About Us

Order of the arrow

Founded in 1915 by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, just seven years after British General Sir Robert Baden-Powell invented scouting in the United Kingdom, the Order of the Arrow is the uniquely American “honor society of scouting”

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.

Mission & Purpose

The Order of the Arrow was founded in 1915 to serve a useful purpose: to cause the Scout Oath and Law to spring into action in all parts of the nation. To this day, the Order is dedicated to this high purpose.


History of the Order

The Order of the Arrow has a rich history spanning 100 years, from its beginnings at a Boy Scout summer camp to its present role as a part of the Scouting program.

Organization & Structure

The Order of the Arrow has over 150,000 members nationwide. Although the Order of the Arrow is a thing of the spirit, there are several layers of organization, each with its own role.

Membership Requirements and the Inductions Process

Learn about the requirements to become an Arrowman, the induction process, and the levels of memberships within the Order here at the national Order of the Arrow website.


The Order of the Arrow is led by youth leadership (national chief, national vice chief), the national Order of the Arrow chairman, the OA director and the OA specialist. In addition the national Order of the Arrow committee provides direction for the yearly program.

Annual Awards

Nomination deadline for all Annual Awards and Honors is December 1st.

Below is a description of the award or honor and a link to the online nomination forms.

Vigil Honor

In order to be eligible for the Vigil Honor, the proposed candidate must have been a Brotherhood member for at least two years at the time of nomination. 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
  • Order of the Arrow
  • Scouting community
  • Scout Camp

Under no circumstances should tenure in Scouting or the Order of the Arrow be considered as reason enough for a Vigil Honor recommendation.

Founders Award

The Founder’s Award was created to honor and recognize those Arrowmen who have given outstanding service to the lodge. The award is reserved for Arrowmen who memorialize in their everyday life, the spirit of achievement as described be the founders E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A Edson. This is the highest honor which can be bestowed upon an Arrowman at the Lodge level.

Scoutmaster of the Year

The Scoutmaster of the Year program has been established by Kon Wapos Lodge to recognize the efforts put forth by Bay-Lakes Council Scoutmasters.

The criteria for judging is as follows:

-Dedication and service to the Troop

-Length of service within the Troop and Scouting

-Implementation of programming within the Troop

-Troop attendance and participation at Bay-Lakes Council events, including Summer Camp

Arrowman/Adviser of the Year

Use this form to nominate a worthy Arrowman or Adviser for the Arrowman/Adviser of the Year award. This is one of the highest honors a lodge can bestow upon its members.