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Chapter Organization

Chapter Officers

    Each Chapter must have the following officers: Chapter Chief, Vice Chief, Treasurer, and Secretary.
It is advisable, and very beneficial to have two or more Vice Chiefs. In a program such as the Order of the Arrow, those in administrative positions (officers) tend to function most effectively and successfully if they are responsible for not more than seven functions, Committees or people. This, this multi-tiered approach to Chapter organizations spreads the work load so that it will be more thoroughly done while at the same time providing further leadership opportunities for Arrowmen.

There is no standard way the responsibilities in all Chapters should be divided. A good key to follow, however, is that Committees and functions should be organized into logically related groups. This allows those who serve as administrators of these divisions (officer) to be specialized to a certain degree. Knowledge always provides a higher quality of leadership. It can always be said that every organization can be improved.

Not one type of Chapter organization is correct, not one type of organization is incorrect, and not one of these must be permanent. Chapter rules establishing structure may have been written up to fifteen years ago. If different, or modified organization is needed, the following steps should be taken to improve the Chapter structure:

  • Study the situation carefully - haste and incompleteness will hurt you.
  • Get the adVice and guidance of Chapter Advisers, Scout Executives and past Chapter Chiefs.
  • Be certain that the changes will make an improvement.
  • Don't just change for the sake of changing.
    The best organization is the "simplest" that will suit the needs of the Chapter.
All Chapter officers must be under twenty-one years of age during their entire term of office. This information should be verified before their names are placed on the ballot. These Arrowmen should be elected on the basis of being the best equipped.

Chapter Executive Committee

    Who serves on the Chapter Executive Committee?
The Executive Committee is made up of all the Chapter officers, the Chapter and Staff Adviser, the immediate past Chapter Chief and the chairmen of the various Committees within the Chapter.

    Who makes decisions and how are they made?

Voting for action by this Committee is limited to members under twenty-one years of age. Adults should feel free to state their points of view and reasons when serving as Advisers to this Committee. However, adults should encourage the young Arrowmen to make their own plans and carry out the business of the Chapter.

    When and how often does the Executive Committee meet?

The Executive Committee generally hold a regular meeting once a month or once every two months to conduct the interim business of the Chapter and to coordinate the plans for Chapter programming. The Chapter Chief and the Chapter Adviser or District Executive may call special meeting of the Chapter Executive Committee at any time.

    How is the Executive Committee run?

Two simple courtesies should be used for the Executive Committee meetings - agenda and minutes.
  1. Agendas are to be composed and sent out to the members of the Chapter prior to the scheduled meeting time to allow the Executive Committee members to prepare for the business items to be discussed.
  2. Minutes are a must. Each member should receive a copy of the minutes from the previous meeting. Without an accurate record of the events taking place, both plans and resolutions can be forgotten.


    It is recommended that each Chapter have the following basic Committees.
  • Activities
  • Ad hoc or temporary Committees such as Vigil, nominating, large program event, et cetera
  • Camp promotion Ceremonies
  • Communications (phone Committee)
  • Dance Team
  • Membership
  • Public Relations
  • Publications
  • Service
  • Training
  • Unit Elections

    Could there be a problem with too many Committees?

Too many Committees can tie up the Chapter in red tape. A Chapter may not have the resources capable of operating a number of Committees. Some of the Chapter members could, but should not, handle more than their share of the responsibility. A Chapter could combine the duties of two Committees into one. Committees should only be formed if there is a need.

    What determines the number of Committees a Chapter will have?

Need is a primary factor in determining which Committees a Chapter should have. Size and capacity also play an important role. A small Chapter of 50 is wise to have only the eight basic Committees. A Chapter with 100 active members might choose to establish many Committees, but they too must consider their resources. In this manner, many capable Arrowmen are afforded some leadership experience and become involved.

    What does it mean when there are too few Committees?

Too few Committees represent a lack of delegation of responsibility. Remember responsibilities, jobs and duties should be delegated. Important functions left undone and active Arrowmen willing to help, but not directly involved, are both signs of too few Committees.

The Committee Chairman and His Adviser

The next task to accomplish in working with Committees is ensuring their smooth operation. The Chapter Chief appoints the chairmen of each Committee. The next step is the establishment of a good working relationship between an adult and the Chairman of the Committee. The Chapter Adviser appoint the Committee Adviser in consultation with the Chapter Chief and the Staff Adviser. There should exits a strong "partnership" between the Chairman and his Adviser.

Ways to Obtain Membership for the Committees

Keeping in mind that an Arrowman's first duty is to his unit, the "ideal" situation in a Chapter would occur if every member of the Chapter served as a member of one of the Chapter Committees. as soon as a new member completes the ordeal and is inducted into the Order, he should be given an opportunity to volunteer for service on one of the Chapter Committees. This will serve two purposes:
  • It will provide manpower for the Committees.
  • It will keep the newly inducted Arrowmen interested and involved.

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