Edson

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Co-Founder Edson 1891-1986

Photo of EdsonOn October 25, 1986, the Order of the Arrow was saddened to learn of the passing of the Co-founder Carroll A. Edson at the age of 94. E. Urner Goodman had preceded Edson in death making Edson the lone connection to the origin of Wimachtendienk.


Edson had enjoyed a long life. He was born December 29, 1891. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1914 and a Masters Degree from Columbia University. Edson was hired in 1915 at the age of 23 by Philadelphia Council and co-founded the Order that summer at Treasure Island setting in motion a chain of events that would profoundly affect generations of Scouts.

NOAC 1961

For a fourth time the Order returned to Indiana University for the 1961 National Order of the Arrow Conference. A record 2,800 delegates attended training classes, participated in campcraft and joined in fellowship. The Conference theme was, "Weld Tightly Every Link – Brotherhood – Cheerfulness – Service – Camping".

Making a return to the Order of the Arrow was Co-founder Carroll A. Edson. Edson had last participated in the OA in 1933. Dr. Goodman brought Col. Edson back. Edson had been involved in a non-Scouting career in the time following World War II.

Goodman & Edson's Sons Killed in WW II

(Do we) find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground

- lyrics Find the Cost of Freedom by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

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.

DSA Created

Due to the success and growth of the Order throughout the nation, the National Executive Committee adopted a new award to acknowledge members who had played integral roles for this important expansion, their belief in program, and their commitment to plan and promote early area and national meetings.

Vigil Honor Ceremony Changes

E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson wrote the first Vigil Honor ceremony (then known as the Third Degree) for the Grand Lodge. The ceremony served the Order well for twenty years from 1921 to 1940. However, with the changes necessary for the Order to become an official BSA program the National Executive Committee determined at their 1937 meeting in Pittsburgh that the ceremony needed to be revised.

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.

25th Lodge Formed

On November 27, 1926 Garrison Lodge forms the fifth and last of the original five Chicago Council lodges to form. Carroll A. Edson founded all five of them. Garrison Lodge’s formation marks a milestone in the growth of our Order as the twenty-fifth lodge to charter. Garrison Lodge would later join the other four Chicago lodges when E. Urner Goodman consolidated them together to form Owasippe Lodge.

Five Chicago Lodges Merge

On May 18, 1929 E. Urner Goodman Scout Executive acting as Supreme Chief of the Fire merged together the five Chicago Lodges initiated by his old Assistant Camp Director Carroll A. Edson. The Grand Lodge had maintained a rule that councils could have one lodge for each of their Scout camps. Goodman constructively ended that rule, as Chicago was the only Council remaining with more than one lodge.

Edson - Hudson Council Executive

In 1927 Carroll A. Edson was working as a Field Executive in Chicago. When Scout Executive George B. Stephenson left the council E. Urner Goodman was selected to be the new Scout Executive. Edson transferred out of Chicago when he was hired to be Scout Executive for Hudson Council, Jersey City, New Jersey where he founded Achtu Lodge.

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