There are no ranks in the Order of the Arrow–just three levels of membership called honors. OA members are often called arrowmen. Youth membership in the Order is defined as any active arrowman under the age of 21. Youth members are entitled to hold elected offices and run the program.
The Ordeal Honor is the initial level of membership in the Order of the Arrow. To become an Ordeal member, a scout must be elected by his or her scouting unit and then complete the Ordeal induction process at Shawnee Lodge’s Fall Reunion or Spring Conclave.
Requirements to be eligible for youth election to the OA are as follows:
-Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America
-Have camped 15 nights with a troop, crew, or ship in the two years preceeding the election
-Be First Class, Discovery, or Ordinary rank
-Have approval from unit leader
Adults can be elected by the unit committee after meeting the same camping requirement.
Our lodge conducts OA elections, call-out ceremonies, and the Pre-Ordeal at our council summer camps for those units camping in a council camp. Units camping out-of-council must follow Shawnee Lodge’s Elsewhere Elections procedures. Once elected, a scout becomes a candidate for Ordeal membership. The candidate will have two opportunities to receive Ordeal membership. These opportunities are at the Shawnee Lodge Fall Reunion, held the weekend after Labor Day, and the Shawnee Lodge Spring Conclave, typically held in early April.
Brotherhood is the next level of membership in our Order. Ordeal members are eligible to receive this honor after six months since becoming an OA member (not from election but when sash is received).
Receving the Brotherhood Honor is considered “sealing your membership” and completing your induction into the OA. It represents your continued service to your unit and to scouting since joining the Order.
To receive Brotherhood, an Ordeal candidate must first complete a Brotherhood Card. Requirements are as follows:
-Attend one chapter meeting
-Attend one lodge event
-Participate in one service project
-Attain six nights of long-term camping (cumulative six for adults)
Brotherhood induction takes place at both Fall Reunion and Spring Conclave. Those Ordeal members seeking to attain Brotherhood should take their completed Brotherhood Card to one of these events, along with $20 to cover the sash cost (as well as next year’s dues).
Brotherhood candidates will undergo Brotherhood Questioning on Saturday afternoon. A Brotherhood member will ask each candidate a number of questions about the OA from this list (password is OA admonition). After questioning, Brotherhood candidates will turn in a short statement of rededication in which they state their intention to continue to serve their unit and scouting. The Brotherhood ceremony takes place Saturday evening.
The Vigil Honor is the third level of membership in our Order and is the highest honor an arrowman can receive for service to scouting, camp, lodge, or council. It is bestowed upon less than 2% of dues-paid members in Shawnee Lodge annually. Those recognized with the Vigil are called out at the annual lodge Winter Fellowship Banquet in late December, and become inducted Vigil Honor members at the Spring Conclave in April.
Vigil Honor members are chosen by a lodge committee. Any scout can recommend a brotherhood member to the committee for consideration for the Vigil Honor using this nomination form. Note that nominations for the Class of 2022 are closed.
Those who will be selected for this honor will have the following qualifications:
-Have been a Brotherhood Honor member for no less than two years at the time of nomination by lodge committee.
-Have given unselfishly in service to scouting, camp, lodge, and/or council.
-A dues-paid arrowman of Shawnee Lodge and registered member of the Greater St. Louis Area Council.