Skip to Main Content

Order of the Arrow

About the Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting’s national camping honor society. It recognizes Scouts and Scouters (adults) who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well.

Members of the Order of the Arrow are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long-term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting impact to youth.

Scouts are elected to the Order by their peers in Scouts BSA Troops, Venturing Crews, or Sea Scouting Ships. To be eligible for election, a Scout must:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Have experienced 15 nights of 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. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts. (Note: the OA has made a temporary change to these rules due to Covid-19. See this page on the OA national website.)
  • At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, hold the Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery Award, 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.

Our council’s Order of the Arrow Lodge is Tonkawa Lodge, one of the best in the country. You can learn more about their activities by visiting their website, www.tonkawa99.org.