Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Order of the Arrow? The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society. Sometimes referred to as the OA, the Order recognize those Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily life.

What’s a lodge? Each local BSA council has their own group of the Order of the Arrow called a lodge. Our lodge, Unami Lodge, One is the first lodge founded. 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. Similarly, our lodge has a chapter representing each district in the Cradle of Liberty Council. The chapter takes the same name as the district.

Who runs the lodge & chapters? Unami Lodge, One is run by the Lodge Executive Committee, which is composed of lodge officers, chapter officers, and lodge operating committee chairs. The five officers of Unami are the Lodge Chief, the First Vice Chief, the Second Vice Chief, the Lodge Secretary, and the Lodge Treasurer. Lodge officers and chapter officers are elected for a term of one year, and operating committee chairs are appointed to the committee for the term of one year. The lodge officers, chapter chiefs, and operating committee chairs comprise the voting membership of the executive committee. All voting members are youth members, meaning they are under the age of 21.

These youth leaders are guided by a lodge adviser who is appointed by the Scout Executive. He or she then appoints associate lodge advisers, chapter advisers, and operating committee advisers to assist in this mentorship. The Scout Executive also assigns a member professional staff to serve as the lodge staff adviser. Although members of the Executive Committee, none of the adult advisers are voting members.

When does the Lodge Executive Committee meet? The Lodge Executive Committee meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Firestone Service Center in Wayne, PA. Meetings begin at 7:00 pm. All OA members are welcome to attend. While the meeting is open to all members, only those members of the executive committee may vote.

How does someone become a member of the Order of the Arrow? The OA has different procedures for youth and adults becoming members. Youth members (under the age of 21) are elected by the other youth members of their troop, crew, or ship at an election conducted by the lodge. At least 50% of the registered youth members of the unit must be present for an election to be held. The OA is unique in this respect because candidates are elected by OA members and non-OA members alike. Adult members (over the age of 21) are nominated by the unit committee and the nomination is forwarded to lodge adviser for consideration.

What are the requirements for becoming a member of the Order of the Arrow? To be considered for election, a youth must be a registered member of a troop, crew, or ship. Scouts BSA members must have achieved the rank of First Class, Venturers must have been recognized with the Discovery Award, and Sea Scouts must have reached the Ordinary rank. Each candidate must have unit leader approval and have a minimum of 15 days and nights of Scouting camping under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, including one long term camping experience within the two years prior to the election. With the exception of the rank requirement, and adult nominee must meet the same camping and membership requirements.

How many elections can my unit have per year? Each unit is entitled to one election each year. The lodge calendar runs from January 1st through December 31st, and each troop, crew, or ship may have only one election during that time period.

How do I arrange a unit election? Each year, the chapter election teams will start contacting each unit leader in their district to set up an election. If your unit is not contacted about scheduling an election, you are encouraged to contact your chapter adviser of the lodge adviser to schedule one immediately.

How do I nominate an adult for membership? Adult nomination forms are available from the election team or your chapter adviser. The form must be filled out accurately and completely, and be signed by the unit committee chair. Completed forms should be submitted to the chapter adviser, who will forward it on to the lodge adviser for consideration. If your unit does not have a youth election, an adult nomination form can not be submitted.

How many adults may my unit nominate? 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 currently serving unit leader (but not assistant leaders), as long as he or she has served as unit leader for at least the previous twelve months.

Once elected, am I member? Election into the Order of the Arrow is only the first step in your membership journey. Once elected, you must complete your Ordeal to be considered a full member of the OA. For more information regarding the Ordeal and other information for elected candidates, check out the Elected Candidates page (link).

What lodge activities can I participate in? The lodge holds numerous activities throughout the year. Service and fellowship weekends are held every April, May, and October are our council camps – Musser Scout Reservation or Resica Falls Scout Reservation. The annual lodge dinner is held every January, and the Community Service Day is held in March. Check out the Lodge Calendar page (link) for more details and sign-up information.

My unit is going out of council for summer camp this year. Can I take my Ordeal there? No. The Ordeal must be completed within the lodge in which you were elected. However, the Lodge does run a provisional Ordeal program over the summer at Resica Falls Scout Reservation. For more information regarding the provisional Ordeal program, check out the Elected Candidates page (link).

An election was held at our unit, but the results were not announced: what happens next? You will be notified in the mail by the lodge within one month of the election confirming your selection for membership in the Order of the Arrow.

Are there yearly dues for the Order of the Arrow? In order to be considered a member in good standing, members of Unami Lodge, One must pay their lodge dues annually. Yearly dues help support the lodge operating budget, give each member the right to wear a lodge flap, and allow you the ability to participate in lodge activies. If paid before February 1st of each lodge year, dues will be a discounted rate of $15.00. Dues paid on or after February 1st will be $20.00. Check out Pay My Dues (link) for more information and to pay your 2019 lodge dues.

Once I pay my dues, will I get a membership card? A membership card will be mailed to you once your payment is received and your record is updated. This may take up to 2-6 weeks for you to receive your card.

I am moving out of the Council, is my OA membership transferable? Your membership is absolutely transferable to another lodge. Once you’re settled in and registered in your new council, have their lodge contact us for your membership record. Once you’re registered in your new lodge and council, you can no longer remain a member of Unami as you can only belong to one lodge at a time – per National policy.

Do I have to be registered in the BSA to be member of the lodge? YES. You must be registered as a unit, district, or council level Scout or Scouter to be considered an active member of the lodge and participate in lodge events, in addition to having your dues paid. All members 18 years of age and older must also have a valid Youth Protection training certificate.

Where can I purchase lodge flaps and other OA related supplies? Lodge flaps, OA sashes, and lodge merchandise can be purchased at each Executive Committee meeting, at all lodge functions, and at our council camps. Lodge flaps are also available in the lobby of the Firestone Service Center in Wayne, PA. General OA supplies are available in the local Scout Shop, but Unami-specific materials are not. Some lodge properties are also available at our online lodge trading post here (link). Where do I get more information? Explore the remainder of the lodge website for information regarding news updates, events, history, membership, and more. If you want to know more information about a specific topic or you have a specific question, please Contact Us (link) and one of our operating committees or lodge officers will be happy to help you.