My name is Nicholas and I am from Aquehonigan Lodge, Greater New York
Council. This is my NOAC Blog. I intend to update it every day so
check back often for what's going on at NOAC 2006!
Wow, I am completely exhausted. These past few days have been crazy. I spent my
morning in class learning about lodge leadership. The instructors were quite
informative and have inspired me to go for higher lodge positions. Maybe I will
be a lodge chief for the next NOAC.
My fellow brother, Joseph, explained to me all of the cool things that I could do at
TOAP. He said his favorite thing to do at past NOACs was hatchet throwing.
Naturally I had to go check it out. Hatchet throwing was a fun time, but the
four-man swing was my favorite. I picked up some cool cooking and backpacking
ideas, but one of the highlights of the event was being able to talk with forest
rangers about ArrowCorps5. The work project at Mark Twain National Park really
caught my interest. I hope to see some of you there in two years. This work
project is truly one of the Order's greatest endeavors.
The afternoon continued with a regional gathering, where I was able to meet my region
chief and had a chance to talk with my section chief. It was amazing to be able
to see the brothers that comprised the Northeast Region of our Order. We then
quickly left to grab some root beer at the Ho Dag.
I heard my brothers, Mike and Joseph, talking about how they missed the cubes that
they traded at previous NOACs, but they did both agree that without the pressure
to do the trading they were able to enjoy the games and stations that were set up.
Everyone ate drank and had a great time. It has been years since I last jumped in
an inflatable jumping pen. I felt like a kid again. It was also a sight to watch
Joe duel with balloon swords. In all, last night was a truly memorable brotherhood
It saddens me to think that tomorrow night will be the closing show and that my time here
is coming to a close. But then again, I plan to return in three years.
Well my fellow Arrowmen, I'm back and sweating like usual. But that's beside the
point. As the heat soars so do the hot trades I'm making here at NOAC. Who
would have thought patch trading would be so addictive. Those rares I have are
my pride and joy.
Today I also went by the Order of the Arrow High Adventure Experience.
Brian, my fellow brother, tried to explain to me all the cool equipment that
would be there to look at. Most of the gear I had never seen before. It is my
understanding that this is the first year that you are actually able to buy the
gear at an on-site store. This is awesome since I am sure I would probably lose
at least one of the brochures that I picked up. You should see the crazy
flashlight I bought.
I also took time to visit the MSU Union today and explore the Trading Post.
Several well spent bills later, I am now a proud owner of a NOAC 2006 wardrobe
and patch collection. I was also able to see Mr. Vines' new Legend Skin. It
looked amazing. I can not wait till my lodge's next Ordeal where we will be
able to use one for the ceremony.
A quick stop to the downstairs of the Union revealed a massive number of
Arrowmen patch trading. It was like a dream as I was able to walk through and
see all the new designs. Joseph said that the number of patches available seemed
to increase each year as does the creativity of all the lodges.
Tonight I was able to see my first dance competition! The show was phenomenal.
Large pyrotechnics, new and interesting music, and how can I ever forget all of
the crazy costumes. Those dance outfits made it clear that the competitors were
willing to sacrifice a large amount of time to labor over the event they love
so much. My fellow brother, Tim, explained that this competition is an old
tradition of the Order and how a national champion is selected from each of six
different categories. I couldn't really tell any of the styles apart, but Tim
promised to teach me so that I am ready for next NOAC (and there will be a
Wow the days go by so quickly around here. I guess I should call it a night and
return to my dorm room. The heat index has slowly been climbing and I am
beginning to believe that NOAC stands for NO Air Conditioning. But I jest, this
truly has been an experience of a lifetime.
Today has been even more exciting. One of my fellow Brothers, Joseph,
explained to me how at his first NOAC the training cells were mostly classroom
format. He explained that since then there have been major additions to
high adventure here. As a result, I was able to go scuba diving.
The water was quite refreshing in the heat.
This afternoon I headed over to Meet the Man with my entire contingent. My
fellow brother Mike told me that they usually interview someone who has made
some great contributions to the Order.
This year I was able to meet both the great artists Mr. Perillo and Mr. Vines, a
brother from my lodge responsible for the legend found on deerskin that used to
be part of ceremonies before my time. It was a unique experience.
After the interview, I met with Tim who made it all the way to the semi-finals
in grass dance. He told me that the numbers of dancers and level of
competition seem to go up each year.
The storm hit today helped to cool the weather but my spirit was still
ablaze. Patch trading has been going well and I've scored some cool sets.
Whoa! Look at the time. I really need to get some rest for tomorrow's
We stirred at dawn, the morning sun hitting my face as it streamed through the
hotel window. Yesterday consisted of ten adventurous and fun hours of driving
in two vans with the rest of my contingent from Staten Island, New York. Today
we would complete our journey to MSU. As the sun rose in the sky so did the
buzz of excitement among my fellow brothers.
Despite several U-turns and checking of our maps, we finally rolled through the
gates of MSU. The first thing I saw, the only thing anyone could see, was the
sea of Scouts before me. I tried my best to swim through the crowds
and stopping only to look at patches and elaborate fancy costumes.
There were meetings, talks on safety, and packages of paper. I glanced through
them, but my mind kept wandering to the stack of patches I was ready to trade.
When I was given my schedule, I proudly noted that I filled all my time slots.
My older brothers who have been to NOAC before laughed and wished me luck, just
like my last NOAC two years ago.
Entering the arena for the opening show took my breath away. I had never
seen so many Boy Scouts in one place at the same time. Being the youngest in my
contingent I had the honor of parading our flap into the show. When the signal
was given I marched proudly into the arena, blinded by camera flashes. I
marched to the front of the stage and was able to see the entire conference
before me. It was at that moment I knew this would be a crazy week.
Today has been exhausting and I think I should grab some sleep before