The Order of the Arrow is a recognized official program
activity of the Boy Scouts of America, intended to recognize those scouts who
best exemplify the scout virtues of cheerful service, camping, and leadership.
The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:
To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath
and Law in their daily lives,
To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit,
To promote Scout camping,
To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose ofleadership in cheerful service to others.
To be inducted into the Order of the Arrow a Scout
Be at least First Class rank,
Have at least 15 nights of camping, including a 6-day long-term
Be elected by his Boy Scout troop or Varsity unit,
Participate in the "Ordeal" and induction ceremony.
Order of the Arrow (OA) was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll
A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia
Council, Boy Scouts of America.
devised a program where
troops would choose, at the conclusion of camp, those boys from among
their number best exemplifying the traits embodied in the Scout Oath and
Law, who would be honored as members of an Indian "lodge", the "Order of
the Arrow". Those elected would be acknowledged as having displayed, in
the eyes of their fellow scouts, a spirit of unselfish service and
brotherhood. These rites make a lasting impression on scouts who have
been elected to the "Order of the Arrow".
It became an official program experiment
in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934.
In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA's national brotherhood of honor
campers, became an official part of the national camping program of the
Boy Scouts of America.
"The Order is a thing of the spirit rather than of mechanics,
organization, operational procedures, and all that go with them are
necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what
counts in the end. The things of spirit are what count:
Brotherhood - in a day when there is too much hatred at home and
Cheerfulness- in a day when the pessimists have the floor and cynics
Service - in a day when million are interested in getting or
grasping, rather than giving."
OA Web Site
For more information on the Order of the Arrow, please visit the
National web site: