Once a year, Topa Topa Lodge holds its annual membership elections from all Troops and Teams in the Council. Eligibility requirements for election are listed below, as well as the election and induction procedure. If you have any questions at all about elections or eligibility not included here, please feel free to email the Lodge or Staff Advisers. Their email addresses are included on this site.
Eligibility of Election to the OA
Youth membership qualifications.
All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Order of the Arrowwho are under 21 years of age shall be considered youth members or candidates for youth membership, subject tomeeting the following requirements
- 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 or team, have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than onelong-term camp consisting of six consecutive days andfive nights of resident camping, approved and 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.
Candidates for youth membership shall be elected by other youth members in accordance with policies set forth by the national Order of the Arrow committee.
Adult membership qualifications.
All members of, or candidates for membership in, the Order of the Arrow who are 21 years of age or older and who are registered members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be considered adult members or candidates for adult membership. Individuals shall be selected as candidates based on the following:
1. Adult leaders in units: Each year, upon holding a troop or team election for youth candidates that results in at least one youth candidate being elected, the unit committee may nominate one adult to the lodge adult selection committee, composed of the lodge adviser, the chairman of the council committee on which the lodge adviser serves, and the lodge staff adviser. Troops or teams having more than 50 registered active youth members may nominate an additional adult for every 50 registered, active youth, or fraction thereof. For example, a troop having 51 to 100 registered, active youths may nominate two adults each year if at least one youth has been elected. Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with the approval of the Scout executive, serving as Supreme Chief of the Fire, will be candidates for induction, provided the following conditions are fulfilled:
- Selection of the adult is based on the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and not for recognition of service, including current or prior achievement and positions.
- The individual will be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities that fulfill the purpose of the Order.
- The camping requirements set forth for youth members are fulfilled.
- The adult leader’s membership will provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.
2. Adult leaders in council and district positions: The lodge adviser, district chairmen, council president, or members of the professional staff may nominate adults to the lodge adult selection committee. All requirements set forth for adult leaders in units must be fulfilled, with the
exception of the camping requirements, which may be waived at the discretion of the lodge adviser and Scout executive. Recommendations of the adult selection committee, with the approval of the Scout executive, serving as Supreme Chief of the Fire, will become candidates for induction.
Adults may be nominated for membership only one time per year as either unit Scouters or district/council Scouters, but not both. How they are nominated depends on where they maintain their primary registration.
Because the Order of the Arrow is principally a youth organization, unit, district, and council Scouters are not selected for membership as a recognition. Selection should take place only when the adult’s position in Boy Scouting or Varsity Scouting will make Order of the Arrow membership more meaningful in the lives of the youth membership.
Unit Elections FAQs
If you are a unit, you should expect to hear form your local Chapter Unit Elections team shortly after the beginning of the calendar year, to schedule an election at a unit meeting. All elections must be completed by the pre-determined date set each year by the Lodge Executive Committee, to accomodate the Spring Camporee schedules for the Districts. This date will be posted on the front page of this web site.
Upon arrival on the scheduled election, please be ready for the OA team. This includes having a list of eligible youth members ready for the election team. The team will explain to the troop the process of the electi0n. Units MUST not conduct their own elections, rather an election team from the OA Chapter will preside over the election.
- Election MUST be held by secret ballot. A youth is elected if he receives votes from 50% or more of the ballots turned in.
- All unit members under the age of 18 MAY cast a ballot, but are not required to. If a member doesn’t wish to cast a ballot, they should decline from voting.
- Adults may NOT vote in a youth election.
- Current members of the OA MAY vote for candidates in their own unit election.
- A blank ballot turned in DOES count in the total number of ballots received for the 50% requirement. In fairness to the candidates, this fact should be made clear to voters prior to the election. A fake ballot for an unnamed candidate will also count as a blank, and towards the total number of ballots received.
- A troop member MAY vote for all, none or and number of the eligible candidates.
- The Unit Election is NOT a popularity contest. Only candidates that demonstrat true Scout spirit should be considered for election.
- The OA is Scouting’s National Honor Society. Candidates should be considered worthy by his peers to be elected.
- Election results are NOT immediately made known to candidates. Instead, we opt to announce the candidates at a public Calling Out ceremony, generally held at the upcoming District Camporee. Election results CAN and SHOULD be made available to the Unit Leader the night of the election.
- Pre-printed ballots ARE exceptable so long as candidates are listed in alphabetical order and no other “preferential” order.
- Unit Leaders cannot change the outcome of an election. Rather the Unit Leader can only approve of qualified candidates PRIOR to the election.
- If no one is elected due to the inability to attain 50% of the votes, one additional election can take place immediately following the non-election. If no one is elected in the second election, no additional elections will be permitted. The second election must be performed on the same night as the original non-election.
- Elections should NOT be held by members of the troop if at all possible, but rather by OA members not affiliated with the troop holding elections.
- Adults are NOT elected in a formal election, but are rather nominated by the Unit Committee. The Unit Committee Chair should receive a nomination form in the mail shortly after the beginning of the calendar year.
- A unit is allowed one youth election per calendar year.