Order of the Arrow

Tschipey Achtu Lodge

January 2018 Rack:

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Lodge Leadership
Lodge Chief: Nathaniel Bauder
Lodge Adviser: Dale Gagnon, 585-594-8401
Lodge Staff Adviser: Gary J Bogner, 585-241-8534

Lodge Vice Chiefs
Program: Peter Huber
Inductions: Chamberlain Bauder
Service: Morgan Cunningham
Communications: Alec Nugent
Treasurer: Jared Baxter

Chapter Chiefs
Bay Waters: Ian Avery
Black Creek: John Wagner
Genesee Crossroads: 
Mohawk: David Tillinghast
Seneca: James Yacono


For over 100 years, the Order of the Arrow, that is the OA, has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.  This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well.  Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others.  OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth.

The Order of the Arrow was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America.  It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934.  In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America.  In 1998, the Order of the Arrow became recognized as Scouting’s National Honor Society when it expanded its reach beyond camping to include broader service to Scouting and the community.

In 1936, the OA was introduced to the Rochester Area Council at a council campout held at Mendon Ponds Park. Thirty-five members were inducted, and the following year they established Ty-Ohni Lodge #95. Ty-Ohni is the Seneca Native American word for wolf, and was the totem of the Lodge.

In 1948, the OA was discussed by members of the Finger Lakes Council. The following year they formed the Ganeodiyo Lodge #417, and the turtle was chosen as its totem.

In 2010, with the merger of the Otetiana and Finger Lakes Councils, the two lodges merged to form the Tschipey Achtu Lodge. Tschipey Achtu means Ghost Deer, and is the totem of the lodge.

Since the founding of the OA in the five county area of Seneca Waterways Council, thousands of Scouts have become members.  The OA is an official part of all Troop programs.  The OA is a youth led organization guided by adult advisers.  The OA is not a secret society, and does not support hazing in any form.


The Order of the Arrow membership requirements are:

  • Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • After registration with a troop or team, have experienced 15 days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election.  The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America.  The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.
  • 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 (men and women 21 years of age 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.

OA membership begins with the Ordeal, and is completed with Brotherhood. At least ten months of service must pass before Brotherhood can be attained. If, after two years of Brotherhood participation, a member has shown outstanding service, he or she can be nominated for the Vigil Honor, a national recognition.

A unique custom of the OA is that non-members elect members. Youth membership in the Order of the Arrow is gained through election by one's own peers. A person is considered a youth in the OA until reaching the age of 21. Adult membership in the OA is gained by nomination.

The Unit Election
When a troop chooses to have an election, which they can do only once per Scouting year, the unit's OA Troop Representative (or OA Troop Rep Adviser or Scoutmaster) should contact their Chapter Chief and his Adviser. Contact information can be found in each edition of The Rack, our newsletter. (Current and past editions of The Rack can be found on the Lodge web site.) The Chapter Chief will collect all details and make arrangements to satisfy the unit's request for an election. If the Chapter is unable to meet the unit's needs, they will pass the request on to the Lodge Executive Council for assistance. Elections should be held before April 1 to ensure sufficient time to process paperwork and ensure information gets to candidates in ample time before their induction weekend. Failure to hold an election or submit Adult nomination forms by May 1 may result in delays such that candidates may not receive information about the Spring induction weekend with sufficient lead time.

The Candidate 
Once a Scout is elected, he is considered a candidate, and must take part in the OA Ordeal to become a member in the OA. A candidate has up to one year from election to participate in the Ordeal. Ordeals are held twice each year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

The spring and fall ordeals are part of the Lodge Fellowship Weekends held at Camp Cutler. Prior to an Ordeal, the Candidate receives a Candidate letter of information, and a registration form. Ordeal registration is not automatic with election.

The Ordeal  
The Ordeal begins in the evening and lasts throughout the following day. At check-in registration, a Candidate is assigned a group, called a Clan, to participate with. An OA member called an Elangomat guides each clan. The Elangomat stays with the clan during the entire Ordeal. Throughout the Ordeal the Candidate learns about the OA and contributes to various service projects.

If the Candidate is successful, an Ordeal sash with a red arrow is placed upon his shoulder at the Ordeal Ceremony. The sash signifies that he is now a member of the OA. Once a member, a person is considered a member for life. However there is a difference between active and inactive membership. A member is considered active if his yearly Lodge dues are current, and is also a registered member with the BSA.

The Brotherhood
To become a full member in the OA, an Ordeal member must participate in the Brotherhood Ceremony. To be eligible for Brotherhood, an Ordeal member must be active for at least 10 months following the Ordeal, and must be registered with the BSA.

Shortly before a Brotherhood Ceremony is to take place, the Ordeal member receives a Brotherhood letter of information, and a registration form. If successful, the Ordeal sash is replaced by a Brother sash with a red arrow and two red bars.

The Vigil
After at least two years of active participation as a Brotherhood member, and having also shown exceptional service, personal effort, and unselfish interest as an Arrowman, a member is eligible for nomination to the Vigil Honor. Both youths and adults can receive the distinction.

Any Lodge member can submit a nomination to the Lodge Nomination committee. The committee reviews the nominations, and prospective honorees are petitioned to the National Lodge. If accepted, the choices are announced at the annual Lodge Banquet. To receive the honor, Arrowman must participate in the Vigil Honor ceremony. Upon successful completion, a sash with a red arrow, two red bars, and a red Vigil triangle replaces the Brotherhood sash.


Adopt-a-Park Registration

Work Weekend Registration Form

Spring and Fall Induction form:

March Fellowship form:

2018 Dues Form:

LH Fellowship Registration:

2018 Vigil Fellowship Form:

NOAC Registration Form

NOAC Patch Set Order Form:

2320 Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Rd, Rochester NY 14623   |   585 244-4210   |   info@senecawaterways.org
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