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WHAT IS THE ORDER OF THE ARROW?

“The Order is a thing of the spirit rather than of mechanics. Organization, Operational Procedures, and all that go with them are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what count in the end. The things of the spirit are what count.”
- E. Urner Goodman, Co-founder of the Order of the Arrow

PURPOSE OF THE ORDER OF THE ARROW

  • To recognize those campers - Scouts and Scouters - who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and by such recognition, cause other campers to conduct themselves in such manner as to warrant recognition.
  • To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit.
  • To promote Scout camping, which reaches its greatest effectiveness as a part of the unit’s camping program, both year-round and in the summer camp, as directed by the camping committee of the council.
  • To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

MISSION OF THE ORDER OF THE ARROW LODGE
The mission of the lodge is to achieve the purpose of the Order of the Arrow as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America in the council through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.

PRINCIPLES OF THE ORDER OF THE ARROW
The Order of the Arrow was founded upon the principles of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. These principles form the foundation for the Obligation of the Order. This is not an easy pledge to fulfill, for there are few who live a life of cheerful service in our world. For some, the Order will be like a supernova, shining brilliantly for a brief time and soon crumbling to ashes. For others, the Order will kindle a flame of brotherhood, brighter than a thousand suns, lasting throughout eternity.

HOW BIG IS THE OA?
Currently, the Order of the Arrow has more than 185,000 members in 311 lodges throughout the United States of America.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Here is a list of some of the common OA terms used in this website for those of you who may be unfamiliar or new.

Lodge - the basic unit of the Order. There is one OA lodge that corresponds with each council in the BSA.
Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont - the name of our lodge. In the Algonquin language of the Lenni Lenape Indians, it means “Keeper of the Western Gate.”
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 - the committee comprising of all officers of the lodge, such as the Lodge Chief and Vice-Chiefs.

ORDER OF THE ARROW - SCOUTING’S NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY