Vigil  Honor

 Vigil Honor

The Vigil Honor is the Order's highest honor presented to a member by the lodge. The honor is bestowed by special election from a group of peers within the Order upon an individual recognizing exceptional service after a minimum of two years as a Brotherhood member. Vigil members may be identified by the triangle imprinted on their sash, in addition to the Arrow of the Ordeal sash and the bars of the Brotherhood sash (Image shown to the right). Some lodges also supply a special Vigil Honor flap, although this practice is frowned upon by the National Committee of the OA. However, the Vigil Honor is not a third level of membership-- they are still a Brotherhood member, but one who has been bestowed with the Vigil Honor. The members are advanced to the Vigil Honor after completing their Vigil. The first Vigil Honor member was the founder of the Order of the Arrow, E. Urner Goodman.

Some lodges restrict the Vigil Selection Committee to Vigil members, while other will allow experienced, but ineligible, Ordeal and Brotherhood members on the Committee. Many lodges withhold the mentioning of nominator names of Vigil Honor nominees to further assure a spirit of annonymousness in the selection process. Great care should be exercised to assure that copies of candidate nominations do not unintentionally become public knowledge along with issues such as vote outcomes and opinions expressed in selection processes.

Lodges may only elect one out of every 50 active members each year to the Vigil Honor, although not all slots are always filled. At least 50% of candidates for the Vigil must be youth (under the age of 21). Each OA lodge in the country is allowed to select up to 2% of the eligible Brotherhood members for Vigil candidacy. Candidates for Vigil Honor membership must be actively registered in both a Scouting unit and in their lodge and are elected more for what they are expected to do, not what they have done. Candidates should not actively seek the Vigil; doing so is an indication that the candidate is undeserving of the honor.

 Vigil name

After a Candidate has received the Vigil, he or she is bestowed with a Vigil Name. This name usually represents a characteristic of the individual that has made him or her well known to others. The name is usually given in the language of the Lenape (a Lenape-to-English dictionary, compiled by a German missionary, still in use to this day), although some Lodges may use languages of local tribes. Candidates are also usually provided with the English translation. Due to the difficulty of pronouncing and remembering the Delaware translation, many Vigil members only use the English translation when asked about their name. Names are usually serious (usually based on the Vigil candidate's history, hobbies, or other major aspect of his or her life), although they can be unintentionally humorous. It is customary in many lodges to convene a meeting of Vigil Brothers to discuss a name conferral that is in sync with the high honor that the Vigil denotes. If a Lodge utilizes the standard calling out ceremony; the sponsor is also agreed upon who will read out the biography of said candidate at the appropriate occasion. Call out biographies should be indicative of "why" the candidate was chosen. Jokes, monologues, and mindless anecdotes all detract from what is regarded as a milestone in the Scouting journey of the candidate.



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update August 25, 2013 10:22 PM

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