The last National OA Conference of the 1900s was held at Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa. It set a new record for delegates. For the first time a NOAC had over 7,000 Arrowmen in attendance with a tally of 7,043. The Conference theme, “Memories of the Past, A Vision for the Future” was the subject of the opening show which included a moving dedication to 1997 National Vice Chief Josh Sain who had been killed in an automobile accident while in office.
The Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow (OA) have certainly been blessed throughout their histories with very competent and capable youth leaders. In their own way, these exemplary leaders have perpetuated the fundamental values that both of these groups represent. Their personal involvement and commitment have not only enhanced these programs, but also allowed them to continue to grow and flourish over the years. Josh Sain was one such youth leader.
The original golden eagle feather bonnet worn and passed down by the national chiefs of the Order of the Arrow (OA) was made in 1938 by members of Anicus Lodge, East Boroughs Council located in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Former Anicus Lodge Chief, Joseph A. Brunton, Jr. was the first chief to wear the bonnet. He had recently been elected chief of the National Lodge at the twelfth National Lodge Meeting hosted by Shawnee Lodge 51 at Irondale Scout Reservation located in Irondale, Missouri. Subsequently, Anicus Lodge presented this bonnet to the National Lodge of the Order of the Arrow in 1940 when they hosted the Order of the Arrow’s 25th Anniversary meeting at Camp Twin Echo, located near Ligonier, PA. Chief Brunton was the host council’s Scout Executive at the 25th Anniversary meeting and it was Brunton that ceremoniously passed the bonnet to the newly elected National Chief, George Mozealous of Owasippe Lodge. The ceremonious passing of the bonnet is a tradition that still continues to this day.