From the beginning of the Order in 1915, all members have been equal. There are no ranks. As an Ordeal Member, you are entitled to all the rights and privileges of membership in the Order. Yet, so important is the induction sequence that the Order strengthened it by creating Brotherhood membership. It is an opportunity for members to evaluate their unit service since their ordeal induction.
Brotherhood membership is sought by Arrowmen seeking to reaffirm their belief in the high purposes of the Order. Before becoming a Brotherhood member, each Arrowman makes a special effort to serve his troop or team. Each Brotherhood member commits to even more service to Scouting through the Order.
Working on Getting Your Vigil?
Brotherhood members have pledged to serve the Order. This service takes many forms. Your Scout leader encourages you on, speaks well of the lodge, and gets you a ride to Order of the Arrow events. Your Scout leader is serving the Order. Another Scout in your unit gives camp promotion talks in neighboring troops. Still another Brother is training to be an Elangomat at the next Ordeal. Your junior assistant Scoutmaster is unit elections chairman. An assistant Scout leader is a carpenter who takes tools to camp whenever he or she goes to help the camp ranger with odd jobs. All are serving the Order, each in a personal way; each as other commitments permit.
As a Brotherhood member your first responsibility in Scouting is still your troop or team. Your Scout leader relies on your example, as an older, more experienced Scout; on your willingness to teach; on your leadership. Yet as a Brotherhood member you want to take on more responsibilities in the Order. How do you reconcile this with your responsibility to your unit?
Before assuming any new task, discuss it with your Scout leader. Together, determine how it affects your troop or team life. When your Scout leader knows you are working for Scouting outside your unit, he or she can better help you plan your activities within the unit.
Start by limiting yourself to responsibilities that will not conflict with your troop or team. For example, agree to do elections for new members only on nights when your unit doesn't meet. If you eventually choose to assume a leadership role in the Order, recognize that you will have less time to spend with your unit. As a chapter or lodge officer, you will have to plan around the needs of all the Brothers, not just those in your own unit. As you plan your service to the Order, you will want to do three things.
Find ways to get involved. Understand your own needs and desires. Remember, there are many ways to serve in the Order. You will be most successful as a Brotherhood member if you match your service to your needs. Finally, if you have the opportunity, discuss possible service with a lodge or chapter officer, who will cheerfully show you many ways to serve.
The Order of the Arrow is a service organization. It serves Scouting by promoting the Scout Oath and Law and especially the principles of brother hood, cheerfulness, and service. It serves Scouting by promoting Scout camp ing and by building and maintaining camping traditions. It serves Scouting by turning your habit of a daily Good Turn into a lifetime purpose of leadership in cheerful service.
Yet the Order is not some machine or strange beast. The Order is the Brothers who strive to fulfill its Obligation, and you are a Brother. When your example promotes the principles, when your help to a fellow Scout makes that Scout a better camper, when your daily Good Turn becomes a life of leadership in service, when you remember the Admonition, you are the Order.