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Membership Levels

Selection to the Order of the Arrow is actually very special because most of the members voting in the election are non-members. The Order of the Arrow is one of few groups that operates that way. That is noteworthy because an Arrowman’s first duty is to serve their Troop.

Ordeal Sash on Scout

Ordeal Sash on Scout

Ordeal Honor

Ordeal Membership is our most basic membership. After being elected and called-out, a candidate will either be inducted into our lodge at one of our summer camps, or at the Fall Fellowship. Starting with an inspiring ceremony, the candidate is presented with four challenges to help him understand the obligations of a member of the Order to show brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. Once the four tests are completed, the member takes an obligation of service, and becomes an Ordeal member of the Order. Note that nothing in the Ordeal is considered hazing; the “tests” are exercises intended to promote self-discovery and inspiration, and all ceremonies are reviewed regularly by Scouting and religious leaders. The experience of the Ordeal is to challenge one’s self to understand an obligation of life-long cheerful service.

Brotherhood Sash on Scout

Brotherhood Sash on Scout

Brotherhood Honor

All members in the Order of the Arrow are equal. Each member is entitled to all the rights and privileges of membership in the Order. Yet, the Order of the Arrow is strengthened by brotherhood within the membership. To recognize those who have given service within the OA membership and are willing to reaffirm their belief in the Order by accepting the five challenges, each Ordeal member is encouraged to earn their Brotherhood.

After being an active Ordeal member for 10 months and completing the five challenges of Brotherhood Membership, you may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony. We offer the opportunity for Ordeal members to convert to Brotherhood membership at our fellowships.

For information about converting to Brotherhood, visit here.

Vigil Sash

Vigil Sash being Worn

Vigil Honor

Vigil Honor Symbol on pin

Vigil Honor Symbol on pin

Alertness to the needs of others is the mark of the Vigil Honor. It calls for an individual with an unusual awareness of the possibilities within each situation.

The Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for exceptional service to lodge, council, community and Scouting. Membership cannot be won by a person’s conscious endeavors.

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:

  • Order of the Arrow
  • Scouting community
  • Scout Camp
  • Community

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

Any member of the Order of the Arrow registered in Scouting and in good standing in a regularly chartered lodge is eligible for recommendation to the National Order of the Arrow Committee for elevation to the Vigil Honor provided that, at the time of the recommendation, the individual has been a Brotherhood member for a minimum of two years.

A lodge may nominate a maximum of two percent of their registered Arrowmen once a year, through the Vigil Honor petition, found in the annual re-charter packet. At least 50 percent of all nominated must be under 21 at the time of nomination.

Visit our forms page to find a nomination form for the Vigil Honor.