The Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting's National Honor Society. a society of honor campers and the brotherhood of cheerful service. Order of the Arrow ceremonies are rich in Native American lore, setting and costume. This is a unique organization, where membership can only be obtained by being elected by non-members. It is a service-oriented group, and nominated individuals (youth and adult) must meet high standards of service and camping. Elections are held once a year in each troop, team and post desiring one. After election, candidates must complete an Ordeal, a complex and very meaningful induction ceremony. Currently, Ordeals are held twice a year at the Spring and Fall Conclaves. The OA is aligned along council and district boundaries. The lodge for the Great Southwest Council is Yah-Tah-Hey-Si-Kess Lodge. Chapters exist for each of the nine districts of the council, with larger chapters forming clans. The lodge, and each of its chapters, is led by a Chief (elected youth), an Adviser (appointed adult) and a professional Staff Adviser.
|Order of the Arrow Events |
- Spring and Fall Conclaves: These weekend events are held at Gorham Scout Ranch in May and September each year for the purpose of fellowship, ceremonies, service to camp, and new member induction.
- Winter Banquet: Held each December at varying locations. A family-oriented awards and recognition banquet caps-off a day of training and fellowship.
- Spring Fellowship: Held in early March at varying locations. The weekend includes fellowship, training, camp staff interviews, and sightseeing.
- Section Conclave: Held in April at varying locations. The section is made up of three lodges, including those from Roswell and El Paso. The weekends include training, fellowship, Indian dancing, sharing ideas, and various competitions.
- National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC): NOAC is held every two years (non-jamboree years) in August at a major university in the Midwest. This is a very inspirational event that includes training, competition, activities, patch trading, ceremonies, and elaborate shows.
Youth members of the Order of the Arrow are elected by their fellow Scouts in annual Unit Elections held in the Spring of the year for each troop and team desiring one. Additionally there are guidelines for troop and team committees to recommend adults for membership. Full membership eligibility requirements and election procedures are available from the current edition of the Order of the Arrow Handbook. Once elected, candidates must complete a weekend Ordeal, complete with Indian-lore, camp service projects, and meaningful induction ceremony. After ten months as an Ordeal Member, one can seal their membership as a Brotherhood Member by learning more about the customs and traditions of the Order of the Arrow. Vigil Honor Members of the OA served the lodge for at least two years as Brotherhood Members, and are recognized by the lodge for their leadership and example in providing service.
You can also visit the National Order of the Arrow website.