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H. Lloyd Nelson

Nelson started Scouting in Goodman’s old Troop 1 in Philadelphia. He was inducted into the Unami Lodge at Treasure Island in 1919. Nelson was in attendance at the 1921 First Meeting of the Grand Lodge. He served on the camp staff at Treasure Island Scout Reservation and served as the 1925 Lodge Chief of Unami Lodge. On September 17, 1925 H. Lloyd Nelson kept the 45th Vigil in the Order at Treasure Island during the Fifth Grand Lodge Meeting.

Nelson remained active in Scouting and the Order while attending the University of Pennsylvania and in 1933 was elected Grand Lodge Scribe. What was distinctive about Nelson from all other previous Grand Lodge officers was he was not a professional Scouter. Other Grand Lodge officers had been Scout Executives and Field Executives working in the Order in a volunteer capacity. This distinction gave insight to Nelson that other officers lacked. That insight and connection with non-Professional Arrowmen equipped Nelson well when as a national officer Thomas Cairns included him on the Transition Committee.

The Transition Committee became the National Executive Committee, which became the National OA Committee. Nelson served from 1933 until 1955 on these committees. The first nine years was as the Grand Lodge Scribe (which during Nelson’s tenure was also called the National Tribe Scribe, the National Lodge Scribe and finally the National Lodge Secretary.) In 1942 Nelson was selected as the National Chief, which in 1942 was the equivalent to today’s National OA Committee Chairman. Nelson served as Chief until 1946 and then continued on the National Executive Committee as Past Chief. From these leadership positions Nelson was instrumental in directing the Order of the Arrow in achieving it’s most significant goal of its first half century, full integration into the BSA in 1948.

In 1949 Nelson became the second National OA Committee Chairman and he served until his untimely death at the end of 1955. All of the Order mourned his death. In a special and unique tribute, a memorial was held in H. Lloyd Nelson’s honor at the 1956 NOAC in Bloomington Indiana. During the memorial instead of the traditional flowers, lodges placed their empty chief’s headdresses and bonnets on the stage.

1, OA, Profile, Scouting


National Bonnets

The original golden eagle feather bonnet worn and passed down by the national chiefs of the Order of the Arrow (OA) was made in 1938 by members of Anicus Lodge, East Boroughs Council located in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Former Anicus Lodge Chief, Joseph A. Brunton, Jr. was the first chief to wear the bonnet. He had recently been elected chief of the National Lodge at the twelfth National Lodge Meeting hosted by Shawnee Lodge 51 at Irondale Scout Reservation located in Irondale, Missouri. Subsequently, Anicus Lodge presented this bonnet to the National Lodge of the Order of the Arrow in 1940 when they hosted the Order of the Arrow’s 25th Anniversary meeting at Camp Twin Echo, located near Ligonier, PA. Chief Brunton was the host council’s Scout Executive at the 25th Anniversary meeting and it was Brunton that ceremoniously passed the bonnet to the newly elected National Chief, George Mozealous of Owasippe Lodge. The ceremonious passing of the bonnet is a tradition that still continues to this day.

Like many of the bonnets of that era, the original bonnet was made from authentic eagle feathers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service consider today, both golden and bald eagles threatened species, and federal law now protects the feathers and body parts from these species. The laws regarding the possession or trade of feathers and body parts from these species are both promulgated and enforced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and now require a special permit. However, the original bonnet was in the BSA / OA’s possession before such laws were enacted, and therefore no special permit was required to maintain legal ownership.

The original bonnet was used ceremoniously by the Order of the Arrow for its national chief for over 40 years. The national chief at the opening and closing shows of National Order of the Arrow Conferences (NOAC) typically wore the bonnet. The bonnet was also worn at National Planning Meetings following national officer elections. The bonnet was also occasionally worn or displayed at other national events to promote the Order of the Arrow. The original bonnet was used continuously during this time even after the National OA Committee issued its policy known as the “Protected Feather Clarifications” effective January 1, 1976. This policy, which was heavily encouraged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, prohibited the use of animal parts in the construction of Native American regalia used at Scouting events. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made an allowance for the use of the original bonnet by the national chief of the Order of the Arrow.

Tragically, the original bonnet was destroyed in a fire that occurred at the BSA’s national office in Irving, Texas on November 6, 1980. A young security guard whose intention was to be the ‘big hero’ by discovering and putting out the fire deliberately set the blaze. Unfortunately, the fire quickly got out of his control into an area that housed many of the OA’s records and memorabilia, including the original national chief’s bonnet.

