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There are no ranks in the Order of the Arrow, only levels of understanding. An Ordeal Member’s only obligation is to his Scouting unit. Brotherhood Membership is for those Scouts whose primary obligation is still to the unit but who also wish to expand their service to the Lodge.
You can use your Order of the Arrow Handbook to learn more about these topics.
Ever since the inception of the Order of the Arrow in 1915, it was intended that all members should be equal in rank. Brotherhood membership does not provide a specific degree of rank, status, or special honor like that of the Vigil Honor.
Instead, the Brotherhood is an opportunity for members to reaffirm their belief in the high purposes of the Order. The ceremony is intended as a source of inspiration that motivates brothers to give even greater service to Scouting.
An Ordeal member may become a Brotherhood member when he has completed the five Challenges of Brotherhood Membership below:
1. Memorize the signs of OA Membership:
- OA Song
- Admonition Never said above a whisper. If you need your memory refreshed, check with a lodge officer or ceremonial team.
- Sign of Ordeal Membership
- OA Handclasp
2. Advance in your understanding of the Ordeal:
- The four principal character of the Ordeal Ceremony
- The four tests of the Ordeal
- The symbolism of the the Arrow
- The True Name of the Order of the Arrow
3. Serve Your Unit
- Retain your registration in Scouting.
- During a period of at least 6 months, strive to fulfill your obligation by continuing and expanding your service to your own Troop or Team.
4. Plan for Service in your Lodge
- Retain your registration in Wipala Wiki lodge and keep your dues paid.
- Be aware that acceptance of Brotherhood Membership involves a pledge of service to the Lodge.
- Develop a concrete idea of how you plan to fulfill this pledge.
5. Review Your Progress
When you earnestly feel that you have met the four challenges above, write a letter to the Lodge Secretary. In this letter:
- Explain what you think the obligation means.
- Describe how you have been fulfilling this Obligation in your unit and in your daily life, and how you have used your understanding of the Ordeal to aid in this service.
- Describe your specific plans for continuing this service in the future.
- Tell what the Order of the Arrow means to you, and why you are seeking Brotherhood Membership. When the five challenges have been completed, the Ordeal Member should present himself at the requested time, as a candidate for Brotherhood Membership.
This may be done at any Wipala Wiki activity offering Brotherhood conversion. At this time the Brotherhood Candidate will be given the opportunity to rededicate himself to the lodge and the OA by performing cheerful service during the fellowship or activity. Be sure to wear your Class A Uniform and OA Sash. All Ordeal Members who have successfully fulfilled the five challenges will be inducted as Brotherhood Members of the Order of the Arrow.