The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society. It recognizes those Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and, through that recognition, cause others to conduct themselves in such a way that warrants similar recognition, to promote camping, to develop leaders, and to crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others. We believe that every eligible Scout in a Scouts BSA Troop, Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship, deserves the opportunity to be elected as a candidate for membership in the Order of the Arrow.
The purpose of this information is to show how your unit can schedule a unit election. On the following pages you will find information spelling out the qualifications that a Scout or a Scouter must meet to be considered for election (youth) or nomination (adults) as a candidate for membership in the Order. You will also find information how to contact the Chapter that serves your District.
In keeping with National policy, Egwa Tawa Dee Lodge has decided that the election period for all Troops, Crews and Ships will be January 1 to March 31 each year. All unit elections must be conducted by a Chapter election team composed of OA members in good standing between those dates and the results reported to the Lodge Unit Relations Committee by March 31, of the current year. These dates were selected in order to allow us to process all of the election reports and provide the Scouts who are elected, and Scouters who are selected, receive timely notice about the induction weekends, the first of which will be the first weekend in May. Your Chapter may choose to hold a shorter election period, but it will fall within these dates, and every unit will be notified. Each of our Chapters will do their best to accommodate all requests. Elections held outside these dates or which are not conducted by a chapter election team are not valid and any youth elected in this manner will not be inducted.
Elections should be held at a regularly scheduled unit meeting or event. Every effort should be made to have 100 percent attendance of both youths and adults at this meeting. At a minimum, 50% of the registered, active members of the unit must be present. In keeping with National policy, the unit can only hold one election annually and a chapter election team must conduct the election.
Your Chapter will provide you with the official elections forms approved by the National Order of the Arrow Committee and this Lodge; copies of the forms may be downloaded from the Lodge website, www.aacegwa.org, under Resources – Forms – Unit Elections. You will also find the new Unit Leader’s Guide to the Order of the Arrow Unit Elections. Please be aware that while a Troopmaster or Scoutbook OA eligibility report may be attached to the unit election report, the official Order of the Arrow Unit Election Report form must be completed by the Chapter elections team after the election and signed by the unit leader. Unit Elections Reports that are not on the official Lodge form or which are incomplete, will not be accepted.
If you have any questions, please contact us or your adult adviser.
Scheduling Your Unit’s Election
Unit elections must be scheduled through the Chapter that supports your District. Under the rules set by the National Order of the Arrow Committee, units are not allowed to conduct their own unit elections.
To ensure that your request for a unit election team to visit your unit is responded to in a timely manner, the Lodge has established special email addresses for each Chapter. Emails sent to these addresses are automatically forwarded to the Chapter Chief, Chapter Adviser and the Chapter elections team adviser. The Lodge Unit Relations Committee also receives a copy.
To schedule a unit election, utilize the below listed email address that corresponds to your district to contact the chapter leadership responsible for coordinating your unit election;
- Appalachian Trail District OAelectionappalachia[email protected]
- Button Gwinnett District [email protected]
- Foothills District [email protected]
- Hightower Trail District [email protected]
- Indian Springs District [email protected]
- Northern Ridge District [email protected]
- Phoenix District [email protected]
- Pickett’s Mill District [email protected]
- Silver Comet District [email protected]
- Soapstone Ridge District [email protected]
- Southwest Atlanta District [email protected]
- Southern Crescent District [email protected]
- Yellow River District [email protected]
Please do not use email addresses you may have for individuals in your Chapter who have assisted with unit elections in the past as they may not be accurate and using them can delay your unit election.
A chapter unit election team must be present to certify the unit election results. Unit elections teams are composed of youth and adult members of the Chapter who are volunteers with responsibilities to their units, school or work, so it is important that units are flexible in suggesting a date for the unit election. Unit members who are members in good standing of the Lodge (i.e., have paid dues for the current year) may serve on the unit election team for their unit, but they must be supervised by trained members of the Chapter elections team, at least one member of which (youth or adult) must be from a different unit.
The unit election report and candidate information forms must be completed by the unit elections team and submitted to the Lodge Unit Relations Committee by the election deadline. Reports which are incomplete will not be recorded until they are complete.
For additional information about the unit election process and procedures the lodge provides The Unit Leader’s Guide to Order of the Arrow Unit Elections. It may be accessed on the lodge website, https://aacegwa.org, click on “Resources” on the toolbar and then select the “For Unit Leaders” tab.
If your unit has questions, contact your Chapter Adviser using the email address shown above or the Lodge Unit Relations Committee at [email protected].
To eligible for induction as a member of the Order of the Arrow, a Scout or Scouter must first meet certain minimum qualifications established by the National Committee of the Order of the Arrow. https://oa-bsa.org/about/membership
Elections should be held at a regularly scheduled unit meeting or camping experience. Every effort should be made to have 100 percent attendance of both youths and adults at this meeting. At a minimum, 50% of the registered, active members of the unit must be present. In keeping with National policy, the unit can only hold one election annually and a chapter election team from Egwa Tawa Dee Lodge must conduct the election.
Voting for youth candidates should be based on their spirit of brotherhood, cheerfulness (no matter how tiresome their duties), and a willingness to always give unselfish and wholehearted service to others.
While it is traditional for elected youth to be “called-out” in a ceremony, participation in a formal Call-out ceremony is not a requirement for induction. Elected youth should be notified immediately following the conclusion of the election process.
If elected as a candidate, a Scout does not become a member of the Order of the Arrow until he or she has been inducted as a member. A candidate must be inducted within 12 months of the date of the election. If the Scout is not inducted, they cease to be a candidate.
Adult Membership in the Order of the Arrow
Because the Order of the Arrow is principally a youth organization, adults are not selected for membership as a recognition but rather to provide support to the youth who are members of the Order. A unit should only nominate an adult when the adult’s position in Scouts BSA, Venturing or Sea Scouts will make Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth members and the adult is willing to serve.
Note: If an adult was inducted as a member of the OA as a youth, they cannot be nominated or inducted again. They may re-activate their membership by paying dues to the Lodge, but once inducted they are forever a member of the OA.
Adult Membership Qualifications
Each year, upon holding a unit election for youth candidates that results in at least one youth being
elected, the unit committee may nominate registered unit adults, 21 years of age or older, who meet the same camping requirements as a youth (see above), to be candidates for membership in the Order.
The number of adults nominated by your unit 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, the unit committee may nominate the currently serving unit leader (but not assistant leaders), as long as he or she has served as the registered unit leader for at least the previous 12 months.
The revised three-page Egwa Tawa Dee Adult Candidate Nomination form must be used for all adult nominations. It is available online at www.aacegwa.org under Resources – Forms. The Adult Candidate Nomination Form must be complete and accurate. Applications that are missing information will be sent back to the unit.
Adult nominations must be submitted through your Chapter Adviser and received by the Lodge Adviser on or before March 31, 2020. They are then submitted to the Lodge Adult Selection Committee. The Lodge Adult Selection committee reviews all eligible adult nominations and, based on the following criteria, recommends that the Scout Executive approve nominated adults as candidates for induction if they meet the following criteria:
1. Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose and is not for recognition of service, including current and prior achievements and positions.
2. The individual will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order.
3. The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the Lodge.
The adult nomination approval process involves both the Lodge and the Council and generally is not completed until mid-to-late April. Because of this, no adult should be notified that they are a candidate for membership or be called-out until the unit committee chair has been notified by the Chapter Adviser that the adult has been approved as a candidate.
Adult candidates are not members of the Order. To become a member, they must go through the same induction process as youth candidates within 12 months of the date of being notified of their being approved as a candidate.