After being elected or nominated, candidates may participate in a call-out ceremony to recognize those Scouts and Scouters that were selected before they attend their Ordeal. The call-out ceremony may be performed at summer camp, a camporee, a call-out weekend or at a troop or team meeting. Candidates subsequently participate in an Ordeal induction, intended to emphasize service and self-sacrifice. Candidates maintain complete silence, sleep alone overnight, receive small amounts of food and perform camp work projects.Candidates are then welcomed as Ordeal members in a formal induction ceremony.
Ordeal members are entitled to all the same rights and privileges of membership in the Order as Brotherhood and Vigil Honor members—there are no ranks within the Order. However, moving on to Brotherhood membership offers an opportunity "to reaffirm [one's] belief in the high purposes of the Order. Before becoming a Brotherhood member, each Arrowman makes a special effort to serve his troop or team. Each Brotherhood member commits to even more service to Scouting through the Order."
Arrowmen may "seal" their membership after ten months by demonstrating their knowledge of the traditions and obligations of the OA. They then participate in an induction ceremony and become Brotherhood members.
While the Ordeal consists primarily of physical impressions, "the Brotherhood ceremony is one of deeper and quieter mental impressions."
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 the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting. Membership cannot be won by a person's conscious endeavors.
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 beyond the immediate responsibilities of their position of office to one or more of the following:
Under NO circumstances should tenure in Scouting or the Order of the Arrow be considered as reason enough for a Vigil Honor recommendation.
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. A lodge may nominate a maximum of two percent of their registered Arrowmen once a year, through the Vigil Honor petition, found in the annual re-charter packet. At least 50 percent of all nominated must be under 21 at the time of nomination.