After the loss of the original bonnet, the National OA Committee announced that it had decided to construct two new replacement bonnets for its national officers, which for the first time would include a bonnet for the national vice chief. However, due to the passing of federal laws against the sale, trade, or possession of authentic eagle feathers and body parts since the original bonnet was made, any creation of replacement bonnets consisting of such material would typically have been prohibited without a special federal permit for organizations other than those of Native American origin.

In an attempt to remedy the situation, National OA Committee member Don Thom made an offer at the December 1980 National Planning Meeting to disassemble an authentic eagle feather dance bustle that he had in his possession for use in constructing the new replacement bonnets. This generous offer, as well as other possible solutions, was the subject of much discussion by the National OA Committee over the following several months. However, even though these discussions eventually proved to be successful in finding a permanent solution, the Order of the Arrow was still currently without a bonnet for its national chief. In addition, the National OA Committee was facing an immediate dilemma as to what bonnet the national chief might use at the upcoming 1981 National Order of the Arrow Conference being held at the University of Texas at Austin. As a possible solution for this pending dilemma, OA National Secretary William F. “Bill” Downs suggested that a bonnet worthy of use by the National Chief at the upcoming 1981 NOAC be identified from the local area. Once identified, arrangements could be made to temporarily borrow the bonnet for the conference. Remarkably, just such a bonnet was located, and the 1981 OA National Chief Bradley D. Starr subsequently wore it for this event.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were made aware of the BSA / OA’s unique situation by Walter Wenzel (BSA’s Director of Conservation and former Interior Department employee), and they eagerly came to their aid for a permanent bonnet solution. After first confirming the fact that the original bonnet was made with authentic eagle feathers that were obtained prior to the enactment of such prohibitive laws, they allowed for the replacement of the original bonnet with two new ones constructed of a similar nature. Each of the two replacement bonnets were constructed using 32 authentic golden eagle feathers, tipped with owl feathers. The feathers were provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and came in the form of two crudely constructed, eagle feather bonnets. These bonnets had been in someone’s illegal possession, and had been confiscated in Idaho by federal law enforcement agents. Although the confiscated bonnets were crudely made, the golden eagle feathers that they each contained were absolutely beautiful.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offered these bonnets to the BSA / OA for use in constructing the two new replacement bonnets via a special permit / loan agreement for scientific and educational purposes. It was signed on May 7, 1982 on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America / Order of the Arrow by Bill Downs (OA National Secretary) and on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Gust J. Nun (Special Agent in charge of law enforcement – District 6). This special permit / loan agreement became effective on May 12, 1982, and it has never been revoked. Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required that a sign indicating that the possession and exhibition of these items were by their permission should accompany any display of these bonnets.

With a supply of authentic golden eagle feathers now legally in hand, the National OA Committee set out to find a craftsman who was an expert in authentic Native American regalia. They discovered and subsequently commissioned Ed Benz of Borger, Texas to construct the two new replacement bonnets. Mr. Benz was an Eagle Scout and former OA region chief (Region 9A). He was also a well known Native American regalia designer and craftsman. Once Mr. Benz was in receipt of the confiscated bonnets, he worked diligently over the next several months to use their feathers to construct the two new replacement bonnets. Mr. Benz completed the bonnets sometime late in 1982, and he delivered them to Bill Downs on December 15th of that same year. National Chief Robert A. Wade and National Vice Chief William B. O’Tuel first wore the new replacement bonnets at the National Planning Meeting in December of 1982, and subsequently at the 1983 National OA Conference held at Rutgers University located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Of special note: the National OA Committee attached a yellow memorial ribbon to the bonnet of the national vice chief in memory of Josh Sain. Josh was serving as the national vice chief when he was tragically killed in an auto accident on October 24, 1997. The memorial ribbon is a permanent reminder of Josh’s cheerful service, and his life long dedication to servant leadership.

