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The Order of the Arrow (OA) is a National brotherhood of Boy Scouts and Scouters, founded in 1915 to promote Scout camping and to maintain the tradition of the daily Good Turn.  Its traditions are rooted deep in the lore of the Lenni Lenape, of the Delaware Indian tribes.  The purpose of the OA is: 

  1. To recognize Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives

  2. To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit

  3. To promote scout camping

  4. To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others

Each council operates the OA program in its own "Lodge."  Our council's lodge name is "Navajo."  The mission of the lodge is to achieve the purpose of the Order of the Arrow as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America in the council through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.

Scouts are chosen, once a year, in each troop, by a secret ballot.  Those elected are given the distinctive honor of being nominated, not for what they have accomplished, but for the greater service that they are expected to give in the future.  An OA election is, therefore, not a popularity contest.  Once elected, a Scout must complete the Ordeal, a weekend-long series of tests of his character, resolve, and commitment to Scouting's ideals, before he is accepted in the brotherhood.  Adult Scouters are also eligible to be nominated for OA membership (1 adult allowed per troop per year).  Such nominations are made by the Troop Committee, providing at least one youth is elected during the current year.

Camping is a method of Scouting, but camping is not Scouting’s purpose. Scouting aims to build character, citizenship and fitness.  When Scouts go camping, this growth just seems to follow.  That is because Scouts who camp will sooner or later come face to face with practical applications of the Scout Oath and Law.  Cheerfulness, trustworthiness, courtesy, helpfulness, and all the central virtues of Scouting are necessary in camp and society.  Life in the open is a natural teacher of these essential survival skills.  Thus the OA promotes camping and camping becomes more effective in achieving the aims of Scouting.

Often the OA is associated with Native Americans and their traditions such as costumes, dances and ceremonies.  However, these traditions are only a tool to help maintain the interest of the scouts.

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