Election Procedures


To become a member of the Order of the Arrow, each youth must be elected by the Scouts in his unit. To be eligible for election, a Scout must:

  • Be a First Class Scout
  • In the last 2 years, have camped at least 15 nights under the auspices of the BSA. Six of those nights must be in a row, in a long-term camp (summer camp), and the remaining 9 nights must not be a part of a long-term camp.

If a Scout meets these requirements, he may be considered for election by the fellow Scouts in his troop. He must receive 50% or more of the votes of his unit to be elected, and all registered Scouts, OA members and non-members, are entitled to vote. Youths eligible for election may also vote, and may vote for themselves if they feel they are worthy. More than one Scout may be elected; in fact, every Scout who is eligible and is considered for election may be elected, provided that each one receives 50% or more of the votes of his fellow Scouts – your Scouts may vote for as many eligible Scouts as they consider worthy of the recognition.

Elections are usually held in the spring by an OA Elections Team from your chapter. A chapter officer or member of the Elections Team should contact you to schedule a visit to one of your troop meetings to hold the election; if you have not been contacted by April 1st, please contact the Chapter Adviser in your district.

Alternatively, if you have at least 3 active youth OA members in your unit, you may ask them to hold the election at one of your troop meetings or events. To hold an OA election, you must be able to verify that at least 50 percent of the registered active unit membership is present. Please download and print a Unit Elections Report Form to use to report your unit’s OA election.  Make sure this form is completed and mailed by the deadline listed on the form. Remember to keep a copy of the form for your files.

Once elected, an “Ordeal Candidate” typically is publicly recognized of his election and status as an Ordeal candidate. It is recommended that each candidate participate in the “Call-out Ceremony”, held each week at the family campfire during summer camp at Camp Sequoyah and Camp Comer. Please bring a copy of your Unit Elections Report Form to camp, which should be given to the OA Summer Camp Chief on arrival at summer camp to make sure that your elected candidates are called-out during the OA campfire.

If your unit does not attend Camp Sequoyah or Camp Comer, you may choose to recognize the newly elected candidates at a unit function, such as a court of honor, in lieu of their call-out at summer camp.

A “candidate” must participate in and complete the “Ordeal” within one year of his election to become a member of the Order of the Arrow. Please check our Ordeal Candidate Information page to obtain the necessary information and registration forms, and provide these to your candidates after their call-out. These forms are not mailed to the candidates, so please make sure they receive the information in time to register for the Ordeal they wish to attend.

Adults are nominated based on their potential to enhance the Order of the Arrow program within the Greater Alabama Council. This nomination should not be based on merit, but on what they can offer the program and its purposes.

National policy states that each year, upon holding a troop or team election for youth which results in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may recommend one registered unit adult, 21 years of age or older, to the Lodge Adult Selection Committee. Troops or teams having more than 50 registered, active youth members may nominate an additional adult for each 50 registered, active youth. For example, a troop having 51 to 100 registered active youth may nominate two adults, if at least one youth has been elected.

Nominations for adults may be by a unit leader, the unit committee, the district committee, council executive board.  An Adult Candidate Nomination Form must be completed and submitted according to the instructions on the form.

All forms necessary for conducting a successful election can be found on the Forms page.