The national chief and vice chief ceremoniously used the replacement bonnets on a regular basis for over 20 years. However, in keeping with its “Protected Feather Clarifications” policy, the National OA Committee decided to retire the authentic golden eagle feather bonnets and to acquire new bonnets for the national chief and vice chief that were made from imitation eagle feathers. In keeping with tradition, it was decided that the new bonnets had to be exact replicas of the retired bonnets. The construction of these replica bonnets was assigned to Ron Bell and Wayne Dukes of the National OA Committee. These two Arrowmen were also Lead Advisers with American Indian Events (AIE). Ron was tasked with creating the beadwork and Wayne was tasked with the bonnet’s feather construction. To assist them in their work, they both had requested photographs of the retired bonnets in order to replicate their designs down to the smallest detail. Ron and Wayne collectively spent countless hours of extremely meticulous work to produce the replica bonnets that are still in use today. The retired bonnets were last used by the National Chief Jeff Hayward and National Vice Chief David Dowty at the 2004 National Order of the Arrow Conference held at Iowa State University, located in Ames, Iowa. In addition, the new replica bonnets were first used by the National Chief Sean Murray and Vice Chief Christopher Schildknecht at the National Planning Meeting in December of 2005, and subsequently by them at the at the 2006 National Order of the Arrow Conference held at Michigan State University located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The authentic golden eagle feather bonnets that were created as replacements for the original bonnet are themselves now treated as historical artifacts of the OA and are still on permanent loan to the BSA / OA. These bonnets are placed on permanent display at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.

1, National Event, OA, Profile, Scouting


Joseph Brunton

Joseph A. Brunton, Jr. (June 26, 1902 – July 8, 1988) was an Arrowmen and a career professional for the Boy Scouts of America. He served as National Lodge Chief in the Order from 1938 to 1940 and in the BSA National Council as the fourth Chief Scout Executive from 1960 to 1966.

Joseph A. Brunton, Jr. was one of the charter members of Octoraro Lodge, West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1926. In 1936, at the meeting of the National Lodge, Brunton, serving as Scout Executive for East Boroughs Council, Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania was elected National Lodge Treasurer and then in 1938, at the age of 35, he was elected National Lodge Chief. Under his tenure as chief, the idea of area “fellowship” meetings was established. This would be the start of “sectional” meetings to be held in each area; what we know today as Section Conclaves.

Chief Brunton was instrumental in creating the OA Distinguished Service Award (DSA). In 1940, at the 25th Anniversary National Lodge Meeting, he presented the first DSA to E. Urner Goodman. He himself later received the Award in 1946.

Brunton became a professional Scouter at an early age, and served in several local council positions, including Council Scout Executive. He became a member of the BSA National Council in 1952 as Director of Church Relations. In 1957, he was promoted to National Council senior management. He was appointed by the BSA National Executive Board to become Chief Scout Executive in 1960. Brunton was the second National Chief to rise to the position of Chief Scout Executive; the man he succeeded, Arthur A. Schuck (Chief Scout Executive 1948-1960) had served as the second Grand Lodge Chieftain in 1922.

During Brunton’s tenure, youth membership continued to expand in both Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. Various changes were made to the Exploring program, including a stronger emphasis on career exploration and post specialty programs, in order to retain teenage youth members and attract additional teens to the program.

Brunton was awarded the Bronze Wolf, by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting, in 1965. In 1966 he was awarded the Alpha Phi National Distinguished Service Award and in 1973 he received the Silver Buffalo Award.

2, Elections, National Event, OA, Profile, Scouting


Waite Phillips

Waite Phillips (Jan. 19, 1883 - Jan. 27, 1964) was much more than the prototypical oilman, wildcatter and businessman. He was also a philanthropist. The generosity of he and his family resulted in a major change for Scouting – the creation of its High Adventure Program.

Lewis “Lew” Franklin Phillips and Lucinda Josephine “Josie” (Faucett) Phillips sixth and seventh of 10 children were twin boys – Waite and Wiate -- born to the couple at their home near Conway Iowa. As 16-year-olds the twin boys left their small farm and headed west where they worked a variety of jobs including building railroads, mining, lumbering and even one winter spent fur trapping in the Bitterroot Mountains. A bout of acute appendicitis claimed Wiate’s life on July 16, 1902, when the 19-year-old young men were in Spokane, Washington. Distraught over the loss of his twin brother, Waite returned to Iowa. After a short time in college he went to work for his older brothers, Frank (Silver Buffalo recipient 1942) and L.E. Phillips, as they continued their oil and gas business out of Bartlesville, Okla., in 1906. Frank and L.E.’s company became Phillips Petroleum Company.

