Background

Evolution of Sashes

In the early ceremonies and Wimachtendienk literature arrow sashes were called arrow bands. The original band is the black sash used in the 1915 ceremonies on Treasure Island. Harry Yoder describes it as a black band with a white vertical stripe on the front. George Chapman described presumably the same band as being black with a white vertical arrow on the front with the arrow pointing over the shoulder. This band is the first sash and none are known to exist. The material used to make the sash is often described as being the same material that was used in the making of the black academic type robes worn by Goodman and Edson for the first ceremony.

Patch Trading

Nobody knows when the first swap of Order of the Arrow emblems took place, but it had to be soon after the first badges of Wimachtendienk appeared. In the early years there was no trading of OA insignia. The first insignia in 1916 were pins. Pins were made of silver or gold. They were relatively expensive, certainly when compared to patches. An Unami Lodge gold Second Degree pin in 1919 might have cost $2.00; the cost of 20 die-cut felt camp monogram patches. No one was trading them with each other.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Third Degree / Vigil Honor OA Sashes

The first example of anything resembling a sash worn by recipients of the Third Degree (Vigil Honor) is a fraternal “bib” type three-part sash. These sashes can be observed around the necks of founders E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in the photograph taken at the Rededication Ceremony held at Camp Biddle in conjunction with the first Grand Lodge Meeting in 1921. Other than the photograph itself, there is no other evidence, documentation or even confirmation that these are indeed Third Degree sashes.

National Jamborees

The National Scout Jamboree (NSJ) is a gathering of thousands of members of the Boy Scouts of America and guests, usually held every four years and organized by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. A NSJ provides opportunities for youth and leaders to participate in program events, activities and attractions focusing on the activities of Scouting such as: physical fitness, conservation, ecology, and the universal spirit of brotherhood. A jamboree is typically held for ten consecutive days and offers many activities for youth participants and the thousands of visitors from the general public who visit. It is considered to be Scouting at its best.

OA Obligation Timeline

It is not known when the first WWW Obligation was used. Because it is part of the First Degree/Honor ritual it is believed that it likely was used in some form as early as 1916. The first known version of the Obligation dates to 1921. It read:

I, (your name), do hereby promise on my honor as a Scout, that I will always and faithfully preserve unbroken the secret rites, mysteries, signs and symbols of the Order of the WIMACHTENDIENK WINGOLAUCHSIK, WITAHEMUI, which I have now received or may be taught at any future time. I will always regard the bonds of brotherhood in this Order as sacred and binding, and will seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others. I will attend, so far as I am able, all regular and special meetings of the Order and do what I can to promote interest in them.

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