What is the Order of the Arrow?

The Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting's National Honor Society.  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 of leadership in cheerful service to others


When was the OA founded?

Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Caroll A. Edson founded the OA during the summer of 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council.  It wasn't until 1934 that the OA was approved as a part of the Boy Scouting Program.  Fourteen years later, in 1948, the Boy Scouts of America's National Brotherhood of Honor Campers, became an official part of the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America.  Currently, the Order of the Arrow boasts 176,000 members organized in lodges associated in approximately 327 BSA local councils.


How do you join the OA?

Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow unit members, following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity team Coach.  To become an OA member, a youth must be a registered member of a Boy Scout Troop or Varsity Scout Team and hold the First Class rank or higher.  The Scout 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 Scout Leaders must be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities, and provide a positive role model for the youth members of the OA Lodge.

What does the OA teach?

The Order of the Arrow strives to teach leadership traits scout can bring back to serve their unit.  While an arrowman's first duty is to his Scout unit, the OA offers some additional leadership roles.  It is the responsibility of these youth to explain these situations to their units, and to share their Chapter, Lodge, and or Section schedule.  With that in mind Lodge events are designed to supplement not replace troop activities. 

Does the Atlanta Area Council have a Lodge?

The Atlanta Area Council Lodge, Egwa Tawa Dee has been part of the Council's camping program since the 1930s.  Thousands of Scout and Leaders have been members of the Atlanta OA Lodge.  To learn about the Lodge history, its leadership, and its service to the Council, please visit the Lodge's website at www.aacegwa.org.


© 2016 by Southwest Atlanta District Scouting.  Website design by A.W.Mumford

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