The Trail to Brotherhood


From the beginning of the Order in 1915, all members have been equal. There are no ranks. As an Ordeal member, a brother is entitled to all the rights and privileges of membership in the Order. Yet, so important is the induction sequence that the Order strengthened it by creating the Brotherhood membership. It is an opportunity for members to evaluate their past service to Scouting and to their Lodge since their Ordeal induction. Brotherhood is sought by Arrowman seeking to reaffirm their belief in the high purposes of the Order. Before becoming a Brotherhood member, each brother makes a special effort to serve his troop and learn about the Order. Each Brotherhood member commits himself to even more service to Scouting through the Order. Brotherhood membership marks the completion of your induction into the Order of the Arrow thus making it a vital and necessary step that every Arrowman should take.

The Challenge of Brotherhood Membership

You must meet five challenges before you can enter the circle of Brotherhood. The first of these you should meet now. The next three require steady effort over a period of months. The last challenge must be met after you are satisfied you have completed the first four.

1. Memorize the signs of Arrow membership. Memorize the Obligation of the Order. Also memorize the Order of the Arrow Song, the Admonition, the Sign of Ordeal membership, and the Arrow Handclasp.

2. Advance in your understanding of the Ordeal. Gain thorough understanding of the Ordeal through which you have passed.

3. Serve your unit. Retain your registration in Scouting. During a period of ten months, strive to fulfill your Obligation by continuing and expanding your service to your own unit.

4. Plan for service to your Lodge. Retain your registration in your Order of the Arrow Lodge and keep your dues paid. Be aware that acceptance of Brotherhood membership includes a pledge of service to your Lodge. Develop a concrete idea of how you plan to fulfill this pledge.

5. Review your progress. When you earnestly feel you have met the four challenges above, write a letter to your Lodge Secretary. In this letter explain what you feel the Obligation means. Also describe how you have been fulfilling this Obligation in your unit and in your daily life, and how you have used your understanding of the Ordeal to aid in this service. Also include your specific plans for giving service to the Lodge program. You must meet five challenges before you can enter the circle of Brotherhood. The first of these you should meet now. The next three require steady effort over a period of months. The last challenge must be met after you are satisfied you have completed the first four.

More information can be found in the Order of the Arrow Handbook