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NUWINGI - The willing

NUWINGI - The Willing


At the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference, guests were treated to a museum experience like never before. The Goodman Edson Observatory, or GEO, took Arrowmen on an interactive tour of the history of the OA. One special feature from GEO was a film produced specially for the event portraying the first Vigil Ceremony called NUWINGI -The Willing.


The short film sought to recreate the night that Dr. E. Urner Goodman kept his Vigil atop the Devil’s Tea Table, overlooking Treasure Island and the Delaware River. It gave GEO visitors a taste of what it was like back in 1915 when the vigil was held.


Executive producer and National OA Committee member Bill Topkis, along with producer and youth key volunteer Kyle Palmer and 32 other people, worked to complete shooting within 40 hours. Mindful of project costs, the production team wanted to work as efficiently as possible, so the crew worked 32 hours out of a 40-hour period to get all the shots needed to make NUWINGI a success. Topkis’s eldest son, Jake Topkis, was the creative talent and director for the film, bringing in some of his own production team from Los Angeles.


Thto shoot the fe filming took place at Great Salt Lake Council’s Camp Tracy and local District Camp Tooele Wigwam in Utah. All in all, more than 10,000 people came through the GEO and had the chance to see this video, which was the result of hard work by many.


Topkis is no stranger to filming short films for the Order of the Arrow. For NOAC 2012, he produced a short film recreating the first OA induction ceremony that took place in 1915 at Treasure Island; a film that has allowed Arrowmen to learn more about the organization of which they are a part. Topkis also produced “FDR – The Spirit of Service”, highlighting the 32nd President’s induction into the Order of the Arrow at Camp Man of Ten Mile River Scout Camp in New York.


The film is available below and online for anyone to watch on the OA’s official YouTube channel. Watch the film from the GEO and be prepared to travel back to 1916!



Summit Circle Ceremonial Grounds Dedication



On the evening of August 2, 2014, the national Order of the Arrow committee, key volunteers, and members of the OA national staff, attended the dedication ceremony of the Summit Circle, the OA’s new home at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.  Set on two acres of flatland authorized by the President of the Boy Scouts of America, the Summit Circle was designed to be a quiet place of reflection for Arrowmen and all Scouts.  It will serve as the national Order of the Arrow ceremonial grounds, and house the relocated Treasure Island ceremony ring, the one in which our Order was founded.

Nearly 100 participants attended the Summit Circle dedication ceremony. It was the highlight of a weekend’s worth of events dubbed The Advance!  Prior to the start of the ceremony, participants were led to the site where they were met by Arrowmen who then gave them a stone taken from the original ceremony grounds at Treasure Island. Participants were then asked to follow a serpentine path lit by 15 flames each highlighting a historical image from the Order’s rich past.  Upon arriving at the dedication site, participants were placed in semicircular rows facing the ceremonial fire. 

The Order’s 2014 national officers conducted the ceremony. The national chief and vice chief were in uniform and wearing the national bonnets. The four region chiefs wore ceremonial attire, with two wearing black robes and two dressed in American Indian regalia. The ceremony included an original test of Ordeal membership, as well as a symbolic construction of the fire ring at the site. The creation of the symbolic fire ring was accomplished when participants placed their stones around the triangular fire ring bearing the words, Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service.  The national officers then distributed candles and molded necklaces to the participants. The necklaces were in the shape of an arrowhead, each containing a piece of rock from Treasure Island Scout Reservation.  The necklace was designed to symbolize the OA’s transition to its new home at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. The ceremony concluded with the singing of the OA song 

The Summit Circle is a gift to Scouting by the Order of the Arrow in celebration of its 100th anniversary, and will ensure that the birthplace of the Order will be preserved for generations of future Arrowmen for its next century and beyond.









50th Anniversary Gettysburg Reunion

When was the Order of the Arrow founded?  Where?

Consider that the answers to those two questions might not be as simple as, “Friday, July 16th 1915” and “Treasure Island.”

