Founders

50th Anniversary Gettysburg Reunion

When was the Order of the Arrow founded?  Where?

Consider that the answers to those two questions might not be as simple as, “Friday, July 16th 1915” and “Treasure Island.”

Goodman Biography Published

A Thing of the Spirit, The Life of E. Urner Goodman is the biography of the founder, written by Nelson R. Block and published by the Boy Scouts of America.

Treasure Island Closes 1913-2008

After 95 years Treasure Island Scout Reservation, the birthplace of our Order in 1915, ceased operation as a summer camp after the 2008 season. At the time of closing Treasure Island was the oldest continually operated Scout camp in the nation. Treasure Island fell victim to its location, an island in the middle of the Delaware River.

Goodman's 100th Birthday

Goodman’s centennial would have been May 15, 1991. To mark the occasion, the Journal of Scouting History published a biographical essay by Goodman’s friend and protégé, Bill Hillcourt. He wrote of their many years of mutual support and good times together.

He closed:

Urner was my friend, alive, for fifty years. He was, indeed, a GOOD MAN. He is a friend of mine until I die, and a friend of each of you who follow in his footsteps.

OA Time Capsule Sealed

At the 1990 NOAC during Founder’s Day, lodges and individuals could put items into a special 75th Anniversary time capsule. The capsule was filled with many pieces of Scouting memorabilia and other items of note from 1990.

National Chief John Meckley and National Vice Chief Tony Steinhardt sealed the capsule in a special ceremony. The capsule is to be opened on the 100th Anniversary of the Order in 2015.

1985 75th Anniversary National Jamboree

The 1985 National Scout Jamboree was held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, from July 24 to July 30 with the theme “The Spirit Lives On”. 32,615 Scouts participated in the Jamboree.


The opening arena show used the theme of "75th Anniversary Celebration" and depicted the first 75 years of the Boy Scouts of America. The theme of the closing show was "America Salutes the Boy Scouts of America", and the popular Beach Boys band performed along with a visit by the First Lady.

Co-Founder Edson 1891-1986

Photo of EdsonOn October 25, 1986, the Order of the Arrow was saddened to learn of the passing of the Co-founder Carroll A. Edson at the age of 94. E. Urner Goodman had preceded Edson in death making Edson the lone connection to the origin of Wimachtendienk.


Edson had enjoyed a long life. He was born December 29, 1891. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1914 and a Masters Degree from Columbia University. Edson was hired in 1915 at the age of 23 by Philadelphia Council and co-founded the Order that summer at Treasure Island setting in motion a chain of events that would profoundly affect generations of Scouts.

Film Features Goodman

The Closing show at the 1983 NOAC premiered the inspirational film See the Need, a short subject film on the life of E. Urner Goodman. The film contained excerpts from speeches by the founder and scenes of him with Arrowmen. The film was five years in the making and featured the song Meet the Challenge, written and performed by Sam Fairchild. All proceeds from the sale of the film went to the OA Endowment fund.

Founder's Award Established

Founder's Award Ribbon and MedallionIntroduced at the 1981 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC), the Founder's Award was created to honor and recognize those Arrowmen who have given outstanding service to their lodge. The award is reserved for Arrowmen who demonstrate that they memorialize in their everyday lives the spirit of achievement as exemplified by the Founder E.

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