In 1909 Waite married Genevieve Elliott in Knoxville, Iowa. Waite and Genevieve had two children, Helen Jane (July 1, 1911 - May 19, 1963) and Elliott "Chope" Waite (January 11, 1918 - ) (Silver Buffalo recipient 1998; Silver Sage recipient 2005). After eight years Waite sold his shares to his brothers and struck out on his own as an independent oil producer, refiner and marketer. By 1918 Waite and Genevieve had moved to Tulsa, Okla., where his 40-year career took firm hold. In Tulsa three of the structures Phillips built have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places – Philtower, Philcade and Villa Philbrook, a 72-room Italian Renaissance-style home, which, after being donated to the city of Tulsa in 1938, was renovated into the Philbrook Museum of Art.

Phillips’ industriousness was not just confined to the petroleum industry. He was also actively involved in banking and real estate and the development of a number of ranches in the Rocky Mountains, and it was there his admiration for a new youth program and his love of the mountains would meld into Scouting’s crown jewel of high adventure. After buying and selling several ranches, Phillips developed a 300,000-acre spread on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rocky Mountains extending into the western fringes of the Great Prairie. He named it the UU (Double U) Ranch. There as with all of his other business interests, he threw himself into creating a diversified operation involving farming, ranching and – for recreation – the ability to get into the backcountry for hunting, fishing and camping expeditions.

All through the times he was working for his brothers and then on his own, Phillips followed the successes of a bourgeoning youth movement – the Boy Scouts of America. One of the earliest troops in the United States was formed in 1909 (before the founding of the BSA in 1910) in nearby Pawhuska, Okla. In 1937 Phillips made one of the most magnanimous gestures in philanthropy – the family donated 35,857 acres of their UU Ranch – much of what Philmonters call “the South Country” to the Boy Scouts of America. That generous donated included the Villa de Philmonte, cattle, horses, hunting cabins and more.

There were just three stipulations:
--that it remains a working cattle ranch, which it is.
--that his favorite horse “Gus” be allowed to roam freely and live out his life on the ranch. He did.
--And that the Phillips family be allowed to visit whenever they please. They have.

The first couple of years were limited operations, but seeing the potential and the enthusiastic response in 1941 Phillips added another 91,520 acres bringing the total to 127,395. The gift included the best of Phillips’ camp lands, as well as the ranching headquarters and the Villa de Phimonte – the family’s mountainside home with its majestic view of the Tooth of Time. To help finance the annual operations of the ranch he added the Philtower Building in Tulsa.

The camp was first named Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp and then later was renamed Philmont. Waite Phillips died on January 27, 1964. Waite and Genevieve Phillips are buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. What is left unexplained about Waite Phillips is why he never received the BSA's Silver Buffalo Award.

1, OA, Profile, Scouting


Takodah Chapter of Owasippe

When Carroll A. Edson became a Field Executive in 1921 in Chicago Council it was only natural that he would bring Wimachtendienk with him. Chicago in 1921 had five geographic districts and a sixth “division” that was an overlay of the entire council. This division was the Douglas Division and it was for African American Scouts. No matter where in Chicago you lived, if you were Black then you were segregated into the Douglas Division.

The Scouts of the Douglas Division also had their own camp, Camp Belnap. Camp Belnap ran the same camp program as the other camps within Owasippe Scout Reservation, except they did not have Order of the Arrow. This was for two reasons. Initially the Grand Lodge would not allow more than one lodge in a camp. But ultimately, the reason Belnap did not have OA was because of the Blood Rite (a ritual exchange of blood between participants) required in the Brotherhood Degree.

When E. Urner Goodman was placed in charge of Chicago in 1927 as Scout Executive he merged together the five Chicago Lodges and they formed the original five chapters of Owasippe. Shortly thereafter, the sixth chapter, Takodah Chapter was formed at Camp Belnap. The Arrowmen of Takodah Chapter are the oldest known African American Scouts in the Order of the Arrow. In 1932 three Takodah Chapter members, Emerson James, Horatio W. Isbell and Dr. William Benson became the first known African Americans to take the Brotherhood Degree.

In 1933 several members of Takodah Chapter including Emerson James and William Benson became the earliest verified African Americans to attend a Grand Lodge Meeting. In 1936 James presumptively became the first African American Vigil Honor member.

Takodah Chapter held social events as any other lodge and chapter of its era. In the 1930s their annual chaperoned dance was the big event. The dance program card from the 1935 Dance held at the renowned Savoy Ballroom is testament to the quality of the event. In the 1940s and 1950s Takodah held chapter fellowships. Eventually segregation ended in Chicago Council and the members of Takodah joined chapters based on their geographic location and not the color of their skin.

