About Tom Kita Chara Lodge
As Scouting's National Honor Society, the Order of the Arrow is an integral part of the council's program. Our service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America's youth.
For more than 90 years, their peers have honored those Scouts who "best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives" with membership in the Order of the Arrow. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. We will provide ways and means for OA members to do more to assist their units and the council.
In support of our vision as Scouting's National Honor Society and an integral part of Samoset council, the Order of the Arrow will further increase its service to Scouting.
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 and by such recognition cause other campers to conduct themselves in such a manner as to warrant recognition
- To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit
- To promote Scout camping, which reaches its greatest effectiveness as a part of the unit's camping program, both year-round and in the summer camp, as directed by the local council's camping committee
- To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others
The Order of the Arrow was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the BSA's Philadelphia Council. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948, the OA, recognized as the BSA's national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America.
In 1998, the Order of the Arrow was recognized as Scouting's National Honor Society when it expanded its reach beyond camping to include a greater focus on leadership development, membership extension, adventurous programming, and broader service to Scouting and the community. Today, its service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich, support, and help extend Scouting to America's youth.
Learn more about Tom Kita Chara's History!
The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are:
- Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
- After registration with a troop or team, have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the 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.
- Youth must be under the age of 21, hold the BSA First Class rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity team Coach, be elected by the youth members of their troop or team.
- Adults (age 21 or older) who are registered in the BSA and meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to the lodge adult selection committee. Adult selection is based on their ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and is not for recognition of service, including current or prior positions. Selected adults must be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities, and must provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.