Skip to main content
We've detected that you're using an unsupported browser. You may experience issues using the OA website. Please visit our supported browsers page for more information.


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

2011 National Planning Meeting

The section chiefs from across the nation convened for the annual National Planning Meeting in Dallas, Texas (Westlake).  John Rehm of Woapeu Sisilia Lodge, Williamsport, Pennsylvania was elected national chief and Preston Marquis from Blue Heron Lodge, Norfolk, Virginia was elected national vice chief.  The region chiefs elected were Marty Opthoff - Central Region, David Joyner  - Southern Region, Eric Bush – Northeast Region, and Joe Barton – Western Region.

The primary activity of the meeting was planning the 2012 “United We Leave a Legacy” NOAC at Michigan State University.  The highlight of the event was at the final dinner of the weekend Dr. Carl Marchetti was recognized for his unprecedented service to the National OA Committee.  Dr Marchetti joined the national committee in 1962.  He is the first person to serve a half-century on any of Scouting’s national committees.  A special sash was presented to Dr. Marchetti along with a scrapbook to commemorate the occasion.

3, Elections, OA, Scouting

Ninth National OA Committee Chair

On September 1, 2009 former Vice Chairman of the National OA Committee Ray Capp became the Order’s ninth National OA Committee Chairman. Capp succeeded Brad Haddock who had served the Order for eight and a half years as the committee chair. Ray Capp was appointed to the National OA Committee in 2000.

Among initial actions by Capp was the restructuring of national sub-committees. The Unit, Chapter and Lodge Support Sub-Committee became the subcommittee of emphasis for Capp. Capp appointed National OA Committee Vice Chairman Randy Kline to lead this important committee. Capp said,

Helping our units, chapters and lodges to be successful, by giving them tools to do their jobs more easily, is the key to understanding my philosophy about the OA.

Ray Capp also created the new History, Preservation and 100th Anniversary Sub-Committee led by National OA Committee Vice Chairman Tony Steinhardt. This committee is charged with, among other things, preparing the Order for its centennial. This OA History Timeline is a direct result of this new sub-committee.

3, OA, Scouting

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

2008 National Planning Meeting

The 2008 annual end of the year National Planning Meeting was held in Dallas, Texas with the program of emphasis for the year being the "Power of One" and the 2009 NOAC.

Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive gave the keynote speech for the meeting. Jack O’Neill from Shawnee Lodge, St Louis, Missouri was elected National Chief. Dan Higham of Otahnagon Lodge, Vestal, New York was elected National Vice Chief. Region Chiefs elected were: Michael Beckman – Central Region, Ryan Hay – Northeast Region, Mark Norris – Southern Region and David Harrell – Western Region.

3, Elections, OA, Scouting

OA Canadian Odyssey

Since its creation in 1999, the OA Wilderness Voyage (OAWV) program at Northern Tier High Adventure Base has provided life-changing opportunities for over 900 Arrowmen, who spend one week repairing portage trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in northern Minnesota (which covers 2 million acres of land and water), and a second week canoeing through the Boundary Waters.

These trail improvements will last for many years to come and provide safe travels for the millions of visitors that travel to the Boundary Waters each year. To date the OAWV program has given over 1 million dollars worth of service to the Boundary Waters. Located just across the border in Canada, the Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario covers 1 million acres (with over 600 lakes) and receives over 250,000 visitors each year. However, even with that amount of traffic, the Quetico has hardly had any conservation work in the past 100 years.

The OAWV program has worked on Canadian portages in the past. In August 2004, OAWV Foremen volunteered for 10 days repairing the Nym to Batchewaung portage. In 2007, the program worked on its first international portage, Big Knife. (Some portages are located on one side of the U.S-Canadian border, but are used by both countries.) In 2008, the OAWV director staff proposed a Canadian branch to voyage.

Northern Tier, the National OA Committee, and the Ontario Ministry of National Resources approved this. With the Canadian program, Arrowmen paddle back to the United States from Canada during the second week of the Voyage. The OA Canadian Odyssey started in 2009. So far the program has completed work on one Canadian portage, and is working on a second.

3, OA, Scouting

NOAC 2009

Approximately 7,200 Arrowmen converged on Bloomington, Indiana as the OA returned to Indiana University for a record tenth time. This NOAC was the first to develop a social network web site where delegates and staff could share fellowship online prior to the big event.

The “Power of One” NOAC had a record 3,700 first-time NOAC attendees. The Conference theme was presented throughout the event. It was stressed everywhere including in training, the first ever NOAC film festival and the arena shows.

A highlight of the NOAC, along with the Distinguished Service Award presentation, was longtime National OA Committee member Del Loder receiving the fourth Lifetime Achievement Award. Many Arrowmen had the chance to meet Del and share stories with him at the NOAC Center for History.