As example, in the months and years before July 4th 1776, our founding fathers spent long hours, days, and years – thinking about the kind of nation we would become.  History documents how they began with an idea that evolved to become a full vision.

In the same way, as brothers of the Order of the Arrow, we’ve inherited the fruition of a vision that began some years before that July day on Treasure Island.  Our heritage begins with those events that influenced the life and beliefs of our founders.

Certainly one of those experiences overwhelmed 22 year-old E. Urner Goodman in a world tilting toward the unimaginable violence of the First World War – occurred during the week he spent, with about 500 Scouts and 50,000 veterans on the battlegrounds of Gettysburg, from July 1 - July 4, 1913.

Fifty years earlier brother had literally fought to kill his brother in terrible, bloody battle, on this very ground.  Yet in the summer of 1913, assisted by a service corps of very young Boy Scouts (none had been able to be Scouts for more than three years), these former warriors embraced in spontaneous, unexpected, heartfelt tearful brotherly reunion. 

They forgave each other; they served each other; they laughed and sang together, and in that moment, beginning within each of their hearts, they shone as bright examples to a nation still divided by the bitter division of Civil War. 

Dr. Goodman was at the great reunion serving as one of 14 Scoutmasters.  He lived with these men.  He served them.  And he described them in his own words: 

How can I ever forget that experience? . . .  Imagine . . . veterans gathered on that historic site for a week.  Imagine them shaking hands together . . . where fifty years before they had been blazing away at each other.


There was . . . a real genuine spirit of “peace and goodwill” hovering over the camp.   . . . Words prove feeble in amply describing this great affair.  To really catch the spirit . . . one had to be there.

 One military historian wrote:

Compared with the display of brotherly love, the other effects of the great encampment are robbed of much of their real significance.  . . . The enemies of four years’ bloody fighting wept like children . . .

 And another:

Lifetimes of resentment, grudges, and hate suddenly evaporated in laughter, kindness and brotherly love.  Fifty years of malice was swept away and replaced by understanding.

But perhaps Ken Burns said it best in the following quotation from his PBS documentary The Civil War. (Goodman and his Scouts including the Order’s original guide and guardian of the trail Harry Yoder were there.  Can you be with them?  Can you imagine the impact of experiencing this?)

The great reenactment of Pickett’s charge. . . .  Out of the woods came the Southerners, just as before - well, in some ways just as before.  They came out more slowly this time. . . .  We could see, not rifles and bayonets, but canes and crutches.  We soon could distinguish the more agile ones aiding those less able to maintain their places in the ranks.

Nearer they came, until finally they raised their frightening falsetto scream.  As the Rebel yell broke out after half a century of silence, a moan, a gigantic sigh, a gasp of unbelief, rose from the onlookers.  So “Pickett’s men” came on, getting close at last, throwing that defiant yell up at the stone wall and the clump of trees and the ghosts of the past.

It was then that the Yankees, unable to restrain themselves longer, burst from behind the stone wall, and flung themselves upon their former enemies.  The emotion of the moment was so contagious that there was scarcely a dry eye in the huge throng.  Now they fell upon each other - not in mortal combat, but reunited in brotherly love and affection.

 The Civil War was over.

And the idea of a brotherhood of young men, boys who might, like these aged veterans, one day be called to war, a brotherhood not bound to arms, but of cheerful service to others, one where young men need not wait 50 years to learn the lessons of war – lessons that ultimately inevitably lead as veterans age to forgiveness and brotherhood – was born, at least as an idea, a dream . . . a vision,  in the heart and mind of one 22 year old Scoutmaster, E. Urner Goodman.

1, Founders, Goodman, OA, Scouting

FDR inducted into OA

On August 23, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first and only President of the United States to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow.  The induction took place at Camp Man of Ten Mile River Scout Camp (TMR) and was conducted by Suanhacky Lodge of the Queens Borough of New York City, Greater New York Councils. Recently film was discovered documenting the event.

