ORDER OF THE ARROW HANDBOOKS

 
October 1948 1948-1949 Hardbound 1948-1949 Softbound
1950-1951 1952-1960 1961-1972
1965 50th Anniversary 1973-1976 1977-1972
1983-1984 1985 Diamond Jubilee 1986-1988
1989 1990-1991 1992-1998
1999-2001 2002-2004 2005
2006-2009 2010-2011 2012

Origins:

The Order of the Arrow (OA) was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. Originally known as the "Wimachtendienk W. W. Society", it became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA's national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America. Today, the OA is recognized as Scouting's National Honor Society.

The Program:

OA has changed little since it became part of BSA. To become a member, a youth must be a registered member of a Boy Scout troop or Varsity Scout team and hold First Class rank. Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow troop or Varsity team members, following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity Scout Coach.

The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is conducted at Scout camp and is the first step toward full membership. After 10 months of service and fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the OA.

After two years of service as a Brotherhood member, and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, a Scout may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for outstanding service to Scouting, his lodge, and the community. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.