Ask the Expert: Are OA life memberships a thing?

expertlogo1Once you’re inducted into the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s honor society, you get a sense of brotherhood and pride that stays with you for life.

But can you be a life member of the Order of the Arrow? Are OA life memberships a thing?

That’s what an emailer asked me last week. She writes:

Bryan,

Is there a lifetime membership in the Order of the Arrow similar to NESA [the National Eagle Scout Association]?

We gave my son a lifetime membership to NESA and would like to do the same with OA if such exists.

– Karen

For the response, I asked the expert: Matt Dukeman, associate director of the Order of the Arrow. He responds:

Lifetime memberships in the Order of the Arrow are not authorized and shall not be recognized. You can find the official answer for this on page 21 of our Guide for Officers and Advisers, which can be found at this link.

OA life membership

This is the relevant section from the Guide Dukeman mentions:

Life membership. A life membership in the Order of the Arrow is not authorized and shall not be recognized. Membership in the Order of the Arrow requires current registration with the Boy Scouts of America. There is no official or authorized life membership registration status for the Order of the Arrow in the Boy Scouts of America.

There’s no OA life membership, but if you were to remain an actively registered member of the Boy Scouts of America and pay your OA dues annually, you would, in essence, always be an OA member.

Did you let your BSA membership or OA membership lapse? No problem. You can get back in good standing at any time by becoming a member of BSA and paying your OA dues.

OA honorary membership

Honorary memberships aren’t authorized either. See this section in the Guide:

Honorary membership. Honorary membership in the Order of the Arrow is not authorized and shall not be given. Membership in the Order shall be gained only through fulfillment of membership requirements as stated in the official literature of the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America. Visiting Scouts or leaders cannot be given honorary memberships in the Order.


Photo from BSA Flickr. Copyright Boy Scouts of America.

About Bryan Wendell 2882 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.