New Members

Election

In Bay-Lakes Council, each unit is able to hold an Order of the Arrow election to elect youth to be candidates for the Order of the Arrow. Members are elected by their peers in an election conducted by another unit. These elections must be completed by April 1st each year. Extensions may be requested by contacting the Lodge Adviser (adviser@konwapos.org) or Lodge Chief (chief@konwapos.org) and must be approved by the Lodge Executive Committee. Membership requirements are listed below:

As of February 1, 2019, 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 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, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Adviser 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.

Induction

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.

Candidates may complete their Ordeal at any Spring Conference in late May or early June, or Fall Conference in October. Call-out ceremonies are optional recognition events at district camporees, summer camp, or other events and are not a required step in the inductions process.

Activation

Once candidates complete their Ordeal, they are invited to attend future events such as Section Conclave in September, Fall Conference in October, and Lodge Leadership Development in December. Six months following the candidate's induction, they are invited to seal their membership by completing their Brotherhood, the second "level" of Order of the Arrow membership. Any Arrowman may complete their Brotherhood at any Spring Conference or Fall Conference.

Information for Parents and Families

For some parents and families, you may be well aware of the OA-Scouting's Honor Society-and the challenge, meaning, and symbolism involved in the inductions process. Others have been kept in the dark by their teenager, and, for all you know, this was just another weekend where your son returned with bag of dirty clothes and another interesting odor.

Awake my friends! You now are starting on a long and toilsome journey...

...You were sent to seek a vision of yourselves, and of your purpose...

The spark is there, already glowing, fan it now... feed it, till it is a fire.

Our History: The Order was begun in 1915 outside of Philadelphia. For the past 96 years, the OA has been made up of the best and brightest in Scouting. You should be proud that the Scouts in your son's unit see him as being one who lives the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life. However, the OA is not an award one earns like Eagle Scout; rather, it is a call for a life of cheerful service to others.

About the Ordeal: This weekend at Spring or Fall Service Weekend, your son faced four challenges, each symbolic of 'the challenges a leader often faces'. He might not have returned home Sunday fully aware of the meaning of everything through which he has been this weekend . I want to share with you about these challenges so you can help him to understand and look ahead to how he can better serve his unit, his school, his family, and his community. The four challenges of the Ordeal are...

A Vow of Silence: The candidates take on a 24-hour vow of silence. Hours spent in thoughtful silence helps us make the right decisions, more than many days of talking. Silence helps bind us all together in brotherhood .

Sleep Alone: On Friday night, the candidates slept alone on their groundsheet underneath the stars (actually, not 20 feet away from anyone else, but in the dark night they didn't know that). This challenges the candidates to be steadfast as the polestar, self-reliant and undiscouraged.

Scant Food: During Saturday, both the breakfast and lunch meals were smaller than a typical meal. Through this form of fasting, sacrifice, and self-denial, we learn that a cheerful heart is lively even under hardship.

Arduous Labor: The day is spent working in service of the camp, as a day spent in cheerful service, is consistent with the Order's purpose of seeking to serve and being faithful to the high ideals of the Order of the Arrow.

What's Next #1:

The first place your son can get involved is by attending his chapter's monthly meeting. At this meeting, your new Arrowman (member of the Order of the Arrow) will be able to take part in a lot of fun activities, meet Scouts from other units, and get involved in the fun program of the Order of the Arrow. Chapter meetings are typically held each month in conjunction with district roundtable meetings, but check your chapter's page for specific times and locations.

What's Next #2:

Completing the Ordeal is just the first step in one's path as a member of the Order of the Arrow. Next year (after at least six months as an Arrowman) your new Arrowman should seal their membership in the OA by becoming a Brotherhood member. Kon Wapos Lodge offers Brotherhood ceremonies at all Spring Conference and Fall Conference.

What's Next #3:

We want to make sure that you and your new Arrowmen know about our upcoming events. Visit the Lodge Calendar for all of our events.

For more information or to register for any lodge event, visit konwapos.org/calendar or contact your new Arrowman's chapter adviser.

Unsure of your chapter or district, visit the Chapters page and check out the map!

Lastly, you should know that the OA is youth-run : young people are able to take on district and council leadership roles beyond their units. Each district's OA chapter has a youth chapter chief, and Bay-Lakes Council's lodge chief is a member of the council's executive board. In fact, all lodge and chapter events, including Service Weekends are organized and led in large part by youth.

He who serves his fellows is, of all his fellows greatest.

There is so much more to the Order of the Arrow - your candidate can have the time of his life as a part of the OA. Who knows the path they will take, but I do know this: being a brother in the Order of the Arrow is about being a person who serves their community, family, and Scouting unselfishly. The OA is about the joy of cheerful service to others. We are pleased to welcome him into the brotherhood!

In the spirit of Scouting,

Kon Wapos Lodge Executive Committee