Roosevelt’s service and support to Scouting had begun long before he assumed the President’s customary role of BSA Honorary President.  In 1924 Roosevelt led the New York City Boy Scout Foundation and was its president.  The New York City Boy Scout Foundation was dedicated to securing a permanent campground that could accommodate the tens of thousands of Boy Scouts in the greater metropolitan New York and surrounding areas.  Ten Mile River Scout Camp was a direct result of Roosevelt’s efforts.  In 1930, in recognition of Roosevelt’s dedication to Scouting, the BSA awarded the then Governor of New York the Silver Buffalo Award at TMR.

There was great excitement that the President would be coming back to TMR to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow. National Commissioner Dan Beard wrote to Chief Scout Executive James E. West hopeful of a coveted invitation:


My dear Dr. West: 


What is the dedication over at Ten Mile River Camp?  I understand that the President of the United States will be there.  It might excite unfavorable comment if your National Commissioner is not invited to attend a function of such national character. 


Hastily yours, Dan Beard

National Commissioner


Following his induction, President Roosevelt gave a speech to the assembled Scouts and then toured TMR in his open air state car complete with Presidential Seal proudly wearing his new OA sash for all Scouts to see.


2015 NOAC - 100th Anniversary Conference

From August 3-8, Arrowmen from around the country gathered together to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Order of the Arrow at the 2015 NOAC. The largest NOAC event to date was held at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Over 15,000 Scouts and Scouters attended to experience a wide variety of events to celebrate the first century of the Order and kick off the second century of service.

The centennial NOAC introduced two defining features: the conference theme of “It Starts With Us” and the conference wide game, Spark. Guests were challenged to create tomorrow with action today, just like a ripple effect, during their 100 hours at the conference. Each guest received a Spark device and could share contact information others by touching the devices together, symbolizing a “High Four. ” Over 6,661,572 Spark interactions were documented.

The centennial NOAC encompassed several highlights. NOAC shows introduced the Centennial Fire, a keynote address by BSA President Dr. Robert Gates, and the #DareToDo service campaign. #DareToDo challenged Arrowmen to complete simple acts of service for the next 100 days while posting them on social media. The signature training session was entitled “The Secret to Ruling the World.”

The Hub, a central activity area, encompassed rock-climbing walls, ArrowTour, inflatable obstacle courses, Adventure Central, and the Centennial Festival. Another highlight, the Legacy Display Tent displayed hundreds of completed lodge legacy projects – history books, painted lids, and engraved rocks.

The 2015 Goodman-Edson Observatory (GEO) [NOAC museum] was the largest and most attended! The entrance featured NUWINGI - The Willing, a film inspired by E. Urner Goodman’s selection as the first Vigil Honor member. The GEO displayed a fascinating array of exhibits, artifacts, and paintings starting from the Order’s beginnings at Treasure Island and continuing to its next century at the Summit Circle.



100th Anniversary 2010 National Jamboree

The 2010 National Scout Jamboree was held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, from July 26 to August 4 with the theme “Celebrating the Adventure, Continuing the Journey”. There were 43,434 Scouts who participated in the Jamboree.

The 2010 National Scout Jamboree was a major success. With strong participation and incredible enthusiasm, the OA had great results from the four different programs areas.

The first area, the Mysterium Compass, served approximately 25,000 Scouts. More than just a show, over 300 staff members helped stage the five different acts of the “your life is like a compass” experience. The acts taught Scouts about teamwork, obstacles that may occur in life, to experience the results of being lazy, and an obstacle course to simulate the challenges of life, and a final act that brought everything together. Scout’s started their Mysterium Compass experience by entering a “Vault” that included a spectacular display of historical memorabilia and items provided by the Scouting Century Foundation. Adults could browse around the Vault while Scouts moved into the Mysterium Compass.

PACEsetters (Personal Accountability and Commitment to Excellence) was a new addition to the Jamboree, and a total of 960 Scouts completed the program. Scouts had to complete a study guide while visiting twelve fitness stations, four of which challenged Scouts physically. The reward for completion was a PACEsetters colored dog tag, a membership card, and their signature on the member board.

