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Prism was a program that was developed for the summer of 2016 after the BSA requested that the Order of the Arrow find a way increase utilization of the Summit Bechtel Family Scout Reserve and participation at the new Summit Circle.


Prism was designed to be a four-day adventure and service program at the Summit. Prism included access to the entirety of the Scott Summit Center: BMX, mountain biking, skateboarding, archery, climbing, and more. Arrowmen also got to participate in a service project that allowed them to leave their mark on the Summit for future generations. The Prism program ended in a special rededication ceremony on the original grounds on which the Order was founded. The original Treasure Island Scout Reservation ceremony grounds were moved and recreated in their entirety at the Summit Circle. Famously known for being the birthplace of the OA, Treasure Island’s rich history is well remembered at the new grounds and features burden stones and relics from the original site.


Each Lodge was given eight spots to send Arrowmen to the Prism program as part of the inaugural year of the Summit Circle at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Each session of Prism was hosted by a region, and the program ended at the end of summer 2016.




New Brotherhood Ceremony

New Brotherhood Ceremony


In mid-2014, the Order of the Arrow released the newest revision to the Ceremony for the Brotherhood for official use effective January 1, 2015. The last revision was over fifty years ago in 1961.

During section conclaves throughout the country in 2013, the new text was introduced. In the largest effort of its kind, the National OA Committee sought feedback from Arrowmen around the nation regarding the proposed changes. Over 3,000 Brothers from 200 lodges in 45 sections viewed and provided feedback leading to over 3,700 responses.

In the old ceremony, brotherhood was focused on the level of membership, not as brotherhood itself. To many, the Brotherhood Obligation seemed unnecessary, the ceremonial tone administrative, the symbolism disconnected, and the principle character’s parts unequal.

The new ceremony addresses several of these shortcomings, while retaining familiar tokens and tests. It features a “legend within the Legend,” four balanced principle character parts, simplified administration of the Brotherhood seals, and a rich meaning for the two bars on the Brotherhood sash. This revision is written fully in verse where Brotherhood builds upon the lessons of the pre-Ordeal and Ordeal ceremonies.

Commended is Jay Dunbar for his leading role in the revision, as well as Tipisa Lodge, for serving as the demonstration lodge.











The Advance! - National Meeting to Reflect on the OA's First 100 Years



During the weekend of August 1-3, 2014, the national Order of the Arrow committee, key volunteers, and members of the OA national staff met at the University of Charleston – Beckley Campus, in Beckley, West Virginia for a powerful weekend dedicated to looking at both the past and future of the Order of the Arrow.  Dubbed “The Advance!,” the event afforded participants an opportunity to reflect on the OA’s first 100 years, followed by an increased focus on how the Order might continue to grow in relevance and impact during its next century.  

No formal decisions were made regarding programs in the OA’s immediate future. Instead, the group looked inward and held discussions related to all aspects of the Order of the Arrow.  These topics included communications, outdoor stewardship, Cub Scout support and strategies regarding membership and retention.  During the three-day event, participants were challenged to not only explore the Order of the Arrow’s mission and purpose, but to share their personal experiences and ideas with one another.  Key programs and initiatives of the OA’s centennial anniversary were introduced, including the launch of the Arrowman Service Award.

The highlight of the weekend was a dedication ceremony at the Summit Circle, the OA’s new home at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.  The ceremony, conducted by the 2014 national officers, included an original test of Ordeal membership as well as a symbolic construction of the fire ring in the site.  The ceremony concluded with the national officers distributing candles and molded necklaces in the shape of an arrowhead 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.  At the end of The Advance!, National Chairman Ray Capp presented the first 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference promotional patches to


1944 Tap-Out Ceremony

Precious little archival film footage of OA ceremonies exists.  Finding a vintage ceremony in color is exceptional.  This film, provided by CrescentBayCouncil.Org, may be the oldest color footage of an OA ceremony.  It was filmed in 1944 in the great lodge at Camp Josepho, in the Santa Monica Mountains.   At the time Camp Josepho was a part of Crescent Bay Area Council and the seat of Tamet Lodge. 

No doubt the proximity of the nation’s film industry to the camp played a role in the production values of the film.  At the time the use of face paint and physical contact with candidates was the norm.  Since then, increased sensitivity regarding the use of face paint has banned the usage in all OA ceremonies.  The “tap-out” was replaced with “call-outs” because of abuse giving the three taps as amply demonstrated in this film (one tap, and then two, to represent the 12 points of the Scout Law and the three parts of the Scout Oath).

