National OA Committee

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/history/public_html/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Fourth National Indian Seminar

1982 Indian Seminar patchThe fourth National Indian Seminar was held from July 31-August 7, 1982 at Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch near Elbert, Colorado, roughly 70 miles south of Denver. Approximately 145 Indian enthusiasts from lodges around the country, as well as 55 staff members participated in the weeklong event. In keeping with tradition established at previous seminars, the main focus of the event was the training and education of Arrowmen on Native American customs, culture, and traditions. Once again National OA Committee member and Lead Adviser for Indian Events, Don Thom along with OA Executive Secretary, Bill Downs together served as co-directors of the seminar. National OA Committee member Greg Guy continued to serve in his role as the seminar’s Program Director. The seminar’s administrative leaders were able to secure a sufficient number of highly qualified staff to ensure participants the opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics, and the chance to work with both Indian and non-Indian instructors on a one-on-one basis.

National Indian Seminar Cancelled

Due to the tremendous success of the first National Indian Seminar held at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1974, the idea of holding another similar event was being discussed even before the first one concluded. With the untimely death of Maury Clancy late in 1974, longtime Arrowman Don Thom became the driving force behind all OA national Indian events from 1975 well into the 1990s.

Second National Indian Seminar

After a four-year absence due to the cancellation of the 1976 event, the second National Indian Seminar was held at Camp George Thomas in Apache, Oklahoma from August 13-19, 1978. Approximately 170 Arrowmen from around the country participated in the event that for the first time saw both youth and adult participants. Like the first seminar, the purpose for a second National Indian Seminar was the continued emphasis on American Indian culture and crafts, and to educate Arrowmen on the histories and traditions of Native Americans. 

Don Thom

The fundamental values of both the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the Order of the Arrow (OA) have continued to grow and prosper over the years due in large part to certain individuals whose personal involvement and commitment have greatly enhanced these programs. Donald C. “Don” Thom (rhymes with “dome”) is certainly one of these individuals.

First National Indian Seminar

Since its earliest beginnings, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has enjoyed an almost spiritual relationship with the histories and traditions of Native American peoples. This kindred spirit is evident in the OA’s ceremonies, its symbols, and even in its name. By borrowing so much in the way of culture and crafts from the American Indian, the Order has accepted an obligation to maintain the highest standards of authenticity. Yet, with all of the interaction between the OA and that of Native Americans, there were those individuals who recognized a need for an informative program that furthered the understanding and awareness of the American Indian culture. This need gave rise to a pilot program known as the ‘National Indian Seminar’.

60th Anniversary Award

The Order of the Arrow (OA) celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 1975. In keeping with tradition established ten years earlier during the Order’s 50th Anniversary, the celebration was a national event. In addition to the OA milestone, America was also about to celebrate its bicentennial. To recognize these two historic events, the National OA Committee established the Order of the Arrow 60th Anniversary Bicentennial Award.

Fourth National OA Committee Chair

After five years of service, J.P. “Judge” Hunter resigned for health and business reasons as Chairman of the OA National Committee. In his place L. George Feil of Tamegonit Lodge, Kansas City, Kansas took over the helm.

George Feil & Son

The Feil family of Kansas City, Kansas served the Order of the Arrow for decades. The first member of the family to hold a leadership position was James R. (Jim) Feil. Jim, of Tamegonit Lodge. He was elected in 1953 to serve as National Conference Chief for the 1954 National Conference held in Laramie, Wyoming.

First National OA Committee Chair

G. Kellock “Kel” Hale was installed as the first Chairman of the National Order of the Arrow Committee at the 1948 National Conference at Bloomington, Indiana. The National Council, BSA, had not technically approved his position yet, but that was just a formality. The selection of Hale according to outgoing National Chief Robert Heistand was because Kel was next in line to be National Chief. The new National Chairman position was considered the post-BSA integration equivalent to the old National Chief.

The Goodman National OA Committee Red Sash

In 1950 the National OA Committee created a reversed color OA Vigil Honor sash so that National OA Committeemen could easily be identified. There were as few as 15 of these special felt Vigil Honor sashes issued. One of these special sashes belonged to E. Urner Goodman. The sash was only used for a few years and after 1954 the sash retired from usage.

Syndicate content