certificate

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First Vigil Honor Certificates

At the 1938 National Lodge Meeting, Thomas Cairns introduced the idea of presenting a certificate to each Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow (OA). The National Lodge approved the idea and gave Cairns the authority to have the certificates printed and presented.

Thomas Cairns

Thomas Cairns was inducted into Unami Lodge at Treasure Island Scout Reservation. Cairns served many years on camp staff at Treasure Island and on August 26, 1927 became the Order’s 63rd Third (Vigil Honor) Degree member. Cairns' Vigil Honor name was Achigiguwen “To Be Jocular”. In 1933 at the Chicago Grand Lodge Meeting Cairns was elected the Order’s ninth Grand Lodge Chieftain serving an extended three-year term to accommodate the scheduled 1935 National Jamboree. It was in this position that Cairns made his most significant contributions to the Order.

First Membership Certificate

In 1910, the first year of the Boy Scouts of America the BSA did not “Register” Scouts. Instead each Scout was “Certified.” The early BSA was still using the original British Boy Scout terms and symbols. Instead of receiving a registration card they received a document that certified them as a Scout. The BSA symbol printed on the certificate was the British Scout symbol, not the familiar BSA trefoil. Perhaps most unusual was usage of the British Scout Law. As a result the 1910 Certificate was printed with “The Nine Points of the Scout Law” and not our familiar twelve. Among the original BSA Nine Points of the Scout Law was the Eighth Point, “A Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances.”

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