Q: Can members of the Lone Scout program be elected into the Order of the Arrow?
A: The following official response is from Clyde Mayer, former OA Director:
Lone Scouts cannot become part of the Order of the Arrow.
The reason for this policy reflects both the way youth become members of the OA, and the underlying purpose of the program.
The only way that youth (under 21) can become a candidate for membership to the Order of the Arrow is by being properly elected by the fellow Scouts in their unit. Lone Scouts, by definition, have no unit. Therefore, there is no way to do a unit election to elect them.
From the philosophical side, the OA exists as a part of the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America. We ask each member to "...return in service to your unit...", and we attempt to focus strongly on how OA members can serve and support their own units. Also, part of our purpose is to recognize outstanding Scouts so they can cause others "...to conduct themselves in such manner as to warrant recognition...". Again, Lone Scouts do not have a unit to serve, nor do they have other Scouts in a unit to inspire.
While the Order of the Arrow is a great program for many youth, it is not available to everyone. Specifically, it is not available to youth who are registered as Lone Scouts.