E. Urner Goodman Camping Award Orients for the Next Century

By Matthew Watson

Ever since its inception in 1969 as a tribute to Dr. Goodman, the E. Urner Goodman Camping Award has recognized lodges who have given efficient and innovative promotion of Scout camping within their councils. Despite the award’s long-lasting legacy, the requirements to receive the unique recognition have changed little since its first year. As the Order celebrated its first century of service, the National Order of the Arrow Committee questioned if the award was still relevant within the boundaries of the current requirements. Recognizing a significant drop in petition submittal by lodges as well as that the award had not been updated within the last decade, it was time for review.

Bill Loeble was appointed to lead the task force to revise the award. Along with Mr. Loeble, participating were Ken Davis (Northeast Region), Matt Walker (Southern Region), Dan Segersin (Central Region) and Steve Gaines (Western Region). Another member, Charlie Harbin, served as a resource authority and has worked with the E. Urner Goodman Camping Award for over 25 years. After discussing the previous requirements and observing the current trends of Scouting, the task force reached a revision consensus which was subsequently approved by the national committee.

In the updated award requirements, several new and unprecedented changes have been implemented to orient the award for this new century. Overall, they place increased emphasis on quality as well as material and manpower support the lodge contributes to the council camping program. These revisions include:

  1. JTE status is no longer a requirement.
  2. Chapter and lodge promotional activity is heavily emphasized.
  3. The award is neutral on the size of the lodge.
  4. A Where To Go Camping publication is no longer emphasized to the previous extent.
  5. Improvement with camp promotional and project support endeavors is stressed.
  6. It addresses not only the summer camp experience, but year-round Boy Scout, Cub Scout and Venturing camping as well.
  7. The cumbersome analysis of council long-term camping statistics and ratios has been removed.

With this historic transition, an award which has stood as a testament to Dr. Goodman for several decades is now prepared to enter the next century of the Order. Each region grants two awards yearly. This year, become a part of the E. Urner Goodman Camping Award’s legacy and apply! The petition can be found here.

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