Order of the Arrow | Sebooney Okasucca Lodge
What is the Order of the Arrow?
The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:
- To recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives
- To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit
- To promote Scout camping
- To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others
The Order of the Arrow (OA) was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948, the OA was recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers and became an official part of the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America. Today, the OA is recognized as Scouting’s National Honor Society.
History of Sebooney Okasucca Lodge
The Lodge name “Sebooney Okasucca” means ‘Old Hickory’, Andrew Jackson’s nickname. From the late 1940’s through the mid 1950’s, the lodge emblem depicted Andrew Jackson riding on his horse, an image taken the statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square, New Orleans.
The first emblem was a white felt diamond with red silk screen design and lettering. The emblem was designed to be worn on the sash.
The Sebooney Okasucca Lodge was organized in 1942, chartered in 1943 and installed on May 5, 1944. A team from Caddo Lodge 149 in Shreveport, LA, inducted the new lodge.
The first Lodge Chief was Pat Clendenning of Jackson, MS and the first Lodge Adviser was Claude Thompson of Vicksburg, MS.
The Lodge’s Activities were based at Camp Kickapoo. In 1987, when the Council opened the Warren A. Hood Scout Reservation the Lodge moved its activities there.
The OA has more than 180,000 members in lodges affiliated with more than 300 BSA local councils.
To become a member, a youth must be a registered member of a Scouts BSA Troop, Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship and hold First Class, Discovery or Ordinary rank (respectively). The youth must have experienced 15 days and nights of camping during the two years before his or her election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps. Scouts are elected to the Order by their fellow unit members, following approval by the Scoutmaster, Venturing Advisor or Sea Scout Skipper. Adults (age 21 or older) who meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to and approval by the lodge adult selection committee.
The Ordeal induction ceremony is often conducted at Scout camp and is the first step toward full membership. During the experience, candidates maintain complete silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and are required to sleep alone, apart from other campers, which teaches significant values.
After 6 months of service 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 OA.
After two years of service as a Brotherhood member and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, a Scout or Scouter may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for outstanding service to Scouting, his lodge, and the community. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.
Each Order of the Arrow lodge is granted a charter from the National Council, BSA, upon annual application by the local council. The OA lodge helps the local council provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, development of youth leadership and service, promotion of Scout camping and outdoor programs, and enhancement of membership tenure.
An Order of the Arrow section consists of lodges within a geographic area of the region. Once every year, representatives of lodges in the section come together for a conclave to share in fellowship and training. All of the elected section chiefs form the conference committee for the annual Order of the Arrow program of emphasis, which is held under the guidance of the national OA Committee. The committee meets each year at the national OA planning meeting in December.
The region chief is the youth leader of the region and elected by the section chiefs in his region for a term of office specified by the national Order of the Arrow Committee, which coincides with the terms of the national chief and vice chief. This election is held in conjunction with the national OA planning meeting where the annual OA program of emphasis is planned. The region chiefs serve as voting members of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, representing youth on national OA policy and programs.
The Order of the Arrow region chairman is an adult appointed by the regional director. The professional adviser for the region is a staff member assigned to the position by the region director.
National Chief and Vice Chief
The national chief and vice chief are Arrowmen selected by the section chiefs at the national OA planning meeting each December. They serve as voting members of the national Order of the Arrow Committee, representing the youth on national OA policy and program. They also serve as the presiding officers for the annual OA program of emphasis. The national committee specifies their term of office. The national committee chairman and director of the Order of the Arrow advise them of their responsibilities.
National OA Committee Chairman
The national OA committee chairman is appointed by the chairman of the national Boy Scout Committee. The professional adviser is the director of the Order of the Arrow, a member of the national Boy Scout Division staff.
More information may be found on the Order of the Arrow Web site, www.oa-bsa.org, at the National Council’s site, www.scouting.org; or in the Order of the Arrow Guide for Officers and Advisers, No. 34997C.
Order of the Arrow Unit Elections
The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s national honor society. It recognizes those campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and, by such recognition, cause other campers to conduct themselves in such a manner as to warrant similar recognition, to promote camping, and to crystallize the habit of helpfulness as a life purpose.
Each Unit with qualified Scouts is urged to hold an election not later than May 1 of each year to select candidates for the Order of the Arrow to attend the Spring Ordeal to be held at The Warren A. Hood Scout Reservation prior to the opening of summer camp on a date to to announced. A second Ordeal will be held at the reservation following the close of summer camp and on a date to be announced for those candidates who are unable to attend the spring ordeal. The date and place of the election are selected by you, as unit leader. Unit Elections are held only once per year and Unit Elections will not be conducted during the sessions at Summer Camp.
Youth Membership Qualifications:
- A Scout who holds the First Class Rank, is under the age of 21, and is registered as an active member of the Unit may, with the approval of his unit leader, be nominated for election. Prior to the annual election, the unit leader must certify the nominee’s Scout spirit and youth membership qualifications.
- After registration with a unit, have experienced 15 days and nights of Scout Camping during the two-year term prior to the election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting a six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.
Voting for youth candidates will be based on their spirit of brotherhood, cheerfulness (no matter how tiresome their duties) and a willingness to give unselfish and wholehearted service to others at all times.
Adult Membership Qualifications:
Each year, upon holding a unit election for youth candidates 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, composed of the Lodge Adviser, the Lodge Staff Adviser and the Scout Executive. Units having more than 50 registered, active youth members may nominate an additional adult for every 50 registered, active youth, or fraction thereof. (As an example, a unit having 51 to 100 registered, active youth may nominate two adults each year if at least one youth has been elected.)
Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with the approval of the Scout Executive, serving as Supreme Chief of the Fire, will be candidates for induction, provided the following conditions are filled:
- Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary function to help the Order of the Arrow fulfill its purposes, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and position.
- The individual will be an asset to the Order of the Arrow because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order of the Arrow.
- The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.
- The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive role model for the growth and development of the youth members of the Lodge.
Unit elections should be held at a regularly scheduled unit meeting. Every effort should be made to have 100 percent attendance of both youth and adults at this meeting. An election team from the Order of the Arrow must be on hand to conduct the election.