Order of the Arrow Unit Elections
What is an OA Election?
Once each year, a unit (troop, crew, or ship) may hold a unit election to elect youth members to become members of the Order of the Arrow. Both youth and adult Scouts and Scouters can become members of the Order of the Arrow (OA), but only youth members are elected. Adult leaders in the unit under the age of 21 are considered youth members for OA purposes, including unit elections. New members are voted on by every youth member of the unit present at the election – not just the OA members.
Elections are normally held at a regular unit meeting, and take about half an hour to complete. In order for an election to be held, at least 50% of active youth members must be present – if less than 50% are present, the election must be rescheduled.
Who is Eligible to be Elected into the Order of the Arrow?
To be elected into the Order of the Arrow, you must:
- 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, and hold one of the following ranks corresponding to the type unit in which they are being considered for election: Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery rank, 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.
After the Election
Visit our “Newly Elected” page for more information and what to expect after your election
Download the “Electing New Members” video. This video contains a brief summary of the Order of the Arrow and its programs as well as an explanation of the election procedures. It is an invaluable resource to unit election teams.