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Troop, Crew, & Ship Elections

The Unit Election is the beginning of a Scout’s journey in the Order of the Arrow.

Each unit election is held at a Troop, Crew, or Ship meeting by the local Chapter’s election team.

Every youth member in the Order of the Arrow has been chosen by their peers.


  • Be a registered member of Scouting BSA.

  • 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

  • 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 and under the auspices and standards of Scouting BSA.  

  • The balance of the camping (10nights) 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.

  • Approved 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. (See your election team for more information)

Changes in OA election eligibility requirements for the calendar year 2021 election cycle ONLY:

  • The limitation on counting no more than three (3) nights of short-term camping in a single month is increased to five (5) nights per month. All other requirements for virtual short-term camping eligibility remain in effect.

  • The requirement for a long-term camp of five (5) consecutive nights is relaxed. While council long-term camps should be utilized if available, any combination of short-term and/or long-term nights, in camp or virtual, that are part of a BSA unit-organized unit camping event held within the two years prior to election may be counted toward the 15 night requirement.

  • Prior to the annual election, the unit leader must certify the nominee’s Scout Spirit and youth membership qualifications.

The following temporary modifications to the camping requirements are in effect “until further notice”:

  • Virtual [short-term] camping (i.e., backyard or solo camping) may be counted toward the required nights of camping for OA election eligibility if all the following stipulations are met:

    • All virtual camping nights should be a direct result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and be part of a BSA unit-organized unit camping event. (multiple members of the unit are involved and camping simultaneously at remote locations) Campout evaluation should be done after the event.

  • Virtual long-term camp plan must be developed and approved by the unit leader prior to the commencement of the long-term camp. Campout evaluation should be completed after the event and the unit leader will determine if the Scout's participation warrants granting credit for the completed virtual long-term camping experience in terms of OA eligibility.



  • All election teams will consist of at least two youth and one adult current members of the Order of the Arrow. 

  • Most elections can take between 15 to 30 minutes depending on your unit size.

  • Prior to the election, you will be asked for a list of eligible scouts in order to build a ballot.

  • Before contacting your local chapter adviser, please have your list of eligible scouts prepared.

As soon as the election is completed the OA members may announce to the entire unit the names of members who have been elected.

Some Chapters have a scheduled call-out ceremony for the newly elected Scouts.

Please talk to your local chapter adviser about call-out opportunities when you schedule your unit election.



To Get Election Materials And More Elections Information Click Here, Or, Email

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