As we prepare for elections to the Order of the Arrow this week, many boys have asked “why join the OA?” I think everybody understands WHAT it is; scouting’s national honor society. However, I find myself needing to explain WHY they should work to become a part of this order. Here’s what I tell them…
Being a member of the Order of the Arrow is a special honor. It is reserved for boys who are diligently following our scouting principles. These scouts believe in the Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan and work hard each day to live by those standards. They focus on the things that strengthen personal integrity, individual character and positive attitude.
I compare an Arrowman with that of an honor student in school. These are the above-average kids who put in the extra time, energy and effort to be the best they can be. They are committed, hard working, high performers and always willing to help someone in need. Honor Scouts strive to do more than just enough to get by. They know these qualities are the difference between good, better and best as they work to earn their place in life.
So why join the OA? …because the recognition by your peers for these kinds of character traits adds value. It may be that little extra accolade needed to be accepted at your college of choice, awarded a preferred scholarship, selected for a position of importance or sought after for a desired assignment in this competitive workplace. Personally, I see OA as another way to add “tools” to your leadership toolbox for when you may need a skill or attribute that others don’t have.