OA Unit Elections
The Order of the Arrow (OA) is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Once each calendar year a chartered Troop, Crew, or Varsity Team may hold a unit election to elect youth members of their unit to be Ordeal candidates.
The OA initiation, known as the ‘Ordeal’ is a Boy Scout tradition which goes back for over a century.
Ordeal candidates selected by their unit, by gaining at least 50% of their peer’s vote in their unit. Scouts are only voted on individually, no scout is running against another scout. There is no max or min number per unit.
Complete list of requirement listed on the Official OA BSA site.
- 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, hold the Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery Award, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor 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.
UNIT LEADERS - Start Here...
Follow this process…
- Load in your unit’s youth on Step 2.
You will need to know for each scout: (1) Name, (2) Rank, (3) DOB, (4) Address, and (5) BSA ID
- You will repeat Step 2 for every eligible youth.
(if you have a large troop, please email the list to email@example.com, preferably in a Google Sheet or spreadsheet)
- Invite OA to your unit meeting.
- Hold elections with an OA leader. Please allow for 20-30 min to explain what OA is, the election process, answer any questions, and hold the elections.
Please continue on to Step 2 and load in your unit’s eligible scouts.
Great, you’ve added all your youth. Thanks!
Please contact the following Arrowman to coordinate your unit’s election:
E. Urner Goodman
The big event is here!
The Order of the Arrow team will instruct you on the digital election process.