About the Order of the Arrow

The above video is from the Order of the Arrow's 

YouTube Channel found Here

“The Order is a thing of the spirit rather than of mechanics. Organization, Operational Procedures, and all that go with them are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what count in the end. The things of the spirit are what count.”

- E. Urner Goodman, Co-founder of the Order of the Arrow

Photo of E. Urner Goodman from Wikipedia Found Here

For over 100 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long-term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth. 


The mission of the Order of the Arrow is to fulfill its purpose as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults. 


As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:

Organization and Structure

The Order of the Arrow has three distinct organizational levels beneath the national organization: lodges, sections, and regions. Lodges carry out the Order of the Arrow program at the local level and are chartered to BSA councils. Sections consist of several lodges within a geographic vicinity, and regions, in turn, consist of sections that each span half the country. Lodges, sections, and regions each have a distinct set of responsibilities that ensures the OA program runs smoothly.

For More information please visit - https://oa-bsa.org/about/organization-structure 


If a lodge has chapters, generally there is one chapter created for each district of the council. Each chapter has its own officers and advisers, the officers being elected by the youth Arrowmen OA members within the chapter, and the advisers being appointed by the Scout executive often with the consultation of the lodge adviser and district executive(s).

Chapters provide the ability to have meetings closer to home, and meetings and events can be scheduled to coincide with the district events. The chapter is central to providing quality unit visits for camping promotion, and unit elections.

Currently Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge 165 consists of three chapters, each corresponding with one of the service areas in the council.

However, we do not have Chapter Officers or Chapter Adviser's. Our Chapters were setup for use with Our Online Database OA LodgeMaster, to use as a geographic reference for the recording of our Arrowmen and Units. 

Service Areas

Some lodges may use newly recognized service areas to provide additional geographic organization between the chapter and lodge level. Service areas may be used in lodges to encapsulate multiple chapters, generally over large geographic areas, and to better deliver the organization’s programming at the local level.

Our Lodge currently does not use this system, as we use the Council Service Areas as "Chapters" 


Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge is the Order of the Arrow lodge chartered to the Allegheny Highlands Council, Boy Scouts of America.

To learn more about our Lodge History visit our Lodge History Page HERE.

The key leaders in the lodge are a Youth Lodge Chief, Volunteer Adult Lodge Adviser, and Staff Adviser. The Lodge Chief presides over the Lodge Executive Committee (LEC), which is responsible for executing the annual program of the Lodge. While each lodge is setup somewhat different, Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge has Nine Officers and several Committee Members who are responsible for various aspects of the Lodge’s program. Each Lodge Officer and their Committee is supported by a team of Adult Volunteer Advisers.

Visit our Lodge Leadership Page (HERE) for more information about our Lodge Officers and Advisers.


An Order of the Arrow Section consists of Lodges within a geographic vicinity. Each section is led by a chief, vice chief, and secretary, who play a crucial part in making the annual conclave a success. The section may lead training seminars, promote national programs of emphasis, and provide resources to local lodges. The section chief presides over the Council of Chiefs, attended by delegates of each member lodge.

Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge #165 is currently in Section E14 (Formerly NE-4A) along with the Following Lodges:

Eastern Region 


The Order of the Arrow is organized in two geographic regions: the Eastern and Gateway Regions. Each region is led by a youth region chief, a volunteer region chairman, and a professional region staff adviser. The key three are, at the discretion of the region chairman, also supported by a region OA committee consisting of youth and adult volunteers. The region leadership team helps execute the national program on a more local level, implements the National Leadership Seminar (NLS) and Developing Youth Leadership Conference (DYLC), provides its member sections with resources, and facilitates communication between local organizations and the national OA committee.

Each year, the approximately forty elected section chiefs are invited to a national planning meeting. The section chiefs form the conference committee for the following year’s national program of emphasis, such as the National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC), which is held under the guidance of the National Order of the Arrow Committee.

Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge #165 is in the Eastern Region

Gateway Region


At the national level, the Order of the Arrow is governed by the National Order of the Arrow Committee. The national committee sets program policy, directs the national program of the Order, and broadly manages the organization above the local lodge level. The committee is composed of the national chief and national vice chief (and their immediate predecessors), who are elected annually at the national planning meeting; the current and immediate past region chiefs, if appointed by the chairman; the volunteer chairman, who is appointed annually by the Chief Scout Executive; other volunteer members, as appointed by the chairman; and two staff members, the director of the Order of the Arrow and the associate director.

Some of the Above information has been copied from - https://oa-bsa.org/about/organization-structure 


The Order of the Arrow has more than 160,000 active members located in lodges affiliated with over 270 BSA local councils. As of August 2018, there is now an OA lodge in every council across the United States. 

Membership Requirements

Unit elections are permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scout units. The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are as follows:

Membership Levels

Induction (Ordeal)

The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership in the Order. During the experience, candidates maintain silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and sleep apart from other campers. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values. All candidates for membership must complete the Ordeal.

Brotherhood Membership

After 6 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

After two years of exceptional service as a Brotherhood member, and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow committee, a Scout or Scouter may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for their distinguished contributions to their lodge, the Order of the Arrow, Scouting, or their Scout camp. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.

The above information on Membership Levels has been copied from - https://oa-bsa.org/about/membership 


Here is a list of some of the common Order of the Arrow terms used in this website for those of you who may be unfamiliar or new.

OA - abbreviation for the Order of the Arrow

Lodge - the basic unit of the Order. There is at least one OA lodge that corresponds with each council in the BSA.

Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont - the name of our lodge. Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont is a Seneca Name, and the English translation is “The Doorkeeper.”

Section - a grouping of lodges, one of the subdivisions in the organizational structure of the Order.

Conclave - a once-yearly gathering of all of the lodges in the section.

Fellowship - a gathering of the members of a lodge, generally a weekend event used to enhance the experience of the Order for Arrowmen.

Ordeal - a lodge event at which new members are inducted.

Lodge Executive Committee (also called LEC) - the committee comprising of all officers of the lodge, such as the Lodge Chief and Vice-Chiefs.

Council of Chiefs (Also Known as CoC)