As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose 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.
The fourth point - "Leadership in cheerful service to others" - is emphasized. On this point is based the whole program of the Order.


Camping is a method of Scouting, but camping is not Scouting's purpose, nor does the Order promote camping for the sake of just going camping. Scouting aims to build character, citizenship, and fitness. When scouts go camping, this growth just seems to follow. Patrol and troop camping are models and a testing ground for life in society. In a small group, each member is dependent on the others. Each learns to accept responsibility and to exercise good judgement. Even a stubborn or selfish person finds himself interacting with others in a helpful and supportive ways. Scouts who camp will sooner or later come face to face with practical applications of the scout oath and law. Cheerfulness, trustworthiness, courtesy, helpfulness, and all the central virtues of Scouting are necessary in camp and in society. Life in the open is a natural teacher of these essential survival skills. Thus, we promote camping, and camping becomes more effective in achieving the aims of Scouting.

The principles of Scouting are central to any kind of successful camping. The Order of the Arrow arose in a scout camp, and it keeps camping promotion as a major service. Arrowmen encourage scouts to go camping. In camp we maintain the best traditions and the highest spirits.


The Order of the Arrow was founded to serve a useful purpose: that being to cause the scout promise and law to spring into action in all parts of the nation. To this day, we are dedicated to this high purpose.

The Order is a thing of the individual rather than a thing of the masses. The ideals of brotherhood, cheerfulness and service spring to life in each of us. What each arrowman does counts towards the success we have as an organization.

The Order is a thing of the outdoors. It was born in an island wilderness. It needs and is nurtured by the sun and the rain, the mountains and the plains, the woods, the waters, and the starlit sky.

From life in the wilds comes a precious ingredient that our country, and any country, needs to survive --- self-reliance, making us strong in times of stress. One of the Order's greatest achievements is, and will continue to be, the strengthening of the Scouting movement as an outdoor experience.

Dr. E. Urner Goodman, founder of the Order of the Arrow, once said:

"The Order is a thing of the spirit rather than of mechanics. Organization, operational procedures, and all that go with them are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what counts in the end. The things of the spirit are what counts."

While the Order's role includes service to Scouting on a national, regional, sectional, and local level, it is our own council and our own camp that needs us the most. The Order is not an end unto itself, but is for a higher purpose.

Membership and induction into the Order is not the end of a trial, but rather the beginning of life of growth and service.

Washington Crossing Council, Boy Scouts of America
1 Scout Way
Doylestown, PA 18901
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