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Supporting Scouting

Since its inception the Order of the Arrow primary mission has been to support scouting. Using the OA Endowment as a funding mechanism of that mission, the Endowment in its current format and in its prior format has successfully seeded the development and continues to support the development of significant scholarship programs, outdoor conservation and leadership programs and a ongoing commitment to the preservation of the most important history of the Order including:

OA Trail Crew

Since 1995, Arrowmen working under the guidance and direction of an OATC foreman, in close coordination with Philmont’s conservation department, have completed restoration and improvement projects. These projects have included improvements to long term sustainability of trails, new trail construction, building restoration, and heavy rock work. These projects have focused on maintaining Philmont’s pristine natural environment and ensuring it will remain “Scouting’s Paradise” for future generations of Scouts.

Wilderness Voyage & Canadian Odyssey

The vast wilderness of the boundary waters is one of North America’s most pristine natural environments, explored only in small groups of those fortunate enough to traverse these nearly unexplored waters. The Wilderness Voyage and Canadian Odyssey have worked in partnership with the U.S Forest Service and the Quetico Provincial Park to build durable portages and trails, protecting this extremely fragile ecosystem. These service projects take place on public lands outside the national high adventure base for the benefit of the people on both sides of the U.S. – Canadian border.

OA Summit Experience

In 2014, the National Order of the Arrow Committee launched a fourth high adventure service program, the OA Summit Experience (OASE). This eight-day adventure at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve near Glen Jean, West Virginia, is divided into two parts. Four days of the program are focused on building mountain biking and hiking trails that link the Summit Bechtel Reserve to the National Park Service trails in the New River Gorge National River area. The remainder of the experience revolves around Summit activities such as climbing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, canopy tours and zip-lines.

Josh R. Sain Scholarships

Those Arrowmen who served in an exemplary manner as a section, region, or national officer, while maintaining the highest level of academics, are considered for Josh R. Sain memorial scholarships. Each year, several of these extraordinary youth leaders are selected to receive one of these scholarships based upon their service to Scouting and their involvement in their college or university during their term in office. Since 1998, more than $250,000 in scholarships have been awarded.

History and Preservation

Over the last several years the national Order of the Arrow committee has shown a renewed commitment to the words from our Obligation that charges us to "observe and preserve the custom and traditions of the Order of the Arrow." The new strategy has enabled the Order to add memorabilia, documents, clothing, recognitions and other items of significance to the National OA Archive Collection. The mission of the team working this initiative is to add items to the National Order of the Arrow Collection that tell the story of the Order nationally. Funds raised through the Order of the Arrow Centennial Campaign helped to create new and exciting displays at the National Order of the Arrow Conference and also in the newly opened National Boy Scouts of America Museum at Philmont.

At the grand opening of the museum in September of 2018, scouts, scouters, Arrowmen and guests were able to review the newly configured National Order of the Arrow displays. Attendees at the museum opening saw displays on the impact of the Order on Scouting, and the historical significance of the founders, who, at Treasure Island; the birthplace of the Order, created the first ceremony. The Orders displays also highlight the significance of youth leadership in the operations of the organization. Special displays prominently discuss the significance of the National Order of the Arrow Conferences and the national service projects completed over the last 103 years. Many of the Order's most important patch and pin items detailing our 100+ year history are displayed in specially made drawers to allow for easy access and viewing. Some of these new displays will change over time to encourage everyone to make repeat visits.