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Order of the Arrow to open unit elections to Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts

On May 23, the National Order of the Arrow Committee approved some exciting updates to Scouting’s national honor society.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2019, unit elections will be permitted in Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships. Previously, elections only were for Boy Scout troops.

The Order of the Arrow, or OA, has welcomed female leaders since 1988. Today’s announcement means women and girls who are under 21 will be eligible for election into the service-minded society as well.

What’s Changing?

The new requirements to be eligible for election will be as follows:

  • Have experienced 15 nights of 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 BSA. 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.

What’s Not Changing?

The OA’s mission and purpose will not change.

That includes a commitment to recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, promote responsible outdoor adventure and crystallize the Scout habit of cheerful service.

Handy Infographic

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