Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow unit members, following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity team Coach. To become a member, a youth must be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team and hold First Class rank. The youth 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.

 Adult selection is based on their ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and is not for recognition. Selected adult Scouters must be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities, and provide a positive role model for the youth members of the lodge.

Induction

The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership. During the experience, candidates maintain silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and are required to sleep alone, apart from other campers. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values.

Brotherhood 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.

Vigil Honor

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.

Brotherhood Conversion

Your completion of the Ordeal sets you on the start of an exciting adventure. After at least 10 months of active service you will be eligible to seal your membership in the Brotherhood ceremony.

The Ordeal had introduced you to the mysteries of the Order. Now, during your service as an Ordeal member, you have ample opportunity to increase your knowledge of the Arrow and to make it work for you.

This page provides all the basic information you will need during this important time. Your brothers in the Order stand ready to help also, and you should take advantage of their support whenever possible. More detailed information may be found at the Jumpstart web site.

The Challenges of Brotherhood Membership

You must meet five challenges before you can enter the Circle of the Brotherhood. The first of these you should meet now. The next three require steady effort over a period of months. The last challenge you must meet after you are satisfied that you are meeting the first four.

  1. Memorize the signs of Order of the Arrow membership. Memorize the Obligation of the Order, which you received from Allowat Sakima (printed on the back of your membership card and in your handbook). Also, memorize the Order of the Arrow Official Song, the Admonition, the sign of Ordeal membership, and the Arrow handclasp.
  2. Advance in your understanding of the Ordeal. Gain a through understanding of the Ordeal through which you have passed.
  3. Serve your unit. Retain your registration in Scouting. During a period of at least 10 months, strive to fulfill your Obligation by continuing and expanding your service to your own troop or team.
  4. Plan for service in your lodge. Retain your registration in your Order of the Arrow lodge and keep your dues paid. Be aware that acceptance of Brotherhood membership involves a pledge of service to the lodge. Develop a concrete idea of how you plan to fulfill this pledge.
  5. Review your progress. When you earnestly feel that you have met the four challenges above, write a letter to your lodge secretary. In this letter:
    • Explain what you think the Obligation means
    • Describe how you have been fulfilling this Obligation in your troop or team and in your daily life, and how you have used your understanding of the Ordeal to aid in this service.
    • Describe your specific plans for giving service in the lodge program.
    • Include with this letter your advance registration application and fees for the next Brotherhood ceremony according to the instructions given by the lodge

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