On the evening of August 2, 2014, the national Order of the Arrow committee, key volunteers, and members of the OA national staff, attended the dedication ceremony of the Summit Circle, the OA’s new home at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve. Set on two acres of flatland authorized by the President of the Boy Scouts of America, the Summit Circle was designed to be a quiet place of reflection for Arrowmen and all Scouts. It will serve as the national Order of the Arrow ceremonial grounds, and house the relocated Treasure Island ceremony ring, the one in which our Order was founded.
Nearly 100 participants attended the Summit Circle dedication ceremony. It was the highlight of a weekend’s worth of events dubbed The Advance! Prior to the start of the ceremony, participants were led to the site where they were met by Arrowmen who then gave them a stone taken from the original ceremony grounds at Treasure Island. Participants were then asked to follow a serpentine path lit by 15 flames each highlighting a historical image from the Order’s rich past. Upon arriving at the dedication site, participants were placed in semicircular rows facing the ceremonial fire.
The Order’s 2014 national officers conducted the ceremony. The national chief and vice chief were in uniform and wearing the national bonnets. The four region chiefs wore ceremonial attire, with two wearing black robes and two dressed in American Indian regalia. The ceremony included an original test of Ordeal membership, as well as a symbolic construction of the fire ring at the site. The creation of the symbolic fire ring was accomplished when participants placed their stones around the triangular fire ring bearing the words, Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service. The national officers then distributed candles and molded necklaces to the participants. The necklaces were in the shape of an arrowhead, each containing a piece of rock from Treasure Island Scout Reservation. The necklace was designed to symbolize the OA’s transition to its new home at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. The ceremony concluded with the singing of the OA song
The Summit Circle is a gift to Scouting by the Order of the Arrow in celebration of its 100th anniversary, and will ensure that the birthplace of the Order will be preserved for generations of future Arrowmen for its next century and beyond.