Lenapehoking IX is the Order of the Arrow Lodge serving the Northern New Jersey Council Boy Scouts of America.
 
For over 100 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA 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.

Mission of the Order of the Arrow
The mission of the Order of the Arrow is to fulfill its purpose as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.

 

Purpose of the Order of the Arrow
As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:
  • Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
  • Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
  • Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
  • Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

History

In 1915, Camp Director E. Urner Goodman and Assistant Camp Director Carroll A. Edson searched for a way to recognize select campers for their cheerful sprits of service at Treasure Island Scout Camp in the Delaware River.  Goodman and Edson founded the Order of the Arrow when they held the first Ordeal Ceremony on July 16th of that year.  By 1921, as the popularity of the organization spread to other camps, local lodges attended the first national gathering called a Grand Lodge Meeting.
The Order of the Arrow was one of many camp honor societies that existed at local Scout camps across the country.  As the years went on and more camps adopted the Order of the Arrow’s program, it gained prominence and became part of the national Boy Scout program in 1934.  By 1948, the OA, recognized as the BSA's national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America.  Toward the end of the twentieth century, the OA expanded its focus to include conservation, high adventure, and servant-leadership.
 
Throughout the years, the Order of the Arrow has played an integral role in the program of the Boy Scouts and in the community service its members contribute to their communities.  To date, more than one million people have been members of the Order of the Arrow.
 
Presently, the Order of the Arrow consists of nearly 300 lodges, which form approximately 48 sections in four regions.  Leadership positions and voting rights are restricted to members under the age of 21.  Through the program, members live up to the ideals of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service set forth by E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson. 
 
Learn more about the OA's history on the OA History Timeline.
 

Organization & Structure

The Order of the Arrow has three distinct organizational levels; lodges, sections, and regions. Lodges carry out the Order of the Arrow program at the local level and are closely tied with BSA councils. Sections consist of several lodges within a geographic region and regions in turn consist of sections within a geographic region of the United States. Lodges, sections, and regions each have a distinct set of responsibilities which ensure that the OA program runs smoothly.
 
Chapters
If a lodge has chapters, generally there is one chapter created in each district of the council. Each chapter has its own officers and advisers, the officers being elected by the youth OA members within the chapter, and the advisers being appointed by the Scout executive often with the consultation of the lodge adviser and district executive(s).
 
Chapters provide the ability to have meetings closer to home and meetings and events can be scheduled to coincide with the district events. The chapter is central to providing quality unit visits for camping promotion, and unit elections.
 
Lodges
At the local level, lodges exist to serve BSA councils and individual units.  The key leaders in the lodge are the youth lodge chief, volunteer adult lodge adviser, and staff adviser.  The lodge chief presides over the Lodge Executive Committee, which is responsible for executing the annual program of the lodge.  While each lodge is different, many lodges have one or more vice chiefs, a secretary, and a treasurer, as well as committee chairmen responsible for various aspects of the lodge’s program.  Many lodges, especially large ones where additional structure is necessary, have chapters.  These often align with BSA districts and execute the program of the lodge on a community level.
 
A map of all OA lodges can be viewed here.
 
Sections
An Order of the Arrow section consists of lodges within a geographic area of the region. Each section is led by a chief, vice chief, and secretary, who play a crucial part in making the annual Conclave a success.  The section may lead training seminars, promote national programs of emphasis, and provide resources to local lodges.  The section chief presides over the Council of Chiefs, attended by delegates of each member lodge.
 
Each year the approximately fifty elected section chiefs are invited to a national planning meeting in Dallas, TX. The section chiefs form the conference committee for a national Order of the Arrow event, such as the National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC), which is held under the guidance of the national Order of the Arrow committee.
 
Regions
The Order of the Arrow, like the Boy Scouts of America, is organized into four geographical regions:  Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western.  Each region is led by a youth region chief, a volunteer region chairman, and a region staff adviser.  The region leadership helps execute the national program on a more local level, implements the National Leadership Seminar and National Lodge Adviser Training Seminar, provides its member sections with resources, and facilities communication between local organizations and the national OA committee.
 
National
At the national level, the Order of the Arrow is governed by the national Order of the Arrow committee.  The national committee sets policy, directs the national program of the Order, and broadly manages the organization above the local lodge level.  The committee is composed of the national chief and national vice chief (and their immediate predecessors), who are elected annually at the national planning meeting; the chairman, who is appointed annually by the chairman of the national Outdoor Adventures committee; other volunteer members, appointed by the chairman; and two staff members, the director of the Order of the Arrow and the OA specialist.

Membership

For information regarding the change to the Order of the Arrow membership requirements effective February 1, 2019, please read this article.
 
The OA has more than 150,000 active members located in lodges affiliated with over 270 BSA local councils. Lodge Lenapehoking IX counts over 600 active members for the 2018 program year.
 
The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are:
  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • The youth must have experienced 15 nights of Boy Scout camping while registered with a troop or team within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement. The balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each.
  • 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.
Induction
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.
 
Brotherhood Membership
After 10 months of service as an Ordeal member 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 Order.
 
Vigil Honor
After two years of exceptional 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 their distinguished contributions to their lodge, the Order of the Arrow, Scouting, or their Scout camp. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.
 
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