"For he who serves his fellows, is, of all his fellows, greatest." -E. Urner Goodman
The original official name of the Order of the Arrow is Wimachtendienk Wingolauchsik Witahemui, or simply 'The Wimachtendienk', which means Brotherhood of Those Who Serve Cheerfully. The OA has always been about Service to Others. From the very beginning, when Urner and Edson tapped the first class of Arrowmen, they were recognizing those Scouts that had faithfully served as members of the staff at Treasure Island Scout Camp.
Today that tradition continues and is the backbone of the organization. Arrowmen not only make up much of the councils camp staff, but they serve the Great Smoky Mountain Council, their units, and their community in a variety of ways.
Service to the Unit
The Arrowman's first responsibility is to their unit. Arrowmen serve as leaders, teachers and guides to their unit. They lead actively and by example, which is not surprising when you consider that scouts are elected to the OA by their fellow scouts because they are considered to best represent the high ideals of Scouting. Arrowmen bring what they have learned in the OA back to their units, making the unit better an stronger. You will find Arrowmen frequently serve as Troop Guides, Trainers, Den Leaders and Outdoor Ethics Guide. Look at the Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leaders and other senior scouts in he unit and you will find more often than not, they are members of the OA. Additionally, there is a position that is specific to Arrowmen, the Order of the Arrow Troop Represtative. This position, called the OA Rep for short, acts as the liaison between the Lodge and Chapter to the unit. They help keep unit apprised of what is happening within the OA.
Service to the Council
One of the Order of the Arrow's main jobs is helping maintain the councils camps. Through the Ordeal, as well as service days, the Pellissppi Lodge helps build and maintain both Camp Buck Toms and Camp Pellissppi. Each year the Lodge performs numerous projects to make sure the camps are ready and available for Scouts to use and enjoy. Arrowmen repair and paint structures, cut and clear trails, maintain water sources and drainage, build and install program features and generally help the Camp Rangers keep the camps in tip top shape.
Service to the Community
You can see the efforts of the Order of the Arrow in your community as well. Arrowmen are frequently involved in projects to maintain local churches and civic organizations, they cut and clear hiking trails in local and national parks, clean up trash and debris from local rivers streams and highways. Arrowmen come together to fill local food banks and collect and deliver needed supplies in times of emergency.
Service Regionally and Nationally
The Order of the Arrow also serves well beyond their local community. Each year Arrowmen provide service at high adventure bases and at regional and national programs, The OA Trail Crew cut and repair trails at Philmont, and portage trails at Northern Tier. Arrowmen perform work at the Bachtel Summit Reserve much as they do at their local Summer camps. At Sea Base Scouts are currently doing conservation work and helping preserve Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortuga's National Park.
Every four years Arrowmen participate in Operation Arrow at the National Scout Jmaboree where they lead conservation teams, act as Trek Guides and help run many of the programs at the Jaboree.
Every other year hundreds of Arrowmen serve on staff at the National Order of the Arrow Conference, or NOAC. Arrowmen serve as program guides and trainers to help thousands of other Arrowmen learn and improve their skills.
Each year Arrowman also act as trainers as sectional conclaves and regional National Leadership Seminars. Arrowmen plan these events as well as act as the instructors to other Arrowmen.