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Our History

About the History Timeline

In January of 2010, the Order of the Arrow, through what is now known as the Recognition, Awards, History and Preservation Subcommittee, mindful of the approaching commemoration of the Order’s centennial celebration in 2015, decided to develop an interactive timeline history of the Order of the Arrow. 

A Timeline Subcommittee was formed and after two and a half years of research and construction, the web site was launched in conjunction with the national OA web site. During that two and a half years more than 500 articles were researched, written, edited and peer reviewed for publication by a team of dedicated volunteers. In addition to the articles, more than 1,500 images were identified for publication and a suite of 14 sketches were commissioned. The sketches were developed to document events where images could never exist (such as founder E. Urner Goodman’s vigil at the Devil’s Tea Table.) Finally, a web site construction team then built this web site.

There is no correct way to view this Timeline. Each Arrowman is encouraged to find his or her own pathway.  Not only will you find information on the founding of the Order on July 16, 1915, but also you can learn the foundational underpinnings that influenced the founders. Here you can learn about how the Order was transformed from a small band of Arrowmen on an island in the middle of the Delaware River to a national organization with a handful of member lodges and then ultimately into the honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. Every national election, national event (NOAC, Jamboree, ArrowCorps5, etc.) has been documented.  Meticulous attention to detail has been given to explain where our traditions began and how they have evolved into the program of today.

We hope that you enjoy your many adventures on the OA History Timeline and that you will come back again and again.  As you meet that part of our Obligation that calls upon each of us to “Observe and Preserve the Traditions of the Order of the Arrow,” try to catch that oft times elusive glimpse of the Higher Vision our founders boldly gave us when they created a Brotherhood for those that serve others cheerfully.