New Members and Parents

First off, congratulations on your election into the Order of the Arrow! Both you and your parents probably have many questions concerning your election, induction, and participation in the Order. We hope this can answer some of your concerns, and increase your understanding about what you've been elected to join.

I just got elected - what's next?

Pocumtuc  Lodge normally holds two induction weekends, called Ordeals, each year.  One in the spring and one in the fall.  You'll have two opportunities to be inducted. If you don't take your Ordeal during one of these opportunities in the year after your election, you'll have to be re-elected by your Troop, in order to be inducted.

The Ordeal is the actual induction process.  It's a 24 hour program dedicated to service and reflection.  As all activities are to be conducted within the principles of the Scout Oath and Law, no hazing of any kind is allowed, nor are any religious beliefs or principles violated.  Activities are supervised by adult advisers.

Transportation is the responsibility of the candidate (newly elected members are called "candidates").  As a candidate, you'll need to arrive at camp (Moses Scout Reservation) on Friday evening and check in (be sure and eat dinner before you come).  Between the time you are elected and your Ordeal, you will receive an information/registration letter from the Lodge.  This letter will tell you the date and fee for the weekend, what time to arrive on Friday and what you should bring to be prepared for the Ordeal.  You will need to bring a completed health form w
ith you, as well as any other paper work that is with your registration letter (all of the forms are available for download). 

What should I bring to the Ordeal?

  • Health Form - signed and filled out and any medications you need.
  • Backpack with personal camping gear - sleeping bag, water bottle, your uniform, tent (or you can share one with a friend), ground cloth, rain gear, work clothes.  No need to bring your Merit Badge sash to camp.
  • $35.00 fee unless you paid ahead of time (fee includes: OA sash, Lodge flap, OA handbook, dues for the year and meals for the weekend).
  • Do not bring snacks or electronic gear
  • The Pocumtuc Trading Post with have extra Lodge flaps and other memorabilia for sale. If you're interested, you might want to bring a few extra dollars for the trading post.
  • What is the Order of the Arrow and the Pocumtuc Lodge?

    The Order of the Arrow is the Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America and a brotherhood of honored campers.  It's a society of Boy Scouts and Scouters that function as a part of the regular camping program of the BSA.  Its foremost purpose is to promote and enrich Scout camping.
    The OA members in a local Scout council form a "Lodge" (used as in Native American tradition in the sense of the hunting lodge or the council lodge).  Our local lodge in the Western Massachusetts Council is the Pocumtuc Lodge.
    The Order of the Arrow is not a secret society; an air of mystery does surround its ceremonies and meetings, but this is done because of its appeal to boys.  Membership in the Order is dependent upon membership in the Boy Scouts of America.  Members wishing to be active in the Order must maintain their registrations.
    Elements of Native American tradition are used in Order of the Arrow ceremonies, for the dramatic effort.  However, the Native American aspects of the Order should never obscure its objectives.

    Purpose of the Order of the Arrow

  • To recognize those campers; Scouts, and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and by such recognition cause other campers to conduct themselves in such manner as to warrant similar recognition.
  • To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit.
  • To promote Scout camping and to strengthen the district and council camping program both year round and in summer camp, as directed by the Camping and Activities Committees of the Council.
  • To crystallize the scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
  • What does the Pocumtuc Lodge do?

    Our Lodge exists primarily as a service organization and emphasizes cheerful spirit in the camping part of the program.  It is democratic in character: boys are elected to membership by the boys in their own Scout Troop.  They elect their own officers, plan their own programs, and carry it out under their own leadership.  Adults act as advisers or councilors, but do not run the affairs of the local lodges.  Membership is granted to boys and adults "not so much for what they have done, but for what they are expected to do" in service to their fellow man.
    An important aspect of the OA program is leadership by the Scouts.  The youth members are in charge of program, filling each of the leadership positions, with adult advisers involved to provide guidance and ensure safety.  The Lodge holds two weekend activities each year, called Fellowships (spring and fall), at Moses Scout Reservation, as well as a Lodge Banquet in the spring.  Opportunities are available for training at the local, state, and national levels in areas of leadership, Native American culture and activities, Scoutcraft, and administration.  Once you are inducted, you become part of a large brotherhood of Scouts and Scouters working with fellow Arrowmen from across the council, creating lifelong friendships.
    The OA is not meant to replace or distract from a member's involvement with his unit.  While Arrowmen are encouraged to participate to the fullest of their abilities in the lodge programs, each Arrowman, as a condition of membership, is required to maintain his membership and activity in his own Troop.