Order of the Arrow – Spe-Le-Yai Lodge

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The Order of the Arrow is recognized as ‘the National Honor Society’ of the Boy Scouts of America. The purpose of the OA, as many call it, is to:

  • Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
  • Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
  • Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
  • Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.


These are the requirements for Order of the Arrow membership, as found in the official Order of the Arrow website.

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • The youth must have experienced 15 nights of Boy Scout camping while registered with a troop or team within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement. The balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each.
  • Youth must be under the age of 21, hold the BSA First Class rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster or Varsity team Coach, be elected by the youth members of their troop or team.
  • Adults (age 21 or older) who are registered in the BSA and meet the camping requirements may be selected following nomination to the lodge adult selection committee.  Adult selection is based on their ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose and is not for recognition of service, including current or prior positions. Selected adults must be an asset to the Order because of demonstrated abilities, and must provide a positive example for the growth and development of the youth members of the lodge.

History of the Spe-Le-Yai Lodge

Spe-Le-Yai is the Shoshone word for the “Song of the Coyote.”  The lodge totem is a coyote singing to the darkened sky.  Spe-Le-Yai was responsible for conducting the first ordeal ceremonies for many of the early Lodges in Southern California.  Including Siwinis Lodge and several of the lodges which merged to become Ta Tanka lodge.

For the history on the National Order of Arrow, visit the national website.