2, Ceremonies, OA

Fifth Lifetime Achievement Award

Edward A. Pease received the Order’s Fifth Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 NOAC at Michigan State University.  During the presentation Ed unveiled the painting commissioned for the Order’s centennial, Visions of the Founder by Joseph Csatari.
Ed Pease spoke during the presentation and said that,
in linear terms, there is a line that began with Dr. Goodman running through the years to the present day.  Each of us finds himself somewhere on that continuum.
Ed began his service in the Order as a youth serving as an area chief (section chief today) in the late 1960s.  Ed served as a Deputy Conference Vice Chief (equivalent to today’s Conference Vice Chief positions) in 1969 and then had the honor to serve as escort to Dr E. Urner Goodman and Col. Carroll A. Edson at the 1971 and 1973 NOACs.
As an adult, Ed has served on the National OA Committee since 1984, serving as its chairman from 1993-2000.  In addition Ed served two terms in the US House of Representatives from 1997-2001.

2, OA

Change in Lodge Number Usage

Lodge numbers were issued from 1926 until 2004. While it was a long tradition of the Order to use lodge numbers, they eventually became outdated and problematic. For all other purposes the national office was using council numbers. Lodge numbers were confusing and a relic of the past. Furthermore, the numbers had lost a great deal of their meaning by 2004. While the original numbers were given out in the order the lodges received their charters that practice had changed. The change was the result of councils and their lodges merging. In early years when two or more lodges merged together they would typically retain the lowest number. That way the number represented the order in which the OA had first come to the council.

But sometimes disagreement occurred within the new lodge over which number to use. Starting in 1972, new lodges formed because of a merger were given three choices on selection of their number. They could use one of the numbers of the merging lodges or they could use the next number not already in use or they could request the re-issuance of a number that was no longer in use. The first such example of reusing a number was the re-issuance of the number eight to Mascoutens Lodge of Racine, Wisconsin.

By 1990 a new option for lodge numbers was used, the lodge could use their council number if it was available.

With the diminished meaning and usefulness of numbers it was decided in 2004 to no longer issue lodge numbers. All records are now kept by the national office using the council number and lodge numbers are not used. It should be noted that the council number did not replace the lodge number and the local lodge may still use lodge numbers, but they have no official national usage and lodge numbers are merely historical artifacts of the early days of the Order of the Arrow.


Del Loder

Del Loder’s Scouting career and OA history are lengthy and distinguished. In 2009 Del received the prestigious Order of the Arrow Lifetime Achievement Award. Del Loder has experienced a lifetime of wisdom and knowledge and he has spent his service in the Order imparting it to his fellow Arrowmen.

Del was introduced to Scouting at the age of seven when his father took him to a “Scout Circus” in Seattle, Washington. Years later while Del was a young assistant Scoutmaster, he made a list of Scout leaders that he wanted to meet. On that list was E. Urner Goodman, the founder of the Order of the Arrow. Surprisingly, the OA was not a topic on Del's agenda should he have the opportunity to talk to Dr. Goodman. Del wanted to speak with Dr. Goodman to learn how he went about organizing the first National Jamboree in the United States.

In May 1948, Del Loder met E. Urner Goodman. After the nineteen year-old Loder received the answers he sought, Goodman asked him a life-changing question. Goodman inquired about Loder's knowledge regarding the Order of the Arrow. Goodman walked Del through the Ordeal and Brotherhood process including Goodman’s own Vigil on the Devil's Tea Table. Loder would later say, “That was my beginning".

Del was elected into the Order in 1954. As a Scoutmaster at the time, Del made sure that his Scout Troop was registered for the first week of camp when the OA was to be chartered in his council. The first elected member of the OA in his council came from his unit that summer at camp, and Del was inducted on July 3, 1954. Del started as Adviser to the Historian in the new lodge and underwent the Brotherhood ceremony in 1955. He later became the Adviser of the Brotherhood Committee.

In 1956, his Lodge's Adviser, Ford Smith, was appointed to the National OA Committee, thus creating a void that needed filling. Loder's Scout Executive asked him to take over, but he turned it down. Del's commitment was to his Scout Troop, and he made it clear to his scout executive that he wished to continue service to his troop. In July 1958, Del was recognized with the Vigil Honor.

Although Del was not in the Order as a youth (Seattle had the Order of the Silver Marmot, a local camp honor society supplanted by the OA in 1954), he worked very closely with the ceremonies team as an adult. At that time, the Order of the Arrow was still more adult run in parts of the country than today giving Del a chance to experience being Meteu, the storyteller in the ceremonies.

