National OA Committee

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

OA Chief's Bonnet Destroyed

The original golden eagle feather bonnet that had been passed down ceremoniously by every national chief of the Order of the Arrow since 1938 was tragically destroyed in a fire that occurred at the BSA’s national office in Irving, Texas on November 6, 1980News article of National Office fire.

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 Planning Meeting

On December 29 – 30, 1949 the National OA Committee met with a conference of Area Conference Chiefs (the predecessor name for Area Chiefs and then later Section Chiefs, that were elected to a full year term) for the first National Planning Meeting. In the early years of National Planning Meeting only about half of all Area Conference Chiefs were invited. The tradition of holding a National Planning Meeting between the end of the year holidays has since been repeated more than 40 times, becoming annual in 1987. The inclusion of youth Area Conference Chiefs was new and in keeping with the new direction the OA was taking since the 1948 merger of the BSA and OA. This meeting was held at Alpine Scout Camp, Alpine, New Jersey. Future meetings would be held at the location of the next NOAC so that facilities could be reviewed or be held at or near the national BSA headquarters.

National OA Committee Red Sash

In the spring 1950 issue of the National Bulletin, Arrowmen were told that members of the National OA Committee would be available to meet with them at the 1950 NOAC. It was stated that they would be accessible to help members better understand the Order and its policies. Members were also told,

you’ll recognize these men because they will be wearing a special Vigil Honor band on which the colors will be reversed. These bands were made specifically for our Committee so that lodge members could recognize these officials and seek their help.

Syndicate content