What is the Order of the Arrow?
Also referred to as the OA, the Order of the Arrow is Scouting's Honor Society. It is a brotherhood of honored scouts and scouters who promote scout camping and perform service to others.

What is a Lodge?
Nearly every Scout Council in the nation has an OA Lodge associated with it. In the Redwood Empire Council, the OA Lodge is Orca Lodge 194.
Similarly, our Lodge has a Chapter representing the Northern and Southern parth of the Council. The Chapters names are from the previous lodges that merged to form Orca Lodge.

Who runs the Lodge & Chapters?
The Lodge is run by an executive board, at the head of which sits the Lodge Chief, Vice-Chief, Secretary, and Treasurer. These people are considered the Lodge Officers. In the Northern and Southern chapters, Mow-A-Toc and Cabrosha, there is a Chapter Chief, Vice-Chief, and Secretary.


Election Procedures

How does one become a member of the OA?
(What's an OA Election?)
The OA has different procedures for youth and adults. Youth members (under the age of 21) are elected by other youth members of their troop in an election conducted by the OA Lodge through the Chapters. At least 50% of the registered youth members of the troop must be present for an election to be held.

Adults are nominated by the troop committee and the nomination is forwarded to a Lodge Adult nomination committee headed by the Lodge Adviser for consideration.

Are there any membership requirements?
Yes. To be considered for election, a youth must be a registered member of his unit, must have achieved the rank of First Class, must not have reached his 21st birthday, and must, while registered with a troop or team, have a minimum of 15 days and nights of scout camping experience, including one (and only one) long term camping experience (7 days/6 nights) within two years prior to the election. With the exception of the first class and age requirement, adult nominees must meet the same camping and membership requirements.

Is there any limit to the number of youth who are placed on the ballot for election?
Provided they all meet the eligibility requirements, no.

Does the Scoutmaster have to list all youth who are eligible?
No. The scoutmaster must sign the election form certifying that all those on the ballot are eligible for election. If the scoutmaster feels that a certain member or members of the unit do not exemplify the high ideals of the OA, he does not have to list them as eligible for election even though they may meet the membership requirements. The scoutmaster has full discretion as to the eligibility of any troop member for the election, but he may not waive the membership requirements. This certification takes place prior to the election, and cannot be changed once the election takes place.

Can the Scoutmaster vote in the election?
No. No one over the age of 21 may cast a vote in the election.

How many elections can my troop have per year?
One. Each troop is entitled to only one election per year. The Lodge calendar runs from January 1 through December 31. Each troop may have only one election during that time period.

When can this election take place?
The election period is set by each chaper each year. It generally runs from late-March to early-May.

How do I arrange for an election?
Beginning in March each year, the Chapter election teams will start contacting each scoutmaster in their chapter to set up elections. If your troop has not been contacted each year by March 20, you are encouraged to contact your Chapter Adviser or the Lodge Adviser for action.

Can a Scoutmaster conduct his own election?
NO! All elections must be conducted with at least one member of the Chapter election team present, preferably a member from outside the troop.

How do I nominate an adult for membership?
Adult nomination forms are available from the election team or your Chapter Adviser. They must be filled out accurately and completely, and signed by the Committee Chairman. The committee chairman should retain one copy of the form with the remaining copy and original forwarded to the Chapter Adviser. The Chapter Adviser will forward the original on to the Lodge Adviser for consideration.

How many adults may I nominate?
Each troop who has a youth election and at least one youth is elected may nominate only one adult if the troop has 50 or less scouts on their roster. You may nominate one more adult for the next 50 and one more for the next 50 and so on.

What if my troop does not have an election, can I still nominate an adult?

How are adult nominations considered?
The adult nomination process is very selective. Since the OA exists by and large for the youth, with the youth only, serving in the leadership positions, adult nominations are carefully screened. The committee considers the adults ability to perform the necessary functions to help the OA fulfill its goals and purposes, how the adult will be an asset to the Lodge and whether the adult will be a positive role model to the youth. OA membership is NOT a recognition for service either past or present NOR a reward for achievement or position.

