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OA Mentoring

The Order of the Arrow Mentoring Program is a joint effort of the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow. Its purpose is to identify and assist urban and rural Scout troops whose camping and advancement programs are below standard.

NEW: OA Mentoring Application is available here.


Success Stories

  • Mentoring and Nature Quest

Goals and Functions

  • To act as a positive influence in the midst of dramatic social, political, economic, and demographic forces affecting urban and rural communities.
  • To increase advancement and camping opportunities for Scouts in urban and rural troops whose programs, leadership, and resources are limited.
  • To provide additional, positive youth and adult role models for disadvantaged urban and rural Scouts and adult leaders.
  • To create a "guided discovery" for Order of the Arrow members to reflect on the ideal of "He alone is worthy to wear the arrow who will continue faithfully to serve his fellow man."
  • To fulfill the Order of the Arrow Strategic Plan.
  • To create the opportunity for more urban and rural Scouts to become eligible for membership in the Order of the Arrow.

Lodge Responsibilities

It is the overall responsibility of the lodge, with local council and district committee support and approval, to administer the Order of the Arrow Mentoring Program. This works through the lodge service committee. Regardless of the size of the lodge and its internal structure, the lodge service committee has the authority to administer the program. The lodge service committee should request assistance from the council and district commissioner staffs, council professionals, and the council's committee in identifying urban and rural troops whose advancement and camping programs need help.

Other sources within the council where information on a troop's status might be obtained are the record of district and council camping and advancement committees. Therefore, it becomes necessary that the lodge service committee develops a master profile of urban and rural troops in the council that might benefit from the mentoring program. From the master profile, the lodge service committee and district executive will match applicants to selected troops.

The lodge service committee and the district commissioner should exercise great care in matching mentors to troops. Troops whose camping and advancement programs are weakest would require the most assistance. In such cases, two or more mentors might be assigned to a single troop. Keep in mind that matching mentors to troops will vary from unit to unit. Assigning adult and youth Arrowmen to the same troop is the recommended strategy in many communities.

Program Implementation Steps For Lodges

Step One: The council/district mentoring committee contacts the lodge requesting its involvement with the program.

Step Two: After the lodge accepts the responsibility to assist, the lodge chief appoints a youth chair for either a lodge service committee or an OA Mentoring committee to oversee all mentors sponsored by the lodge as well as handle all administrative work for the application and implementation process. Subsequently, the lodge adviser should appoint an adult adviser to assist the new chairman.

Step Three: The lodge service chairman contacts all district executives and their district commissioners requesting a list of applicable units in each district, so that master profile of urban and rural troops can be compiled. (note: Any unit is a potential OA Mentoring unit)

Step Four: Lodge service committee chairman meets with district commissioner to review applications from the district and to match applicants with eligible units. When matching Arrowmen with units, keep in mind distance and travel conditions for the mentors.

Step Five: After mentors have been matched with eligible units, the mentor, unit commissioner, and unit leader should meet to outline a list of items to be organized into an action plan for the mentor's role in the unit.

Step Six: The lodge service committee chairman or a member of his committee should be in periodic contact with both the unit commissioner and the OA mentor to supply them with camp promotion and advancement information.

Step Seven: After all items of the action plan are carried out, the mentor, unit leaders, and unit commissioner should meet to evaluate the mentor's performance and to discuss whether the action plan was fulfilled. The evaluation is required and should not be omitted under any circumstances.

Burning Issues About the OA Mentoring Program

Q: Who is the OA Mentoring Program for?

A: The Order of the Arrow Mentoring program was created to help out any urban or rural troop who's camping and advancement programs need help.

Q: My lodge doesn't have the OA Mentoring Program in place yet. What can I do to help get it started?

A: Talk to your council's committee or district committee, lodge chief, and lodge adviser to get their support and approval on starting the program in your council or district.

Next, organize a lodge service committee to implement the program. Recruit Arrowmen (youth and adults) from your district to be mentors. This can be done best when there is a high concentration of district or chapter members present, such as at district roundtable and other district or chapter events like camporees.

After you have recruited Arrowmen to serve as mentors, you should next work with the district commissioner to match mentors with eligible troops.

Q: My lodge already has the OA Mentoring Program up and running, but how can we make the mentoring program fit into the overall lodge program most effectively?

A: A great way to integrate the OA Mentoring Program into the overall lodge program is to have the mentor serve as an Order of the Arrow representative until he can help facilitate the selection of an Arrowman to fill that role in the troop. After an Arrowman is selected to become the OA Troop/Team Representative, the troop mentor can help train the new representative as well as help him facilitate a link between the lodge and troop.


For more information regarding this program contact your lodge chief or adviser.