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Path to Brotherhood

There are no ranks in the Order of the Arrow, only levels of understanding. An Ordeal Member’s only obligation is to his Scouting unit. Brotherhood Membership is for those Scouts whose primary obligation is still to the unit, but who also wish to expand their service to the Lodge. The Vigil Honor is a recognition of those Arrowmen whose service remains for many years “above and beyond the call of duty.” The Vigil Honor is not earned but presented to those who exemplify qualities cherished by the Order of the Arrow.

You, my brother, have stood the test of the Ordeal. Are you ready now to seal your membership in our great Order? You have had the opportunity to apply what you learned from the Ordeal to your life. Are you ready now to reaffirm your belief in the high purposes of our Order? You have served your unit faithfully, and have sought to fulfill the Obligation of the Order. Are you ready now to complete your journey by accepting Brotherhood membership?

This booklet has been prepared to provide a resource to Arrowmen wishing to accept Brotherhood. The information contained within this booklet is only a summary. If you wish to know more about the Ordeal and the Order of the Arrow, consult your OA handbook, as well as The History of the Order of the Arrow book.

The Purpose of The Order of the Arrow

  1. 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 a manner as to warrant recognition.
  2. To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit.
  3. To promote Scout camping.
  4. To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in unselfish service to others.

Soon, my brother, you will have the opportunity to take the Brotherhood, and by so doing, you will have completed your Induction into the Order of the Arrow. This is an important step not only in your Scouting life, but also in your personal life, and I strongly encourage you to take this step forward.

If you have completed your AIMs contract with your unit leader then you know of the powerful influence that cheerful service has on the attitude of your fellow Scouts, and you know that your example has promoted the principles of the Order within your unit ranks.

Ours is a service organization, and ours is an obligation to promote the Scout Oath and Law, and the principles of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. We are at our best when we promote and encourage our unit to camp, to hike, and to enjoy the great outdoors with us. These things you have done, and you must continue to do. But now I challenge you to a higher pledge, that of serving the Order, and in so doing, expanding your Scouting service to include Scouts from many troops, indeed, to Scouts across the boundaries of our Council.

Come, join us in service.

Brotherhood Requirements

  1. Time- You must be an Ordeal member for at least 10 months.
  2. Dues- Your dues must be current in the lodge.
  3. Fees- Your Brotherhood fee must be paid. This fee is based on the current price of a Brotherhood sash.
  4. Letter- You must write a letter to the Lodge Communications Vice Chief addressing the following topics:
    1. What you have done for your unit since your election (This may be accomplished by attaching your completed AIMS Goals).
    2. How you will serve your lodge and chapter as a Brotherhood member.
    3. What the Obligation means to you.
  5. You must memorize the following:
    1. The Obligation of the Order of the Arrow
    2. The Song of the Order of the Arrow
    3. The Admonition of the Order of the Arrow
    4. The Handclasp and Sign of the Order of the Arrow
  6. You should also understand the purpose and intent of the Ordeal and its Ceremonies. Specifically, the elements listed herein.