Troop 501 Eagle Scouts

Andrew Jackson - 2011

Project: Recycle Bins at the World Bird Sanctuary

William "Billy" John Fisher, III - 2012

Project: Fire Truck Reading Center at Arnold Branch Library

Christopher "Blake" Hufford - 2013

Project: Flag Pole Installation and Beautification Project at New Hope United Methodist Church

Paul Morton Claeys - 2013

Project: Playground Renovation and Update; Construction and Installation of Benches at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Drew Vitello - 2014

Project: Development and Installation of interactive, 3-D, educational playground mural at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Order of the Arrow

100 Years of Service

For 100 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth.


The mission of the Order of the Arrow is to fulfill its purpose as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults.


As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:logo-col

  • Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
  • Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
  • Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
  • Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.


The Order of the Arrow was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1998, the Order of the Arrow became recognized as Scouting’s National Honor Society when it expanded its reach beyond camping to include broader service to Scouting and the community. Click here to read more of the Order of the Arrow history…


The OA has more than 170,000 active members located in lodges affiliated with over 295 BSA local councils.


The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • After registration with a troop or team, have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.
  • Youth must be under the age of 21, hold the BSA First Class rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity team Coach, be elected by the youth members of their troop or team.
  • Adults (age 21 or older) who are registered in the BSA and meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to the lodge adult selection committee. Adult selection is based on their ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, and is not for recognition of service, including current or prior positions. Selected adults must be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities, and must provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.


The induction ceremony, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership in the Order. During the experience, candidates maintain silence, receive small amounts of food, work on camp improvement projects, and sleep apart from other campers. The entire experience is designed to teach significant values. All candidates for membership must complete the Ordeal.

Brotherhood Membership

After 10 months of service as an Ordeal member and fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the Order.

Vigil Honor

After two years of exceptional service as a Brotherhood member, and with the approval of the national Order of the Arrow committee, a Scout or Scouter may be recognized with the Vigil Honor for their distinguished contributions to their lodge, the Order of the Arrow, Scouting, or their Scout camp. This honor is bestowed by special selection and is limited to one person for every 50 members registered with the lodge each year.


An OA lodge helps the local Boy Scout council provide a quality Scouting program through recognition of Scouting spirit and performance, development of youth leadership and service, promotion of Scout camping and outdoor programs, and enhancement of membership tenure.  Every Boy Scout council is encouraged to have an Order of the Arrow lodge. Each lodge operates under a charter granted by the National Council, BSA, and must apply annually for its renewal.  The Boy Scouts of America will grant a charter to only one lodge per council.


An Order of the Arrow section consists of lodges within a geographic area of the region. Once every year, representatives of lodges in the section come together for a conclave to share in fellowship, skills, and training. In addition, the section creates a monitoring/mentoring relationship with its lodges, provides leadership development opportunities, fosters understanding and adherence to national OA policies and procedures, and coordinates OA administrative and program functions.  A section is lead by three elected youth officers, the section chief, section vice chief, and section secretary, who are advised by an adult section adviser and professional section staff adviser.

Each year the approximately fifty elected section chiefs are invited to a national planning meeting in Dallas, TX. The section chiefs form the conference committee for a national Order of the Arrow event, such as the national Order of the Arrow conference, which is held under the guidance of the national Order of the Arrow committee.

Region Leadership

The region chief is the youth leader elected annually by the section chiefs in his region. This election is held in conjunction with the annual national planning meeting.  The region Order of the Arrow chairman is an adult adviser appointed by the region director. The professional adviser for the region is assigned by the region director.

National Leadership

The national chief and vice chief are Arrowmen elected to one-year terms by the section chiefs during the annual national planning meeting. They serve as members of the national Order of the Arrow committee, providing the opinion of youth Arrowmen on national OA policy. They also serve as the presiding officers for the national OA event. They are advised in their responsibilities by the national OA committee chairman and the Order of the Arrow team leader.  The national OA committee chairman is appointed annually by the vice president/chairman of the national Outdoor Adventures Group. The professional adviser is the Order of the Arrow team leader, a national professional Scouter.

