Yoder

50th Anniversary Gettysburg Reunion

When was the Order of the Arrow founded?  Where?

Consider that the answers to those two questions might not be as simple as, “Friday, July 16th 1915” and “Treasure Island.”

Harry Yoder

In the early part of July 1915, Mr. E. Urner Goodman, enlisted my aid in clearing what is today the ceremonial grounds of the Unami Lodge, on Treasure Island. Armed with an axe and a rake we prospected through the dense brush which covered the lower half of the Island, for a likely location and finally selected the present site.

Treasure Island Ceremonial Grounds

George Chapman shared in his writings the following:

“Shortly after camp opened, Urner Goodman had explored Treasure Island in order to select the most appropriate place for the location of the Council Fire. He selected a site in the south woods of the island, far removed from the ordinary activities of the camp, and Edson agreed with him that it would be an ideal spot.

OA Charter Members

The Constitution of the Wimachtendienk approved in June 1916 states in section IV – Membership:

Charter Membership – The directors of Treasure Island Camp for the season of 1915 together with all those who, elected to membership in the order during that season, have previous to the 1st day of July 1916, signified their wish and intention to maintain interest and membership in the order, shall constitute its charter membership.

First Ceremony

There is no written copy of the ritual used for induction of members into the Order throughout the 1915 Treasure Island camping season.

In 1965 the Unami Lodge released a copy of a ceremony purported to be the first ceremony. However, after discussions with Arrowmen active in the Lodge in 1965 and with the 1975 Lodge Chief, Phil Hittner, it is clear that the “first ceremony” released was a composite of later ceremonies and editorial license was taken based on what was believed to have happened. Factually the following is known:

WWW Founded

Goodman and Edson had explained their plans for the establishment of a camp honor society to camp leaders at Treasure Island.

The date of the first induction had been set, July 16, 1915. Two of the Troops on the island had held an election of members.  George Chapman described the event in The Arrow and the Vigil as follows:

Syndicate content