Unit Leaders

This page is to help take some of the confusion of the Order of the Arrow and show what all the lodge has to offer. The main two questions we receive are about Unit Elections and the Troop Representative program. All of this and more is covered in our Unit Leader’s Guidebook. This is a book written for specifically for you – the Scoutmaster. It explains all the activities and functions of the Lodge. It was also go more in-depth than this page, however here we will go over two main parts. You can also sign up for our Mailing List to get information about upcoming events and announcements from the Lodge to pass along to the Arrowmen in your Troop.


Unit Elections

So how do my Scouts become members? To become a member, each Scout has to be elected by their Troop. Elections can be scheduled at District Roundtables or through email and can take place preferably at a Troop meeting or a Camporee. Unit Elections can also be held at summer camp if you are attending Kia Kima Scout Reservation, however usually the full Troop is not there and not able to take part in the Election. To be eligible to be on the ballot a Scout must meet three requirements:

  1. Be a First Class Scout
  2. In the last 2 years, have camped at least 15 nights under the auspices of the BSA.  Five of those nights must be in a row, in a long-term camp (summer camp, Philmont, etc), and the remaining 9 nights must not be a part of a long-term camp.
  3. Have Scoutmaster approval

If a Scout meets these requirements, they may be considered for election by the fellow Scouts in their troop.  They must receive 50% or more of the votes of his unit to be elected.

For an election to occur, 50% of the registered active youth must be present. Elections are generally conducted by a secret ballot. Troop Master can print ballots for you, or these can be made by hand. Each youth (the OA considers Youth to be under the age of 21, so a Scouter in the Troop under the age of 21 can still vote in the election, but Scouters over the age of 21 cannot vote) then votes “Yes” or “No” for each person. Therefore they can vote “Yes” for as many of the candidates as they choose.  They can also choose to abstain from the voting. If they abstain they do not vote and it does not hurt the candidate’s chances the candidate has to receive 50% of the votes turned in. Once the ballots have been turned in, they are counted secretly by the Unit Election team with the Scoutmaster and the Arrowmen fill out the necessary paperwork to turn in to the Lodge.

What about adults? How do they become members? Adults are nominated based on their potential to enhance the Order of the Arrow program within the Council.  This nomination should not be based on merit, but on what they can offer the program and its purposes as outlined above. 

Each year, upon holding a troop or team election for youth candidates that result in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may nominate adults to the lodge adult selection committee. The number of adults nominated can be no more than one-third of the number of youth candidates elected, rounded up where the number of youth candidates is not a multiple of three. In addition to the one-third limit, the unit committee may nominate the currently-serving unit leader (but not assistant leaders), as long as he or she has served as unit leader for at least the previous twelve months.

Recommendations of the adult selection committee, which consists of the lodge adviser, the chairman of the council committee on which the lodge adviser serves, and the lodge staff adviser, with the approval of the Scout executive, serving as Supreme Chief of the Fire, will be candidates for induction, provided the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and positions.
  • The individual will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that    fulfill the purpose of the Order.
  • The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.
  • The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.

Nominations for adults may be by a unit leader/committee, or by a district/council committee.  An Adult Candidate Nomination Form must be completed and submitted according to the instructions on the form.


Unit Representative




The Order of the Arrow Unit Representative program establishes a youth liaison in each unit to serve between the OA lodge or chapter and their unit.  In their unit, they will serve as a communication and programmatic link to and from Arrowmen, adult leaders, and Scouts who are not presently members of the Order.  The Troop Representative is a recognized leadership position that counts toward rank advancement, including Eagle.  More detailed information on this program may be found at the National OA website at http://www.oa-bsa.org/programs/ttr/

To improve communications between the lodge and your unit, you are encouraged to support the Unit Representative program by asking your Youth Unit Leader to appoint one for your unit.  Each Unit Representative may wear a special leadership patch on their uniform, which is available at each Scout Shop.  Unit Representatives are encouraged to participate within the to be able to provide information to their fellow Unit Arrowmen.