Colonneh Lodge Recognitions and Nomination Forms

OA logoEach year Colonneh Lodge presents several recognitions to youth and adult Arrowmen. Anyone can submit a nomination. Only youth serve on the awards selection committee. Awards are presented at the annual Colonneh Lodge banquet.

A lodge as large as Colonneh Lodge inherently contains individuals who provide extreme amounts of service – to Scouting, to their chapter, to the lodge - without ever seeking recognition of any kind. The makeup of Colonneh Lodge is one of outstanding leadership through individuals and steadfast resolve to the continuation of the delivery of great program to the youth of the Order of the Arrow (OA) and of Scouting.

The Colonneh Lodge Numbered Certificate, the Order of the Arrow’s Founder's Award, and the James E. West Fellowship are in place to recognize the highest degree of service to the Order of the Arrow. The recipients of these awards exemplify what it means to be a Scout or Scouter, an Arrowmen, and a member of Colonneh Lodge. These awards seek to recognize those individual lodge members who, time-in and time-out, are there helping make the program happen, without expecting anything in the form of recognition in return.

 Colonneh Lodge Award Winners

Arrowman Achievement Award

Dabney Kennedy, former Colonneh Lodge adviser, created the Arrowman Achievement Award to recognize those youth Arrowmen who do service to the lodge and chapter. The requirements for this award include attendance at chapter meetings and being part of ceremonial teams. Applications are due December 31st, and awards are presented at the Colonneh Lodge banquet in January. 

Application for Arrowman Achievement Award

Chapter of the Year

Virgil L. Smith was a lodge adviser and co-lodge adviser for more than 40 years. Virgil was the lodge secretary when all records were completed by hand in the “green books.” His service to our lodge was always above and beyond the call of duty, and simply immeasurable. The Virgil L. Smith Chapter of the Year award is presented annually at the OA banquet to a chapter that continues to go above and beyond the expectations for a chapter in Colonneh Lodge, and sets the benchmark for chapter operations and delivering the program to their area of service.

Crew Sashes

Applications for Crew Sashes are due December 31st, and the sashes are presented at the Colonneh Lodge banquet in January.

Service Crew Sash (green): The service crew sash requires that an Arrowman do a number of hours of service in his chapter, for his council, and for council camps. Service comes in a variety of forms, and a member of the service crew should exemplify a spirit or service. The Service Crew Sash is a white arrow imposed on a green background.

Elangomat Crew Sash (brown): Serving as a guide to a new member of the Order of the Arrow is one of the most important services an Arrowman can perform, and the Elangomat crew recognizes those who have done this at least three times. In addition, a member of the Elangomat crew has guided at least 50% of the candidates they are assigned through the Ordeal, and through sealing their membership in the Brotherhood. They have also served on staff for an Ordeal. The Elagomat Crew Sash is a white arrow imposed on a brown background.

Ceremonies Crew Sash (black): The ceremony crew recognizes those Arrowmen who provide service to their chapters and to the lodge, by serving in the lodge’s ceremonies year-round. To become a member of the ceremony crew, an Arrowman must participate in each primary ceremony in the Order or the Arrow – Pre-Ordeal, Ordeal, and Brotherhood. The Ceremony Crew Sash is a white arrow imposed on a black background.

Camping Promotions Crew Sash (blue): When founding the Order, Dr. Goodman saw the promotion of summer camp and camping as an important objective for the Order and for lodges. The camp promotions crew sash recognizes those individuals who have done camp promotion visits to local units, as well as creating a working display for camping promotions in their district. The Camp Promotions Crew Sash is a white arrow imposed on a blue background. 

Spirit of the Arrow Crew Sash (red): During your Ordeal, you received several Spirit of the Arrow booklets along that journey which ask you to think about your role in the Order of the Arrow. Once you have sealed your membership in the Order of the Arrow, there are many opportunities to experience, understand, and share in fellowship and cheerful service with your fellow Arrowmen. The Spirit of the Arrow crew sash recognizes those individuals who have explored the many opportunities to share in the spirit or essence of what is the Order of the Arrow. The Spirit of the Arrow Crew Sash is a white arrow imposed on a red background.

Election/Member Crew Sash (yellow): Membership in the Order of the Arrow begins with those in your unit who elected you, and the chapter election team that conducted your unit's election.  The Election/Membership crew sash recognizes the role of you and your fellow Arrowmen in introducing units to the Order of the Arrow, guiding them through the election, and encouraging the new candidates to start the process to become members of their local chapter in Colonneh Lodge.  The Elections/Membership Crew Sash is a white arrow imposed on a yellow background.

Application for Crew Sash

Founder's Award

The Founder’s Award is reserved for Arrowmen who demonstrate to fellow Arrowmen that he or she memorializes in his or her everyday life the spirit of achievement as described by founder E. Urner Goodman and cofounder Carroll A. Edson. Introduced at the 1981 National Order of the Arrow Conference, the Founder's Award was created to honor and recognize those Arrowmen who have given outstanding service to their lodge. A list of all Colonneh Lodge Founder's Award recipients is available here. Nominations for the Founder's Award are due in November and are presented at the Colonneh Lodge banquet in January. 

Founder's Award Nomination Form

James E. West

Each year, Colonneh Lodge presents the James E. West Fellowship to several individuals by making a $1,000 donation given in their name to the Sam Houston Area Council’s Endowment Fund to support Scouting for future generations. Colonneh Lodge has donated over $30,000 to the Council Endowment fund. A list of all James E. West awards presented by Colonneh Lodge is available here. Nominations are due in November and are presented at the Colonneh Lodge banquet in January. 

