Ask the Chairman - How are chapter boundaries determined?

Q: Ray,
Can a chapter only be defined by its sponsored district, or can a lodge choose to modify the chapter’s boundaries? Also, does there have to be a chapter for each district within the sponsoring council?
In Brotherhood,

A: William,
Thank you for your question. Please look at the Order of the Arrow Guide for Officers and Advisers (GOA). Page 16 covers “Forming Lodge Chapters.” This tells you that the decision of whether the lodge will have chapters or not is left to the Scout executive. It also describes a process to help arrive at the decision. One of the points to address in the process is whether the chapters will include one or several districts. The final decision of how many chapters there will be and their boundaries is something the Scout executive will decide and define. These definitions will then need to be formalized in the lodge rules (see GOA page 20).
The GOA does not specifically address whether a chapter must follow the boundaries of the district or districts it supports. What it does say on page 16 and in the organization chart footnote on page 35 is that “A chapter can consist of one or more districts.” That implies to me that the chapter must follow the district/districts boundaries it supports. I agree with this interpretation because it eliminates splitting service responsibilities between chapters.
I hope this helps you.

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