ORDER OF THE ARROW
The Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting’s national honor society. It sets out to recognize those youth and adult campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, to develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit, to promote Scout camping and to crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others. To gain membership in the Order of the Arrow, a registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout must hold the First Class rank or higher. He must have taken part in a minimum of 15 days and nights of Scout camping in a 2-year period, including a 6-day and 5-night camping experience at a local or national council facility operated and accredited by the BSA. Eligible Scouts must then be elected to the Order by other members of their unit, following approval by their Scoutmaster or Varsity Scout team Coach. The tabulations and who receives the required number of votes is kept secret until they are Called Out at Summer Camp. Once called out, those scouts must attend a required OA ordeal in order to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow. There are normally 2 OA ordeals following the call out. Failure to attend one of those OA ordeals will disqualify you from obtaining this honor at that time and you must be re-elected for this honor again.
Achieving Eagle Scout is the highest rank one can earn in scouts. While not everyone will achieve this status, it doesn’t lessen the experience that one would have with scouting. A young man trying to obtain this status will require the help and assistance of his troop. He must demonstrate his ability to organize and lead his volunteers to complete his Eagle Project. His Eagle Project must meet several requirements and be approved by several committees.
In order to obtain Eagle Scout you must be an active member in the troop. While understanding that there are various other extra-curricular activity that you may be involved in or the need to obtain employment, obtaining Eagle Scout is a privilege. It is not a right and therefore should be earned by putting in your hard work and effort in organizing and leading other members on accomplishing your Eagle project. You must complete it before your 18th birthday and should allow ample time to get it approved by the various committees (roughly 6 months).
Once you get into high school it becomes very challenging to juggle scouts with other things going on with you in your life. Obtaining Eagle Scout is an individual accomplishment and is hard to dictate when this process should occur. Due to challenges at various ages it makes it difficult to pin point an appropriate age but as a guide anywhere starting at the age of 12 on up. At the latest, one should start no later than the age of 17 by presenting it to the Troop Committee for initial approval and plan on having it completed by 17 ½ or 17 ¾ to avoid disappointment for not having enough time to complete it before you turn 18.
As a responsible scout, it is your duty to find out what is required and start working on it as soon as you can. The Troop Committee is the initial committee you present your Eagle project to for their approval of your project. How many times you meet with the Troop Committee depends on the amount of effort and completion of your Eagle Book before the Troop Committee gives it their final stamp of approval. After this, a presentation in front of the Roundtable takes place which occurs only on the first Thursday of every month. If approved, then the following Thursday is your presentation it front of the Eagle Board for final approval. It is only after the Eagle Board approves your Eagle Project can you actually start truly working on your project by sending out letters, asking for donations or gathering supplies.
The Troop Committee meets only once a month and so you must have their approval before you can be allowed to present your Eagle Project to the Roundtable. Since we meet after Roundtable, the next available time Roundtable occurs is the first Thursday of the next month and then the following Thursday to the Eagle Board pending approval by both. This long process is why you must allow ample time to not only present your project but to get it approved by the 3 different Committees. From your initial approval at the Troop Committee roughly figure at least on at least 3-6 months before you will be ready to present your Eagle Project to Roundtable and the Eagle Board. After this you need to allow time to send out letters, get responses and have fund raisers if necessary before you start your Eagle Project. This adds another month or two. Please ask the Scoutmaster or the Troop Committee Chair for clarification if need be.