Founders

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First Ceremony

There is no written copy of the ritual used for induction of members into the Order throughout the 1915 Treasure Island camping season.

In 1965 the Unami Lodge released a copy of a ceremony purported to be the first ceremony. However, after discussions with Arrowmen active in the Lodge in 1965 and with the 1975 Lodge Chief, Phil Hittner, it is clear that the “first ceremony” released was a composite of later ceremonies and editorial license was taken based on what was believed to have happened. Factually the following is known:

Harry Yoder

In the early part of July 1915, Mr. E. Urner Goodman, enlisted my aid in clearing what is today the ceremonial grounds of the Unami Lodge, on Treasure Island. Armed with an axe and a rake we prospected through the dense brush which covered the lower half of the Island, for a likely location and finally selected the present site.

Treasure Island Ceremonial Grounds

George Chapman shared in his writings the following:

“Shortly after camp opened, Urner Goodman had explored Treasure Island in order to select the most appropriate place for the location of the Council Fire. He selected a site in the south woods of the island, far removed from the ordinary activities of the camp, and Edson agreed with him that it would be an ideal spot.

OA Charter Members

The Constitution of the Wimachtendienk approved in June 1916 states in section IV – Membership:

Charter Membership – The directors of Treasure Island Camp for the season of 1915 together with all those who, elected to membership in the order during that season, have previous to the 1st day of July 1916, signified their wish and intention to maintain interest and membership in the order, shall constitute its charter membership.

First Vigil

The founders had intended that the first Vigil Honor should be for a youth who achieved an outstanding accomplishment or performed a heroic deed. At the close of 1915 Treasure Island summer camp season a small group including Carroll Edson, Harry Yoder and non-member Horace Kern decided that Goodman should be selected for what in 1916 would be called the Second Degree and today is recognized as the first Vigil Honor.

Goodman - Early Years of OA

Urner Goodman enjoyed much success in the early days of his career as a professional Scouter. Good with people, a gifted writer and speaker and an effective organizer, he knew how to motivate volunteers and staff.

Early on he attracted the attention of national BSA leadership. Only on the job for a year, he and Carroll Edson attended the national meeting as observers. During one of the large sessions, he was pleasantly surprised when Chief Scout Executive Dr. James E. West called on him to describe the success Scouting was having in Philadelphia.

Organizational Meeting

Following the success of the Wimachtendienk W.W. during the summer of 1915 and reflection upon the experience at Treasure Island it was decided that this new Honor Campers Society needed to be formalized and moved forward.

To that end, he wrote an invitation to all 25 inductees from that summer at Treasure Island. It was a short letter dated November 4, 1915 and signed by Goodman as Nuwingi – Chief of the Fire. It said:

Spring Formation Meeting - First Constitution

In order to perpetuate and better establish Wimachtendienk W. W., a meeting of the members was held on November 13, 1915 at Camp Morrell.

The following committees were appointed (with respective youth chairmen):

Horace Kern

Horace P. Kern was an early leader in the Wimachtendienk during the formative years from 1915 to 1919.

This was despite the fact that he was not officially inducted into the Order until 1917. His delayed induction was because in the beginning only youth were inducted (Goodman and Edson were deemed members). Adults were not inducted until 1916.

First Vigil Honor Ceremony

At end of the camping season in 1915, E. Urner Goodman held a vigil on the Devil's Tea Table. There was no real ritual ceremony that accompanied his experience, just Goodman alone with his thoughts through a night that he often referred to as life changing for him.

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