2, OA, Profile, Scouting


George Lower

George Lower was inducted into the Order of the Arrow (OA) at Treasure Island during the second summer of Wimachtendienk in 1916. He was one of the two major contributors to the writing of the rituals used by the Grand Lodge from 1921 until 1936. Prior to 1921, Lower was one of the quiet adult forces within the Wimachtendienk. In a newspaper article in August 1921, he is pictured in a sash and black robe and identified as one of two Medicine Men along with Dr. William M. Hinkle.

In 1921, for his leadership and influence in the Wimachtendienk W. W., George Lower became the sixth Arrowman to receive the Third Degree.

On November 8, 1934 National Chief Thomas Cairns wrote to George Lower asking for his assistance regarding transformation of the ceremonies critical to the integration of the OA into the BSA:

As you may know, the Order of the Arrow has been officially adopted by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and is to be a part of their official program for campers.

This step has brought to light a number of rather interesting questions and I should like, if at all possible, to secure your help in answering one of these.

In the Ritual (copy enclosed) on pages 9, 11, 13, and 22 the Meteu is called upon to say a prayer. This Ritual has been submitted to the National Scout Committee on Church Relations and by them to their subdivisions on Protestant, Catholic and Jewish Scouting. There is a common agreement, conveyed to me by Urner Goodman, of the desirability of eliminating from the Ritual these prayers as such since it is extremely difficult to have any one prayer which is acceptable to all three groups.

George Lower wrote back to Thomas Cairns on January 6, 1935. George Lower had become inactive in the OA and was a teacher at the Westtown School, Westtown, Pennsylvania. Along with agreeing to do the re-writes, George Lower wrote:

Receiving your request recalled to my mind the hours and hours Dr. Hinkle and I spent on this ritual years ago and I was quite surprised to see that it had not been changed since our last revision.

Lower completed the revisions of the ceremonies and the OA published them in 1936.

3, Ceremonies, OA, Profile, Scouting


OA Obligation Timeline

It is not known when the first WWW Obligation was used. Because it is part of the First Degree/Honor ritual it is believed that it likely was used in some form as early as 1916. The first known version of the Obligation dates to 1921. It read:

I, (your name), do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully preserve unbroken the secret rites, mysteries, signs and symbols of the Order of the WIMACHTENDIENK WINGOLAUCHSIK, WITAHEMUI, which I have now received or may be taught at any future time. I will always regard the bonds of brotherhood in this Order as sacred and binding, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others. I will attend, so far as I am able, all regular and special meetings of the Order and do what I can to promote interest in them.

The 1931 ritual contains a slightly different version of the Obligation. The most significant change was the term “as sacred and binding” to “as binding”. This was to satisfy religious groups that objected to the concept of sacred rituals for their congregants. It was also done as preparation for achieving the goal of becoming an official BSA program.

Other changes were the Arrowman no longer states his name, the name Order of the Arrow is stated before the actual name, WWW, which was changed to only have the first word in the name stated and the last two words just the letter “W” presumably to be spoken, but not written. There was also a minor change where “the bonds of brotherhood in this order” becomes “the bonds of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow”. The 1931 Obligation was said as follows:

I, do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully preserve unbroken the secret rites, mysteries, signs and symbols of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, W. ______, W. ______, which I have now received or may be taught at any future time. I will always regard the bonds of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow as binding and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others. I will attend, so far as I am able, all regular and special meetings of the Order and do what I can to promote interest in them.

The 1935 revision of the Obligation was very minor. The word “secret” was removed before the word “rites”. This change was again to satisfy religious groups that objected to secret rituals. This change was part of the Order of the Arrow’s agreement with the BSA in order to become an official BSA program. Among other requirements the OA agreed to re-write rituals such that they would satisfy religious organizations. The 1935 version was:

I, do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully preserve unbroken the rites, mysteries, signs and symbols of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, W. ______, W. ______, which I have now received or may be taught at any future time. I will always regard the bonds of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow as binding and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others. I will attend, so far as I am able, all regular and special meetings of the Order and do what I can to promote interest in them.

The change made for the 1941 Obligation was extremely minor. Once again the Arrowman would state his name as he spoke the Obligation. The 1941 version was spoken as follows:

I, (your name), do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully preserve unbroken the rites, mysteries, signs and symbols of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, W. ______, W. ______, which I have now received or may be taught at any future time. I will always regard the bonds of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow as binding and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others. I will attend, so far as I am able, all regular and special meetings of the Order and do what I can to promote interest in them.

