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The order of the arrow is an honorary organization. You are elected by your fellow scouts you notice your devotion to service to others before self. It is a service organization that provides much monetary support and volunteer work for the local councils and the US Forest Service amoung others. It is an honor to serve in that organization. If you are not an individual dedicated to service to others before self, then the principles of the order will mean nothing to you.

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There's a specialized forum devoted to the Order of the Arrow. Scroll down, it's below Issues and Politics.


Are you an adult or youth member? How we answer depends on that question. If an adult, what is your position? Helps us focus the answer.

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We are in the same council. I live in your district, but scout in a different district. Our Lodge's website is http://www.manu133.org. You will find contacts there for the Sooner District's OA Chapter Adviser as well as the Lodge Adviser. They would be happy to answer any questions you have as would I as an active Arrowman.

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Adding to what jr56 said.


The OA started as the Honor Camper Society. It recognizes those campers who best exhibilifies the principles of scouting. Unlike most honor groups, NON-MEMBERS are the ones who elect/select the members.


Today, the OA is Scouting's Honor Society. Its a service organization devoted to the concept of servant leadership. The OA does service in the local councils (usually a LOT of stuff at the local camps) and now in the local community. A couple of years ago it did a major national project with the US Forest Service. The OA fields service groups at the National Jamboree, and many times will do the same sort of thing for local camporees.


The OA also has a lot of great leadership development programs beyond the standard TLT/NYLT/NAYLE.


Benefit? There are many. For the councils they get a group of youth and adults who do service within the council and to the camp. For the youth they get a chance to work with other scouts from within their program, and get a chance to lead their fellow scouts at the council, section, region and national levels. They get to do service beyond their troops, further leadership training, and more. For adults, they get to work with other adults and youth in a different many then in a troop.


This can be very confusing, which is why we recommended you chat with local arrowmen in person.


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John Yes there is a OA forum. But it is closed to all non OA members.


So nonmembers Elect the Scout/Scouter to be recruited as a AO Hopefull.


I was wondering how they(the OA) selected the quality of their members?


I'm not wanting to start a mud slinging debate, but I feel it "MIGHT" not be all worth while for the candidates.



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It is what it is. like all things in scouting, if you want to have fun and a worthwhile experience, then it will be. If you want to see good youth leadership, either as a new adult or as a youth, then watch the OA. Personally, the OA was and is one of the best things that has happened in my scouting experience.

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If thats the case... Shouldn't we be doing that at the troop level?


I rather chat with you guys on a open forum than talk to a guy thats trying to sell me a load of goods.


So thank you for your candid responses and patients.



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"So nonmembers Elect the Scout/Scouter to be recruited as a AO Hopefull.

I was wondering how they(the OA) selected the quality of their members? "


The OA does not select the members. Non-members elect new OA members.


Again, speak with local arrowmen. Are there no arrowmen in your unit?


Sounds to me like you have a LOT of misconceptions/preconceived notions. And you don't seem too willing to set them aside and learn what the OA is really about. The OA has been around since 1915. If it wasn't a good program, it wouldn't still exist.



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There are OA members in my unit... maybe thats why I'm questioning the process.


I have met OA members that are great people and enjoy the OA.


Butt some of my questions might be best kept to myself.


Thanks again you guys, I have had quite a few questions answered in this little thread.



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If you read thru the National OA site as you said, then you should hve found OA's "real purpose".



As Scoutings National Honor Society, our purpose is to:

Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that

recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.

Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential

components of every Scouts experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.

Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their

units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.

Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to



I think that states it rather well.


If you looked thru the OA site then you should have also noticed that adults are NOT elected into OA. Adults are nominated to the council/lodge based on what they can do FOR the Lodge and the boys in it.


>>"Whats the benefit?"

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well I did over look this public part of this section...


I'm content with the information I received, are you not? maybe your the one not so CHEERFUL. Honestly tell me how you feel...

Defensive? Inquisitive? Caviler?...


I'll choose my battles and thats not what I came here for.


Thanks again everyone




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Youve already been explained the basic purposes and programs of the OA.


A few comments to add.


The OA Lodge invites all nominated candidates to the OA Ordeal. The candidates are not "hand selected by the Lodge-Chapter, all that are elected in their own troops are invited. Probably a better question to ask would have been, how do the Scouts in a troop elect Arrowmen into the OA.


Here is what is stressed to the troops during election.

From the Guide to OA Officers and Advisors during election; stress the following points: Select the candidates who, in your opinion, have set the best example of brotherhood, cheerfulness and service. Vote only for those you believe will continue in unselfish service to your troop/team.


As far as the OA Officers that lead the Lodge, they are again elected by their fellow youth Arrowmen in the Chapter and Lodge. Similar to an SPL being elected in a troop.


Not all Scoutmasters allow their youth to participate in OA. (In a few councils they use a similar, but still different program Mic-o-say). This is unfortunate to not allow Scouts in a troop the opportunity to be a member of the OA. I have one troop in my local area, that doesn't desire an election team visit. They begin to think they will lose valuable troop leadership (PLs and SPLs) to the Chapter and Lodge. This is not true, if should create more Scouting synergy and more benefits by having a troop Arrowmen actively participate in their Chapter and Lodge events. The Arrowmen would help their fellow Scout and Tenderfoot achieve Second and First Class Scout ranks. Most Arrowmen will normally be motivated to continue on their own Scouting trail.


So in addition to the purpose and benefits already explained to you. I feel OA would be of direct benefit to the Scouts in your troop.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv


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