Membership is both a privilege and responsibility. Tamegonit Lodge encourages Scouts BSA Troops and Venturing Crews in the Heart of America Council to hold an annual election to recognize those scouts that are deserving of membership to the Order of the Arrow. A successful Unit Election is the first step to attaining membership in OA.
Don’t postpone your unit elections… and you can still go virtual, if needed, with them!
How to Schedule an Election
Meet with your Chapter Chief and Advisor during your district roundtable/chapter meeting
Send an email to both your Chapter Chief and Advisor. A list of chapter leadership can be found at tamegonit.net/chapters
Make sure to include Unit Information and available dates
The Tamegonit Lodge Chapters align with the District names.
If you already know your District, go here to find your Chapter leadership
If you don’t know what District you are in, look at this map for Chapter/District Boundaries
For any additional questions contact the Vice Chief of Chapters and Advisor
- 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 nights of Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of five consecutive 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.
- 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.
- 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 Staff Adviser and Scout Executive. A request for waiver of the camping requirement should be sent to the Lodge Staff Adviser. 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 Council/District 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.
Units are encouraged to conduct their Unit Elections between January 1 and March 31 of of the calendar year. This, however, is not required. You may conduct your unit election at any point in the year.
Unit Elections should be scheduled through your Chapter Chief and/or Chapter Elections Team. Conducting your election before April 1 allows your units to be able to register for any of the year’s Induction Events.
As soon as the election is completed, the Unit Leader may or may not choose to announce to the entire unit the names of members who have been elected.
Newly elected candidates will be called out at the earliest possible time, either at a resident camp, a camporee, or a special ceremony. The Guide to Inductions, which is available for download and printing at www.oa-bsa.org, contains information on how to conduct a call-out ceremony. Call-outs should be conducted by Tamegonit Lodge or one of its Chapters in which the Troop or Team is chartered. This is the preferred method of call-out.
It is recognized that there is some value in holding a call-out at a summer camp. A lodge may not call out candidates from a visiting out-of-council troop or team unless the unit leader presents a letter from the home Lodge Chief and Lodge Adviser, requesting the call-out and identifying the members to be called out. A signed copy of the home lodge’s unit election report must accompany this letter. The home Lodge Chief and Lodge Adviser must receive confirmation of the call-out following the event.
People eligible to vote in an Order of the Arrow Election
To become a member of the Order of the Arrow, a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout is chosen by vote of the youths in his unit. This is a unique feature of the Order, since the majority of those who select their candidates for this honor are not members of the Lodge. However, Lodge members in the unit have a vote as well as nonmembers. In this way, membership is controlled by the youths in their own units and not by those who are already Arrowmen. It is important that the members of the unit have the membership requirements properly explained to them.
In Scouts BSA Troops and Varsity Scout Teams, every registered active member of the unit under age 21 at the time of election is eligible to vote. A Boy Scout or Varsity Scout who carries a current national membership card and participates in at least some unit activities during the year is considered to be a registered active member of the unit. For example, a youth away at college who participates in some unit activities when home, such as a campout, camporee, or occasional unit meeting, should be considered a registered active member. A youth who moves away or drops out of the unit because of other interests would not be counted in the registered active membership figure.
All elections must be conducted by the Order of the Arrow lodge of the council in which the unit is chartered. No unit may visit outside its own council and hold an OA election under the auspices of an OA lodge of another council. Elections are held only in Troops or Teams. There will be no exceptions to this policy.
Scouts, Varsity Scouts, or adults remain candidates until completion of the Ordeal and Ordeal ceremony. If this period of candidacy exceeds one year, the candidate’s name will be dropped. To become candidates again, they must be elected/selected again. The Executive Committee of the Lodge may extend the one-year limit if a candidate is ill or there are other unusual circumstances.
If a candidate permanently relocates to a new Boy Scout Council prior to completing the Ordeal, the candidate should immediately join a Troop or Team in the new Council. A copy of the election report must be presented to the new Unit Leader to arrange induction in the new Lodge. The candidacy period is not restarted or extended.
Ordeal Candidates: Candidates for membership in the Order must complete the Ordeal and must be inducted into the Order by the lodge that serves the council in which the unit is chartered. Out-of-council Ordeals are not permitted except when religious custom and observance precludes attendance at the Ordeals of a Scout’s home lodge (e.g., Sabbath-observant Jewish Scouts). In this special case, the region Order of the Arrow chairman may be petitioned for an exception to permit the Scout to be inducted by another lodge.
Sealing your Brotherhood
From the inception of the Order of the Arrow in 1915, it was intended that all members should be of the same rank or standing. Brotherhood membership does not carry with it any degree of rank, status, or special privilege within the Lodge. It is not to be thought of as a separate honor in the same sense as the Vigil Honor. Except for making the necessary arrangements for Brotherhood ceremonies, it is not necessary for Brotherhood members to meet as a separate group. Social and service activities are not held for Brotherhood members apart from other members of the Lodge.
The Brotherhood is an opportunity for members to evaluate their unit service since their induction, to contemplate their future service to the lodge, and to reaffirm their belief in the high purposes of the Order. The ceremony is intended as a source of inspiration, motivating its members to render even greater service to Scouting. Brotherhood membership can only be conferred by an Arrowman’s home lodge – the lodge that serves the council in which the Arrowman’s unit is chartered.