25th Anniversary of the OA

25th Anniversary of the Order of the Arrow

The twenty-fifth anniversary of any organization is a time for celebration and reflection. The celebration took place at the 25th Anniversary National Meeting held at Camp Twin Echo. The delegates wore silver colored neckerchiefs. The Distinguished Service Award recognizing those individuals most responsible for leadership and service in the Order was created. From such humble beginnings Wimachtendienk has become a growing nationwide Scout phenomenon.

At the end of the first summer of OA in 1915 there were 25 Arrowmen. 25 years later the Order was active in 164 councils with an active membership of 16,000 Arrowmen. Over 37,000 Scouts and Scouters had been inducted.

The most significant milestones were the formation of The Grand Lodge in 1921. That gave the Order a national structure. In 1922 the OA was recognized as an official BSA experiment. That allowed the Order to grow on its own merits. In 1934 the OA achieved recognition as an official BSA program. That allowed them to grow in the regions around the country and gave them the legitimacy needed to have a national structure.

What remained was full integration in to the National BSA; that would allow the Order to expand to nearly 100% of the councils in the nation. Professional Scouters still led the Order on the National level (with the notable exception of H. Lloyd Nelson). The National Executive Committee had not yet been transferred to volunteer Scouters with support from Scouting professionals. Likewise adult Scouts, both professional and volunteer led the lodges. That still needed to evolve to volunteer advisors working with youth leaders.