The Order of the Arrow was founded by E. Turner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915. It was made as a reinforcement to the scout law and oath and also to recognize scouts who uphold these important traits. It also encourages continued participation in Scouting and Camping.
“The Order of the Arrow is a ‘thing of the spirit’ rather than of mechanics. Organization, operational procedure, and paraphernalia are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what count in the end. The things of the spirit count: Brotherhood, in a day when there is too much hatred at home and abroad; Cheerfulness, in a day when the pessimists have the floor; Service, in a day when millions are interested only in getting or grasping rather than giving.” – E. Turner Goodman.
Today, the Order of the Arrow community hasn’t strayed far from its origin of Native folklore, cheerful service and recognizing honorable scouts who live the scout oath and law. In present, there are more than 180,000 scouts in the Order of the Arrow, which is about one-seventh of all scouts.
In order to join the Order of the Arrow, scouts must be nominated by fellow scouters. Each youth member of the troop votes on who they feel best exemplifies the scout oath and law. Once a scout is nominated, they must go through an “Ordeal” which is a process to test the scouts, and is what they must endure to join the Order of the Arrow, and to become members of the honor society for the Boy Scouts of America.
Just last month, our troop held Order of the Arrow elections where several scouts were nominated to join the Order of the Arrow. While not all scouts were able to go on the first ordeal, Myself, Gavin and John were able to experience the Ordeal and become members of the Order. We persisted through a set of tasks, but, nonetheless it was still an amazing experience to go through.