During the weekend of August 1-3, 2014, the national Order of the Arrow committee, key volunteers, and members of the OA national staff met at the University of Charleston – Beckley Campus, in Beckley, West Virginia for a powerful weekend dedicated to looking at both the past and future of the Order of the Arrow. Dubbed “The Advance!,” the event afforded participants an opportunity to reflect on the OA’s first 100 years, followed by an increased focus on how the Order might continue to grow in relevance and impact during its next century.
No formal decisions were made regarding programs in the OA’s immediate future. Instead, the group looked inward and held discussions related to all aspects of the Order of the Arrow. These topics included communications, outdoor stewardship, Cub Scout support and strategies regarding membership and retention. During the three-day event, participants were challenged to not only explore the Order of the Arrow’s mission and purpose, but to share their personal experiences and ideas with one another. Key programs and initiatives of the OA’s centennial anniversary were introduced, including the launch of the Arrowman Service Award.
The highlight of the weekend was a dedication ceremony at the Summit Circle, the OA’s new home at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. The ceremony, conducted by the 2014 national officers, included an original test of Ordeal membership as well as a symbolic construction of the fire ring in the site. The ceremony concluded with the national officers distributing candles and molded necklaces in the shape of an arrowhead 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. At the end of The Advance!, National Chairman Ray Capp presented the first 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference promotional patches to