The 1948 version of the Obligation had the most significant changes of any revision. This was because in 1948 the OA became fully integrated into the BSA and all rituals including Obligations were reviewed. The phrase “faithfully preserve unbroken the rites, mysteries, signs and symbols” was changed to “faithfully observe and preserve the traditions”. “Bonds of brotherhood” was changed to “ties of brotherhood”. Finally, the entire last sentence regarding meetings and promotion was removed. The 1948 version strongly resembles today’s Obligation. It was spoken as follows:

I, (your name), do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, W. ______, W. ______, which I have now received or may be taught at any future time. I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, as lasting, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.

The 1951 Obligation was altered to once again say “Wimachtendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui”:

I, (your name), do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, WINGOLAUCHSIK, WITAHEMUI which I have now received or may be taught at any future time. I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, as lasting, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.

The 1962 Obligation changed the phrase “which I have now received or may be taught at any future time” to “which I have now received”. The Obligation was now stated:

I, (your name), do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, WINGOLAUCHSIK, WITAHEMUI which I have now received. I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, as lasting, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.

The 1986 version again tinkered with the phrase after the three W’s and completely removed the words “which I have now received”:

I, (your name), do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, WINGOLAUCHSIK, WITAHEMUI. I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, as lasting, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.

The final change came in 1999. The Obligation had required the Obligor to state his name since 1941. This always created an awkward moment when said in groups. The Obligor's name was removed. This is the current way to say the Order's Obligation:

I do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow, WIMACHTENDIENK, WINGOLAUCHSIK, WITAHEMUI. I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, as lasting, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.

Background, OA, Profile, Scouting


Goodman - As Director of Program

By 1925 the BSA had outgrown its national and regional structure; each of more than 20 departments reported directly to Chief Scout Executive West. The national office reorganized in 1931, in four departments – Program, Operations, Personnel and Business.

Goodman was now one of the most experienced Scout leaders in the country. He was both a Scoutmaster from the early days and a very successful Scout Executive. West chose Goodman to head the Program Division, in which Goodman would have leadership of professional and volunteer training, relationships with Scouting’s supporting and partnering organizations, all publications except Boys’ Life, public relations and publicity, research and development, and the Boy Scout reading program.

Goodman took his talents of dealing with people and effective public speaking to a national audience. He traveled the country, meeting with national BSA officers and supporters, and advising Scout Executives.

The new director of Program knew that, to be effective, he must have a first-rate team, and he had West agree that he could choose his own staff. A staff he could trust and whose judgment he trusted carried out Goodman’s careful organization and detailed planning of events and projects.

Goodman served in this position for 20 years, until his retirement in 1951. During this time Scouting developed the Cub Scout program for younger boys and reached out to older Scouts with an expanded Sea Scouting program as well as the experimental Rover program and the development of Exploring and Air Exploring. During this time BSA helped Scouts live through the Great Depression, had the first national jamboree, acquired and developed Schiff Scout Reservation and Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp (later known as Philmont Scout Ranch), adapted Wood Badge to American Scouting, produced three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, two editions of the Handbook for Scoutmasters and the first Scout Field Book, and supported the troops and home front during World War II.

1, Founders, Goodman, OA, Profile, Scouting


Goodman - Adult Family Life

Goodman matched his professional success during his years in Philadelphia with personal happiness. On June 18, 1920, he married Louise Wynkoop Waygood, a local girl whom he had first dated the same week in 1911 that he joined Troop 1. Louise and Urner had three children, Theodore Wynkoop, born August 12, 1921, George Walter, born February 26, 1923, and Lydia Ann, born April 21, 1927.

Family life centered on Urner’s job, the children, and church involvement. Both Urner and Louise were talented musicians, thus the children learned to play instruments, so the family often entertained each other with music evenings. Sundays were devoted to church and family activities, including the learning of Psalms in the afternoon. The Goodmans were very ecumenical. The family moved several times while the children were growing up and, if there were no Presbyterian church in the neighborhood, they would worship at Methodist churches or Quaker meetings.

When Goodman took a job in Chicago in 1927, the winters proved too cold for George, and Louise and her mother would take Ted, George and Ann to Florida for the winter, where the children attended the Sunshine School in a thatched building on the beach.

The children were all involved in Scouts. Ted was a Boy Scout and Sea Scout, and became a member of the Order of the Arrow at Treasure Island. George was a Boy Scout. Ann was a Brownie and Girl Scout, with Louise as her leader. When Louise learned there was no Girl Scout program for African-American girls in their town, she organized one.

