To join the Order of the Arrow, you must fulfill the following requirements (updated February 1st, 2019) and be elected by your fellow troop members.


  • Be registered in an active Boy Scouts of America Unit (Scouts BSA, Venturing, Sea Scouts)
  • Have experienced at least 15 nights of camping in a troop, crew, or ship within the past two years. The 15 nights must include at least one, but no more than one, long-term overnight camping trip consisting of at least five nights and approved by the BSA (Summer Camp). Only five nights of long-term camping may be counted towards the 15 total nights. The remaining 10 nights must consist of trips no more than three nights in length. Ship nights may be counted towards the 15 for Sea Scouts.
  • At the time of election, the scout must be a youth member (under 21) and hold one of these ranks or higher corresponding to your BSA program: First-Class Rank, Venturing Discovery Rank, or the Sea Scout Ordinary Rank. You must have approval from the unit leader.
  • Adults over the age of 21 may be nominated if they meet the camping requirements and are approved by the lodge adult selection committee. The number of adults nominated can be no more than two-thirds of the number of youth candidates elected, rounded up where the number of youth is not a multiple of three. In addition to the one to three 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.

For more information on elections and how to request one, visit: Unit Elections.

Ordeal Membership

Ordeal Sash

After being elected or nominated, candidates may participate in a call-out ceremony to recognize those scouts and scouters that were selected before they attend their Ordeal. Candidates then participate in an Ordeal induction ceremony. The Ordeal is intended to emphasize service and self-sacrifice. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values. Candidates will then be welcomed as Ordeal members upon successful completion of the Ordeal and participation in a formal induction ceremony.

Brotherhood Membership

Brotherhood Sash

After six months of service as an Ordeal member and fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the Order.

Vigil Honor Membership

Vigil Sash

The Vigil Honor is a high mark of distinction and recognition “reserved for those Arrowmen who, by reason of exceptional service, personal effort, and unselfish interest, have made distinguished contributions beyond the immediate responsibilities of their position of office to one or more of the following: lodge, Scouting community, Scout Camp.” The Vigil Honor may be conferred upon Arrowmen who have completed a minimum of two years as a Brotherhood member and perform exceptional service above through leadership, exemplary efforts, or dedication. But under no circumstances should tenure in Scouting or the Order of the Arrow be considered as reason enough for a Vigil Honor recommendation. Selection is annual and is limited to one person for every 50 members of the lodge, and members of the Order can be inducted into the Vigil Honor only with the written approval of the national OA committee.

As a part of the Vigil Honor induction, each new Vigil Honor member is given a Vigil Honor name in the language of an American Indian tribe, on whom the traditions and ceremonies of the Order are based. An English translation of the Vigil Honor name is also provided, and the name often represents a characteristic of the individual.

To view our Vigil Honor recipients, vist the Vigil Honor Recipients page.