Here is some information we think is important for you to know.
ALLOWAT SAKIMA from the ORDEAL CEREMONY
Hey, that sash looks good on you!
In wearing it, you are identified among the ranks of honored Scouters dating back to 1915, when Dr. E. Urner Goodman founded the Order of the Arrow. You’ll find plenty of information out there about the Order of the Arrow (OA). This is more of a practical guide, including specific information about being a member of AinaTopa Hutsi Lodge.
Your OA sash and pocket flap are not merit badges. They are not a rank patches, nor are they a recognition of any achievement. By wearing your flap, you are calling yourself a servant—someone with a giving heart who enjoys helping others with no thought of payment or recognition. Your peers saw enough of this spirit in your daily life to grant you the honor of calling yourself an Arrowman. Wear your sash and flap with honor, pride and humility
WE WORK HARD
When you ask members what the OA is, the most common answer is, “We’re a service organization.” So what does that mean? Whom do we serve? To put it briefly, we serve wherever help is needed. We also facilitate and participate in annual events around Central Texas. Some examples:
- When you went through Ordeal as a member of Aina Topa Hutsi Lodge, you were helping to prepare our camps for use.
- We serve the Lodge, as well as troops and cub packs, by performing ceremonies.
- We help Life Scouts with their Eagle Projects.
- We help host Council Wide Campout.
- We assist at the Report to State parade and various Merit Badge Universities.
- Nationally, OA hosts “One Day of Service” and our Lodge participates in different ways.
- OA members comprise the Service Corps for National Jamborees and BSA High Adventure Bases: Philmont, Northern Tier, and Sea Base. Members who volunteer for these crews get to attend these camps at a deeply discounted rate.
WE PLAY HARD
Despite your impressions of Ordeal, we aren’t all about slave labor. You will hear the term “fellowship” thrown around. Generally, that translates to “party.”
Remember Saturday night after your Ordeal? Big time fellowship.
Aina Topa Hutsi Lodge and your Chapter host many fun-centric events throughout the year. We also participate in Section Conclave and National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) — the OA version of National Jamboree.
Like most things in life, what you get out of OA depends on what you put into it. You’ll find that simply joining in OA activities fosters a sense of camaraderie and usually ends up being a lot of fun.
WHAT’S WITH ALL THE INDIAN STUFF?
The fundamentals of OA are based on the lessons taken from the legend of the Lenni Lenape tribe that you heard during your Ordeal ceremony. To reinforce and perpetuate these ideals, we wear Indian regalia and perform traditional ceremonies.
Wimachtendienk — pronounced wi-MOCK-ten-dink.
The Lenni Lenape word for “Brotherhood.”
Wingolauchsik — pronounced wing-o-LAO-sick.
The Lenni Lenape word for “Cheerfulness.”
Witahemui — pronounced wit-a-HEM-a-way.
The Lenni Lenape word for “Service.”
Translation: “Brotherhood of Cheerful Service.”
Allowat Sakima, the Chief in your Ordeal ceremony, also pointed out the symbolism of the bow and arrow—being tested under pressure, having a keen point, following the straight and true path of the arrow. These provide the context for our primary goal: To promote Scout camping and crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of cheerful service to others.
Regarding Indian craft, you will find Lodge members who are quite skilled and knowledgeable, and have adopted various aspects of Native American craftwork as their personal hobbies. Always feel free to ask them about it, and remember that no question is a dumb question.
The OA conducts powwows involving traditional Native American dance and drum circles. As an OA member, you are encouraged to start learning about dance styles and regalia and are welcome to begin participating in these colorful events. Some powwows include a competition component in which you are welcome to compete, but each event includes ample time to just watch and dance at will.
Other Words to know
Elangomat — pronounced ee-LANG-o-mat.
The Lenni Lenape word for “Freind.”
Nimat — pronounced NI-mat.
The Lenni Lenape word for “Brother.”
Xatash — pronounced ha-Tash.
The Lenni Lenape word for “Sister.”
Where do I get ceremonial regalia?
We have to make it all by hand. We strongly encourage members to get involved in ceremonies so we hold ceremony and regalia workshops throughout the year. To get you started, many Chapters have regalia sets and ceremony scripts that you can borrow. Please ask your Chapter Chief or Chapter Adviser and they will be happy to help.
You’ll notice that the Chapter names correspond to the Alamo Area Council District Names. If your troop is in the Roadrunner District, for example, you are a
member of the Roadrunner Chapter.
Each Council in the United States contains one Lodge. Texas has 21 Councils, and therefore 21 Lodges.
See your official OA Handbook for more information about the national structure.
Ordeal. Brotherhood. Vigil.
All Lodge members are considered equal. There is no “rank advancement” within the OA. When you completed your Ordeal, you became a full member
with all the rights, privileges and expectations of any other member.
That being said, however, there is a membership sequence. As an Ordeal Member, you are given time to develop an understanding of the true nature of servant leadership so that it may become a natural part of your daily living. After 10 months, you are eligible to become a Brotherhood Member—one who has completed their induction into the OA. There is a simple questioning process through which you attain Brotherhood status. The Vigil Honor is just that, an honor. It cannot be earned by meeting a list of requirements, but rather is a recognition bestowed upon those who have given exceptional service to the Lodge.It is important to note that Brotherhood is the only membership status that you can earn on your own.
WE NEED LEADERS.
WE NEED FOLLOWERS.
So, you want to get involved, but you don’t want to memorize a ceremony script. Or maybe you’re already Senior Patrol Leader in your troop and really
don’t want another leadership title. Or maybe you do! Aina Topa Hutsi can use your time and talent either way. Here are specific ways you can get involved:
This is the Lenni Lenape word for “friend.” These guides help newer members throughout the OA experience. Youth and adults can be elangomats.
As a boy-lead organization, youth can run for Chapter Chief or any of the Vice Chapter Chief positions. Adults can serve as Chapter Advisers or Associate Chapter Advisers.
Again, these are all run by and comprised of youth. There are many committees that handle day-to-day operations of the Lodge. These include: Ceremonies,
Camping Promotion, Fellowship, Service, American Indian Activities, Publications, and others.
Youth who have served in other positions and have learned the ropes may run for Lodge Chief or any of the Vice Chief positions. The adult in charge is
the Lodge Adviser, and there are a dozen or so Associate Adviser positions available.
Other Resources for New Members
Jumpstart is a great resource for information about the OA. Jumpstart uses technology that is a bit old. It uses Adobe Flash Player, which may not be readily available in some browsers.