Order of the Arrow Unit Elections
The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society. Membership in the Order of the Arrow is (for youth members) determined through a Unit Election. Held once a year, the youth in a unit elect the Scouts whom they feel best demonstrates Scouting ideals (Scout Oath, Scout Law) to become members of the Order.
Unit elections can be complex and are often misunderstood. The process has changed several times over the almost 100 years of Order of the Arrow history. The basic concept has remained the same however – membership is determined by both existing members and non members.
Pa-Hin Lodge typically holds unit elections from December 1st – April 1st. This is subject to change and is set yearly by the Lodge Executive Committee.
Each chapter in the lodge (Pa-Hin Chapters correspond to the Districts of the Northern Lights Council) has the responsibility for training, running, and administrating the unit election process.
Order of the Arrow is a little different from a Boy Scout Troop. Youth membership is defined as being under 21 years of age (rather then 18). This means that older Scouts in the 18, 19, and 20 year old range (sometimes called Youth+) can fully participate in Order of the Arrow programs and serve as officers. So called Youth+ members are still subject to the same Youth Protection rules that exist for other Scouting programs.
Youth (under 21) Election Requirements:
Election requirements and procedures are detailed in the Guide for Officers and Advisers, available for download (click here to download) from the National Order of the Arrow Website. Requirements are detailed on pages 20 – 21. Election procedures are documented on pages 22 – 27.
Here is a summary of the current candidate requirements:
- Registered Member – The candidate must be a registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout with the Boy Scouts of America
- Unit Leader Approval – The candidate must have the approval of the unit leader (Scoutmaster) BEFORE the election. Once the unit leader certifies a candidate and the election is held, the unit leader cannot revoke the candidate’s status.
- First Class – The candidate must hold the rank of at least First Class (at time of election).
- Camping Requirements:
- 15 Days and Nights of Boy Scout Camping – Within a two year period prior to the election the candidate must have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping
- Long Term Camping – The 15 days and nights of camping must include one, but no more then one, long term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights at an approved Boy Scout camping facility. (Usually this means going to Boy Scout Summer Camp – i.e. Camp Wilderness or another council camp).
Requirements for adult membership are similar to youth requirements. Adults must be registered members of the Boy Scouts of America and must meet the same camping requirements. There is no rank requirement or unit leader approval as the troop committee makes the nomination.
Please note that adults are nominated and that nomination is subject to the final approval of the Lodge Adult Selection Committee and the final approval of the council’s Scout Executive.