The Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America, These boys were elected into the society by their peers. The induction of new members is called the Ordeal because the boys are presented with a four-part challenge to be completed during the weekend. The four parts are as follows:
- Spending a day without talking (opportunity to turn thoughts inward, self-reflection)
- Spending a night alone under the stars (to show self-reliance)
- Give service through arduous labor (self-sacrifice)
- Go for a day with scant food (practice of self-denial)
These practices are designed to be extensions of what a boy has already experienced in Scouting as well as an opportunity for personal growth.
The other unique feature of The Order of the Arrow is the use of Native American inspired ceremonies as part of the induction process. A public calling-out ceremony takes place at a camp or at the weekend enclave. The other induction ceremonies (pre-Ordeal and Ordeal membership) are kept private to keep an element of mystery and surprise for the new members.
Central Minnesota Council’s Naguonabe Lodge is named after the first civil chief of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwa; the lodge has sought out and received acknowledgements from the descendants of Chief Naguonabe to continue the mission of the Order of the Arrow as an integral part of the Boy Scouting experience.
(This information was taken from the Order of the Arrow Parent Information letter)