The Order of the Arrow has more than 160,000 active members located in lodges affiliated with over 270 BSA local councils. As of August 2018, there is now an OA lodge in every council across the United States.

Membership Requirements

As of February 1, 2019, unit elections are permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scout units. The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are as follows:

Honor Levels

While there are three levels of membership (called "honors") in the Order of the Arrow, all members—regardless of honor—are considered equal.


The Induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership in the Order. During the experience, candidates provide service and have the opportunity for self reflection on their prior journey in Scouting, and what lies ahead.  The entire experience is designed to rekindle Scouting's values. All candidates for membership must complete the Ordeal.


After 6 months of service as an Ordeal member 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 Order.

Vigil Honor

After two years of exceptional service as a Brotherhood member, an Arrowman can be nominated for the Vigil Honor. After selection by the Lodge Executive Council, and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow committee, a Scout or Scouter may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for their distinguished contributions to their Lodge, the Order of the Arrow, Scouting, or their Scout camp. A list of Vigil-eligible Arrowmen is sent out by the Lodge usually in early to mid-October. This honor is bestowed to a maximum of one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.