Prepare For Your Unit Election

Membership Requirements

Membership Requirements:

Unit leader approval. To become eligible for election, a Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of their unit leader prior to the election. The unit leader must certify their Scout spirit (i.e., their adherence to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activities). The unit leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election.

Youth Membership Qualifications:

All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Order of the Arrow who are under 21 years of age shall be considered youth members or candidates for youth membership, subject to meeting the following requirements:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.

  • 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, Venturing Discovery Award, or 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.

  • Have experienced 15 nights of 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.

  • Assistant scoutmasters who are 18, 19 or 20 years old are also considered to be youth members for the purpose of OA elections. All requirements shown above must be met for a young assistant scoutmaster to be eligible for election.

        • Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirement may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee. (See Adult Membership Qualifications Below)

Scouts With Special Needs:

The Order of the Arrow is committed to including Scouts and Scouters who have special needs because of a disability. In the case of special-needs troops, election teams should follow the same procedures, keeping in mind that any Scout who is classified as a youth member of a Scouts BSA troop, Venturing crew, or Sea Scout ship regardless of age, will be considered a youth (voting) member. All other membership requirements remain the same.

Adult Membership Qualifications:

Each year, upon holding a unit election for youth candidates that results in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may nominate registered unit adults, 21 years of age or older, to 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 candidates is not a multiple of three. In addition to the two-thirds 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, 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 is not for recognition of service, including current and prior achievements 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.

Also a Friendly Reminder:

Q: Can a unit conduct its own election? A: The Guide for Officers and Advisers says:

Induction: Election to Ordeal

2. The lodge, through the unit elections committee, should work with the unit leader in establishing the actual time and place to conduct the election. The OA should be represented by a two or three-member team from the lodge or chapter unit elections committee. All elections teams must be trained and in proper uniform during the election

Also From the Guide for Officers and Advisers:

Elections outside the registered council. All elections must be conducted by the Order of the Arrow lodge of the council in which the unit is chartered. No unit may visit outside its own council and hold an OA election under the auspices of an OA lodge of another council.