How the OA is Organized

The Order of the Arrow has multiple organizational levels, with each having distinct responsibilities which ensure that the OA program runs smoothly.

The Lodge & Chapters

At the local level, the Pellissippi Lodge exist to serve the Great Smoky Mountain Council and it's individual units.  The Lodge Key 3 are the Lodge Chief, Lodge Adviser and Lodge Staff Adviser. The Lodge Staff adviser is a member of the councils professional staff, the Lodge Adviser is an adult volunteer appointed by the Council Executive (Supreme Chief of the Fire). The Lodge Chief is the youth representative elected by they youth members of the lodge. Along with the Chief, the membership elects a Vice Chief of Administration, Vice Chief of Program, a Lodge Secretary and a Lodge Treasurer. These positions make up the Lodge Officer corps. These officers, along with the elected Chapter Chiefs and appointed Committee Chairmen constitute the Lodge Executive Committee or LEC, which acts as the steering committee for the lodge.

Within the lodge are ten chapters, which align with the councils districts. The chapters of the Pellissippi Lodge are Catoosa, Chehote, Cherokee, Cumberland, Echota, Pellissippi, Sequoyah, Toqua, Tuckaleechee and Unaka. Each chapter has it's own Key 3 of Chapter Staff Adviser, Chapter Adviser and Chapter Chief. The elected youth of the chapter include the Chapter Chief, Chapter Vice Chief of Administration, Chapter Vice Chief of Program, the Chapter Secretary and Chapter Treasurer. Each chapter may also have standing committees similar to the lodge. The chapters meet regularly and take care of much of the regular business of the lodge, such as holding election, camping promotions, crossover ceremonies and more.

Beyond the Lodge

Lodges are organized into sections, which are part of regions and the National Order of the Arrow.


An Order of the Arrow section consists of lodges within a geographic area of the region. The Pellissippi Lodge belongs to SR-6, Section 6 of the Southern Region. The section is led by a Section Chief, Section Vice chief, and Section Secretary, who play a crucial part in making the annual Conclave a success.  SR-6 conducts events and training seminars, promotes national programs, and provide resources to local lodges.  The Section Chief presides over the Council of Chiefs, attended by delegates of each member lodge. SR-6 includes most of Tennessee and Kentucky, parts of Northern Mississippi, Eastern Arkansas, Southwestern Virginia, Southern Illinois and Southern Indiana. The nine member lodges are Ahoalan Nachpikin Lodge #558, Chicksa Lodge #202, Ittawamba Lodge #235, Kawida Lodge #480, Nguttitehen Lodge #205, Pellissippi Lodge #230, Sequoyah Lodge #184, Talidandaganu' Lodge #293 and Wa-Hi-Nasa Lodge #111.

Each year the elected Section Chiefs from around the country are invited to a national planning meeting in Dallas, TX. The Section Chiefs form the conference committee for a national Order of the Arrow events, such as the NAtional Jamboree and  the National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC), which is held under the guidance of the national Order of the Arrow committee.


The Order of the Arrow, like the Boy Scouts of America, is organized into four geographical regions:  Central, Northeast, Southern, and Western.  Each region is led by a youth Region Chief, a volunteer Region Chairman, and a Region Staff Adviser.  The region leadership helps execute the national program on a more local level, implements the National Leadership Seminar and National Lodge Adviser Training Seminar, provides its member sections with resources, and facilities communication between local organizations and the national OA committee. The Pellissippi Lodge is part of the Southern Region. The Souther Region covers all of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.


At the national level, the Order of the Arrow is governed by the national Order of the Arrow committee.  The national committee sets policy, directs the national program of the Order, and broadly manages the organization above the local lodge level.  The committee is composed of the National Chief and National Vice Chief (and their immediate predecessors), who are elected annually at the national planning meeting; the chairman, who is appointed annually by the chairman of the national Outdoor Adventures committee; other volunteer members, appointed by the chairman; and two staff members, the director of the Order of the Arrow and the OA specialist.