The Order of the Arrow unit election is often the first step in a Scout's Quest for the Arrow. Without that initial opportunity, there is no chance for future OA experiences. Unfortunately, Scouts are sometimes prevented from being elected due to errors that occur on the unit side. Previously, national policy held that a unit may request only one election per year, even if the unit leader later recognized an error adversely impacted the election process and results.
Therefore, the National Order of the Arrow Committee approved changes to the policy to allow for “make-up” unit elections if such an incident arises. An example of such an error might include a Scout being excluded from the election due to a mistake regarding the reported number of camping days and nights. Effective Oct. 1, 2023, OA policy will expand to include:
“If an error in the election process is identified after conducting the original election, the unit leader may submit a request to the lodge executive committee for a second election to be held on behalf of only the affected individual(s) in the unit. Approval of an additional election is solely at the discretion of the executive committee of the lodge.”
In summary, the LEC is empowered to approve any additional elections for impacted individuals. This policy change will expand the agency provided to lodge leadership and the Supreme Chief of the Fire to ensure unit elections are conducted appropriately and consistent with the standards established by the national committee, which can be found in the Guide to Unit Elections. Of course, it is of the utmost importance that unit leaders are the arbiters of the unit’s relationship with the local OA lodge and chapter and that elections are carried out properly. However, this provides a new opportunity to rectify any errors and mistakes during the process.
This new policy will positively impact youth participation and hopefully open the door to more Scouts joining our honored organization!