Unit Elections

Unit Elections

Unit elections are the process by which Scouts are elected as candidates for the Order of the Arrow (OA). Scouts become eligible for membership in the OA by obtaining the first class rank, meeting the camping requirements, and being elected for the honor by the members of their unit. Elections must be conducted by an OA election team. An election team is comprised of OA members that will explain the order and conduct the election, usually during a troops normal meeting time. The unit's leader is responsible for scheduling their unit’s election with a local election team. Our lodge conducts elections from March through to the end of May. Each Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team with qualified Scouts is urged to hold an election. Below you will find further detailed requirements for a unit’s youth eligibility and adult nomination.

Unit Election Resources

This video contains a brief summary of the Order of the Arrow and its programs as well as an explanation of the election procedures. It is an invaluable resource to unit election teams.


Youth Membership Qualifications

All unit members shall be considered as candidates for membership in the Order of the Arrow, subject to meeting the following requirements:

  1. Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America as a member of a Troop or Team
  2. Hold the First Class rank, as a minimum
  3. Be under the age of 21
  4. Have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election and after registration with his troop or team. These 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, longterm camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.
  5. Have approval by his unit leader to certify his Scout spirit and active participation in the unit's events.

Candidates for youth membership shall be elected by other youth members (registered members under the age of 21) in accordance with policies set forth by the national Order of the Arrow committee. Voting for youth candidates shall be based on their spirit of brotherhood, cheerfulness (no matter how tiresome their duties), and a willingness to give unselfish and wholehearted service to others at all times.

Adult Membership Qualifications

All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Order of the Arrow who are 21 years of age or older and who are registered members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be considered adult members or candidates for adult membership.

Each year, upon holding a troop or team election for youth candidates that results in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may nominate adults to the lodge adult selection committee. The number of adults nominated can be no more than one-third of the number of youth candidates elected, rounded up where the number of youth candidates is not a multiple of three. In addition to the one-third limit, the unit committee may nominate the currently serving unit leader (but not assistant leaders), as long as he or she has served as unit leader for at least the previous 12 months. Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with the approval of the Scout executive, serving as Supreme Chief of the Fire, will be candidates for induction, provided the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and positions.
  2. The individual will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order.
  3. The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.
  4. The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.

The lodge adviser, district chairmen, council president, or members of the professional staff may also nominate adults to the lodge adult selection committee that serve on a district or council level.

Because the Order of the Arrow is principally a youth organization, unit, district, and council Scouters are not selected for membership as a recognition. Selection should take place only when the adult’s position in Boy Scouting or Varsity Scouting will make Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership.