About the Order of the Arrow
- E. Urner Goodman, Co-founder of the Order of the Arrow
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:
Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
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.
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:
Ah'Tic Lodge #139 - Bucktail Council
Wyona Lodge #18 - Columbia-Montour Council
Langundowi Lodge #46 - French Creek Council
Woapeu Sisilija Lodge #343 - Susquehanna Council
Gyantwachia Lodge #225 - Chief Cornplanter Council
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.
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.
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.
Unit elections are permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scout units. The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are as follows:
Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
Have experienced 15 nights of Scout camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.
At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, and hold one of the following ranks corresponding to the type of unit in which they are being considered for election: Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery rank, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee.
While there are three levels of membership (called "honors") in the Order of the Arrow, all members—regardless of honor—are considered equal.
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.
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.
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.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
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)
ORDER OF THE ARROW - SCOUTING’S NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY