Chapter and Unit Election Resources
Youth elections and Adult nominations for membership
in the Order of the Arrow
The following information is provided to assist unit leaders in making the Order of the Arrow a successful element of their overall unit program. If you have any questions you are encouraged to contact your chapter adviser or the lodge adviser.
Unit leader approval. To become eligible for election, a Boys Scout or Varsity Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of his unit leader prior to the election. The unit leader must certify his Scout spirit (i.e., his adherence to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activities). The unit leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of the annual election.
Youth membership qualifications. All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Order of the Arrow who are under 21 years of age shall be considered youth members or candidates for youth membership, subject to the following requirements:
- Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Hold the First Class rank of the Boy Scouts of America.
- After registration with a troop or team, have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but not more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices of the standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.
Who decides what camping activities qualify for the camping requirement needed for election to the Order of the Arrow?
For the camping requirement of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camp does the camping have to be at a Boy Scout owned and operated camp. Or can it be a troop long term campout allowed by the council?
Can members of the Lone Scout program be elected in the Order of the Arrow?
Unit elections. The time period for elections is set by the lodge is from November 1st to May 31st. Troop and team unit leaders are encouraged to schedule their unit election with the chapter elections chairman or his adviser as early as possible. Unit elections must be conducted by members of the lodge in which the unit is chartered. Elections are only held in troops and teams. The election team must be comprised of members of the Order who are not registered members of the unit in which the election is being held.
The unit leader is encouraged to download and complete the Unit Youth Election form (includes fields to allow users to fill out the document via computer; form is savable to the local hard drive) in advance of the election. The names of the eligible candidates for membership should match the name by which they are registered with the Boy Scouts of America. In addition to the Unit Youth Election form (includes fields to allow users to fill out the document via computer; form is savable to the local hard drive) the unit leader should have a copy of their unit roster (field sheet). This will allow the election team to verify the presence of 50 percent of the registered active unit membership. If 50% of the active membership of the unit is not present, an election cannot be held.
Adult membership qualifications. All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Order of the Arrow who are 21 years of age or older and who are registered members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be considered adult members or candidates for adult membership. Individuals shall be selected as candidates based on the following:
Adult leaders in units. Each year, upon holding a troop or team election for youth candidates that result in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may nominate adults to the chapter adult selection committee. The number of adults nominated can be no more than one-third of the number of youth candidates elected, rounded up where the number of youth candidates is not a multiple of three. In addition to the one-third limit, as long as he or she has served as unit leader (i.e. Scoutmaster or Coach not Assistant Scoutmaster or Assistant Coach), as long has he or she has served as unit leader for at least the previous twelve months (i.e. immediately prior to the unit election). Recommendations of the chapter adult selection committee will be forwarded to the lodge adult selection committee for approval. Candidates must fulfill the following conditions in order to be considered for approval:
- Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and positions.
- The individual will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order.
- The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.
- The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.
The unit committee is encouraged to determine if they will be nominating an adult for membership in the Order prior to the unit election. If an adult will be nominated, the unit committee should download and complete the Chapter Unit Adult Recommendation form (includes fields to allow users to fill out the document via computer; form is savable to the local hard drive), so it can be submitted to the elections team as soon as possible following a successful election of youth candidates from the unit. The adult being nominated must be a registered member of the unit and the name listed on the form should match the name that is registered with the Boy Scouts of America on the unit roster (field sheet).
What are the requirements for an adult to become a member of the OA?
Adult leaders in council and district positions. The lodge adviser, district chairman, council president, or members of the professional staff may nominate adults to the lodge adult selection committee. All requirements set forth for adult leaders in units must be fulfilled, with the exception of the camping requirements, which may be waived at the discretion of the lodge adviser and Scout Executive. There is a separate form for adults being nominated from the district. The Chapter District Adult Recommendation form (includes fields to allow users to fill out the document via computer; form is savable to the local hard drive) should be downloaded and completed by the district committee and delivered to the chapter adult selection committee. The adult being nominated must be registered with the district and the name on the form should match the name that is registered with the Boy Scouts of America on the district roster (field sheet).
Adults may be nominated or membership only one time per year as either unit Scouters or district/council Scouters, but not both. How they are nominated depends on where they maintain their primary registration in the Boy Scouts of America.
The Order of the Arrow is principally a youth organization, unit, district, and council Scouters are not selected for membership as a recognition. Selection should take place only when the adult’s position in Boy scouts or Varsity Scouting will make the Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership.
Information from Guide for Officers and Advisers #24-413, Revised 2012
Last updated 03/21/2013