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Ordeal Membership


Dr. E. Urner Goodman, founder of the Order, once said "Qualities of character like cheerfulness and service are hard for a boy or man to understand in the abstract. They come easier when seen in human life." 


Your experience during the Ordeal should enable you now to give the leadership your unit wants and expects from you.  For this reason, your first duty as an Arrowman is to continue to expand your service to your unit.   The success of the Order of the Arrow in your unit depends mainly on what you do individually.   Your example of cheerful service in camp and at unit meetings is the spark that brings that spirit to life!

Here are the membership eligibility requirements:

  • 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.

  • Candidates selected as of January 1, 2023, will have 18 months from the date of election to complete their Ordeal. Candidates selected for membership prior to January 1, 2023 continue have 24 months to seal their membership under the temporary COVID-19 membership eligibility policy.

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