National Policy on Unit Elections Membership Requirements
Unit leader approval. To become eligible for election, a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of his unit leader prior to the election. The unit leader must certify his Scout spirit (i.e., his adherence to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activities). The unit leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election.
Youth membership qualifications. All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Order of the Arrow who are under 21 years of age shall be youth members or candidates for youth membership, subject to meeting the following requirements:
- Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Hold the First Class rank of the Boy Scouts of America, as a minimum
- After registration with a troop or team, have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The 15 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.
Candidates for youth membership shall be elected by other youth members in accordance with policies set forth by the national Order of the Arrow committee. Election of any person under 21 years of age as a candidate for membership shall be based on fulfillment of the youth membership requirements.
Scouts with disabilities. The Order of the Arrow recognizes Scouting for youth with disabilities, and elections should be held in these units. Any Arrowman with disabilities who is classified as a youth member of the unit shall be considered a youth (voting) member of the Order of the Arrow regardless of age. Scouts with disabilities must meet all other membership requirements.
When inducting a Scout with a disability, as with any candidate, lodges should make the activities challenging within the individual’s limitations and plan accordingly. Accessibility to ceremonial circles, sleeping sites, and appropriate work projects should be taken into consideration to assure a meaningful induction for the Scout.
Adult membership qualifications. All members of or candidates for membership in the Order of the Arrow who are 21 years of age or older and who are registered members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be considered adult members or candidates for adult membership.
Individuals shall be selected as candidates based on the following:
1. Adult leaders in units:
Each year, upon holding a troop or team election for youth
candidates that results in at least one youth candidate being
elected, the unit committee may nominate adults to the lodge adult
selection committee. 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. Recommendations of the adult selection committee,
which consists of the lodge adviser, the chairman of the council
committee on which the lodge adviser serves, and the lodge staff
adviser, with the approval of the Scout executive, serving as
Supreme Chief of the Fire, will be candidates for induction,
provided the following conditions are fulfilled:
- Selection of the adult is based on the
ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order
fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service,
including current or prior achievement and positions.
- The individual will be an asset to the
Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose
of the Order.
- The camping requirements set forth for
youth members are fulfilled.
- The adult leader’s membership will provide a
positive example for the growth and development of the youth
members of the lodge.
2. Adult leaders in council and district positions:
The lodge adviser, district chairmen, council president, or members
of the professional staff may nominate adults to the lodge adult
selection committee. All requirements set forth for adult leaders in
units must be fulfilled, with the exception of the camping
requirements, which may be waived at the discretion of the lodge
adviser and Scout executive. Recommendations of the adult selection
committee, with the approval of the Scout executive, serving as
Supreme Chief of the Fire, will become candidates for induction.
Adults may be nominated for
membership only one time per year as either unit Scouters or
district/council Scouters, but not both. How they are nominated
depends on where they maintain their primary registration.
Because the Order of the Arrow is
principally a youth organization, unit, district, and council
Scouters are not selected for membership as a recognition. Selection
should take place only when the adult’s position in Boy Scouting or
Varsity Scouting will make Order of the Arrow membership more
meaningful in the lives of the youth membership.
Members of the professional service of the Boy Scouts of America
shall be considered ex officio members of the lodge of the council
in which they are employed. Members of the professional service
designated by the Scout executive to serve in camp positions should
be given an opportunity to complete the Ordeal and the Ordeal
ceremony if they have not previously been inducted into a lodge of
the Order. Members of the professional service whose responsibility
in the council would be enhanced may be inducted into the lodge
based on the recommendation of the Scout executive and upon
completion of the Ordeal experience and ceremony.
Camp staff members (paid but not
considered members of the professional service) shall be elected
only by members of their own unit if they are under age 21 and meet
the youth membership requirements. Staff members over age 21 must
meet the adult membership requirements and be selected as either
unit Scouters or district/council Scouters.
Honorary membership. Honorary membership in the Order of the Arrow is not authorized and shall not be given. Membership in the Order shall be gained only through fulfillment of membership requirements as stated in the official literature of the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America.
Visiting Scouts or leaders cannot be given honorary membership in the Order.
Life membership. A life membership in the Order of the Arrow is not authorized and shall not be recognized. Membership in the Order of the Arrow requires current registration with the Boy Scouts of America. There is no official or authorized life membership registration status for the Order of the Arrow in the Boy Scouts of America.
The election process is defined in
the Guide for Officers and Advisers starting on page 22: