On August 23, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first and only President of the United States to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow. The induction took place at Camp Man of Ten Mile River Scout Camp (TMR) and was conducted by Suanhacky Lodge of the Queens Borough of New York City, Greater New York Councils. Recently film was discovered documenting the event.
Roosevelt’s service and support to Scouting had begun long before he assumed the President’s customary role of BSA Honorary President. In 1924 Roosevelt led the New York City Boy Scout Foundation and was its president. The New York City Boy Scout Foundation was dedicated to securing a permanent campground that could accommodate the tens of thousands of Boy Scouts in the greater metropolitan New York and surrounding areas. Ten Mile River Scout Camp was a direct result of Roosevelt’s efforts. In 1930, in recognition of Roosevelt’s dedication to Scouting, the BSA awarded the then Governor of New York the Silver Buffalo Award at TMR.
There was great excitement that the President would be coming back to TMR to be inducted into the Order of the Arrow. National Commissioner Dan Beard wrote to Chief Scout Executive James E. West hopeful of a coveted invitation:
My dear Dr. West:
What is the dedication over at Ten Mile River Camp? I understand that the President of the United States will be there. It might excite unfavorable comment if your National Commissioner is not invited to attend a function of such national character.
Hastily yours, Dan Beard
Following his induction, President Roosevelt gave a speech to the assembled Scouts and then toured TMR in his open air state car complete with Presidential Seal proudly wearing his new OA sash for all Scouts to see.