Membership in the Order of the Arrow by those youth selected to be
members is considered an honor by those in the scouting community.
The Order is, in fact, considered to be “Scouting’s National Honor
Society.” Scouts are chosen to become Arrowmen by the youth in
their troop, both Arrowmen and non-Arrowmen alike. In order to
become an Arrowmen, a Scout must hold First-Class rank and have
experienced 15 days and nights of Scout camping within the two years
prior to his election, including at least one long term resident
camp experience of at least 6 days and 5 nights. Adults, on the
other hand, are chosen not necessarily as an honor, but for how he
or she will help to fulfill the Order’s purpose. That is to say,
adult Scouters are selected to become Arrowmen so that their
contributions to the Scouting movement may be enhanced by
participation in the Order.
There are no ranks in the Order of the Arrow, every member has the
same rights and privileges. However, there are three different
levels of membership, known as honors,
that distinguish and set apart some Arrowmen from others. Ordeal
membership is the first honor, an honor bestowed upon an Arrowmen by
the Scouts in his troop. Brotherhood membership is the second
honor, a personal choice bestowed upon an Arrowmen by his or
herself. Vigil membership is the third and highest honor, conferred
upon an Arrowmen by those members of the lodge who are not eligible
for selection as Vigil members. The three honors are explained in
more detail below.
Ordeal Membership is the first step of membership in the Order of
the Arrow. First, an Arrowman is elected by the Scouts in his
troop, both members and non-members of the Order who felt that you
lived up to the high ideals of the Scout Oath and Law. He is then
called out and invited to participate in the Ordeal weekend. On
Friday night he participates in a pre-Ordeal ceremony and then on
Saturday met several tests in the Ordeal. He then participates in
the Ordeal ceremony and is recognized with the Ordeal Sash. There
is no rank in the Order of the Arrow and as an Ordeal member he is
entitled to all the rights and privileges of membership in the
The next step of membership in the Order of the Arrow is Brotherhood
membership. This is an opportunity for members to reflect on their
service to Scouting, the Order of the Arrow, and their unit. The
Brotherhood is a sealing of one’s membership in the Order. Where
the Ordeal member’s primary responsibility is to his unit, a
Brotherhood member makes a commitment to the lodge as well as his
unit. The Brotherhood sash is the Ordeal sash with a bar at each
end to signify the sealing of membership in the OA. It is the
purpose of the Order to strengthen the principals set forth in the
induction sequence of the Ordeal; thus, Brotherhood membership is a
sign of this commitment to the ideals of the Order and to a lifetime
of service to our fellow man. The requirements for Brotherhood
membership are listed below, they can also be found in the Order of
the Arrow handbook.
The Vigil Honor is awarded to Arrowmen for service to the Lodge,
Scouting, their unit, or their Scout camp. The Vigil cannot be
sought by a member but is bestowed upon a member by the Lodge with
approval of the National Order of the Arrow Committee. It is
recognition of unselfish leadership in service and is bestowed for
going beyond the normal responsibilities of an Arrowman. To be
eligible for the Vigil Honor, one must have been a Brotherhood
member for at least two years. The Vigil sash adds a triangle to
the center of the arrow to signify the Vigil Honor.
In order to keep your membership in the Order of the Arrow and
Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont Lodge 165 current and to continue to receive the
newsletter, The Elogamgussit (“Messenger” in the Alogonquin
language of the Delaware Indians), you must keep your dues paid.
Below are the current amounts for dues payable in one year, two
year, and three year amounts. You may pay your dues at any Lodge event or send
a check to the Council Service Center marked with your name and OA
1 year - $10.00
2 years - $19.00
3 years - $26.00
Please remember that unless your dues are paid you will be dropped
from the Lodge roster on March 15th of the year after the most recent year that they were paid.
HOW DO I BECOME A BROTHERHOOD MEMBER?
The sealing of your membership in the Order, by completing the
requirements of Brotherhood listed below, is your personal
commitment to the high ideals of the order and Scouting.
Read over the sections of the Order of the Arrow Handbook on Brotherhood Membership and The Trail to Brotherhood.
These should give you a better understanding of what is expected and
give you time for thought and reflection on what you have learned
during your Ordeal.
You may seal your membership by completing the Brotherhood
requirements and taking part in the Brotherhood Ceremony offered at
several Ho-Nan-Ne-Ho-Ont events. There will be a place on the
registration form to mark that you wish to take your Brotherhood.
You must be an Ordeal member for ten (10) months, providing service
to your troop before you can make this commitment. You should be
serving as a leader in your troop and helping the younger Scouts in
any way you can. Service does not always mean coming to camp and
working hard. Service can be in the form of being an instructor in
the troop, helping to organize a fundraiser, helping to run unit
elections or a camp promotions program for the Lodge. The time you
commit to the Lodge should not hurt your troop program; however,
your support to the Lodge should strengthen your ability to help
He who serves his fellows, is of his fellows greatest.
in the Legend of the Order of the Arrow
REQUIREMENTS FOR BROTHERHOOD MEMBERSHIP
- You must be an Ordeal member for at least 10 months.
- Your dues must be current in the Lodge.
- Your Brotherhood fee must be paid. Currently the fee for taking
your Brotherhood is $25.00, which includes food for the weekend and
a Brotherhood sash.
- You must write a letter to the Lodge Secretary addressing the
you have done for your unit since your election.
you will serve the lodge and chapter as a Brotherhood member.
the Obligation means to you.
Please bring this letter with you to your Brotherhood weekend.
must memorize and understand the meaning of the following:
Obligation of the Order of the Arrow
Song of the Order of the Arrow
Admonition of the Order of the Arrow
Handclasp and Sign of the Order of the Arrow
should also understand the purpose and intent of the Ordeal and its
Ceremonies. Specifically, the elements listed herein. Please
review your Spirit of the Arrow booklets and Order of the Arrow
handbook, specifically the sections entitled, “The Challenges of
Brotherhood Membership,” and “The Customs and Traditions of the
Order of the Arrow.”