Goodman and Brotherhood

E. Urner Goodman Leads Philadelphia Chapter of the Brotherhood of Andrew & Philip

It must be brotherhood in more than name; it must be real – a brotherhood of co-operation and of work.

While the above quotation could easily be one from Dr. Goodman himself, challenging the members of the Order of the Arrow on the last day of a NOAC to live up to the vision he held for us, it in fact belongs to an earlier brotherhood to which Dr. Goodman belonged to as a teenager – the Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip. (The quote is from a book published in 1894 titled “Christianity Practically Applied” published by the Baker & Taylor Company (page 46)).

Many of the ideas of Brotherhood, Indian Lore, Fraternity, Service to others and Cheerfulness, that would become the foundations for the future of the Order of the Arrow, can be found in the activities and ceremonies of this church-based brotherhood (named in honor of the first two apostles to bring converts into the early Christian Church).

In June 1907 when Urner Goodman was a 16 year old, the Tioga Church newsletter reported that,

Members of both the men's and boy's chapters . . . at the close of the services formed the Brotherhood Circle.

In the years before Scouting the Boys Brotherhood often went on hikes to their favorite spot, a place called “Indian Rock.” At one meeting “E. Urner Goodman was especially good with his violin. He was so much appreciated that he came near having to play two encores.”

The Brotherhood also organized summer camps that were two weeks long or longer, perhaps fostering the idea of the importance of long-term camping for causing the qualities of cheerful servant leadership, which Dr. Goodman later sought to recognize, to rise to the surface. In a 1908 article, the church newsletter reported that, “The 'Sioux Indians' of our Chapter, will encamp for a few weeks at Walnut Hill.”

Early ideas about a Vigil-like experience also appear to have been present. A December 1908 article mentions that, “Our Brotherhood held its first watch night service.”

By early 1909 an 18-year-old E. Urner Goodman was listed as one of the boys responsible for leading the meetings. That summer saw,

the organizing of all the boys in camp into a Greek Fraternity, with each tent group as a separate Chapter, and having its own boy representative to the Grand Council, whose business it was to plan the various forms of amusement.

Admission to the fraternity was done during a nighttime ceremony.

By September 1911, E. Urner Goodman was 20 years old and made the difficult choice to leave his position as an associate leader of the Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip to accept the commission to become the Scoutmaster of Troop 1, which was also based at Tioga Church.

In his farewell letter to the members of his former brotherhood, Dr. Goodman wrote, in words as relevant today as they were over 100 years ago:

My Dear Boys:

After two years of active service for my Master and the Boy, with your organization, I cannot pass lightly my departure from that work, which has been such a joy to me during those years . . . In leaving may I just cite a couple of things requisite to the welfare of your Brotherhood just now? . . .Lift some of the burdens from your leader . . . Be earnest, boys; be loyal and true; make that Brotherhood of yours a glorious one . . . My own prayer for you is that God's richest blessing, His Guidance, may be with you . . . In closing, will you think me selfish if I ask one thing? If you heed it, it will help me when I can't be with you in your work. Will you sometimes, at home or in your meetings, pray for him who was once your associate leader and whose heart is still full of love for you boys?

Affectionately your friend,

EDW. URNER GOODMAN