The Unit Election is the beginning of a Scout’s journey in the Order of the Arrow. Each unit election is held at a Troop’s meeting by the local Chapter’s election team. Every youth member in the Order of the Arrow has been chosen by their peers.
What to Expect
All election teams will consist of at least two youth and one adult. Most elections can take between 15 to 30 minutes depending on your unit size. Prior to the election, some teams will ask for a list of eligible scouts in order to build a ballot and some will ask that the unit builds their own ballots. Before contacting your local chapter adviser, please have your list of eligible scouts prepared.
One of the missions of the Order of the Arrow is to promote camping. During your unit election, some teams will have a camping presentation in addition to the election presentation. This will include basic promotion of the Boy Scout High Adventure bases and the council local summer camp: Camp Durant.
As soon as the election is completed the unit leader may announce to the entire unit the names of members who have been elected. Some Chapters have a scheduled call-out ceremony during a district camporee or similar event. Please talk to your local chapter adviser about call-out opportunities when you schedule your unit election.
2021 Membership Changes
These changes apply only to the 2021 election cycle as a direct result of COVID-19.
- The requirement for a long-term camp of five (5) consecutive nights is relaxed. While council long-term camps should be utilized if available, any combination of short-term and/or long-term nights, in camp or virtual, that are part of a BSA unit-organized unit camping event held within the two years prior to the election may be counted toward the 15-night requirement.
- Virtual camping (i.e., backyard or solo camping) may be counted toward the required nights of camping for OA election eligibility. No more than five (5) nights in a single month may be counted.
In the Order of the Arrow, adults are considered to be anyone 21 years of age or older. If you have an assistant unit leader between the ages of 18 and 20 who would like to join the Order, they are to be included on the youth ballot and voted in with all other youth.
Adults 21 years of age or older, are to be nominated by the Unit Leader with approval from the Unit Chair as a representative of the entire Unit Committee. Once your unit has completed the election and the local chapter has submitted the results to Lodge, an automated invitation will be emailed to the Unit Leader listed on the election paperwork.
The nomination process is completed entirely online. Once the Unit Leader has submitted the nomination(s), a separate invitation will be sent to the Unit Chair to independently review and approve the nomination. Once the chair approved, the nomination will be sent to the Lodge Selection Committee for approval and processing. The entire adult nomination process can take less than a day if all participants complete their parts quickly. If your unit never received an invitation for Adult Nominations after their election, please contact us.
An updated list of frequently asked questions can be found on our support website.
Schedule a Unit Election
To schedule a unit election, please see the email invitation sent to all unit leaders and unit chairs. The email invitation contains a personalized link for your unit to request an election. Emails for unit leaders and unit chairs are obtained from the BSA’s ScoutNet. If your unit did not receive an invitation, please use the form below to receive your link.