In Bay-Lakes Council, each unit is able to hold an Order of the Arrow election to elect youth to be candidates for the Order of the Arrow. Members are elected by their peers in an election conducted by another unit. These elections must be completed by April 1st each year. Extensions may be requested by contacting the Lodge Adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lodge Chief (email@example.com) and must be approved by the Lodge Executive Committee. Membership requirements are listed below:
- Be a registered member of the BSA
- Have experienced 15 nights of Scout camping within two years prior to the election; the nights must include one long-term camp of five consecutive nights, and
- Be under age 21, holding at least the rank of First Class (Scouts BSA), Discovery (Venturing), or Ordinary (Sea Scout) and approval of their unit leader
- 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 induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership in the Order. During the experience, candidates maintain silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and sleep apart from other campers. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values. All candidates for membership must complete the Ordeal.
Candidates may complete their Ordeal at any Ordeal weekend. Call-out ceremonies are optional recognition events at district camporees, summer camp, or other events and are not a required step in the inductions process. View the Calendar page for Ordeal weekend dates.
Upcoming Ordeal Weekends
What to Bring
- Scout Uniform
- Sleeping bag and pillow
- Ground cloth or plastic sheeting (to be pulled over top of you in case of inclement weather)
- Canteen or water bottle
- Flashlight / Headlamp
- Towel and personal hygiene items
- Work clothes, shoes, and gloves
- Sweatshirt or coat, poncho, and hat (please check weather conditions before attending)
- Medical Form
Being an Arrowman
Once candidates complete their Ordeal, they are invited to attend future events such as Section Conclave in September, Fall Conference in October, and Lodge Leadership Development in December. Six months following the candidate’s induction, they are invited to seal their membership by completing their Brotherhood, the second “level” of Order of the Arrow membership. Any Arrowman may complete their Brotherhood at any Spring Conference or Fall Conference. Additional information is available in the New Member Guide.
Kon Wapos Lodge is comprised of eight chapters serving each of the eight districts in Bay-Lakes Council. Chapters hold monthly meetings to share new information, events, and help units grow. Find your chapter by clicking your location on the map or use the chapter lookup tool below.
For Parents & Families
For some parents and families, you may be well aware of the OA-Scouting’s Honor Society-and the challenge, meaning, and symbolism involved in the inductions process. Others have been kept in the dark by their teenager, and, for all you know, this was just another weekend where your son returned with bag of dirty clothes and another interesting odor.
Awake my friends! You now are starting on a long and toilsome journey…
…You were sent to seek a vision of yourselves, and of your purpose…
The spark is there, already glowing, fan it now… feed it, till it is a fire.
Our History: The Order was begun in 1915 outside of Philadelphia. For the past 96 years, the OA has been made up of the best and brightest in Scouting. You should be proud that the Scouts in your child’s unit see them as being one who lives the Scout Oath and Law in their daily life. However, the OA is not an award one earns like Eagle Scout; rather, it is a call for a life of cheerful service to others.
About the Ordeal: This weekend at Spring or Fall Service Weekend, your child faced four challenges, each symbolic of ‘the challenges a leader often faces’. They might not have returned home Sunday fully aware of the meaning of everything through which he has been this weekend . I want to share with you about these challenges so you can help them to understand and look ahead to how they can better serve their unit, their school, their family, and their community. The four challenges of the Ordeal are…
A Vow of Silence: The candidates take on a 24-hour vow of silence. Hours spent in thoughtful silence helps us make the right decisions, more than many days of talking. Silence helps bind us all together in brotherhood .
Sleep Alone: On Friday night, the candidates slept alone on their groundsheet underneath the stars (actually, not 20 feet away from anyone else, but in the dark night they didn’t know that). This challenges the candidates to be steadfast as the polestar, self-reliant and undiscouraged.
Scant Food: During Saturday, both the breakfast and lunch meals were smaller than a typical meal. Through this form of fasting, sacrifice, and self-denial, we learn that a cheerful heart is lively even under hardship.
Arduous Labor: The day is spent working in service of the camp, as a day spent in cheerful service, is consistent with the Order’s purpose of seeking to serve and being faithful to the high ideals of the Order of the Arrow.
What’s Next #1:
The first place your child can get involved is by attending his chapter’s monthly meeting. At this meeting, your new Arrowman (member of the Order of the Arrow) will be able to take part in a lot of fun activities, meet Scouts from other units, and get involved in the fun program of the Order of the Arrow. Chapter meetings are typically held each month in conjunction with district roundtable meetings, but check your chapter’s page for specific times and locations.
What’s Next #2:
Completing the Ordeal is just the first step in one’s path as a member of the Order of the Arrow. Next year (after at least six months as an Arrowman) your new Arrowman should seal their membership in the OA by becoming a Brotherhood member. Kon Wapos Lodge offers Brotherhood ceremonies at all Spring Conference and Fall Conference.
What’s Next #3:
We want to make sure that you and your new Arrowmen know about our upcoming events. Visit the Lodge Calendar for all of our events.
For more information or to register for any lodge event, visit konwapos.org/calendar or contact your new Arrowman’s chapter adviser.
- Anikwa Chapter/Kettle Country District – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Beshkno Chapter/Lakeshore District – email@example.com
- Mahng Chapter/Hiawathaland District – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mahwow Chapter/Northern Lites District – email@example.com
- Mekek Chapter/Twin Lakes District – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Muk Chapter/Voyageur District – email@example.com
- Wesmianew Chapter/Gathering Waters District – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Witcawa Chapter/Ledge to Lakes District – email@example.com
Unsure of your chapter or district, visit the Chapters page and check out the map!
Lastly, you should know that the OA is youth-run: young people are able to take on district and council leadership roles beyond their units. Each district’s OA chapter has a youth chapter chief, and Bay-Lakes Council’s lodge chief is a member of the council’s executive board. In fact, all lodge and chapter events, including Service Weekends are organized and led in large part by youth.
He who serves his fellows is, of all his fellows greatest.
There is so much more to the Order of the Arrow – your candidate can have the time of his life as a part of the OA. Who knows the path they will take, but I do know this: being a brother in the Order of the Arrow is about being a person who serves their community, family, and Scouting unselfishly. The OA is about the joy of cheerful service to others. We are pleased to welcome him into the brotherhood!
In the spirit of Scouting,
Kon Wapos Lodge Executive Committee