Profile

OA Service at National Jamborees

The OA has provided service at Boy Scout National Jamborees since the second event in 1950 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. For most of the early Jamborees, that service consisted of OA Service Troops, made up of youth Arrowmen and led by selected adults. However, recent years have seen the role of the OA at the Jamboree grow into an integral part of the BSA’s largest gathering.

National Planning Meetings

The National Planning Meetings started in 1949. Through the years they have evolved, but the basics have remained the same. In general the purpose of the meeting is to bring the adult leadership of the Order of the Arrow, in the form of the National OA Committee and key volunteers together with the youth leadership of the OA in the form of an assembly of the Area/Section Chiefs.

The meetings have almost always been held during the week or weekend between Christmas and New Years. Together the adult leadership assists and guides the youth leadership as they layout plans for the coming year or two, select a theme for the conference or other national event / theme and create working committees. In particular, the National Planning Meetings make the plans necessary to stage the next NOAC. One of the other key features and the most anticipated portion of the meeting is the election of youth national officers.

G. Kellock Hale, Jr.

G. Kellock “Kel” Hale was born January 17, 1904 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He joined Scouts at the age of 12 (minimum age in those days) in 1916. During World War I, Kel sold more war bonds than any other Scout in Philadelphia. As a result of this achievement, Kel was selected as the Scout that would serve as Lord Baden-Powell’s Orderly when he came to visit Philadelphia.

Kel was inducted in the OA at its birthplace, Treasure Island, in 1918. He was one of the Council’s most decorated Scouts. By the time Kel was twenty-years old and attending the University of Pennsylvania he was an Eagle Scout with three Silver Palms (that would be at least 66 merit badges in 1924, a remarkable achievement in that era).

NOAC's

The National Order of the Arrow Conference, or “NOAC,” is the primary national gathering of Arrowmen. They are typically held every two years unless a conflict exists. NOACs are always held on university campuses. All NOACs have had at least 1,000 attendees and as many as 8,000.

The modern NOAC started in 1948 at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University has now hosted ten Conferences, more than any other university. Each Conference has a host lodge that is assigned service duties best performed by a larger local group.

National OA Committee

The National Committee on Order of the Arrow was officially formed in 1948 with the full integration of the OA into the Boy Scouts of America. However the genesis of the committee dates back 15 years earlier. In 1933 at the Chicago hosted Grand Lodge Meeting the Order established a “Transition Committee”. The Transition Committee was basically given unlimited authority to negotiate with the BSA National Council regarding integration of the OA into the BSA. This move meant for the first time a national type committee for the Grand Lodge could operate without the need for a vote from the membership.

OA Handbooks

With the coming full integration of the Order of the Arrow (OA) into the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), it was decided by the National Executive Committee of the Order of the Arrow that a handbook was needed. The National Executive Committee wanted to make sure that all lodges would have the same information.

J. Rucker Newbery

J. Rucker Newbery is best known as the editor of the first Order of the Arrow Handbook in 1948. Newbery officially joined the OA on June 11, 1936 when he chartered the Bob White Lodge, Augusta Georgia into the Order while serving as their Scout Executive. Newbery remained a member of the Order until his death in 1978.

Early in 1942 Frank Dix of the National Executive Committee tendered his resignation. Dix had been selected to the National Executive Committee as the Southern representative. When he was re-assigned by the national office as a Deputy Regional Executive to Cincinnati, he could no longer serve. It was a national BSA policy requiring balance on the lead OA committee that a Southern representative was required on the committee. Dix suggested J. Rucker Newbery as his replacement and in 1942 Newbery was appointed to the National Executive Committee.

DSA Profile

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was created in 1940 to honor those who have rendered distinguished and outstanding service to the Order on a sectional, regional, or national basis. It is given primarily for dedicated service to the Order and Scouting over a period of years.

25th Anniversary OA Meeting

The 1940 25th Anniversary National Meeting hosted by Anicus Lodge of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania was convened at their beautiful Camp Twin Echo (often called CTE), National Chief Joe Brunton’s home camp. Records for number of lodges and delegates were set with 64 lodges and 615 attendees, a nearly 50% increase over the 1938 Meeting. This was the last National Meeting held at a summer camp. With the continued growth they would have to move to a larger venue. During the early years of the Grand Lodge the OA had met in cities, hotels and camps. That would change for the next meeting.

H. Lloyd Nelson

Nelson started Scouting in Goodman’s old Troop 1 in Philadelphia. He was inducted into the Unami Lodge at Treasure Island in 1919. Nelson was in attendance at the 1921 First Meeting of the Grand Lodge. He served on the camp staff at Treasure Island Scout Reservation and served as the 1925 Lodge Chief of Unami Lodge. On September 17, 1925 H. Lloyd Nelson kept the 45th Vigil in the Order at Treasure Island during the Fifth Grand Lodge Meeting.

Syndicate content