If you found this page from a search engine, please note the following important information - 

  • Some of this information applies only to the Octoraro Lodge in the Chester County Council, not OA nationally.
  • The term Tap Out was discontinued years ago. The proper term is Call Out by National Policy.
  • Order of the Arrow is not a secret society. By National policy, parents and other individuals are welcome to view any OA ceremonies.

The OA Tap Out (AKA OA Call Out) is the closest most non-members will get to the Order of the Arrow. It is a ceremony in which potential OA candidates are notified of their nomination. Until 2011, during one of the winter Troop Meetings the scouts would vote on candidates who are later "Tapped Out" at the Family Dinner during a short pageant. In 2012 the OA Tap Out was moved to occur at Camp Horseshoe. Voting is done in camp and potential candidates will be able to join the OA at the beginning of their term as patrol leader rather than at the end of it. There is a camp-wide ceremony at Retreat on Saturday but Paoli 1 also hosts its own Tap Out in camp.

The Tap OutEdit

The Tap Out pageant begins with the entry of the Native American actors, current OA members dressed in Indian garb. They process into the area in the standard Indian Style to the beat of a drum. Once they have arrived, the chief and drummer (and possibly more depending on the number of OA actors) will take remain stationary while a number of "braves" search through the crowd for the candidates. The ceremony is meant to be serious but that does not mean there is no humor during the search. Braves will make exaggerated searching motions and "fake out" certain people to try and keep the revelation of the scout's candidacy a surprise until the last second. Once they've found their candidate, the brave will forcefully lead him to a line in front of the chief before going back to grab another candidate. Once all candidates are assembled, the chief physical "taps them out" by slapping them each on the shoulder three times. The ceremony concludes with the OA actors ceremonially leaving just as they had arrived.

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