Nearly ten years and multiple requests to be lodge adviser later, Del took over the role of Lodge Adviser in 1965, which he served for ten years. Meanwhile, Del attended the Golden Anniversary National Conference in Bloomington, Indiana where he realized that, though his lodge was in great shape, there were some problems. He instituted an effective training program for his youth lodge leaders and ensured that all his leaders knew the "ins and outs" of the OA. Del later served as Associate Section Adviser and then Section Adviser.

In August of 1974 Del was appointed to serve the National Council on the National OA Committee by the BSA President. Del was surprised that he was appointed (a testament to his character). At his first meeting, Del was asked to become the Chairman of the Ceremonies committee for the OA. Del, always having been interested in OA ceremonies, was thrilled to take on that position. He also knew that would give him the chance to work with Goodman. As a member of the National OA Committee, Del inherited what he deemed to be "a group of dedicated thinkers for ceremonies" (the Ceremonial Advisory Group or CAG).

Del's committee solved a great many of the problems in ceremonies that existed at that time. In 1975, Del was recognized for his unselfish service to the Order with the Distinguished Service Award. Meanwhile, Del served as the Western Region Area One Adviser concurrently with the National OA Committee. Del left the Ceremonies Committee in 1981 to become the Western Region Chairman. He "loved the position and the people with whom he worked," said Loder. "I traveled everywhere, and loved every minute."

Leadership and training has always been a passion for Del. In 1975, Del was concerned that there was no existing national OA Training program for lodge officers and advisers so he convinced the National OA Committee to re-institute the National Training Course and to create a new and improved training program (Brad Haddock spearheaded the effort as National Chief, while he was chief). In 1979, the program was fully functioning; the National and Region Chiefs would meet with Del to review the draft and plan. Del would ensure that the plan was enforced. This program developed into the National Leadership Seminar, and later the Lodge Leadership Development program. Del’s service continued when he assisted in the reformation of NLS and the creation of NLATS.

Del was appointed to the Founder's Council by then National Chairman Dr. Carl Marchetti. He served on the Council for two years, after which he was appointed National Vice Chairman of Lodge operations in 1993. This was also the first time he served the OA at a National Scout Jamboree. Del returned to the Founder's Council as Chair of the Goodman Society one year later.

In addition to his extensive list of accomplishments, Del has worked with OA Shows at seven National Jamborees, and worked on the OA training program where he trained in three of the four regions in the NLATS program. Del has attended every National Conference since 1959, attending a total of more than 28 national events. Throughout the past 65 years Del Loder has been involved in Scouting, his favorite memory is still the first time he stood in front of his Scoutmaster and held up the Scout sign proudly to recite the Scout Oath and Law.

Of the great many highlights in his Scouting career and in particular the Order of the Arrow, Del was given the opportunity to work with Goodman on the Ceremonies Committee during the last ten years of Goodman's life. Del sees the ceremonies as the most important part of the OA because they explain everything about the Order. His favorite part is in the Ordeal ceremony when Allowat Sakima says, "you are now entitled to all rights and privileges of the Order of the Arrow."

Del's advice to young Arrowmen today is,

Know the ceremonies; they are the core of the Order.


100th BSA Anniversary

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) celebrated its 100th anniversary on February 8, 2010. Since 1937, the BSA has held 18 National Scout Jamborees and has been host to a World Scout Jamboree. Prior to the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, the BSA held a 100th Anniversary Parade on the national parade route in Washington DC Over 7,000 Scouts participated in the event. Following the parade, the BSA held the last National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. At the Jamboree, it was announced that all future Jamborees would be held at the Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve.



SummitCorps, “The New River Experience” was an OA service adventure in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service.  Modeled after ArrowCorps5, 1,404 Arrowmen served during four one-week sessions throughout July 2011.  Together, they built 12.8 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails in the New River Gorge National River National Park located in West Virginia. The New River Gorge is located adjacent to the new Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, the new permanent home for BSA National Scout Jamborees. The new trail was aptly named “Arrowhead Trail”.


SummitCorps was the largest youth volunteer project in the history of the National Park Service (78,544 hours of service valued at more than $1.6 Million). The West Virginia National Guards’ Glen Jean Armory served as the Incident Command Center. In addition to trail building, $25,200 worth of non-perishable food was donated to local food pantries and $15,409.50 raised through patch auctions was donated to local charities, helping to build a climate of trust, gratitude, and bonds of friendship with the people of West Virginia.