The family loved to take car trips and Urner bought large cars just for that purpose. A favorite outing when they lived in New Jersey while Urner was national director of program was to Schiff Scout Reservation, to visit “Uncle” Bill Hillcourt and his wife, Grace. One summer, the family traveled by train to the west, where they visited the newly acquired Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp (now Philmont).

Ted and George both served in World War II. George went overseas for the invasion of Europe, and was killed in action in 1944.

1, Founders, Goodman, OA, Profile, Scouting


Non-OA Camp Fraternities

At one time the Order of the Arrow, or more appropriately Wimachtendienk W.W., was only one of numerous fraternal camp societies established all across the country at local Scout camps . During the earliest years of Scouting other fraternal programs developed such as Firecrafters, Ku-Ni-eh and Tribe of Gimogash. Like Wimachtendienk, these programs often spread from council to council and camp to camp becoming multi-council programs. Gimogash started by one time Kansas City and longtime Toledo Scout Executive J. St. Clair Mendenhall actually began in 1914, one year before Wimachtendienk. Gimogash for years existed in more local councils than the Order. However, Gimogash’s rule against having a national organization impeded their growth.

These other fraternal programs have often been labeled Pre-OA societies. While it is true that many of these groups preceded OA in their councils, others co-existed with OA and often competed or created political divides.

In many cases a local council camp fraternity applied for the equivalent of a national charter for their local society by seeking charter from the OA. Groups like the Tribe of Gorgonio from Orange Empire Council, Santa Ana, California and Tribe of Yosemite, Yosemite Area Council, Modesto, California applied to become OA lodges. These societies provided the same significance to their brethren as Wimachtendienk held for its members. After receiving their WWW charter all of the members were immediately recognized as Arrowmen in a single ceremony without further ordeal. They became San Gorgonio Lodge and Yosemite Lodge in the Order.

Other groups existed at Scout camps that eventually succumbed to more popular programs. National Capital Area Council used Clan of the Mystic Oak (CMO) for decades before changing over to the OA. Many of these groups only changed to OA after the OA was fully integrated into the BSA in 1948 as the official Scout honor society. Likewise the Tribe of Papago at Camp Lawton in Tuscon, Arizona eventually became OA. They kept the name Tribe of Papago at camp, but instead of serving as the camp honor society it became a conservation group open to all campers.

Unfortunately, not all of these early fraternal societies were based upon the strong values of Scouting and the high ideals of the Order. While E. Urner Goodman always insisted on democratic principles and boasted that the Order’s first constitution was signed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, some societies utilized ignorant and hateful methods. Some societies used blackballing, a method whereby any single member could unilaterally block admission to membership of a potential nominee for any reason or no reason at all. This was to keep so called “undesirables” out, but in practice it was used to keep out people of color or the “wrong” religion. Local Scout honor societies practicing such abhorrent practices were by no means the majority of them, they were however the greatest cause of concern.

Some groups were so overtly racist that they stated it in their secret by-laws. One such group was the Pathfinders of the Golden Trail (PGT) which existed at one time in Jacksonville, Florida among other councils. The PGT ran by Jacksonville Council Scout Executive A. S. MacFarlane incorporated into their by-laws and secret rituals white supremacist principles as the basis of their society. This type of clandestine society was precisely the type of group that caused the Order to be threatened.

Some Scout professionals believed that the root of the evil was in the secrecy of the societies and that no secretive or fraternal groups should be allowed to exist in Scouting and in its camps. Many professionals of this opinion were part of the BSA Camp Commission that presented a dire report on camp fraternities at the 1922 Scout Executives Conference at the Blue Ridge Assembly near Asheville, North Carolina. The main thrust of Goodman and Edson’s plea at that meeting was that the BSA ought not cast aside what works and is in keeping with Scouting principles and is helpful to the council and the lives of young men for the purpose of stopping those other groups lacking in integrity. The motion was amended to discourage groups not based on Scout ideals. Part of the outcome was groups like Wimachtendienk, W.W., Ku-Ni-Eh and Tribe of Gimogash became experimental BSA societies.

Chief Scout Executive James E. West had to know that groups not in keeping with Scouting’s values existed, were deeply embedded and that merely stating policy that societies not adhering to Scout principles would be banned would be insufficient (the BSA did ship A.S. MacFarlane off as far as possible; he became the first Scout Executive of Philippines Council in Manila circa 1924). Instead West observed Goodman developing as a professional and he watched WWW grow on its own merits.