The OA Indian Village was also very popular, and many Scouts earned the Indian Lore merit badge. Different vignettes were available for Scouts to learn more about American Indian cultures. The OA Indian Village conducted two Pow Wows during the Jamboree, and Scouts were encouraged to bring their own regalia and participate.

The OA Service Corps provided support throughout the Jamboree. Composed of 161 Arrowmen from across the country, the team provided thousands of hours of service. Duties were varied as in the past and ranged from helping out at the pool to distributing 100,000 bottles of water at the arena shows, and then cheerfully picking up all of the litter afterwards.



ArrowCorps5 the 2008 program of emphasis conducted by the Order of the Arrow (OA) was a joint project between the OA and the United States Forest Service (USFS) to provide service at five U.S. Forest Service sites across the country. The five sites were selected based on USFS needs and the OA’s ability to provide the type of service requested at each site. ArrowCorps5 was open to both youth and adult participation and cost $250.00 per participant. The National OA Committee of the Order of the Arrow conducted fundraising and sought sponsorship to acquire program funds needed above those provided by participants.

Each service site was administered by Order of the Arrow leadership, and USFS personnel. Starting in 2003, both sides began planning for the conservation project, programmatic elements and the logistical support needed to host 1,000 Arrowmen per site. In the fall of 2007 promotional material was sent out to councils and lodges. The tagline for the event was “Five Sites, Five Weeks, Five Thousand Arrowmen.”

Throughout early 2008 the Order of the Arrow hired 42 Arrowmen to serve on the Instructor Corps. This group would oversee conservation projects and implement the program while onsite at each venue. A documentation crew was hired by the OA to work alongside the USFS in capturing what was promoted as “the largest service project conducted by the Boy Scouts since World War II.” Overall, through the efforts of the participants and staff, the OA provided 280,000 volunteer service hours worth $5.6 million to the Forest Service.

Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri – June 7 to 14, 2008 The summer-long series of service projects kicked off at the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. Some 575 participants, staff, and U.S. Forest Service personnel assembled at a specially created base camp in the Ozark Mountains. The proposed “Arrowman’s Glade” project consisted of cutting down more than 285,000 invasive Eastern Red Cedar trees within a 134-acre track. Participants completed the task ahead of schedule and as a result were able to provide restoration to the natural environment and help sustain the wildlife of the area.

Manti-La Sal National Forest, Utah – June 14 to 21, 2008 The Manti-La Sal National Forest site in Utah brought together 463 participants, staff, and 21 different government agencies. A base camp was erected at the Canyon View Junior High School in Huntington, Utah. During the week, Arrowmen removed invasive Tamarisk, a non-native shrub harmful to other vegetation and wildlife. In total approximately 13,000 acres or 33 square miles miles of channel area was cleared and sprayed. Special guests included the Lieutenant Governor of Utah, Gary R. Herbert and senior leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

George Washington & Jefferson National Forests, Virginia – June 21 to 28, 2008 Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest project site included 736 participants, staff, and U.S. Forest Service personnel. In total 8.3 miles of new multi-use trail appropriately named “ArrowCorps Loop” was constructed. Arrowmen also built and installed four information kiosks along with 86 trail signs. Additionally, some crews camped and worked at Lake Moomaw surveying and constructing seven camping platforms. Camp Goshen of the National Capital Area Council served as the primary base camp. Deputy Chief of the USFS, Gloria Manning spoke at the closing gathering.

Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California – July 12 to 19, 2008 Mt. Shasta Ski Park served as the primary base camp to the 600 participants, staff, and U.S. Forest Service personnel that arrived for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest ArrowCorps5 site. Lodge delegations included Arrowmen from the US, Japan and Taiwan. Project tasks included the removal of 22 tons of illegally dumped trash, constructing or reconstructing more than 75 miles of trail on the Pacific Crest Trail, Sisson-Callahan Trail, and McCloud Loop Trail system. Additionally, a fire lookout tower and four “comfort stations” along the Pacific Crest trial were refurbished.

