First National Planning Meeting

First National Conference Planning Committee Meeting

On December 29 – 30, 1949 the National OA Committee met with a conference of Area Conference Chiefs (the predecessor name for Area Chiefs and then later Section Chiefs, that were elected to a full year term) for the first National Planning Meeting. In the early years of National Planning Meeting only about half of all Area Conference Chiefs were invited. The tradition of holding a National Planning Meeting between the end of the year holidays has since been repeated more than 40 times, becoming annual in 1987. The inclusion of youth Area Conference Chiefs was new and in keeping with the new direction the OA was taking since the 1948 merger of the BSA and OA. This meeting was held at Alpine Scout Camp, Alpine, New Jersey. Future meetings would be held at the location of the next NOAC so that facilities could be reviewed or be held at or near the national BSA headquarters.

This meeting marked the beginning of youth involvement in planning NOAC’s. Youth then meaning under age 21 at the time of their election. The Area Conference Chiefs also held the first election for national youth leadership. This too would become the standard model for national officer elections (with the exception of the 1952 Conference Chief). Elected, to be 1950 National Conference Chief was future National Secretary to the OA J. Richard Wilson, known as Dick Wilson of Chimalus Lodge, Washington, Pennsylvania. Today we consider a National Conference Chief to be the equivalent of the OA National Chief.