Membership in the Order of the Arrow begins with a decision. That first choice is made by others: the Scouts in your unit chose you for membership. Months later on a summer evening, you stood around an unlit fire with other Scouts. The ceremonialists illustrated a picture of what lay before you and gave a choice. You chose to step forward. And your fellow Arrowmen made that decision, too.
We’ve all made thousands more since our Pre-Ordeal. Each choice has a consequence. It may not be clear in the moment, but they can define our lives forever.
NOAC is the one event that truly brings the OA together. NOAC facilitates the exchange of ideas, trains our leadership, and deepens our commitment to serving Scouting. Each NOAC is very much of its time and place. Each NOAC has been a conversation about where the OA was then, and where it needed to go.
Last year, the NOAC theme team surveyed leaders across the nation to gain their perspective on where they see the OA going. The feedback was loud and clear: things are changing, quickly.
Our destiny will be defined by how quickly, and in what way, we react to that change.
The world is changing faster than it ever has, and the time is now to react to that. Each NOAC is very much of its time and place. Each conference is a conversation about where the OA was is, and where it needs to go. The decisions our members face today aren’t always big or small, each one shapes your future without even realizing.
Change may be at the forefront of all our minds, but we’re not bystanders. A person is the sum of their choices. As leaders in the OA, we’re often asked to have the courage to make large decisions. Each decision large or small must be met, and in each of those moments, we decide our destiny.
For some, destiny might evoke the image of a mountaintop, or some other summit. But our future is not a journey upward, it’s a journey inward. It’s not a pyramid, but a maze. Each decision we make can bring us closer to the center — or send us spiraling out toward the edges. A maze represents those decisions we make each day.
Yet it is today that the choices must be made, because your Decisions Today Shape Reality Tomorrow.