The final solution for the BSA was to embrace the Order of the Arrow in 1934 as an official Scout program and to make the OA the official BSA honor society in 1948. This process extinguished almost all other camp fraternities including any that employed inappropriate practices replacing them with the high ideals of the OA. Eventually all but a small handful of local groups (Tribe of Tahquitz, Mic-o-Say and Firecrafters) went extinct. One by one local honor societies joined Scouting’s national honor society or died out as their council embraced OA. One consequence was Scouting lost the local traditions unique to some of these special societies. All that remains of some of these groups are a few badges and pins.

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Arthur Schuck

Arthur A. Schuck was one of several early pioneers of the Order of the Arrow who went on to have a long and distinguished professional Scouting career. Schuck entered Scouting in Newark, New Jersey as a Scoutmaster in 1913 at the age of 18. He became a professional Scouter in 1917 and subsequently became the Scout Executive for Reading Council, Reading, Pennsylvania. While in Reading, Schuck became acquainted with the Wimachtendienk and determined it would be a good fit in his council and their Camp Indiandale.

E. Urner Goodman came to Reading to initiate Indiandale Lodge (Indiandale changed their name to Minsi Lodge the following year) as the fifth lodge on June 1, 1921. Schuck immediately assumed the role of Gegeyjumhet, the Supreme Chief of the Fire. Later that year Arthur Schuck attended the first meeting of the Grand Lodge and was elected the Order’s first Grand Lodge Treasurer. On July 28, 1922 Arthur Schuck traveled to Treasure Island and became the first official Third (Vigil) Degree member from outside of Unami Lodge. Schuck’s Vigil name was Wulapeju meaning “The Just”.

In 1922 Arthur Schuck and Minsi Lodge hosted the second Grand Lodge Meeting. Arthur Schuck defeated Carroll Edson in a tight election to become the second Grand Lodge Chieftain of Wimachtendienk. Later in 1922 Schuck was reassigned to the National Office in New York City. In 1931 he became Director of Operations working along side his old friend Goodman who was Director of Program. As Director of Operations, Schuck was in charge of the 1937 National Jamboree. In 1942 Schuck was one of three Arrowmen to receive the Distinguished Service Award.

In 1948 Schuck became the third Chief Scout Executive. Schuck served as Chief Scout with distinction through 1960 and received the Silver Buffalo Award from the BSA and the Bronze Wolf Award from the World Scout Committee. Schuck passed away in 1963 at the age of 67.

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Chief William Stumpp

William A. Stumpp was always called “Chief”. Chief Stumpp was a long serving Scout Executive in the Greater New York Councils for The Bronx. He also was Camp Director at Camp Ranachqua, a camp along Kanawaukee Lakes. From that position Chief Stumpp initiated many lodges into Wimachtendienk including founding the Order's fourth lodge, Ranachqua Lodge, in 1920 to serve his own council. Stumpp is credited with starting more lodges than any other Arrowman by spreading the word to the camps around Kanawaukee Lake. Among the lodges Stumpp is credited with starting are Cowaw, Wawonaissa, Pamrapaugh, Chappegat and Shu Shu Gah lodges.

In 1923 Stumpp was elected the third Grand Lodge Scribe. During his term in 1924 he created what is known today as the National Bulletin. On October 31, 1924 Stumpp became the 31st Third Degree (Vigil) honor member. Stumpp’s Vigil name meant “Singing One”. In 1926 Stumpp became the sixth Grand Lodge Chieftain of Wimachtendienk.

While speculation has often been that Stumpp was called “Chief” because he had been a Grand Lodge Chieftain, or long serving Scout Executive or Camp Director, but none of these was the reason. Chief Stumpp was called “Chief” because he was, and always will be, the longest serving lodge chief in the Order’s history. Stumpp became the first chief of Ranachqua Lodge in 1920 when the lodge was formed. That was the custom of the day that the Scout Executive as Supreme Chief of the Fire was often the chief of the lodge. However, long after Scout Executives gave up the position and let other, typically young men, serve as lodge chief, Stumpp continued holding that office. Stumpp finally stepped down as lodge chief of Ranachqua Lodge in 1949 after serving for 29 years. Stumpp was forced to step down after the OA became an official BSA program and adults could no longer serve as lodge officers.

Stumpp was acknowledged for his years of service in 1940 at the National Meeting when he was awarded one of the inaugural 11 Distinguished Service Awards. His certificate recognized Stumpp for his “wise discretion” and “forceful perseverance.”

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