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New Pre-Ordeal Ceremony

In the summer of 1974 through the spring of 1975, Jay Dunbar, the author of the Spirit of the Arrow show at the 1971 NOAC (and Deputy National Conference Chief for Training for that conference), developed the ideas and text which later became both the pre-Ordeal Ceremony (introduced at the 1977 NOAC and formally approved at the 1979 NOAC), and The Drum – a training aid for ceremony teams.

Carter Elected President

The 39th President of the United States was a former peanut farmer and naval officer from Plains, Georgia. Jimmy Carter’s presidency was riddled with inflation, recession, and an energy crisis all inherited from the Nixon / Ford Administrations.

USA 200th Celebration

The American Bicentennial celebration in 1976 provided a focus for America to remember its history and celebrate its achievements, and the Boy Scouts used this historic event to promote Scouting’s values and contributions to American history. “Boypower ’76” was introduced in 1968, and through this National initiative, programs were introduced to Scout troops that allowed Scouts to earn special patches with Bicentennial emphasis as early as 1973.

National Policy on Feathers

In the early years of the Order it was common for regalia for ceremonies and dance competitions to be made with feathers and/or body parts from birds of prey including bald eagles, golden eagles, hawks, owls, songbirds and migratory birds. Government regulations greatly limited this practice making it illegal to possess these items under most circumstances. It also was made illegal to even trade or sell such items. Nonetheless there existed a thriving black market in the country for these items that unfortunately was driven primarily by Arrowmen obsessed with authenticity and the extraordinary beauty of the feathers.

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.

Viet Nam War Ends

By 1969, the Vietnam War seemed endless to Americans, and the United States slowly began to withdraw troops. In January 1973, a cease-fire was arranged and the last U.S. ground troops left Vietnam two months later.

Eagle Scout Ford Becomes President

Following the resignation of Richard Nixon, Eagle Scout Gerald Ford became the 38th President of the United States of America. Although not an Arrowman (the OA was not offered in Grand Rapids during his youth) Gerald Ford was named a Distinguished Eagle Scout in 1970.

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’.

Spirit of the Arrow Booklets

The first Spirit of the Arrow booklets were made available for sale by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) Alpha Phi Omega (APO) – a group that later became the Ceremonial Advisory Group (CAG).

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