Center for History
Order of the Arrow Museum
The Center for History is a growing and wide-ranging committee here at NOAC 2004. The Committee spearheads several major projects, programs, and events that participants can attend to learn more of the rich history of our Order. These include the Order of the Arrow Museum, training for participants, history roadshow, original ceremony re-enactment, and the National OA Historical and Preservation Project
The Order of the Arrow Museum displays hundreds of items that include, but are not limited to: the sashes, memorabilia, photos, patches, and documents throughout the history of our Order. The Museum also has a complete collection of all the Lodge flaps and Council strip patches. The Museum featured several fully uniformed mannequins provided by the Northstar Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting. The mannequins wore different Scouting uniforms from throughout the history of the Boy Scouts. The museum contained several uniforms, including Green Bar Bill's uniform and E. Urner Goodman's. There were several collections of original Boy Scout and Order of the Arrow handbooks, from the first editions up to the present editions. Many of the artifacts in the OA museum are brought in and displayed by private owners who wish to share the heritage and history of the Order of the Arrow. However, the National OA Historical and Preservation Committee for the Order of the Arrow is starting to prepare to accept donated artifacts that will be professionally preserved and cataloged for the museum in order that they remain in-tact for generations of future Arrowmen to enjoy and appreciate.
The Order of the Arrow museum began in the early 1990's, when a few people decided that there was a need to share the history and memories of our Order's early beginnings and past. However, the OA Museum didn't become a highlighted event at the National OA Conference until 2000, when the museum and the Order of the Arrow began to concentrate more on the historical aspects of our organization. At the 2000 and 2002 National Order of the Arrow Conferences the museum gained much popularity. At the 2002 NOAC, the OA Museum began to preserve and archive some of the memorabilia that was being displayed in the museum. However, not until 2004 did an official Historical Archive and Preservation Project begin to form. This new focus for the Center of History has just begun, and will continue for several years to digitally preserve the history of the OA. You can read more about the new National OA Historical and Preservation Projects happening here at NOAC 2004 and in the coming years. Historical re-enactment of the original Order of the Arrow Ordeal ceremony also began at the 2002 NOAC. At this year's conference the Center for History organized historical re-enactments of all the original ceremonies from the pre-ordeal ceremony to the vigil ceremony. With the expansion of the responsibilities, the Center for History has more than doubled their staff with volunteers from several other committees. This NOAC, the Center for History expects that more than 5,000 participants will visit the museum, fulfilling their obligation to "Observe and Preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow."
The History Roadshow was a new event held at this year's conference, and was similar to the popular "Antiques Roadshow" on Television. The roadshow allowed Arrowmen from around the nation to bring in their personal artifacts and pieces of Scouting history. They were able to learn more about their memorabilia, and of course, about what it "might" be worth to someone else. Several Arrowmen brought in artifacts that their grandfathers or father had handed down to them from Boy Scout sashes to handbooks and more.
The Center for History also provided three training sessions for
Arrowmen to participate. These sessions focused on the historical aspects of our organization including the ceremonies. Arrowmen could also learn how to record and preserve their own lodge's history. All of these training sessions are on the Individual Arrowman resource CD that was distributed to all Arrowmen in attendance at this year's conference.