National Event

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National Pow Wow

The 1987 National Pow Wow conducted at Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyoming from August 2-8. It was a great success and the knowledge gained and enthusiasm generated was felt in the lodges for a long time. Nearly 500 Arrowmen gathered for the first National Pow Wow that offered outstanding workshop seminars in three separate areas of interest: OA Showmanship, Indian Lore, and Ceremonies. As he was with the National Indian Seminar series, National OA Committee member Don Thom was the driving force behind this event. 

NOAC 1986

The 1986 National Order of the Arrow Conference was held at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. 3,700 Arrowmen were in attendance. Ben Love, Chief Scout Executive gave the opening keynote address. The Conference theme selected by the Section Chiefs was “Kindle the Flame From Within”. The 71st Anniversary Meeting would be the last one held within the lifetime of a founder. Carroll Edson passed away two months after the event.

First Philmont OA Trek

The Order went trekking beginning in 1985 as Scouting’s “honor camper society” took on the pinnacle of high adventure – Philmont Scout Ranch with the first of two OA Philmont Treks. Over a four day period as part of the National Planning Meeting held in Euless, Texas, in December 1984 the Section Chiefs selected five trek vice chiefs and laid the foundation for the first OA Trek to be held Aug. 11-20, 1985, with an anticipated 1,200 trekkers. Besides the selection of the Trek Vice-Chiefs, the theme was chosen – “Ponder That Which Is Our Purpose” and the patch was designed.


1985 75th Anniversary National Jamboree

The 1985 National Scout Jamboree was held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, from July 24 to July 30 with the theme “The Spirit Lives On”. 32,615 Scouts participated in the Jamboree.


The opening arena show used the theme of "75th Anniversary Celebration" and depicted the first 75 years of the Boy Scouts of America. The theme of the closing show was "America Salutes the Boy Scouts of America", and the popular Beach Boys band performed along with a visit by the First Lady.

Fifth National Indian Seminar

1984 Nat'l Indian Seminar patchInstead of having just one National Indian Seminar in 1984, the National OA Committee made plans to hold three separate seminars at various sites around the country. Like their predecessors, the goal of these seminars was to improve the quality and authenticity of the Order’s Indian-related events and activities, and to provide Arrowmen with the necessary resources and training so that they could take this information back to their respective home lodges and sections.

NOAC 1983

1983 NOAC Patch3,328 Arrowmen came to Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey to attend the 1983 National Order of the Arrow Conference. The theme selected for this event was different than those in the past. The theme selected at the National Planning Meeting was “Those who chose you need you”. This theme was a reminder to Arrowmen of their duty to their home troop. Teaching each delegate their responsibility to bring the knowledge, enthusiasm, experience and excitement learned at the NOAC back to their home unit was the training point of emphasis.

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.

NOAC 1981

The 1981 National Order of the Arrow Conference was held at the University of Texas, Austin. This was the first Conference held since the passing of E. Urner Goodman. A memorial was a portion of the opening show and the Founder’s Award was announced to the 3,200 delegates. Goodman’s likeness adorned the official NOAC pocket patch. This Conference also had the first Founder’s Day, starting a tradition that instantly became a NOAC favorite.

1981 National Jamboree

In 1981, the National Scout Jamboree moved to Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, which would be the permanent location for many jamborees to come. The jamboree was held from July 29 to August 4 with the theme “Scouting’s Reunion with History”. 29,765 Scouts participated in the Jamboree.

Third National Indian Seminar

Building on the successes of the first two events, the third National Indian Seminar was held at Beaumont Scout Reservation near St. Louis, Missouri from August 9-16, 1980. Approximately 125 participants and 67 faculty/staff members from around the country participated in the seven-day event. Like previous seminars, the central focus of the event was to train and educate Arrowmen on Native American customs, culture, and traditions. 

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