While American Indian attire has been the historic tradition used in OA ceremonies, circumstances may dictate that lodges use either the Scout Field Uniform or the Alternative Ceremonial Clothing. Field Uniforms or Alternative Ceremonial Clothing should be used in situations where a lodge does not have a relationship with a local tribe, a local tribe has expressed concern with the use American Indian ceremonial attire for this purpose, or limited resources preclude a lodge from developing historically correct and acceptable American Indian ceremonial attire.
Lodges should select one of the following three options for use in Order of the Arrow ceremonies:
- American Indian attire
- The Scout Field Uniform, with ceremonial medallion
- The Alternative Ceremonial Clothing consisting of black shirt with black pants, with ceremonial medallion
The Alternative Ceremonial Clothing consists of a plain black shirt and pants with the Order of the Arrow sash and ceremonial medallion. Ceremonialists should all wear shirts and pants of the same style to ensure uniformity. Black robes are explicitly prohibited for OA Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil ceremonies. In reenactments of historical ceremonies that do not involve candidates, historically-accurate robes may be used. No headwear is permitted for use with the Alternative Ceremonial Clothing.
Ceremonial medallions can be purchased from the OA Trading Post.
If lodges use American Indian attire, all efforts should be made by the lodge to depict the American Indian tribes that are native to the area. Lodges should engage and work with the local American Indian community to determine what attire would be appropriate and accurate.
If the Scout Field Uniform is used in OA ceremonies, Scout pants and uniforms should be worn, with as similar footwear for all ceremonialists. Extraneous patches and additional headwear are prohibited. Ceremonialists must wear their OA sash and ceremonial medallion.
OA ceremonies convey important ideas by engaging all the senses. Ceremonial attire visually alerts Scouts to this importance by revealing the principals as something different yet real and authentic. Lodges must only use approved attire to fulfill this purpose.
The Order of the Arrow is proving more vital than ever, and the standards being set are to ensure the importance of the program and its values of forging a purpose of lifelong service for the future.
For questions related to this policy, please contact Inductions & Ceremonies.
Updated July 18, 2022