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Earn the Order of the Arrow Unit of Excellence Award

Background & Purpose of the Award

As the primary platform where the Scouting program is delivered to youth, the unit is the most vital and important level of the BSA for the Order of the Arrow to support.

The Order of the Arrow Unit of Excellence Award seeks to identify those units, and the leaders within them, who excel at incorporating the OA into their annual planning. This award is intended to provide a tool for lodges to recognize, incentivize, and
operationalize unit-level participation in Order of the Arrow programs.

The OA Unit of Excellence Award criteria recognize units that invite the lodge to:

  • conduct quality unit elections
  • participate in lodge events and meetings, and
  • operate a complete OA Unit Representative program.

Our hope is that units that complete these criteria will benefit from the support programs that the Order of the Arrow has implemented to strengthen unit-delivered program. This recognition program, along with other tools for unit support, should be distributed and promoted to Unit Leaders, OA Unit Representatives, and chapter election teams to include in their communication to units.

Award Requirements

Units must complete all of the requirements listed below in order to be eligible as an
Order of the Arrow Unit of Excellence. If all requirements are completed, the unit receives a ribbon for their unit flag, per annum; a certificate of recognition from their lodge and become eligible to order OA Unit of Excellence patches for the members of the unit.

Order of the Arrow Unit of Excellence Award Requirements:

Leadership: Implement the OA Unit Representative program in your unit.

  • Every six months, ensure that the senior youth leader in the unit appoints or reappoints one Scout to serve as OA Unit Representative and the Unit Leader appoints one adult to serve as OA Unit Representative Adviser.
  • Feature an annual presentation by the OA Unit Representative on the Order of the Arrow with a focus on the accomplishments of unit members.


  • Promote lodge events and ensure transportation is provided to all Arrowmen wishing to participate.
  • At least 50% of unit OA members attend at least one lodge event during the year in addition to their Ordeal.

Elections: Schedule a unit election with the chapter election team annually.

  • Hold an election and have 70% of elected Scouts complete their Ordeal.

Planning: Maintain an active planning process that prevents overlap between lodge, chapter, and unit events.

  • Review the local OA calendar with the youth leadership during annual unit program planning and schedule unit events so that unit programs do not overlap with any full- lodge events.

Activation: Demonstrate the depth of your unit’s OA program through active participation in OA events.

  • At least 33% of the unit’s Arrowmen attend an OA event following their induction into the OA.
Awarding Process

Please notify the Lodge Adviser and Lodge Staff Adviser at upon meeting the requirements of this award by December 17th. Units that qualify will be recognized at the annual Lodge Winter Banquet.

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