New Member Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Order of the Arrow?
A: The Order of the Arrow, or OA, is Scouting’s National Honor Society.
Q: What is the purpose of the OA?
A: The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:
- To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.
- To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit.
- To promote Scout camping.
- To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
Q: What is “Na Tsi Hi”?
A: Na Tsi Hi is the name of our lodge, which is also known by its national lodge number, #71. As scouts are organized into Troops, so the OA is broken up into Lodges. The Order of the Arrow uses Indian Lore to enhance the attractiveness of its program. In the Cherokee language “na tsi hi” means “in the pines,” referring to the pine trees at Camp Housman (which is now part of Allaire State Park) where the lodge was founded.
Q: Where and how did the OA begin?
A: 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. 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.
Q: Yes, yes. But what does being in the OA mean for me?
A: Being inducted into the OA is a huge honor given to you by your troop. However, it is not an award. You were selected because being in the OA will help you give back to your troop. Remember, Arrowmen are not elected for what they have done, but for what they are expected to do.
Q: Can I earn any other awards in the OA?
A: The Ordeal Honor, signified by the red arrow on your sash, is the first level in the OA. It is the starting point, but is not the finish line. After you have participated in our lodge for at least 10 months and have learned more about the idea of Cheerful Service to others, you can become a Brotherhood Honor member. Brotherhood is signified by a new sash with two red bars surrounding the arrow. In our lodge, you can become Brotherhood at the Spring Fellowship, the Spring Powwow, at Forestburg summer camp, or at the Fall Powwow. The Brotherhood FAQ will tell you everything you need to know.
Our lodge also has a special award called the Eagle Feather award, which is given by the lodge Chief or Adviser to recognize when a member has made an extra effort on behalf of the lodge and has set an example to others. Any lodge member can receive this award.
Additional recognitions given to Arrowmen for their unselfish service to others include the Vigil Honor, the Founder’s Award, and the Distinguished Service Award. You can find out more about these awards in your OA Handbook.
Q: Where can I buy another lodge flap patch? A new OA Handbook? Other OA memorabilia?
A: The Quartermaster committee sets up a trading post at most lodge weekend activities where you can buy the flap and other OA-related items. Lodge flaps currently cost $4.50. Some items such as sashes are restricted to only those who have already received that honor, so you will need to show your membership card to buy those items.
Most of the items, including the flap, may also be purchased at the council Scout Shop, year-round.
One restricted item is the lodge neckerchief. Only lodge members may buy the neckerchief, and you may only buy one (ever). The neckerchiefs are only sold through the Quartermaster at the lodge weekends.