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.