Many organizations create a membership card as a way to show a person is a member in good standing (current on annual dues). The Wimachtendienk and later the Order of the Arrow was no different in this regard. In many cases the local lodge created their own card.
In 1923, at the third Meeting of the Grand Lodge the Extension and Registry Committee made the following recommendation to create the first nationally printed membership card:
“We recommend that an engraved individual membership certificate be made available to members at a price that will provide a profit for the Grand Lodge, and we recommend that the Supply Officer draw up and submit a certificate.”
The recommendation passed and the Order’s first national membership card was made shortly thereafter. This card had the word Wimachtendienk spelled out followed by W. W. at the top of horizontally designed card.
Starting in the late 20s or early 30s the card design was changed and the name on the card was the Order of the Arrow; again a horizontally designed card with the name at the top. In 1941, the print design was changed to include a beautiful new logo – quill, arrows and shield. The layout was horizontal.
With the acceptance of the Order of the Arrow as a formal program within the Boy Scouts of America, the membership card changed. The new card was vertical in design, and had the words “Boy Scouts of America” added onto the card.
In the mid-1950s, the card format was changed back to being horizontal. A new design was accepted with a red arrow pointing right at the top and the back of the card had the Obligation imprinted upon it in red with a place for the member to sign his name. 1960 marked the next change in the membership card. The red arrow across the top of the card now pointed to the left and the words on the back of the card were in black ink.
In 1968, there was a complete design change; an image of a Native American chief viewed from the side was added along the entire left side of the card. The red arrow was moved from the top to the bottom of the card and pointed left.
In 1976, the card was plain and simple. No images and the red arrow remained at the bottom pointing left.
In 1986, computer format cards were introduced. The cards came in a roll with perforations on the sides and tractor holes to pull the cards through the printer. The “MGM logo” was in the center of the card and the red arrow was removed from the card.
In 1999, the Arrowhead logo was introduced as a watermark on the card. The cards came twelve to an 8.5 x 11.0 sheet that could be printed name by name in a computer software program. The format was three cards horizontal and four cards vertical per page. In 2003, the design remained the same but the format was changed to ten cards per 8.5 x 11.0 page arranged two horizontal and five vertical. These cards had only the Arrowhead logo and were completely blank of printing. There was an instruction sheet. Lodges could print lodge and member information directly onto the membership cards, all in the same font in real time as the data was entered into the computer.