Order of the Arrow - Call-Out Ceremony Guidelines
More Scouts view the Call-Out ceremony than will ever have the chance to view the other ceremonies of the Order of the Arrow. Therefore, lodges should place special emphasis on the performance of the Call-Out ceremonies to ensure that their Call-Outs are well presented in order to make a great first impression with the candidates and to also to showcase the OA to non-members.
Purpose of the Order of the Arrow Call-Out: The purpose of a Call-Out is to officially recognize each elected Scout as a candidate for membership in the Order of the Arrow. The Call-Out is a form of public recognition used to communicate the honor of being selected for membership into our Order to members, non-members, and the public. Its dignity must impress all with the high ideals and standards of the Order of the Arrow. It should serve to intensify a Scout's desire to become a member.
Key Elements to Include in a Call-Out
The National Order of the Arrow Committee does not provide lodges with a specific Call-Out ceremony. The committee has instead produced a list of key elements that all Call-Out ceremonies should include. Each lodge should develop its own Call-Out ceremony that incorporates these key elements:
Key Call-Out Elements: The key elements that should be included in all Call-Outs are:
- Purpose of the Order of the Arrow
- History of the Order of the Arrow in Scouting
- History of the lodge
- Reason for the selection of candidates
- Recognition of candidates: calling-out each candidate's name, unit number, and community
- Challenge to Scouts that are non-members to strive to uphold the Scouting ideals that will lead to their selection for membership in the Order of the Arrow.
- Presenting each candidate a letter of recognition and welcome from the Lodge Chief
- Giving of the Scout handclasp
- After the ceremony, distribute Spirit of the Arrow booklet 1 and provide information about all upcoming Ordeals to the candidates
Call-Outs should comply with the following guidelines:
Key Call-Out Elements: Each Call-Out should include the nine (9) Key Call-Out Elements listed above.
Make Everyone Aware of the Importance: The candidates and the audience of youth, parents, and leaders should be made aware of the importance of the honor being given. The lodge should concentrate its efforts on putting together an exciting ceremony, but leaving behind an important message for the audience to silently ponder at the close. The buildup in excitement should lead all persons witnessing the Call-Out to realize the importance of Order of the Arrow membership.
Announce the Candidates: The name, unit number, and community of each candidate must be announced clearly. Each candidate must be given the same opportunity for recognition. It is important to get the correct spelling and pronunciation of each candidate's name.
Tapping: Any physical contact in any Order of the Arrow ceremony must be "symbolic" in nature. If lodges choose to symbolically tap the candidate, it should be done with the hand in the Scout Sign. This will eliminate hard tapping, because the tapper would be injured long before the candidate that is receiving the taps. Symbolic tapping, if used, should not be conducted in a set of three taps, or one tap followed by two taps, since these taps are used later in the ceremonies and therefore violate Induction Principle 9 - "Symbolic Progression".
Make it impressive: Call-Out ceremonies should be dignified and impressive. They should have an Indian theme. Campfires, drums, and dancing can be used to supplement, but not overwhelm, the honor.
Keep it short and to the point: The successful Call-Out should last no longer than 20 minutes plus the time it takes to announce the candidates. It should leave a strong impression on the candidate and the non-member. Keep things moving avoid repetition, and keep to the point: the recognition of the candidate.
Items not to include: The meaning of the induction unfolds in a logical, systematic, manner in the steps from a candidate's election until he achieves Brotherhood membership. The Call-Out must not violate the principle of "Symbolic Progression" as described in Principle 9 of the Ten Induction Principles. Therefore, no characters, information, symbolism, or text from the Pre-Ordeal, Ordeal, Brotherhood, or Vigil ceremony should appear in the Call-Out ceremony. Examples of violating symbolic progression are:
- Firing an arrow
- The use of the bow, bowstring, or arrow
- Giving the Obligation
- Giving the Admonition
- Reciting any part of the Legend
- Singing the OA song
- Putting candidates on silence before Meteu's challenge in the Pre-Ordeal ceremony
- The placing of the hand on shoulder
- Binding the candidates with rope
- Using the names of any of the four principals
- The use of the W. W. W.