Order of the Arrow
National Brotherhood of Honor Campers
The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:
To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily lives
To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit
To promote Scout camping
To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others
The Order of the Arrow (OA) was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934.
In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA's national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America.
The OA has more than 176,000 members located in lodges affiliated with approximately 327 BSA local councils.
After registration with a troop, a Scout must have experienced fifteen days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The fifteen days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.
Ordeal Honor (Induction)
The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is conducted at Scout camp and is the first step toward full membership.
After 10 months of service and fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the OA.
After two years of service as a Brotherhood member, and with the approval of the National Order of the Arrow Committee, a Scout may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for outstanding service to Scouting, his lodge, and the community. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.
Each Order of the Arrow chapter is is a sub-unit of a lodge, serving a specific geographic portion of the area served by the lodge. The OA chapter helps the local district provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, development of youth leadership and service, promotion of Scout camping and outdoor programs, and enhancement of membership tenure, as an extension of the lodge. The Catawba Lodge consists of 3 Chapters, Sehwatu, Apache, and Etowah. Our Chapter is the Sehwatu Chapter!
Each Order of the Arrow lodge is granted a charter from the National Council, BSA, upon annual application by the local council. The OA lodge helps the local council provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, development of youth leadership and service, promotion of Scout camping and outdoor programs, and enhancement of membership tenure. We are members of the Catawba Lodge.
An Order of the Arrow section consists of lodges within a geographic area of the region. Once every year, representatives of lodges in the section come together for a conclave to share in fellowship, skills, and training. All of the elected section chiefs form the conference committee for a national Order of the Arrow event, which is held under the guidance of the national Order of the Arrow Committee. We are members of the SR-5 Section.