How the OA enriches Scouting

The first article in this series gave a general overview of the Order of the Arrow – what it is, how it started and how it’s organized. Last time we discussed possible objections by troop leaders and outlined the election process. This article will cover how the OA complements the Boy Scout program, the levels of membership and insignia, and how Arrowmen impact their fellow Scouts, their troop and the greater Scouting community.

Too many Scoutmasters and adult leaders are of the opinion that the Order of the Arrow siphons off the best Scouts from the troop, leaving the younger ones behind to fend for themselves. Continue reading “How the OA enriches Scouting”

The Order of the Arrow: Objections and elections

In the last article, I gave a general overview of the Order of the Arrow – what it is, how it started and how it’s organized. This time, we’ll cover overcoming some of the typical objections that troops might have and how youth members are chosen.

Troop objections to the OA

Although its tradition is well established, many adult leaders don’t have a good grasp on what the OA is all about, and as a result they misunderstand what having active Arrowmen among the Scouts means to the troop. Continue reading “The Order of the Arrow: Objections and elections”

The Order of the Arrow: What’s it all about?

The Order of the Arrow is at once a prominent institution in Scouting and a mysterious one. The OA is nearly as old as Scouting itself, yet it is misunderstood by some and unknown to others. While this is partly by design, there’s much about the OA that every Scouter should be familiar with.

In a four-part series, we’ll do a “101” on the history of the OA, followed by what it means to your troop and its Scouts, the OA and Cub Scouting, and the adult aspects of the Order. Continue reading “The Order of the Arrow: What’s it all about?”


doagoodturndaily_200What’s that hash tag doing in the title of this article?

It’s the latest initiative to spring forth from this year’s historic centennial National Order of the Arrow Conference at Michigan State University.

Conceived by a handful of Arrowmen and their adult advisors and unveiled by national chief Alex Call during the arena show Wednesday night, DareToDo is simply an expression of what we are as Scouts and Scouters. It builds on the first word of our slogan – Do a Good Turn Daily – and challenges us,  Scouts and Scouters everywhere whether Arrowmen or not, to not only do a daily Good Turn but to chronicle it in social media for the coming one hundred days – symbolic of the one hundred years of cheerful service that members of the OA have given. Continue reading “#DareToDo”

NOAC 2015: It Starts With Us

noac_banner_montano_250More than fifteen thousand Arrowmen – Scouting’s best – converge on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing starting today to take part in the largest Scouting event in the United States other than the National Jamboree. The National Order of the Arrow Conference, or NOAC, gives these young men the opportunity to participate in a wide range of leadership enhancing, life-skill development and fun activities while living on a college campus for a week.

Scouts travel and live with those from their home lodge but will meet and participate with others from around the country in a wide variety of activities intended to not only help them be better lodge and chapter officers and leaders but to be of service to their troops and others in Scouting. Training sessions include subjects like high adventure, camping, ceremonies, American Indian activities and supporting their local units. Historical exhibits give attendees a glimpse of Scouting’s origins and the opportunity to see items such as memorabilia from the first hundred years of the OA. There’s plenty of fun, too, with sports and competitions that challenge Scouts physically and mentally, and nightly arena shows that feature keynote speeches and entertainment in a once-in-a-lifetime setting. Continue reading “NOAC 2015: It Starts With Us”