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Election Ceremony

(A few opening comments may be made by the Senior Patrol Leader or Unit Leader.)

(Show the OA election videoExternal Link "Becoming an Arrowman - Electing Members to Scouting's National Honor Society".)

OA Member A:

Fellow Boy Scouts, the Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America.  Its purpose is to recognize and honor those campers who best live up to the Scout Oath and the Scout Law in their daily lives and to guide them in expanding the service that has made them outstanding.  The Order promotes Scout camping and maintains camping tradition and spirit.  It emphasizes that the good scout camper is not only skilled at Scoutcraft, but also true to the ideals of Scouting and its tradition of the daily good turn.

The only way a Scout can become a member of the Order of the Arrow is to be elected for this honor by the members of his unit.  To be eligible for election, a youth must fulfill the camping requirement and hold the First Class Rank, as a minimum.

After being elected, the Scout must undergo the Ordeal, which is a series of tests of his sincere dedication to the high ideals of Scouting and the Order.  If he is faithful in performing the tests, he takes a solemn pledge of service and is admitted into the Order.  A long period of self-improvement and service then follows.

The lodge flap, the Universal Arrow ribbon, and the distinctive sash identify the Order of the Arrow member.  They are symbols of service.  Our Lodge has its own activities and projects, but our program does not replace the member's responsibility to his unit.  Indeed each Arrowman is expected to give richer service to his own troop in return for the honor his unit extended to him.

American Indian lore is an attractive sideline in our Order.  American Indian dances and ceremonies add color to our program of service, and members often make American Indian lore their hobby.  However, one does not need American Indian attire or skill in American Indian lore to become a valuable member of the Order of the Arrow.

Scouts, you will elect representatives to our Brotherhood of cheerful service, and we are here to assist you in the election.  All active registered youth members of this troop, except those 21 years or older, are entitled to vote.

All those who receive votes from at least half of those who turn in ballots are elected.  The number you elect will depend on how your votes agree with other members.  Remember that an Order of the Arrow election is not a popularity contest!  Do not vote for a Scout just because he is your friend or just because he is a good athlete or just because he is older than the rest.  What really counts is his loyalty to the Scout Oath.

Campaigning in the Order of the Arrow election is not permitted.  You are expected to think for yourself, do not let others influence your decision.  The election is by secret ballot and no discussion will be permitted, so no one will know for whom you are voting.  This important decision about your fellow scouts is entirely up to you.

Before we announce the names of those eligible and begin the election are there any questions?

OA Member B:

The following members of this unit have met the camping and advancement requirements and are eligible for election, as certified by your unit leader.  Will you stand and form a line over here (point) as your names are called?

(Point out place and read the list slowly.  Arrange the candidates in line facing the voters at the place indicated; the line can be semicircular if the eligible group is large.  Write each name on chalkboard or flip chart as it is called.)

Scouts, you should answer each of the following questions to yourself; your answer will help you make the right selections.

OA Member C:

Who in this group is a friend to all and brother to every other Scout?  Who is pleasant and easy to get along with?  Is he kind and helpful?  In all, if you were a Tenderfoot, would you like to hike and camp with him?

Who is cheerful, even when he has many tiresome jobs to do?  Who smiles whenever he can?  Who obeys promptly and cheerfully?  Does he control his temper?  If you were to camp with him for several weeks, do you think you would enjoy it?

Who is always ready to give unselfish and wholehearted service to others?  Who, in serving others, can forget his own desire and interests?  Who has served your unit all year round, faithfully attending your meetings and helping with your service projects?  Do you think he will continue his service in the future?  If you were his Patrol Leader, could you depend on him?

In all, ask yourselves: Who in this group, by living up to the Scout Oath, serves your fellow Scout with such an example of brotherhood and cheerfulness that you look up to him with deep respect and admiration?

OA Member B:

Scouts, on the ballot you will be given, circle the names of the candidates who, in your opinion, have set the best examples of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service.  Vote only for those you believe will continue in unselfish service to your troop.

If you feel that no one is worthy, turn in an unused, blank ballot.  If you are new in the troop and do not know the candidates well enough to vote wisely, you may abstain by not turning in a ballot at all, and this will not affect the final result.

Those eligible for election also vote, and they may vote for themselves, if they feel they are worthy.

The names of those eligible are listed on your ballot.  When you are finished, fold the ballot only once and give the pencil and ballot to any of us.

(Distribute pre-printed election ballots and pencils.)

(Hold election.)

(Collect ballots and pencils.) 

(Show the Boy Scout Summer Camp VideoExternal Link while the votes are counted in private with the Unit Leader.)

Sample Ballot Session

10 ballots are turned in and 4 boys are eligible: Joe, Fred, Mark, and John.

Joe gets 4 votes.  Fred gets 6 votes.  Mark gets 5 votes.  John gets 5 votes.

From this information we know that Fred, Mark and John were elected.  Each one of them got votes from one half (or more) of the Scouts who turned ballots in.  Joe will have to run again next year.

OA Member A:

Congratulations to the following Scouts who have been elected to be a Candidate for membership in the Order of the Arrow.  Membership in the Order of the Arrow will be bestowed on these newly elected Scouts upon completion of the first step of the induction process.

(Slowly read the names of all of the Scouts who were elected.)

OA Member A:

All newly elected Candidate Scouts and all Order of the Arrow members please follow me.

(Lead the newly elected Scouts and all the Order of the Arrow members into a separate room.  The following paragraphs should then be presented as a charge to the candidates and Order members.)

OA Member B: 

(To newly elected Candidates)

That you, my fellow campers, have been chosen by your companions to become members of the Order reflects great credit upon you, and I congratulate you upon your election.  You have impressed upon those who have lived closest to you the sincerity of your purpose to live in accordance with the high ideals of the Scout Oath or Promise.  The judgment of your fellows could hardly have been mistaken.

In a short time, you will take upon yourselves another solemn obligation to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.  Your fellow Scouts elected you because they felt that you would continue your service.  Do not let them down.

OA Member C:

 (To those who are already OA members)

My brothers in the Order, you have proven during the past year that the traditions of our Brotherhood are not a collection of meaningless words.  As we welcome these new candidates (the new candidate) on our journey, let us be mindful of our obligation to help and guide them (him) during the trials that lie ahead.

OA Member A:

This concludes the election.  Do you have any questions?

You may all rejoin your troop now.

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