The OA gathered west of the Mississippi for the first time to for the 1954 National Order of the Arrow Conference (most often referred to as the “39th Anniversary Conference”). The meeting was held at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The barely three-year old Kola Lodge, based in Fort Collins, Colorado together with a chapter of theirs in Laramie served as host. The conference was down in attendance from two years earlier as it was reported that there were 1,400 delegates. This was mainly due to the extra distance required for travel to Wyoming.
For the first time the Conference had a theme, "The OA Strengthens the Unit and Council Camping Programs". Other firsts were awards for top Dance and Regalia competitions. Zit Kala Sha Lodge, Louisville, Kentucky, captured the trophy for the best Regalia display.
Training was again emphasized. This conference had four training sessions, each with ten topics offered. The sessions were led by lodge chiefs and other qualified youth with support from members of the National OA Committee.
The OA Distuingished Service Awards (DSA) were presented. Founder E. Urner Goodman gave the closing challenge. Dwight Bischel had the foresight to record and preserve this address on a reel-to-reel tape recorder.