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Brotherhood

OA Brotherhood is the final step in the Induction process.

Friend, you have come a long way: after being elected by your peers in the troop as a scout dedicated to the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law, you underwent the Induction Weekend (Ordeal), where you were welcomed into our Brotherhood of Cheerful Service. As an Ordeal member, you have enjoyed the full rights of an Arrowman, participating in your chapter and giving service to the Lodge. six months have passed since upon you the white sash was bestowed, and it is now time to reaffirm your commitment, and take a serious look at your future in the Order.

What is Brotherhood, again?

Brotherhood is a recognition of Arrowmen who have become full members of the OA by completing requirements that relate to understanding OA symbolism, reflecting on previous experiences, and planning for future service to Scouting.  It is not a rank, but a meaningful recognition.  Brotherhood members, unlike the Ordeal members they previously were, will be expected to provide service and leadership for the benefit of the Order, just as a high-ranking Boy Scout is expected to do the same in their troop.

Who is eligible?

Arrowmen with current dues are eligible for Brotherhood once they have spent six months as an Ordeal member of the OA.

Why get Brotherhood?

OA Brotherhood brings great benefits, including heightened respect among your fellow Arrowmen.  You will be seen as a capable and dedicated member, who can be trusted with the great responsibilities of leading in your Chapter and Lodge.  Having gained a deeper understanding of the Order, you will enjoy and appreciate OA events and traditions more.

OA Brotherhood Sash

Reaching Brotherhood, Step-by-Step

1.  Memorize the signs of OA membership.

This requirement is easiest done over a long period of time, so it is best to start working early. You must memorize:

  • The OA Obligation  
  • The OA Song 
  • The Admonition (and its meaning)
  • The Sign of the Ordeal
  • The OA Handclasp

2.  Advance in your understanding of the Ordeal.

Your Ordeal and the ceremonies within were full of symbolism, and no one is expected to understand it all the first time through.  In order to advance, however, it is necessary to look back at your Ordeal and gain a better understanding of its meaning. Several resources are available to help you do this, including your fellow Arrowmen, your OA Handbook, and OA Jumpstart, a national website made specifically to help new OA members make sense of what they just went through.

3.  Plan for service in your Lodge.

In other words, wait at least six months while you experience the OA and learn about what it’s all about. Use this time to learn about all the different functions of the OA and the many jobs available to you. Consider what areas interest you, and where you will begin to make your contribution as a leader in your chapter or lodge. Most importantly, participate in lodge activities and have fun! Make sure to remember the date of your Ordeal so you know when you can get this signed off, and move on to step 5.

4.  Review your progress.

For this final requirement you will write a letter explaining your understanding of the Obligation, your fulfillment of it, and your plans of future service to the OA. Do not be frightened by this step, as your letter only goes to the tester (A brotherhood member). He won’t bite. He won’t judge. Actually, we can’t guarantee either of those things, but your letter will definitely not be graded or rejected. It is a personal reflection in which you make a personal dedication to serve the OA and live by its values. You are trusted to do this reflection honestly; turning in the letter just shows that you mean it.

In your letter, address the following points:

  • What does the Obligation mean to you?​​​
  • How have you already begun to live by the Obligation? Alternatively, how have your actions changed since first learning the Obligation?
  • How do you plan to serve the OA in the future?

There is no length requirement for the letter.

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