In late December, section chiefs, members of the National Order of the Arrow Committee, and key volunteers gathered in Knoxville, Tennessee, the site of the 2022 National Order of the Arrow Conference to begin the bulk of the planning for the OA’s largest event in four years. Members of the National Conference Committee were able to familiarize themselves with the facilities of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville through campus tours and meetings with university and local leadership.
The OA’s National leadership unveiled the logo for the 2022 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) at the opening of the National Planning Meeting in December. The Conference’s theme, as revealed last summer, is ‘Tomorrow Begins Today’ and the logo reflects this with the words ‘Tomorrow Begins Today’, ‘NOAC 2022’, ‘UT Knoxville’, and the three W’s of the Order of the Arrow set against a rising sun.
NOAC is the bi-annual gathering of OA members from throughout the country on a college campus for a week of fun and fellowship.
“I was 13 years old at that time and I had never seen anything like that,” reflected 2022 National Vice Chief Steven Buher when looking back on his first NOAC in 2015.
“The campus itself is really, really beautiful,” emphasized Dirk Smelser, the 2022 Gateway Region Chief.
Both region chiefs are really excited for the Region and Section Gatherings which will take place on the Thursday night of the conference. These gatherings will feature several fun events, free food, and a chance to meet Arrowmen from throughout your region.
“The one thing that’s going to be different this year is that… we’re going to have half of the country grouped all in one place,” said Alex Pillis, the 2022 Eastern Region Chief.
This is the first year that the OA will be organized into two geographic regions, Eastern and Gateway.
NOAC features a range of fun activities from athletic competitions like a morning 5K, a triathlon, and an ultimate frisbee tournament, intriguing trainings that cover a variety of topics both in and outside of the OA and the chance to meet Arrowmen from throughout the country through the various expos and events. The Conference Festival on Friday afternoon is always a good time and will be even more engaging in 2022. The Conference Festival is a chance for Lodges to share what makes their lodge special through a booth, giveaways and activities. The festival planning team is hard at work creating an experience unique to 2022.
Another highlight of NOAC is the nightly arena shows. Arrowmen at NOAC will gather in the Thompson–Boling Arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville four out of their five nights at NOAC. The shows are among the most exciting features of NOAC with engaging narratives, snazzy special effects, and inspiring moments from the lodge flap parade to the National officer speeches. There is nothing like singing “Sweet Caroline” at the top of your lungs with thousands of your closest friends. The show's team is hard at work planning and developing four fantastic shows that each capture the spirit of the conference.
For those interested in inductions and ceremonies, the Inductions and Ceremonial Events (ICE) team has a slew of fascinating trainings, activities, and first-rate evaluation opportunities planned that give Arrowmen the chance to immerse themselves back in the induction and emerge ready to guide the next candidate along the induction journey.
If you have never been to NOAC, it is best experienced as a member of your Lodge’s contingent; however, individual delegate registration is also available. If helping these fabulous events come to life interests you, NOAC staff may be the move. There are roles available in all parts of the conference from chances to lead trainings or activities, take pictures and write articles, help the show come to life, and so much more. If you cannot make it to Tennessee, you can still experience the conference as a remote delegate. You will receive access to live streams of particular training sessions, the evening shows, and other special events. Talk to your lodge leadership about joining your Lodge’s NOAC contingent or register as a delegate or staff member today at noac2022.org