Each local Boy Scout council is encouraged to have an Order of the Arrow lodge. Each lodge is granted a charter from the National Council, BSA, upon annual application. 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.
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. A section is lead by three youth officers, the Section Chief, Section Vice-Chief, and Section Secretary, who are advised by an adult Section Adviser and professional Section Staff Adviser. All of the elected section chiefs are invited 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.
The region chief is the youth leader of the region elected by the section chiefs in his region. This election is held in conjunction with called meetings of the section chiefs to elect the national chief and vice-chief, as well as to plan a national Order of the Arrow event. The region Order of the Arrow chairman is an adult appointed by the region director. The professional adviser for the region is a staff member assigned to the position by the region director.
The national chief and vice-chief are Arrowmen elected by the section chiefs during the annual national planning meeting. They serve as members of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, providing the opinion of youth on national OA policy. They also serve as the presiding officers for the national OA event. Their term of office is specified by the national committee, and is currently one year. They are advised in their responsibilities by the national committee chairman and national director of the Order of the Arrow. The national OA committee chairman is appointed by the chairman of the national Boy Scout Committee. The professional adviser is the national director of the Order of the Arrow, a member of the national Boy Scout Division staff.