14th & Last "National Meeting" Held

14th National Meeting Held at Chanute Field, Illinois

After World War II, National Lodge could meet again. The original plan was to hold the 1946 meeting where the 1942 National Meeting had been scheduled. However, with all of the returning military the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill informed the National Lodge that they would not have the dorm space available. The OA was now too large to meet at a Scout camp and universities were filled with returning military. An alternate site was needed.

984 delegates from 114 lodges (both records) descended upon Chanute Field Army Air Corp in Illinois. The Arrowmen bunked in the more than ample barracks. Owasippe Lodge, Chicago took the traditional role of a host lodge handling registration and other activities. Even though Chicago was over 100 miles away, Owasippe was the only lodge with the Arrow-power to handle the responsibilities.

Surprisingly, there was insufficient time to hold the very successful classes and group sessions presented at the 1938 and 1940 National Lodge Meetings. The OA Distinguished Service Award was presented. The meeting was set on a tight schedule with the opening on a Tuesday at 2:00 PM and ending on Thursday at noon.

1946 was the last meeting with elections of adult leadership. Robert H. Heistand of Nentico Lodge, Baltimore, Maryland was elected National Chief. John C. Norsk from Allogagan Lodge, Springfield, Massachusetts was elected to a second term as National Secretary. J. Rucker Newbery was elected National Treasurer. The National Executive Committee was expanded. The two immediate past National Chiefs would be on the board. They were H. Lloyd Nelson and George Mozealous. Four other committeemen were elected, each from a different geographical section of the country. Elected to the committee were G. Kellock Hale, Jr., John M. Pfeil, Herbert L. Gaskin and Andrew R. Groenink. In addition the National Council had two representatives, Founder E. Urner Goodman and Director of Camping Wes Klusmann.

1946 would be the last “National Lodge Meeting” (verbiage on the 1948 patch notwithstanding). From humble Grand Lodge Meetings with fewer than 10 lodges and less than 20 delegates the OA had become an official BSA program. In 1948 the Order of the Arrow would be fully integrated into the BSA. What would come next would be a NOAC!