3, National Event, OA, Scouting

2009 DSA Recipients

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is presented to those Arrowmen who have rendered distinguished and outstanding service to the Order on a sectional, regional, or national basis. The following were presented the DSA at the 2009 National Order of the Arrow Conference - Kevin Lloyd Anderson, Kyle Wayne Becker, Michael D. Bliss, Forrest I. Bolles, Alexander F. Braden, Russell A. Bresnahan, Wayne Brock, Toby D. Capps, Evan P. Chaffee, Jay H. Corpening II, Dustin James Counts, Darrell Woodley Donahue, S. Tyler Elliott, Thomas H. Fitzgibbon, James A. Flatt, Jonathan Eric Fuller, T. Alex Gomez, John H. Green, Kenneth James Hager, Adam D. Heaps, Mark Patrick Hendricks, Douglas G. Hirdler, Burl E. Holland, Don G. Hough, Michael Stephen Kirby, Andrew J. Kuhlmann, Thomas Y. Lambert, Geoffrey S. Landau, Andrew P. Martin, Robert Lewis Mason, Bruce F. Mayfield, Robert J. Mazzuca, Sean M. Murray, Larry M. Newton, David J. Nguyen, James W. Palmer Jr., Ian M. Romaine, Patrick W. Rooney, David E. Schaub, W. Christopher Schildknecht, Benjamin L. Stilwill, Francis William Sturges Jr., W. Keith Swedenburg, John Mason Thomas, Kieran J. Thompson, Kaylene D. Trick, Charles Edward Tudor, Jacob Paul Wellman and Chad Eric Wolver.

3, Awards, OA, Scouting

Kaylene Trick

Kaylene (Kay) Trick is a Vigil Honor member of Susquehanna Council and Woapeu Sisilija Lodge from New Berlin, Pennsylvania. She is the first woman Arrowman to serve on the National OA Committee and the first woman to receive the OA Distinguished Service Award (DSA).

Kay has been an active member of Scouting for over two decades serving in various leadership positions in the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturing programs. Kay has served her council as Vice President of Program while assisting local units in her community.

She has served on staff at national Scouting events, including multiple National OA Conferences, the 1999 OA National Leadership Summit, Indian Summer, multiple National Scout Jamborees, and on staff for World Jamborees in Thailand and in England. Kay was the Trading Post Inventory Manager during the 2000 National OA Conference, Assistant Operation Manager 2004, Conference and Endowment Coordinator during the 2006 Conference, ArrowCorps5 in 2008 and Endowment Lead in 2009. She has also trekked and staffed at Philmont Scout Ranch and is active with Wood Badge.

Kay has earned numerous Scouting awards besides the DSA. She has received the Distinguished Commissioner Award, the District Award of Merit, The Silver Beaver Award, the Silver Antelope Award, the Lutheran Lamb Award and the International Scouter’s Award.

3, OA, Profile, Scouting

2006 National Planning Meeting

The top priority of the 2006 National Planning Meeting was preparing for the National OA Conservation and Leadership Summit at Indiana University. Evan Chafee of Wiatava Lodge, San Juan Capistrano was elected National Chief and Larry Newton from Alibamu Lodge, Montgomery, Alabama National Vice Chief. Region Chiefs elected were: Don Hough – Central Region, Chad Wolver – Western Region, Kenneth Hager – Northeast Region and Alex Gomez – Southern Region.

3, Elections, OA, Scouting

National Conservation and Leadership Summit (NCLS)

In the summer of 2007 from July 28th through August 1, the National OA Committee hosted lodge leaders in Bloomington, Indiana at Indiana University for a summit with a twofold purpose:

to prepare staff members for the upcoming ArrowCorps5 project set for the following summer, and to release the Order’s 2008-2012 strategic plan. With a theme of “Building the Path to Servant Leadership”, participants engaged in training programs focused on strengthening lodge operations or fine tuning their conservation management skills. Over 1,200 Arrowmen attended, providing feedback and suggestions on how to implement the strategic plan and how to deliver a successful ArrowCorps5. The Chief Scout Executive delivered a keynote speech at the closing ceremonies of the summit.

3, National Event, OA, Scouting

2007 National Planning Meeting

The 2007 National Planning Meeting was among the most anticipated in years. Besides the national officer elections, this group was tasked with planning Arrowcorp5 and selecting the youth Incident Commander for each project. Jake Wellman from Yah-Tah-Hey-Si-Kess Lodge, Albuquerque, New Mexico was elected National Chief. Ben Stilwell of Gabe-Shi-Win-Gi-Ji-Kens Lodge, Okemos, Michigan was elected National Vice Chief. Region Chiefs elected were: Tyler Elliot – Central Region, Mason Thomas – Southern Region, Patrick Rooney – Northeast Region and Mark Hendricks – Western Region.

3, Elections, OA, Scouting