Why Your Troop Needs Order of the Arrow Members.
Are your older boys losing interest in your Troop? Is their enthusiasm waning ? As Scouts grow older, their responsibility within the unit will and should lessen to open leadership positions for younger boys. The Order of the Arrow provides new challenges and opportunities to keep your older boys actively involved in Scouting and rekindle their participation in your unit's activities.
An OA member's first responsibility is to his unit. Since the OA member dedicates himself to cheerful service, his unit can call on him any time to help, whether it is teaching a class, helping a new boy set up his tent on a camp-out, selling an extra case of candy for the troop fund raining driver, or running a Court of Honor or Campfire. An Arrowman is always willing and ready to bring back to his unit the management skills he is developing in the Order.
What is the Order of the Arrow?
The Order of the Arrow is a national Brotherhood of honor campers, pledged to a lifetime of cheerful service. This organization of Scouts and Scouters functions as part of the regular camping program of the Boy Scouts of America and its local Councils.
The Order's primary purpose is to promote and enrich Scout camping and outdoor activities, in particular:
1. To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.
2. To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit.
3. To promote Scout camping.
4. To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
The Order of the Arrow Members in the Keystone Area Council are organized in Susquehannock Lodge XI. Susquehannock Lodge XI was originally chartered in 1922, as the eleventh lodge in the nation. The Lodge has two chapters East Shore (Blue Mt. and Union Canal Districts) and West Shore (Kittatinny, Adventure, and Frontier Districts).
Elements of Indian Traditions, such as dance, costumes, language and legend, are used in the Order of the Arrow ceremonies for dramatic effect and to highlight the continued relevance of ancient ideals of service and sacrifice. However, a youth does not need Indian attire or skill to be a valuable member of the Order of the Arrow. An element of mystery intensifies the importance of the commitment required of a candidate seeking to undertake the Ordeal and become a Member.
One becomes an OA Member not so much for what he had done, but for what he is expected to do within this Brotherhood of Cheerful Service.
While an Arrowman's primary responsibility is to his Troop, members enjoy and are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of Lodge and Chapter activities and service projects. These include ceremonial inductions, Indian dance, business meetings in which only Youth Members (Scouts under 21) may vote, and periodic fellowship dinners, camp-outs and reunions.
How Your Scouts and Leaders Can Become OA Members:
The candidates for youth membership are elected by other members in accordance with policies set forth by the national committee of the Order of the Arrow. Election of any person under 21 years of age as a candidate for membership shall be based on fulfillment of youth membership requirements.
Youth membership qualification:
1. Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
2. Hold the First Class rank as a minimum.
3. After registration with a troop or team, have experienced fifteen days and nights of camping during the two year period prior to the election. The fifteen days and nights must include six consecutive days and 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.
Each year the unit committee of a unit holding a youth election, may recommend one adult to the lodge adult selection committee. With the recommendation of the selections committee and approval of the Scout executive, an adult will become a candidate for induction, provided the adult membership qualifications are fulfilled.
Adult membership qualifications:
1. Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary function to help the Order fulfill its purposes, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and position.
2. The individual will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the order.
3. The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.
4. The adult leader's membership will provide a positive role model for the growth and development of the youth member of the lodge.
Annual Unit Election of Scout Candidates:
The Order of the Arrow is unusual, in that new members are not selected by existing Members, but primarily by Scouts who are not members. Eligible Scouts are elected by the Scouts (under age 21) of the unit, at an annual election supervised by an OA election team.
An election cannot be held unless at least one-half of the registered active unit membership is present. The OA election team will visit your unit at a regular meeting place, by prior arrangement with the election team captain.
The OA election team will explain the voting procedures to your unit. In general, however, each Scout is entitled to vote for any or all of the Scouts on the ballot. To be elected, a candidate must receive votes from a majority of the Scouts present and voting.
Ordeal Required for Membership:
Those Scouts who are elected are candidates and become Members of he Order of the Arrow only if they undertake the Ordeal within one year from election. The Susquehannock Lodge XI conducts two Ordeals per year at Hidden Valley -- one in early June, and one in late August. Candidates must send a registration form to the Keystone Area Council to register for the Spring or Fall Ordeal Weekend.