Revised 08/24/2015

Higher Vision

Higher Vision

The Story of the Higher Vision Painting

Written by Martin D. Poller, Aquehongian Lodge 112

Appears in the latest addition of The Brotherhood of Cheerful Service, A History of the Order of the Arrow
One of the more inspirational paintings related to the Order of the Arrow is a picture of an Indian handing a leather parchment to a Scout who wears an OA sash. It is entitled The Higher Vision and illustrates the idea that Uncas, of OA legend fame, is passing on the legend of the founding of the Order to a Scout. This artwork was re-created in 2000 by the national Order of the Arrow committee as both a bronze and a porcelain figurine. These objects are available for purchase to support a major fund-raising effort by the OA to support expansion of the Seton Memorial Library and Philmont Museum at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
But where did this art piece originally come from? In 1961, members of Aquehongian Lodge, Greater New York Council, were searching for an appropriate way to memorialize their long term lodge advisor, Lee A. Ellison, who had recently passed away. Ellison was the advisor of Aquehongian Lodge from 1940 to 1957. In addition, he was the Scoutmaster of Troop 43, chartered at that time to the Slosson Post, American Legion. When Ellison passed away, his Vigil Honor brothers thought of many things that they might do to remember his service and dedication to the OA and Scouting. They decided to commission a painting.
Upon contacting Martin Mockford, then national secretary of the Order of the Arrow, he recommended Joseph Csatari (a protégé of Norman Rockwell) to paint a picture. A meeting with Csatari was arranged, a theme for the painting was decided upon, and Csatari was commissioned to paint the work.
The Indian in the painting is a depiction of Uncas, the son of Chief Chingachgook in both The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper and in OA legend. Uncas is handing down to a Scout the legend of the Order of the Arrow for posterity. The legend itself is something that was developed in Aquehongian Lodge by Ellison. (The original skin along with a skin of the Explanation of the Ordeal hangs in Berlin Lodge at William H. Pouch Scout Camp, a property of the Greater New York Council in Staten Islandborough.) It is the legend of the Order in authentic Lenape pictograghs, which Ellison personally researched. (The “illegal” sash backs often seen are replications of these skins.) It was created on deer skin by Walter Vines. The Scout represents an Order of the Arrow member in Ellison’s Staten Island Troop 43. The Scout is wearing an AquehongianLodge neckerchief with 25th anniversary slide.
The painting was presented to the national Order of the Arrow committee in October 1963 at the BSA national office in New Brunswick, N.J. Martin Mockford accepted the painting on behalf of the national committee. Aquehongian Lodge was represented by former lodge chief, Walter Vines; chairman of the Vigil Honor Committee, Martin D. Poller; past lodge chief, John F. Braniff III; and John Novo-Mesky, chairman of the Painting Committee. The painting was paid for by private contributions of Vigil Honor members, not by the lodge.

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Beyond Brotherhood


Personal development within the Order of the Arrow doesn’t end with Brotherhood… We should always strive to progress beyond Brotherhood. After all, this is the Obligation of the Arrowman. After attaining Brotherhood Honor, one should continue with the Beyond Brotherood Silver and Gold awards. After two years of active participation, beyond Brotherhood, one is eligible for nomination to Vigil Honor. Do you know a member of our troop worthy of such distinction? If so, nominate them, today!

The Beyond Brotherhood Program is an award system that recognizes Arrowmen who are Brotherhood or Vigil Honor members, that continue to remain active in lodge events. The first time a recipient earns the award, they receive the “Silver Beyond Brotherhood” pin. For each subsequent award earned, they receive the “Gold Beyond Brotherhood” pin. The Silver and Gold Beyond Brotherood awards are pins that Arrowmen can wear on their lodge flap, but not on the sash.

Silver Beyond Brotherhood Card

Gold Beyond Brotherhood Card

Vigil Nomination Form

Wimachtendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui!


Shawnee Lodge’s Place in the Order of the Arrow History…

In 1938, Shawnee Lodge hosted the twelfth National Lodge Meeting at Irondale Scout Reservation, and Joseph Brunton Jr. (former Anicus Lodge chief and future chief Scout executive) was elected to the office of national lodge chief. Brunton was the first to wear the bonnet, which was officially presented to the Order of the Arrow at the 25th anniversary meeting at Camp Twin Echo in 1940. At that meeting, the bonnet was ceremoniously passed to the next national chief, a tradition that has continued to this day.

The bonnet was made of golden eagle feathers and was contained in a leather crate, engraved “Order of the Arrow, WWW, National Chief.” Unfortunately, contaminants within it took a toll on the bonnet, which by 1965 was in need of repair. The National Order of the Arrow Committee sought out Rhese Hoylman Jr., a Vigil Honor member of Ta Tsu Hwa Lodge and esteemed teacher of bonnet making, to repair the national chief bonnet. Hoylman agreed and began the laborious process of rebuilding the bonnet–to be finished before the 1967 NOAC. The reconstruction procedure involved removing, numbering and straightening each feather before putting them back in the correct order and numerous other tasks.

After the lengthy repairs were completed, the bonnet was returned to the National Order of the Arrow Committee in a new and improved container. However, Hoylman did not return the portfolio. Instead, the national chief bonnet was stored in the national BSA office in Irving, Texas. Unfortunately, there was a tragic fire in the office on November 6th, 1980, caused by a security guard who had lit a small fire with the intent to become a “hero,” but the fire got out of his control. The fire destroyed much of the BSA’s and the Order of the Arrow’s memorabilia, including the national chief’s bonnet. Two new bonnets were constructed for the national chief and national vice chief, which were revealed in 1981.

Rhese Hoylman Jr. passed away in 2004, and his son, Rhese Hoylman III, subsequently found the old national chief bonnet portfolio. After due diligence, Rhese identified a member of the history and preservation subcommittee of the national committee and returned this treasure to the OA. Both of them were glad to find a home for it. It was suspected from those that knew of this bonnet portfolios existence that it was destroyed in the 1980 fire, it was an incredible surprise and coincidence to surface in time for the centennial NOAC. At NOAC 2015, Rhese Hoylman III will be part of the GEO staff and will be delighted to tell more of the story on this long-lost, well-preserved relic.