Skip to main content
We've detected that you're using an unsupported browser. You may experience issues using the OA website. Please visit our supported browsers page for more information.

Our History

OA Becomes Official Scout Program

OA Becomes Official Scout Program of BSA

In 1933, the National Council (BSA) after methodical analysis concluded that programs like the OA could enhance Scouting. The OA had been assured that they would become an official Scout program.

Still to be sorted out were issues concerning the structure between the OA and BSA, methods of handling the Vigil Degree, issues regarding Arrowmen that no longer were registered as Scouts and adjustments desired by religious groups.

After many meetings, on June 1, 1934 the National Council voted to approve the OA as one of several new Scout programs. On July 15, 1934 Chief Scout Executive James West welcomed the Order as an official Scout program. There were still issues to be resolved and in the end it was determined that the National Council would not take over the Order of the Arrow. Instead, as an incremental move, the National Council agreed to charter the Grand Lodge and the structure of the Grand Lodge and local lodges would remain the same. Effective January 1, 1935, the Order of the Arrow became an official BSA Scout Program.

The OA, as a compromise agreed to change parts of their nomenclature (such as Grand Lodge to National Tribe) to satisfy various BSA concerns. It was still another 14 years before the full integration of the National BSA Council and the Order took place. Now that the OA was an official BSA program the number of councils desiring to participate increased dramatically.