The Mission and Purpose of the Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow was founded in 1915 to serve a useful purpose: to cause the Scout Oath and Law to spring into action in all parts of the nation. To this day, the Order is dedicated to this high purpose.
The mission of the Order of the Arrow is to fulfill its purpose as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.
As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:
- Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
- Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
- Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
- Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
History of the Order
The Order of the Arrow has a rich history spanning 100 years, from its beginnings at a Boy Scout summer camp to its present role as a part of the Scouting program. It started as a way to honor Scouts who had demonstrated camping excellence, and was incorporated as a formal organization within Scouts BSA in 1948. Piedmont’s Lodge, Hungteetsepoppi Lodge, was founded in 1951 at Camp Wallace Alexander. The Lodge today gives Scouts additional opportunities for leadership roles and community service.
Membership Requirements and the Inductions Process
Scouts are elected by their fellow Scouts in their Troops, Venture Crews, Ships or Posts. The requirements for eligibility are:
- Be a registered member of the Scouts BSA.
- Have experienced 15 nights of Scout camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship 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 hold one of the following ranks corresponding to the type unit in which they are being considered for election: Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery rank, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper, 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.