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Order of the Arrow Elections

Once each year (calendar year), a chartered Boy Scout Troop, Crew or Ship may invite the OA to conduct a unit election to elect youth members of their unit to become members of the Order of the Arrow.

New members are voted on by every youth member of the troop present at the election - not just the units OA members thereby insuring that Scouts are elected by the people who know them best.

If have been elected this year and have questions about the Ordeal process or what to do next, visit our Candidate page.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does a Scout have to earn their Scouts BSA First Class rank, to become eligible for election?
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 Award, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher.
Can a Scout use the same camping nights towards the requirements of Camping merit badge and for the OA camping requirement?
Yes. While the Scouts BSA advancement program often prohibits one action or event from counting towards two different requirements, camping nights can be counted towards both Scouts BSA advancement and the OA camping requirement.
A Scout who recently joined my unit camped a lot in their previous unit. Should that camping be counted when deciding if they can be listed on the election ballot for my unit's election?
Yes. All BSA camping done by a Scout in the program area for which they are being considered for election (see question 4 for exception) counts towards the camping portion of the membership qualifications, as long as the camping was within the last two years.
A Scout in my Scouts BSA troop is also registered in a Venturing crew or Sea Scout Ship. Can camping trips with the crew or ship count towards the camping requirement?
It is preferred that camping requirements be met as part of the unit in which the youth is being considered for election (i.e., troop, crew, or ship); however, extenuating circumstances may exist (e.g., in cases where a youth did not have an opportunity to meet the requirement with the unit), that make it appropriate for unit leaders to consider other BSA camping experiences.
If a Scout goes to summer camp and a jamboree in the same summer, how do these count towards the camping requirement?
Have experienced 15 nights of Boy 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.
Does the long term camp have to be at my council's camp?
Camping at a council's own camp(s) is not part of the national requirements for eligibility for election to the Order of the Arrow. Any "long-term camp ... approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America" meets this portion of the camping requirement.
Does the camping have to be with a Scout's unit?
Camping does not have to be with a Scout's unit. For example, participation in a seven day, six night National Youth Leadership Training course should be considered a "long-term camp" as would attendance at summer camp with another troop.
My unit attends summer camp for five days and four nights. Can that count towards the camping requirement?
The camping requirement for long-term camps is a minimum of five nights, so three nights of this could be counted as a short term camp.
What does "... under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America " mean in the camping requirement?
It means: Camping conducted within the guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America, amongst other things, to conduct the program in accordance with the Guide to Safe Scouting and all youth protection guidelines, and, if water sports are conducted, using Safe Swim Defense and the buddy system, and all other policies in force not specifically listed here.
Do youths have to be present for an election, or can they participate by phone or Skype or vote through an absentee ballot?
All youths must be physically present to vote in a unit election. Through July 1, 2020 they may be present on a video conference if the election is being held during these special circumstances.
Do youths have to be present to be placed on the election ballot and be elected?
No. All Scouts who meet the eligibility requirements should be included on the election ballot, even if some of these Scouts are not present when the election is being held.
As a unit leader, how do I determine which youths are active and thus count for purposes of determining if a quorum is present for an election?
The Guide for Officers and Advisers says: Registered active member. In Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships, every registered active member of the unit under age 21 at the time of election (including assistant Scoutmasters who are 18, 19 or 20 years old) is eligible to vote. A Scout who carries a current national membership card and participates in at least some unit activities during the year is considered to be a registered active member of the unit. For example, a youth away at college who participates in some unit activities when home, such as a campout, camporee, or occasional unit meeting, should be considered a registered active member. A youth who moves away or drops out of the unit because of other interests would not be counted in the registered active membership figure. As an example, a Scout who hasn't participated in unit activities in several months and who cannot be reached to confirm that they have dropped out of the unit should not be counted as a member of the unit when deciding if at least 50 percent of the registered active unit membership is present.
Can a unit conduct its own 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. The lodge is responsible for making sure that elections teams are properly trained, so it's important that units not conduct their own elections.