’s camp?

A:If the following procedure is completely fulfilled, an induction outside person’s registered council may be permitted.

In virtually all cases, newly elected candidates for membership in the Order, both adult and youth, should complete the Ordeal and be inducted into the Order by the lodge that serves the council in which their unit is chartered. Under special circumstances, newly elected candidates may complete the Ordeal outside their own council if the following conditions are met:

  1. The unit leader requests the change in Ordeal completion in advance and in writing to both the registered council lodge and to the lodge where induction is requested.

  2. The lodge of the council where the unit is registered gives permission to the unit leader in writing and sends a copy to the lodge where induction is requested.

  3. The out-of-council lodge charges the newly elected candidate the cost of an Ordeal sash, an Order of the Arrow Handbook, and food/facilities fees only. The Arrowman inducted into the Order outside his registered council lodge should not receive a lodge flap patch, neckerchief, or other OA specialty items, or a membership card from the out-of-council lodge that inducts him. Proof of successful completion of the Ordeal and induction should be given to the new member in the form of a letter from the inducting lodge, with a copy mailed to the registered council lodge of the newly inducted Arrowman.

  4. Upon return to his registered council, the newly inducted Arrowman should present proof of induction to the lodge in that council, pay his dues and the appropriate fees for special items unique to that lodge, and receive a membership card from his registered council lodge.

  5. No Arrowman is authorized to wear the OA flap patch of a lodge he is not member of, even though he may have been inducted into the Order by that lodge.

  6. Any candidate desiring to be called out at a resident camp or other event outside his own council may have his unit leader make the arrangements as described in items 1 and 2 above. The candidate would then be inducted into the Order by his registered council lodge at a later date, unless other arrangements are made in advance to also be inducted out of council as described in items 1 through 4 above. [GOA]

Q: What happens when a youth or adult is inadvertently called-out (without the youth being elected or the adult recommended)?

A: The lodge would hope that this type or mistake never happens, but should it occur the unit must accept the responsibility of notifying the individual and explain to him/her that he/she was called-out in error.

Q: How long do I have to wait before becoming a Brotherhood member of the lodge? 

A: Ten months’ service as an Ordeal member. [GOA]

Q: May I obtain my Brotherhood at another council or with another lodge? 

A: Brotherhood membership can only be conferred by an Arrowman’s home lodge—;the lodge that serves the council in which the Arrowman’s unit is chartered. [GOA]

Q: May my parents watch me do my Ordeal or Brotherhood or Vigil ceremonies? 

A: Parents are discouraged from watching their son undergo an induction ceremony, but they are not specifically banned. Hazing, kneeling, “rough stuff,” and blindfolds are forbidden in all Order of the Arrow ceremonies and activities. The induction ceremony should be among the inductee, ceremonial team and other Order of the Arrow members – it heightens in the inductee a sense of mystery, wonder and awe.

Q: Why can'’t Venturing Units or Explorer Posts conduct elections? 

A: National Order of the Arrow policy states that Venture and Explorer Scouts and their leaders may not be elected or recommended for candidacy in the Order of the Arrow.

Q: If I was an Order of the Arrow member as a youth, can I join the lodge and wear a pocket flap even though I am in Cub Scout Pack (orVenturing Unit or Explorer Post)? 

A: Yes! As long as the pocket flap is from the lodge associated with the council of current registration and lodge dues are paid annually.

Q: May I maintain my Order of the Arrow registration with another lodge?

A: If a Scout/Scouter is registered in two or more councils, the person may be a member of two or more lodges, presuming that the person pays the respective lodge’s annual dues.

Q: May a Scouter who is not registered with a troop be considered as a candidate for Ordeal membership?

A: 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. [GOA]

Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with the 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. [GOA]

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. [GOA]

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

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 Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership. [GOA]

Q: Circumstances have prevented an Ordeal candidate from completing the induction process with one year. Can extensions be granted?

A: After election, a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or adult remains a candidate until completion of the Ordeal and Ordeal ceremony. If this period of candidacy exceeds one year, the candidate’s name is dropped and he no longer is a candidate. To become a candidate again, he must be reelected. The executive committee of the lodge may extend the one-year limit between election and induction if a candidate is ill or there are other unusual circumstances. [GOA]

Wenasa Quenhotan Lodge requires that a candidate submit a letter, which is also signed by the troop/team leader, to the Lodge Secretary requesting an extension explaining the reasons for the request before the end of the one-year candidacy.

Q: May a member of summer camp staff be considered as a candidate for Ordeal membership? 

A: Camp staff members (paid but not considered members of the professional service) shall be elected only by members of their own unit if they are under age 21 and meet the youth membership requirements. Staff members over the age 21 must meet the adult membership requirements and be selected as either unit Scouters or district/council Scouters. [GOA]

Q: May professional staff be considered for candidacy in the Ordeal of the Arrow? 

A: Members of the professional service of the Boy Scouts of America shall be considered ex officio members of the lodge of the council in which they are employed. Members of the professional service designated by the Scout executive to serve in camp positions should be given an opportunity to complete the Ordeal and the Ordeal ceremony if they have not previously been inducted into a lodge of the Order. Members of the professional service whose responsibility in the council would be enhanced may be inducted into the lodge based on the recommendation of the Scout executive and upon completion of the Ordeal experience and ceremony. [GOA]

Q: Why am I no longer getting any mailings from the Lodge? 

A: Either your dues have expired or the Lodge Secretary does not have a correct mailing address. Listing a change of address with the council does not automatically change your address in the Order of the Arrow’s file. You must contact the Lodge Secretary and inform him of the address change.

Q: Where can I obtain information about upcoming Lodge activities? 

A: Current members receive at least four copies of THE ARROW, the lodge’s newsletter, annually. Anyone with access to the Internet can also view upcoming lodge activities at the lodge web site http://wq23.org

1 Guide for Officers and Advisers (1999 edition) [GOA]