Your son or daughter has been chosen to join Scouting’s National Honor Society – the Order of the Arrow. Their fellow Scouts from their unit have chosen them for this great honor, and you should be proud of their election. They will need your support as they begin their journey in the Order of the Arrow and serve Scouting in a whole new way. As a parent, we are sure that you have many questions about the Order of the Arrow, and what this means for your Scout. Hopefully, this page answers them all for you, and helps you understand the opportunities that await your son or daughter on their journey.
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. 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.
How will the Order of the Arrow help my son or daughter?
Beyond recognizing your Scout exemplifying the Scout Oath and Scout Law, the Order of the Arrow also has the purpose of promoting outdoor adventure, developing leaders of character, and serving others throughout Scouting. Each of these ideas is further instilled at lodge activities that your son and daughter can participate in throughout the year, including service and fellowship weekends, and leadership training. The Order of the Arrow will also give them the opportunity to interact with Scouts from other troops, districts, councils, and even across the country, sharing ideas and learning from each other. Check out the New Members Page or the Lodge Calendar for information about the next exciting event they can be a part of.
When can my son or daughter complete their Ordeal?
Election is only the first step in the membership journey of the Order of the Arrow. Next, elected candidates must complete their Ordeal to become a full member in the Order of the Arrow. From the time of their election, your son or daughter has one year to complete their Ordeal. There are multiple opportunities offered throughout the year for your Scout to complete their Ordeal.
Click here to view the Lodge Calendar.
Why is the Ordeal such a big secret?
The Order of the Arrow does not intend to keep any information from its newly elected candidates or their parents. However, any secrecy around the Ordeal is meant for a single purpose: the Experience. Revealing too much information before the Ordeal would hurt the full experience of the membership journey. The Ordeal is meant to be a chance for your son or daughter to reflect on Scouting and grow in their service to others. If there are any questions or concerns regarding the nature of the Ordeal, you can reach out to the Lodge Adviser to alleviate any issues you may have.
Can adults join the Order of the Arrow, too?
The Order of the Arrow is youth led, but these youth need guidance from capable adults. An adult currently registered in Scouting on the unit, district, or council level can join Unami Lodge, One. Adults in troops, crews, and ships are nominated by the unit committee chair, and adults on the district or council level can be nominated by the lodge adviser, district chair, council president, or member of the professional staff. All candidates for adult membership must be approved by the Scout Executive. When considered an adult for nomination, keep in mind that the nomination for membership should not be viewed as a recognition for an adult’s service, but also how he or she can help the lodge and its youth leaders meet the purpose and goals of the Order.
I was an OA member when I was a Scout. Can I participate again?
ABSOLUTELY! It may take some time to verify your past membership, but you can register and become an active dues paying member of the lodge with your son or daughter. All members must have a current BSA registration within the Natchez Trace Council to be a member.
If you have any other questions or if you would like to confirm eligibility, please contact Vance Perkins (Lodge Adviser) at (662) 231-3229.