How to Join Our Lodge

New Members

All of the information presented here is a brief summary of information found in the current Guide for Officers and Advisers (GOA). If the information here differs from the current version of that guide, the information found in the GOA is the correct version that should be followed.

The induction process is composed of a few main steps:

  • Selected by your Troop or Varsity Scout Team
  • Public Recognition of selection to be a Candidate (usually a Call-Out ceremony)
  • Complete the Ordeal

As noted above, potential Candidates must be a member of a Boy Scout Troop or Varsity Scout Team. Those who are registered only with a Venture Crew or Explorer Post are not eligible to be selected as Candidates for the OA. Youth members (under 21) are selected by the other youth in their unit, while adults are selected by the Troop/Team Adult Committee. Unless a unit has more than 50 active, registered youth members, they can only select one adult at most from their unit each year in which at least one youth is also selected. There are also procedures to select District & Council volunteers and professional staff, provided that they meet the eligibility requirements outlined below.

Candidate Requirements

To be eligible for election to the Order of the Arrow, a Youth member (under the age of 21) must have:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America
  • Hold the First Class rank of the Boy Scouts of America, as a minimum
  • After registration with a Troop, have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the 2 year period prior to the election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but not more than one, long term camp consisting of 6 consecutive days and 5 nights of resident camping, 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.
  • Have the approval of their unit leader (Scoutmaster/Coach)

Adult Candidates (21 years or older) must have the same camping requirements.

Once the list of potential Candidates has been determined, the election procedures found in the current Guide for Officers and Advisers (GOA) must be followed to ensure that the selection of Candidates is performed properly.

It is highly recommended that Unit Leaders contact the Chapter Officers for the District they are in to have a trained election team come and assist in the election procedure. Many people have misconceptions about the requirements or selection procedures that can be answered by a trained election team.

Ordeal Information

After being elected, Candidates have generally one year to complete their Ordeal. If they cannot during that time, they must be selected again by their Troop or Team.

Portage Lodge has a number of Ordeals each year to provide opportunities for new Candidates to complete their Ordeal. See the information on the home or calendar pages for more information on the Ordeal dates & locations. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from completing an Ordeal in the allotted time, please contact the current Lodge Chief or Adviser to find out your options.

Note: According to National policy, if your Troop/Team is part of the Heart of Ohio Council, you must complete your Ordeal with Portage Lodge, and become a Member with our Lodge.

Former Members

If you are a past Member of Portage or any other Lodge, or are a current Member of another Lodge who wants to transfer to ours, there is a simple procedure to follow:

  • You must be a registered member of a Unit within the Heart of Ohio Council, or registered as a District or Council “at large” member in the Council.
  • Fill out the Lodge Transfer Form.
  • Please attach photocopies of old OA membership cards, or anything else we could use to help verify your status. This is extremely important since there have been many Lodge mergers in recent years and your old one may no longer exist.
  • Send the form, copies of old cards, and this year’s dues of $13 to our Council Office. You do not owe any more, no matter how long you have been away. This is further explained in the Transfer Letter.