About the Order of the Arrow

All the information you need about the Order of the Arrow, the National Honor Society of Scouting.

OA Basics

The Order of the Arrow is Scouting’s National Honor Society.


The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is fourfold:

  • To recognize those Scout 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
  • To crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others


The Order of the Arrow (OA) was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934.
In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America.

“The Order is a thing of the spirit rather than of mechanics, organization, operational procedures, and all that go with them are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what counts in the end.”

The things of spirit are what count:

Brotherhood – in a day when there is too much hatred at home and abroad.
Cheerfulness– in a day when the pessimists have the floor and cynics are popular.
Service – in a day when million are interested in getting or grasping, rather than giving.”

The Obligation

I do hereby promise, on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully, observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of The Arrow. Wimachtendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui.
I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow as lasting and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor so far as in my power lies to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.

The Song of the Order

Firm bound in brotherhood, gather the clan That cheerful service brings to fellow man. Circle our council fire, Weld tightly every link That binds us in brotherhood, Wimachtendienk.

National OA Web Site

For more information on the Order of the Arrow, please visit the National web site:

Ordeal Information

Your next step is the Ordeal. You can find out all about what to expect on our Ordeal General Information page.