Can my Venture Crew, Varsity Team or Explorer Post have an election?
OA elections can only be held by Scout Troops and Varisty Teams. Elections cannot be held by Venture Crews or Explorer Posts.


The Ordeal

Once elected, am I member?
No. All those who are elected must first successfully pass an ordeal.

Where can I take this Ordeal?
The Ordeal is administrated by the Chapters in the Lodge at one of our two camps. In the Mow-A-Toc Chapter, the Northern Chapter, the ordeals are generally held on the first weekend of June and the weekend right after the Spook-E-Ree which takes place the weekend before Halloween. In the Cabrosha Chapter, the Southern Chapter, the ordeals are generally held on the third weekend of June and the third weekend if October.

How will I be notified about the Ordeal?
After your election, you will receive a mailing from the Lodge, usually within two to four weeks, detailing the dates of the upcoming ordeals, what to bring and other information. There will also be a registration form which must be filled out and returned by the specified deadline(s).

Is there a fee for the Ordeal?
Yes. The current fee is $25.00 which includes all your food, accommodations, OA sash, handbook, Pocket Device, and flap.

How long do I have after the election to take my ordeal?
You have one year from the date of your election to take your Ordeal. This affords every person at least four opportunities to complete their Ordeal.

What if I fail to take my Ordeal within that one-year period?
Then you would have to be reelected. In extreme cases such as family emergencies, the Lodge Executive Board will consider granting an extension of the Ordeal eligibility period. However, each case is considered separately on its own merits and must be brought to the Executive Board preferably by the Chapter Chief. For more information, contact your Chapter Adviser or the Lodge Adviser.

Do adult nominees have to take the Ordeal also?
Yes. Adults have to successfully pass the same ordeal as the youth in order to become members.

Do adults have the same one-year eligibility?
Yes. Adults have one year from the date of their letter of approval from the Lodge Adviser.

Election was held in our troop, but the results were not announced, what happens next?
The scoutmaster has the right to seal the election results for release at some later date, such as a troop court of honor or District tap out. The year of eligibility would not start until the candidate is officially recognized by his unit.



Are there yearly dues?
Yes. Dues for 2009 will be $15.00. The Lodge year runs from January 1st through December 31st.

Do new Ordeal members have to pay dues?
The Ordeal fee includes one year of dues. New members' dues are paid until December 31st.

What do dues cover?
To be considered an active member of the Lodge, your dues must be paid.

Where do I send the dues form?
There will be instructions on the form. Dues are to be mailed to the Orca Lodge Treasurer or Lodge Advisor. Dues can also be paid in person at any time to the two people listed above.

I am moving out of the Council, is my OA membership transferable?
Certainly. When you get where you¹re going, have your new Council formally request your OA records from us. Once you register in a new Council, you can no longer remain a member of Orca Lodge, unless you also still maintain registration here.

Can I be a member of more than one Lodge?
NO! National policy dictates that you can only belong to one lodge at a time. It must be the lodge associated with the council where you hold your primary registration. Even if you pay a registration fee to more than one council, you must choose only one lodge.

I am not registered in the Council; can I join Orca Lodge?
NO. National policy dictates that you must be registered in the Council in which you wish to hold OA membership.

Do my OA dues include BSA registration?
NO. OA membership is exclusive of membership in the Boy Scouts of America.

Do I have to be registered in the BSA to be member of the Lodge?
YES. You must be registered in a Pack, Troop, Crew, Team, or at-large in order to be considered an active member of the Lodge and participate in Lodge events. OA membership does not supersede or include BSA membership.

Where can I purchase Lodge Flaps and OA supplies?
Lodge Flaps, O-A sashes, and Lodge merchandise can be purchased at each Lodge event. The Treasurer holds the supplies and will bring them with him to every lodge event he goes to.

Where do I get more information?
Contact the Lodge Chief, Lodge Adviser or your Chapter Adviser for more information

Related Pages

Lodge Leadership

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