Following the event, Chief Scout Executive Robert J. Mazzuca remarked,

Through your cheerful service and leadership at the 2011 SummitCorps event, you have once again shown yourself to be worthy of the confidence placed in you by those who believed in you at the time of your induction.

But you have done even more than that. By your commitment, your labor, your dedication, and servant leadership, you have brought honor to the Boy Scouts of America, the Order of the Arrow, and yourself.



Indian Summer 2011

The second Indian Summer was held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center, near Asheville, North Carolina August 1–6, 2011. Like the 2003 Indian Summer, the program was designed to help strengthen Arrowmen’s understanding of American Indian culture and the relationship it has to OA ceremonies.

922 Arrowmen (685 “guests” and 237 staff) from lodges representing every region of the country and abroad were divided into four nations (Northern Woodlands, Southern Woodlands, Plains, and Plateau). Each nation had their own specific tribes which met together nightly. Tribes were further subdivided into Clans of same-age members that reflected upon the concept of servant-leadership. Clans also gave guests the opportunity to network and gain knowledge from a diverse group of Arrowmen.  

Three program tracks were offered at Indian Summer: American Indian Culture, OA Inductions and Ceremonies, and an Independent Study program. American Indian Activities (AIA) offered training opportunities including learning to dance, making outfits and crafts, singing, and American Indian culture. Inductions and Ceremonial Events (ICE) provided Arrowmen opportunities to learn about the OA Inductions process and ceremonies. Workshops included acting and technique sessions for ceremonialists taught by theater professionals. Individuals, as well as lodge teams received one-on-one coaching and received a DVD of their performance and evaluation to take back home.

The Activities and Recreation Committee (ARC) presented keynote addresses by National Chief Jonathan Hillis and National Vice Chief Dan Dick, and a visit by National OA Committee Chairman Ray Capp. ARC sponsored Powwows; numerous conservation projects such as the 1.4-mile ‘Rhododendron Trail Restoration’; promotion of the National OA Committee’s ‘Get the Kids to Camp’ partnership; and recreation and fellowship. Guests also could earn the ‘Indian Summer Participation Award’ (pin) by attending eleven classes. $2,500 in donations was raised for the Maury Clancy Indian Campership Fund.


NOAC 2012

The 2012 “United, We Leave A Legacy NOAC was held at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.  More than 7,200 made the July 30 – August 4 event the second largest NOAC to date.

There were numerous highlights at the 2012 NOAC.  To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Eagle Scout, the 2012 NOAC featured “NESA@NOAC”.  It was the first time that NESA, the National Eagle Scout Association, collaborated with the Order on a national event.

The conference also witnessed the unveiling of official BSA artist Joseph Csatari’s painting to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Order.  The Painting was unveiled at the Awards show where past National OA Committee Chairman Ed Pease received the Order’s fifth Lifetime Achievement Award.  The painting’s title is Visions of the Founder and after being shown at the arena show was placed on public display in the NOAC Museum. 

The 2012 NOAC Museum was the largest and most attended ever.  The Museum’s entrance featured The Original Induction Experience, a film designed to transport Arrowmen back to July 16, 1915 and the beginning of the Order at Treasure Island.  The 2012 NOAC Museum drew heavily upon the research organized for this OA History Timeline.

The conference also featured Muzee, an interactive NOAC-wide game utilizing Arrowmen’s smartphones and targets around campus.

2, National Event, OA, Scouting

Dabney Kennedy

Dabney Kennedy epitomizes the lifetime Scout and lifetime Arrowman. His life has been devoted to leading and serving the Order. Otena Lodge of Comanche Trail Council, Brownswood Texas, inducted Kennedy into the Order in 1950. He served as a youth officer in Otena, first as Lodge Secretary and then two terms as Lodge Chief. He then at age 18 became “Junior Lodge Advisor”. In 1952, a time when the Brotherhood Honor was treated by many lodges improperly as an award, Kennedy became the first Brotherhood Honor member in his lodge. In 1954 Kennedy became Otena Lodge’s first Vigil Honor member. The Vigil name selected for Dabney is a Sioux name Akikta, “One who works with determination”.

As an adult Dabney Kennedy served 20 years as Lodge Adviser, 22 years as Section Adviser and more than 40 years as part of the National OA Committee or its Founder’s Advisory Council. Kennedy is credited with creating and designing the Founder’s Award. He has participated in more the 35 national events including serving as Program Chairman for more than ten NOACs. It was Kennedy that recognized the need for one-year national officer terms and the benefits of national OA events every summer. Dabney received the OA Distinguished Service Award in 1969 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.