It was so great to see all of you at NOAC 2022.
When I took the opening show stage, one of the things I could not help but do was soak up the pure joy of the moment. Seven thousand Arrowmen cheering - not for me, but for our Order. Celebrating our first national gathering in four years. For many of you, it was your first NOAC ever - congratulations! I hope the memories you have made and the friendships you have forged will stay with you for the rest of your life, just as it has been for me since my first conference in 2018.
Just three short years after becoming fully co-ed, NOAC welcomed over 1,100 young women. We were also able to showcase many different aspects of our Order ranging from athletic events, ceremonies competitions, escape rooms, top notch training, and Admonition Team programs which represent our Order’s commitment to ensure every Arrowmen, no matter their background, has the opportunity to thrive in our organization.
In addition, our shows team packed 6,500 Arrowmen (and a few flamethrowers!) into Thompson-Boling Arena for the experience of a lifetime. Personally, it was the loudest I’ve ever heard “Don’t Stop Believin’” being belted out by a group. I experienced Alex and Dirk, our two region chiefs, go head-to-head determining which region is best. But, I think we all know that Gateway is the Great Way!
All in all, the highlight of my week was you. I met so many awesome Arrowmen from all across the nation. I spent time hearing your ambitions, exchanging our stories, and taking in your aspirations for our Order's future. I am filled with the faith and confidence that the next generation will continue to bring the OA to new heights.
And, as Steven, our national vice chief, said at the Wednesday show: It’s on all of us to create tomorrow today. Those who chose you need you, and they need you now more than ever. Kindle the fire you felt that week, and pass it on to those around you. Who knows, by sharing your experience, you just may inspire them, too.
As the saying goes, passion is nothing without action. The Order of the Arrow stands at a crossroads and the decisions that we all make today will decide our organization’s direction for many years to come. That choice is ours to make. Together, let us use our new fuel to jumpstart our Order into a new age. Let us use what we learned this summer, be it at summer camp or NOAC, to transform our program for the next generation.
Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. I hope that, together, we can leverage our shared passion to change the lives of others.
All the Best,
Order of the Arrow