Earlier today, the National Order of the Arrow Committee approved some exciting updates to the Order of the Arrow program.
Beginning February 1, 2019, unit elections will be permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scout units. The new Order of the Arrow membership requirements are as follows:
- Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Have experienced 15 nights of Scout camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.
- At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, hold the Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery rank, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
- Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee.
Our commitment to our unchanging mission and purpose remains steadfast, and we are excited to welcome others who share that commitment by extending membership in Scouting’s National Honor Society to participants of all older youth programs. We look forward to having female members in 2019 and know that, like all of our OA members, they will serve as role models and inspirations to others – both within the Boy Scouts of America and beyond.
We anticipate that you may have some questions. Please be sure to read the FAQ section below. We will have more information at the National Order of the Arrow Conference, which will be held July 30 – August 4, 2018, and we will continue to release additional information as it becomes available in order to assist our lodges with implementation.
We look forward to sharing what the OA has to offer with more young people and appreciate your support of this exciting new direction.
Q. Will camping be counted retroactively for those currently in Venturing and Sea Scouts?
Yes. Camping that has taken place within the two years immediately prior to the election will be counted beginning February 1, 2019. This camping must have taken place while an individual was registered with the BSA as a program participant and must be while participating with a BSA Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship.
Q. Can I be elected into the OA if I am over the age of 18?
Yes. As long as you are under the age of 21 at the time the election is held. If you are over 21, you will need to go through the adult selection process.
Q. Will there be any opportunities for Venturers to learn more about the OA and Venturing?
Yes. We will provide high-level information and the opportunity to gather feedback from youth Venturing participants at VenturingFest 2018, which will be held July 1-6, 2018.
Q. When will the OA literature be updated to reflect these changes?
We are planning that all literature will be updated by Summer of 2019.
Q. Will we still be able to wear lodge flaps on any female uniforms that may be created?
Yes. We continue to work with BSA National Supply to help ensure that the current OA lodge flap shape and size will be accommodated.