President Bush presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award to National Chief Jake Wellman, Western Region Chief Mark Hendricks, and Youth Incident Commander Alex Braden during a visit to Redding, California on day five of the project. To conclude the week, the keynote address at the closing gathering was given by the Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Mark Ray.

Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming – July 26 to August 2, 2008 The final and largest project of the summer-long service event occurred at the Bridger Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. 1,034 participants, staff, and U.S. Forest Service personnel worked to construct more than 12 miles of multi-use trail within the Teton-Pass area. While headquarters for the “Arrow Trail” project in Teton Pass was at Jackson Hole High School, a remote camp was constructed at the base of the Teton Mountains to allow Arrowmen easier access in removing 10 miles of fencing and to construct off highway vehicle closure points and primitive campsites. Special guests included Chief of the USFS Gail Kimbell, David Freudenthal, the Governor of the State of Wyoming, and Chief Scout Executive, Bob Mazzuca. The White House awarded additional Presidential Volunteer Service Awards to all of the ArrowCorps5 site leadership at the closing gathering.

1, National Event, OA, Scouting

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Legacy of Servant Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award was created by the National Order of the Arrow Committee in 2002 to recognize the Order's second and third generation "Founders" - Scouters who have built an enduring legacy to Scouting and the Order of the Arrow through a lifetime of cheerful service to others.

The award is intended to recognize only those extraordinary Arrowmen who have deeply influenced and significantly contributed to the vision, direction, and growth of the Order of the Arrow, faithfully demonstrated a lifetime of servant leadership, and, through their daily example, illuminated and reinforced the significance of the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The prestige of the award requires the criteria be general in nature to allow members of the National Committee to exercise wisdom, flexibility, and discretion in the evaluation and selection of a worthy recipient. Although any past or present member of the Order of the Arrow may be nominated, a nominee must meet the following criteria:

  • Vigil Honor member
  • Distinguished Service Award recipient
  • Continued to render outstanding and dedicated service to the Order of the Arrow on a sectional, regional, or national level, since receiving the DSA
  • Member of the Order of the Arrow for a minimum of 25 years

Nominations are made using the Lifetime Achievement Award Nomination Form, and must be received in the national office prior to October 31st of the year prior to a National Order of the Arrow Conference ("NOAC"). Nominations will be submitted to members of the Recognition & Awards Subcommittee for evaluation and recommendation to the National Committee. A nominee must be approved by 75% of the members of National Committee to receive the award. The award will be presented only at NOAC.

Given the nature and prestige of the award, it is recommended that no more than one recipient be recognized at a NOAC. The award recipient will be notified prior to the award ceremony. The award may not be presented posthumously. In keeping with the nature of the award, the recognition is not to be a uniform piece, pin, ribbon, or other device, but will be a significant recognition suitable for display in the recipient's home or office.

Past Award Recipients

Thomas McBride
Anicus Lodge
Wilkinsburg, PA
Carl M. Marchetti, M.D.
Na Tsi Hi Lodge
Ocean Township, NJ
Dabney Kennedy
Colonneh Lodge
Houston, TX
Delbert W. "Del" Loder
T'Kope Kwiskwis
Seattle, WA
Edward A. Pease
Jaccos Towne
Terre Haute, IN
Bradley E. Haddock
Kansa Lodge
Wichita, KS


Brad Haddock

The Order of the Arrow has been blessed by a small handful of transformational leaders that have taken a visionary position and inspired other Arrowmen to follow. The first such leader was E. Urner Goodman. It was Goodman that had the foresight to create and guide the Order at its genesis and during the early formative years. Then it was H. Lloyd Nelson who was the catalyst for innovation as he guided the Order into full integration with the BSA. Brad Haddock, like Goodman and Nelson before him, has been this type of transformational leader.

