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.
2022 Membership Changes
These changes apply only to the 2022 election cycle as a direct result of COVID-19.
- Virtual camping will no longer count towards OA eligibility and the previous camping requirement, which includes a long-term camp of five (5) consecutive nights, is reinstituted:
“Have experienced 15 nights of Scout camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.”
The above change is effective January 1, 2022. Any virtual camping nights completed before January 1, 2022 may be counted towards OA eligibility.
The options for virtual unit elections, virtual Ordeals, and virtual Brotherhood are retained. Additionally, candidates that were elected after February 1, 2019 will continue to have 24 months from the date of election to complete their ordeal. This remains in effect until otherwise notified that we will go back to 12 months.
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 submitted, the nomination will be sent to the Lodge Selection Committee for approval and processing. If your unit never received an invitation for Adult Nominations after their election, please contact us.