Unit Elections

Unit elections provide Scouts the opportunity to join Scouting’s National Honor Society, the Order of the Arrow. To schedule one, email elections@nampa-tsi.org

Why Elections?

Elections are an annual occurrence for all Scouting units around the nation. They introduce the Order of the Arrow to new Scouts and allow for people to be elected.



The Guide for Officers and Advisers says:

Registered active member. In Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships, every registered active member of the unit under age 21 at the time of election (including assistant Scoutmasters who are 18, 19 or 20 years old) is eligible to vote. A Scout who carries a current national membership card and participates in at least some unit activities during the year is considered to be a registered active member of the unit. 

For example, a youth away at college who participates in some unit activities when home, such as a campout, camporee, or occasional unit meeting, should be considered a registered active member. A youth who moves away or drops out of the unit because of other interests would not be counted in the registered active membership figure. As an example, a Scout who hasn’t participated in unit activities in several months and who cannot be reached to confirm that they have dropped out of the unit should not be counted as a member of the unit when deciding if at least 50 percent of the registered active unit membership is present.

A Scout in my Scouts BSA troop is also registered in a Venturing crew or Sea Scout Ship. Can camping trips with the crew or ship count towards the camping requirement?

It is preferred that camping requirements be met as part of the unit in which the youth is being considered for election (i.e., troop, crew, or ship); however, extenuating circumstances may exist (e.g., in cases where a youth did not have an opportunity to meet the requirement with the unit), that make it appropriate for unit leaders to consider other BSA camping experiences (e.g., a Venturer counting camping nights completed with a troop or camping nights completed while serving as a staff member at a council camp or national high adventure base). In each case, the unit leader must satisfy themselves the spirit and intent of the requirement was met (i.e., it was indeed qualifying outdoor camping).

If a Scout goes to summer camp and a jamboree in the same summer, how do these count towards the camping requirement?

Only one long term camp can be used towards the camping requirement. For a Scout who attends summer camp and a jamboree in the same year, five nights of the time at summer camp or at the jamboree (but not both) can be used towards the camping requirement. Ten more nights of short-term camp would also be required to meet the camping requirement in order to reach the 15 nights requirement.

A Scout who recently joined my unit camped a lot in their previous unit. Should that camping be counted when deciding if they can be listed on the election ballot for my unit’s election?

Yes. All BSA camping done by a Scout in the program area for which they are being considered for election (see question 4 for exception) counts towards the camping portion of the membership qualifications, as long as the camping was within the last two years.

Do youths have to be present for an election, or can they participate by phone or Skype or vote through an absentee ballot?

All youths must be physically present to vote in a unit election. Voting by phone, Skype, absentee ballot, etc. is not permitted in unit elections.

Do youths have to be present to be placed on the election ballot and be elected?

No. All Scouts who meet the eligibility requirements should be included on the election ballot, even if some of these Scouts are not present when the election is being held.

Can a unit conduct its own election?

The Guide for Officers and Advisers says:

Induction: Election to Ordeal

2. The lodge, through the unit elections committee, should work with the unit leader in establishing the actual time and place to conduct the election. The OA should be represented by a two or three-member team from the lodge or chapter unit elections

All elections teams must be trained and in proper uniform during the election. The lodge is responsible for making sure that elections teams are properly trained, so it’s important that units not conduct their own elections.

Can a unit leader adjust the results of the youth election results before the results are announced?

After the youths have voted, the unit leader cannot adjust the results of the election.


For any question please ask your Chapter leadership or email