James E. West Nomination Form

Numbered Certificate

The Colonneh Lodge Numbered certificate is presented to outstanding youth or adults who have performed above and beyond the call of duty in service to Scouting, the community, and the lodge. The recognition is a matted and framed numbered certificate created in late 1967 by Dabney Kennedy to recognize outstanding leadership in service and the spirit of achievement beyond the Vigil Honor. In 1980, the national director of the OA visited Colonneh Lodge and was impressed with the type of awards that the lodge presented to recognize our Arrowmen for service above and beyond. He was specifically interested in the numbered certificate program. This interest sparked the creation of the national Founder's Award with Colonneh Lodge's assistance in the development through the efforts of national committee member - Dabney Kennedy. A list of all Colonneh Numbered Certificate recipients is available here. Nominations for the Numbered Certificate are due in November and are presented at the Colonneh Lodge banquet in January. 

Number Certificate Nomination Form

Unit Award of Excellence

The Order of the Arrow Unit of Excellence Award seeks to identify those units, and the leaders within them, who excel at incorporating the OA into their annual planning. This award is intended to provide a tool for lodges to recognize, incentivize, and operationalize unit-level participation in Order of the Arrow programs.

The OA Unit of Excellence Award criteria recognize units that invite the lodge to conduct quality unit elections, participate in lodge events and meetings, and operate a complete OA unit representative program. The goal is that units that complete these criteria will benefit from the support programs that the Order of the Arrow has implemented to strengthen the unit-delivered program. This recognition program, along with other tools for unit support, should be distributed and promoted to the unit leader, OA unit representative, and their adviser, and chapter election teams to include in communication to units.

Requirements for the Order of the Arrow Unit of Excellence Award:

  1. Leadership: Implement the unit OA representative and adviser programs in the unit. Every six months, ensure that the senior patrol leader appoints or reappoints one Scout to serve as a unit OA representative and the unit leader appoints one adult to serve as a unit OA representative adviser. Feature an annual presentation (e.g., at a court of honor) by the unit OA representative on the Order of the Arrow with a focus on the accomplishments of unit members.
  2. Participation: Promote lodge events and provide transportation to all Arrowmen wishing to participate. At least 50% of unit OA members attend at least one lodge event in addition to their Ordeal.
  3. Elections: Schedule a unit election with the chapter election team annually. Hold an election and have 100% of elected Scouts complete their Ordeal.
  4. Planning: Maintain an active planning process that prevents overlap between lodge and chapter events with unit events. Review the local OA calendar with the patrol leader’s council during annual unit program planning and schedule unit events so that 100% of unit programs do not overlap with lodge events (e.g., Fall Fellowship, Spring Fellowship, Lodge Leadership Development).
  5. Conversion: Demonstrate the depth of the unit’s OA program through Brotherhood conversion. At least 30% of eligible unit members seal their membership in the Order by converting to Brotherhood. 

Apply for Unit Award of Excellence

Levels of OA Membership

Ordeal Membership

The induction process, called the Ordeal, is the first step toward full membership in the Order. Upon completion of the Ordeal and its ceremony, the member is expected to strengthen his involvement in the unit and encourage Scout camping.


Brotherhood Membership

After six months of service as an Ordeal member and after fulfilling certain requirements, a member may take part in the Brotherhood ceremony, which places further emphasis on the ideals of Scouting and the Order. Completion of this ceremony signifies full membership in the Order of the Arrow. To find out more about Brotherhood, contact your chapter chief.


Vigil Honor 

The Vigil Honor is the highest honor the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members. Alertness to the needs of others is the mark of the Vigil Honor. It calls for an individual with an unusual awareness of the possibilities within each situation. The Vigil Honor is a high mark of distinction and recognition reserved for those Arrowmen who by reason of exceptional service, personal effort, and unselfish interest, have made distinguished contributions to one or more of the following: the lodge, Order of the Arrow, Scouting community, or their Scout camps.

Vigil Honor Nominations: Any member of the Order of the Arrow registered in Scouting and in good standing in a regularly chartered lodge is eligible for recommendation to the National Order of the Arrow Committee for elevation to the Vigil Honor provided that, at the time of the recommendation, the individual has been a Brotherhood member for a minimum of two years. Under no circumstances should tenure in Scouting or the Order of the Arrow be considered reason enough for a Vigil Honor recommendation. To be eligible for the Vigil Honor, the individual must be a Brotherhood member for a minimum of two years.

The youth Vigil selection committee and one adult adviser review nominations annually and are tasked with selecting and recognizing Vigil Honor members in the lodge. The selected nominees are submitted to the national OA committee. A lodge may nominate to the national committee a maximum of two percent of their registered Arrowmen once a year through the Vigil Honor petition; at least 50 percent of all nominated must be under 21 at the time of nomination.

Vigil nominations forms are due August TBD, 2024. It is very important to attach a photograph to the nomination form and include a recommended Vigil Honor name with a short explanation for the name. Adult nominations should be submitted with one or more youth nominations. Please contact your chapter adviser for phone numbers and addresses. Email nominations must be submitted via email to

 Vigil Nomination Form     Vigil Honor Database

Posted in July:  2023 Eligible Candidates Sorted by Chapter    2023 Eligible Candidates Sorted by Last Name

Vigil Weekend  |  November 18-19, 2023

All Arrowmen who hold the Vigil Honor level are invited to attend Vigil Weekend. The Vigil Weekend is a chance to come together to induct and congratulate the Scouts and Scouters who have been selected for the Vigil Honor. The event is being held at Camp Strake.

Vigil Weekend Registration (opens in October)