The Order went trekking beginning in 1985 as Scouting’s “honor camper society” took on the pinnacle of high adventure – Philmont Scout Ranch with the first of two OA Philmont Treks. Over a four day period as part of the National Planning Meeting held in Euless, Texas, in December 1984 the Section Chiefs selected five trek vice chiefs and laid the foundation for the first OA Trek to be held Aug. 11-20, 1985, with an anticipated 1,200 trekkers. Besides the selection of the Trek Vice-Chiefs, the theme was chosen – “Ponder That Which Is Our Purpose” and the patch was designed.
Some 1,182 Arrowmen took part in a series of four-day treks held in two sessions over a 10-day period of time. After a typical Philmont shakedown and orientation Arrowmen hit the trails. Along the trail OA staff members called “purpose developers” met the trekking Arrowmen and led informal discussions on selected subjects. Arrowmen also participated in an all-day rendezvous held at Cimarroncito, Miranda and twice at Beubien. Participants received both the special OA Trek arrowhead patch and the OA Philmont Trek patch during the closing campfires.