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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the Order of the Arrow?
Often referred to as the OA, the Order of the Arrow is Scouting's Honor Society.  It is a brotherhood of honored scouts and scouters who promote scout camping and perform service to others.

What's a Lodge?
Nearly every Scout Council in the nation has an OA Lodge associated with it.  In the Old Baldy Council, the OA Lodge is Navajo Lodge 98.  We are the oldest lodge in California.

Who runs the Lodge?
The Lodge is run by an Chief's Council, at the head of which sits the Lodge Chief.  He is joined by the other Lodge Officers; Vice Chiefs, Treasurer and Secretary.  No OA member over the age of 21 may serve as a lodge position.  The Council appoints a Lodge Adviser to guide the Chief's Council and help facilitate their goals and objectives.  The Lodge Adviser appoints an adult Adviser for each Vice-Chief and any other Advisers as may be necessary.  The Council also assigns a Staff Adviser to the Lodge.

When does the Chief's Council meet?
The Chief's Council meets the third Wednesday of each month from September through June at the First United Methodist Church.  Meetings begin at 7:00 PM.  All OA members are invited to attend but meeting attendance is restricted to OA members only.  While all members are invited to attend, please remember that only the Chief's Council may vote.

Election Questions

How does one become a member of the OA?
The OA has different procedures for youth and adults.  Youth members (under the age of 21) are elected by other youth members of their troop in an election conducted by the OA Lodge through the Chapters.  At least 50% of the registered youth members of the troop must be present for an election to be held.
Adults are nominated by the troop committee and the nomination is forwarded to a Lodge Adult nomination committee headed by the Lodge Adviser for consideration.

Are there any membership requirements?
Yes.  To be considered for election, a youth must be a registered member of his unit, must have achieved the rank of First Class, must not have reached his 21st birthday, and must, while registered with a troop, have a minimum of 15 days and nights of scout camping experience, including one (and only one) long term camping experience (7 days/6 nights) within two years prior to the election.  With the exception of the first class and age requirement, adult nominees must meet the same camping and membership requirements.

Is there any limit to the number of youth who are placed on the ballot for election?
Provided they all meet the eligibility requirements,  no.

Does the Scoutmaster have to list all youth who are eligible?
No.  The scoutmaster must sign the election form certifying that all those on the ballot are eligible for election.  If the scoutmaster feels that a certain member or members of the unit do not exemplify the high ideals of the OA, he does not have to list them as eligible for election even though they may meet the membership requirements.  The scoutmaster has full discretion as to the eligibility of any troop member for the election, but he may not waive the membership requirements.  This certification takes place prior to the election, and cannot be changed once the election takes place.

Can the Scoutmaster vote in the election?
No.  No one over the age of 21 may cast a vote in the election.

How many elections can my troop have per year?
One.  Each troop is entitled to only one election per year.  They usually take place between January and March.

How do I arrange for an election?
Beginning in November each year, the Chapter election teams will start contacting each scoutmaster in their Districts to set up elections. If your troop has not been contacted each year by February 1st, you are encouraged to contact your the Lodge Adviser for action.

Can a Scoutmaster conduct his own election?
No.  All elections must be conducted with at least one member of the Chapter or Lodge election team present, preferably a member from outside the troop.

How do I nominate an adult for membership?
Adult nomination forms are available from the election team or your Lodge Adviser.  They must be filled out accurately and completely, and signed by the Committee Chairman.  The committee chairman should retain one copy of the form with the remaining copy and original forwarded to the Lodge Adviser.

How many adults may I nominate?
Each troop who has a youth election may nominate one adult per 50 youth in the unit (0-50, 1 adult; 50-100. 2 adults; 100-150, adults, etc.)

How are adult nominations considered?
The adult nomination process is very selective.  Since the OA exists by and large for the youth, with the youth only, serving in the leadership positions, adult nominations are carefully screened.  The committee considers the adults ability to perform the necessary functions to help the OA fulfill its goals and purposes, how the adult will be an asset to the Lodge and whether the adult will be a positive role model to the youth.  OA membership is NOT a recognition for service either past or present NOR a reward for achievement or position.

Can my Venture Crew, Varsity Team, Venturing Crew or Explorer Post have an election?
OA elections can only be held by Scout Troops and Varisty Teams.  Elections cannot be held by Venturing Crews or Explorer Posts.

Ordeal Questions

Once elected, am I member?
No.  All those who are elected must first successfully pass an ordeal.

What is the Ordeal?
The Ordeal consists of a night out alone under the heavens followed by a day of minimal food and silent labor at Holcomb Valley Scout Camp.

When is the Ordeal weekend?
The Ordeal weekend is usually the first weekend in June and a second one in September.

How will I be notified about the Ordeal?
After your election, you will receive a mailing from the Lodge, usually within two to four weeks, detailing the information about the Ordeal weekend, what to bring and other information.  There will also be a registration form which must be filled out and returned by the specified deadline.

How long do I have after the election to take my ordeal?
You have one year from the date of your election to take your Ordeal.  This affords every person at least two opportunities to complete their Ordeal.

What if I fail to take my Ordeal within that one-year period?
Then you would have to be reelected.  In extreme cases such as family emergencies, the Chief's Council will consider granting an extension of the Ordeal eligibility period.  However, each case is considered separately on its own merits and must be brought to the Chief's Council.  For more information, contact the Lodge Adviser.

Do adult nominees have to take the Ordeal also?
Yes.  Adults have to successfully pass the same ordeal as the youth in order to become members.  And they must also complete it within a one-year period.

Election was held in our troop, but the results were not announced, what happens next?
The scoutmaster has the right to seal the election results for release at some later date, such as a troop court of honor or District tap out. The year of eligibility would not start until the candidate is officially recognized by his unit.


Are there yearly dues?
Yes.  Dues for the Lodge year are $20.00.  The Lodge year runs from September 1st through Augues 31th.

Do new Ordeal members have to pay dues?
The Ordeal fee includes one year of dues.

Once I pay my dues, will I get a membership card?

I am moving out of the Council, is my OA membership transferable?
Certainly.  When you get where you¹re going, have your new Council formally request your OA records from us.  Once you register in a new Council, you can no longer remain a member of Navajo, unless you also still maintain registration here.

Can I be a member of more than one Lodge?
No.  National policy dictates that you can only belong to one lodge at a time.  It must be the lodge associated with the council where you hold your primary registration.  Even if you pay a registration fee to more than one council, you must choose only one lodge.

Do my OA dues include BSA registration?
No.  OA membership is exclusive of membership in the Boy Scouts of America.

Do I have to be registered in the BSA to be member of the Lodge?
Yes.  You must be registered in a Pack, Troop, Crew, Team, or at-large in order to be considered an active member of the Lodge and participate in Lodge events.  O-A membership does not supersede or include BSA membership.