Brad Haddock arrived on the national OA scene in 1974 and has been there ever since. Brad Haddock came to the Order from Hi-Cha-Ko-Lo Lodge, Wichita, Kansas. He was elected National Chief at the 1974 National Planning Meeting. Brad demonstrated exception leadership as National Chief. For many Chiefs, the NOAC had been their singular focus. Haddock created a new model. For NOACs he insisted and received the best from those under his leadership. Brad wrote editorials in the National Bulletin. He called for and led the campaign to end patch restrictions as damaging to program. Some of his editorials may have ruffled a few feathers, and threads, all in an effort to maximize the potential of the Order.

Another example of Haddock’s enduring impact from his service as a youth was his development and implementation of the National Leadership Seminars (NLS). Under Brad’s leadership 28 Area NLS courses were taught in 1976-77.

After Brad’s service as National Chief he continued to serve on lodge, section, regional and national levels. In 1981 Haddock was appointed to the National Order of the Arrow Committee where he has served for three decades.

Haddock’s most significant contributions came as Chairman of the National OA Committee. Haddock became Chair in 2000 following the resignation of Ed Pease and he led the National OA Committee for nine years through 2009. Haddock is the first and only Arrowman to be the head youth leader as National Chief and the lead national adult adviser as National OA Committee Chair.

The list of the OA’s accomplishments under Haddock is impressive and long. It demonstrates the effectiveness of Brad’s leadership skills as Arrowmen rose to meet the challenges of the expanding OA. These accomplishments include:

• Successfully completed two national OA strategic plans - and the first two years of the 2008-2012 Strategic Plan: Living the Legacy;

• Introduced and use of the National Lodge Advisers Training Seminar;

• Completed the third cycle of the Lodge Assistance Program;

• Played a significant part in the 2001 and 2005 National Jamborees with the OA Service Corps, Youth Staff Service Camp, The Outdoor Adventure Place, the American Indian Village, and two highly successful original productions - Scoutopia and Twelve Cubed - which were ranked as top events and highlights of each Jamboree;

• Revised and updated the look and user-friendliness of the National OA Web Site, including placing a stronger emphasis on service to and integration with the council, on-line resources, and event and high adventure promotion;

• Introduced the Conclave Training Initiative in 2002 and provided new CTI topics each year for use at section conclaves;

• Introduced improvements to the National Leadership Seminar in 2003;

• Contributed $300,000 on behalf of the OA's membership to the National BSA Museum to assist in the preservation and presentation of BSA and OA history;

• Held the first Indian Summer event in 2003;

• Updated the Lodge Leadership Development program and provided web-based access;

• Launched the JumpStart initiative on the OA website resulting in an increase in Brotherhood Honor membership;

• Conducted five National Order of the Arrow Conferences - the conference at Michigan State University in 2006 was the largest ever held with 8003 staff and participants from every council;

• Held the National Conservation and Leadership Summit in 2007 to prepare for ArrowCorps5, introduce the new strategic plan, and assist lodge leadership in developing a plan for implementation at home;

• Saw the number of Quality Lodges increase from 50.6% in 2000 to 61.1% in 2008;

• Provided leadership training to more than 7,500 youth and adult leaders through the National Leadership Seminars;

• Saw the Order’s high adventure programs continue to grow and serve as an outstanding example of service - more than 2,300 Arrowmen have participated in OA Trail Crew at Philmont Scout Ranch and completed 18 miles on six major trails since its humble beginnings in 1995; the OA Wilderness Voyage at the Northern Tier High Adventure Bases completed 11.7 miles of 41 portage trails through the efforts of 850 participants since 1999; and, since 2005, more than 350 participants in the OA Ocean Adventure at Florida Sea Base have provided 14,000 hours of service to the Keys; and

• Successfully completed ArrowCorps5 - an unprecedented service project focused on conservation, environmental sustainability, and wildlife habitat benefits - the largest and most ambitious service project undertaken by the Boy Scouts of America since World War II and the largest single volunteer service project ever received by the U.S. Forest Service in its rich 104 year history.

