Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Order of the Arrow?
The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society. Each local BSA council has their own group of the Order of the Arrow called a lodge. Our lodge is Ofi’ Tohbi (pronounced Oh-Fee Toe-Bee). In 1915, Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson began the Order of the Arrow at Treasure Island Camp to recognize those Scouts and Scouters who best exemplified the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily life – just like you! In 1948, the Order of the Arrow became an official program of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2019, membership in the Order of the Arrow expanded to welcome new members from Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships, both male and female participants alike.
What are the requirements for a youth to become a member of the Order of the Arrow?
Youth candidates for the OA must be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America, under the age of 21, hold the BSA First Class rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, be elected by the youth members of their troop. Youth candidates must also have experienced 15 nights of BSA camping while registered with a troop within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights mst include one long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping.
What are the requirements for an adult to become a member of the Order of the Arrow?
All members who are 21 years of age or older and who are registered members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be considered adult members. Adults may be nominated for membership only one time per year as either unit Scouters or district/council Scouters, but not both. How they are nominated depends on where they maintain their primary registration.
Adult leaders in units: Upon holding a unit election for youth candidates that results in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may nominate registered unit adults for membership in the OA to the Lodge's Adult Selection Committee. The number of adults nominated can be no more than two-thirds of the number of youth candidates elected. The camping requirements set forth for youth members must be fulfilled.
Adult leaders in council and district positions: The Lodge Adviser, District Chairmen, Council President, or members of the professional staff may nominate adults to the Lodge Adult Selection Committee. 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.
What is the cutoff age for youths and adults in Order of the Arrow activities?
Individuals at OA activities fit into one of three categories:
- Those under 18, who are youth for both OA events and BSA policies
- Those 18 to 20, who are youth for OA events but are adults for BSA policies
- Those 21 and older, who are adults for both OA events and BSA policies
How do I change my membership to a new Lodge?
Once a Scout or Scouter goes through their Ordeal, they are a member of the Order of the Arrow for the rest of their life (as long as they are registered with the BSA). As they move to new councils, they need to connect with the local Lodge to continue their active membership.
Do I have to be current on my Lodge dues to wear my Lodge's flap?
Wearing a Lodge flap indicates that your current dues are paid in the specific Lodge that your flap represents. If you have not paid your dues, you should remove the Lodge flap from your uniform.
Why should I wear the new Lodge flap and not one of the Legacy Lodge's flaps?
When should I wear my sash?
The Order of the Arrow sash should be worn when you are doing official OA business or attend an OA ceremony. The OA sash should always be worn over the right shoulder. It is not appropriate to wear your OA sash at the same as your merit badge sash.
Appropriate times to wear the OA sash:
- Unit Elections
- Lodge Events or Meetings
- Chapter Events or Meetings
- Section Conclaves
- OA Training Events such as NLS
Inappropriate times to wear the OA sash:
- Troop Meetings
- Courts of Honor
- Trainings such as NYLT, Wood Badge, IOLS, and BALOO