The Vigil Honor
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 beyond the immediate responsibilities of their position or office to one or more of the following: their Lodge, the Order of the Arrow, Scouting, or their Scout Camp. Under no circumstances should tenure in the Order of the Arrow be considered as reason enough for a Vigil Honor Recommendation.
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. It dates from the year 1915, when founder E. Urner Goodman became the first Vigil Honor Member. Since then, thousands of members have been given this honor.
Vigil Honor members have an honorable tradition to uphold. They must at all times conduct themselves in accordance with the ideals of Scouting, the Order of the Arrow, and the Vigil Honor. Membership cannot be won by a person's conscious endeavor. It comes as a recognition of unselfish leadership in service. This fact should be given careful consideration in the selection of candidates for membership. The Vigil Honor has successfully fulfilled a definite and satisfactory service to the Order of the Arrow, to Scouting, and to individual members. Its continued success depends on the care with which future members are selected and on the maintenance by its members of the high ideals of service to others for which the Vigil Honor has always been known.
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 recommendation, the individual has been a Brotherhood member for a minimum of 2 years. Because the Order of the Arrow is primarily an organization for youth, it is suggested that, in recommending candidates for the Vigil Honor, preference be given to those who became members of the Order as Scouts rather than to those who were inducted into the Order as adult volunteers or professional Scouters.
- Taken from the Order of the Arrow Handbook