Brad Haddock’s stewardship has led the Order of the Arrow into the twenty-first century completing the Order’s transition from a simple camp honor fraternity into Scouting’s National Honor Society, all while encouraging the youth to ‘drive the bus’ and become leaders. The National Council awarded Haddock the Silver Buffalo Award in 2006, in recognition of his years of devotion, leadership and service.


OA Web Site Launches

Planning started for a National OA web site in March of 1997. During the 1997 National Jamboree the first web team staff was recruited. The National OA Committee approved a budget in September of 1997 and the first pages went online in November. The site was officially launched in the National Bulletin at the beginning of 1998. The web site immediately started archiving pdf’s of National Bulletins. The primary purpose for the new web site was to have an online way to interface with lodges, participants and staff members for the upcoming 1998 NOAC.

Once the Conference began, the web site became a way to communicate with NOAC attendees with online capabilities, something that was relatively rare in 1998, and also to provide a look at the conference for Arrowmen back home. During the 1998 NOAC the web site went “live” providing hundreds of pages and images from the NOAC.

The web site was a new tradition that was an immediate success. An image of the OA Web-Team working during the conference was posted on the website. Because most Arrowmen were using a dial-up connection in 1998 only small images of poor quality were used on the site, as the original images attests. As it was, it could take over a minute to download a page.

On August 5, 1998, at the conclusion of the NOAC, as part of the 1998 Strategic Plan of the OA to expand its presence on the Internet, the OA announced that the NOAC web site would convert to the Official OA Web Site. The initial colors were red and white. The site went through several minor changes and then in 2001 presented an updated look, with a “more calm” blue appearance.

In December 2013 the OA Web Site went through another complete overhaul presenting a contemporary updated interface for guests and a return to the traditional red and (off) white colors. would become the primary method of communication between national and its lodges and members. The OA was preparing for the 21st century and the digital age.


NOAC 1990 - 75th Anniversary

The 75th Anniversary Meeting was a highly anticipated National Order of the Arrow Conference. A record 6,907 Arrowmen met for the festivities at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. The previous mark of 5,200 had been set 19 years earlier in 1971 at the University of Illinois. This was the seventh NOAC to be held at Indiana University and the first in 21 years. One change was the NOAC host lodge had merged and now was Nicha Chuppecat Lodge.

A tradition that started in 1990 was the NOAC Museum. Ken Davis’s Brotherhood of Cheerful Service book and the 75th Anniversary had stimulated interest in the history of the OA. The museum had a very modest start, one “small obscure room”. It has since grown to become a major must-see feature of any NOAC.

Richard H. Leet, BSA National President gave the keynote address and was presented the Distinguished Service Award from National OA Committee Chairman Dr. Carl Marchetti.

The theme for the NOAC was “Seek the knowledge…Share the Spirit.” The 1990 NOAC probably had the largest gathering of past National Chiefs and National Vice Chiefs. There were at least 10 former National Chiefs and five former National Vice Chiefs present.  

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was presented to 37 Arrowmen.


Co-Founder Edson 1891-1986

Photo of EdsonOn October 25, 1986, the Order of the Arrow was saddened to learn of the passing of the Co-founder Carroll A. Edson at the age of 94. E. Urner Goodman had preceded Edson in death making Edson the lone connection to the origin of Wimachtendienk.

Edson had enjoyed a long life. He was born December 29, 1891. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1914 and a Masters Degree from Columbia University. Edson was hired in 1915 at the age of 23 by Philadelphia Council and co-founded the Order that summer at Treasure Island setting in motion a chain of events that would profoundly affect generations of Scouts. Edson’s professional Scouter career (1915-1931) included stops in Chicago as a Field Executive and Jersey City as Scout Executive.

Edson served his country as a Captain in the Army during World War I, continued to serve in the reserves and was called up to active duty in World War II rising to the rank of Colonel. From 1937 through his retirement in 1961 Edson served as the Social Security Administration manager for the Syracuse, New York office.

Carroll Edson was active in many charities and was active in his church.

Article about Edson's death