National Event

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1950 National Jamboree - First OA Service Corps

The 1950 National Jamboree was held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, from June 27 to July 6. Delayed by World War II, 47,163 Scouts and Explorers participated in the second National Jamboree with the theme “Strengthen Liberty”.

President Harry S. Truman opened the Jamboree; and Scouts enjoyed a huge fireworks display on the 4th of July with General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Troop dinning similar to the 1937 Jamboree was planned, but due to the lack of professional chefs (that were readily available in 1937 due to the depression), patrol cooking using charcoal was introduced. The pattern was also set for the arena shows that have become traditional at Jamborees. The opening show the first night was a historical spectacular showcasing the great events that gained the United States liberty. Construction of troop gateways became a major troop feature. Each troop tried to out-do the troop next to them with huge, colorful entranceways.

National Planning Meetings

The National Planning Meetings started in 1949. Through the years they have evolved, but the basics have remained the same. In general the purpose of the meeting is to bring the adult leadership of the Order of the Arrow, in the form of the National OA Committee and key volunteers together with the youth leadership of the OA in the form of an assembly of the Area/Section Chiefs.

The meetings have almost always been held during the week or weekend between Christmas and New Years. Together the adult leadership assists and guides the youth leadership as they layout plans for the coming year or two, select a theme for the conference or other national event / theme and create working committees. In particular, the National Planning Meetings make the plans necessary to stage the next NOAC. One of the other key features and the most anticipated portion of the meeting is the election of youth national officers.

15th National Meeting / First NOAC

The 1948 National Meeting ushered in a new era. The meeting was held at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana. This was the first of many national OA gatherings at the centrally located university. So-Aka-Gha-Gwa Lodge served as the host lodge and wore a distinctive neckerchief so all Arrowmen could identify them if in need of assistance.

1,100 – 1,200 delegates from 146 lodges were in attendance, both all-time highs. Founder E. Urner Goodman provided the opening keynote address. He noted that the Order now had 362 lodges, over 40,000 active members and more than 100,000 initiates since the beginning.

14th & Last "National Meeting" Held

After World War II, National Lodge could meet again. The original plan was to hold the 1946 meeting where the 1942 National Meeting had been scheduled. However, with all of the returning military the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill informed the National Lodge that they would not have the dorm space available. The OA was now too large to meet at a Scout camp and universities were filled with returning military. An alternate site was needed.

984 delegates from 114 lodges (both records) descended upon Chanute Field Army Air Corp in Illinois. The Arrowmen bunked in the more than ample barracks. Owasippe Lodge, Chicago took the traditional role of a host lodge handling registration and other activities. Even though Chicago was over 100 miles away, Owasippe was the only lodge with the Arrow-power to handle the responsibilities.

National Meeting Cancelled

At the invitation of A. Frank Dix of Tali Taktaki Lodge, Greensboro, North Carolina the 1942 National Meeting was scheduled to go to the South for the first time in history. With the size of National Meetings growing so briskly it was anticipated that as many as 1,000 Arrowmen might attend. No longer could they meet at a Scout camp. The National Executive Committee selected the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the meeting site. For the first time, delegates would not be responsible for their own bedding.

The selection of the University of North Carolina meant that some fellow brothers in the Order would not be allowed to attend because the University was segregated and would not allow non-whites. As it turned out, the meeting was cancelled and our Order never held a National Meeting at a location that excluded some members.

25th Anniversary OA Meeting

The 1940 25th Anniversary National Meeting hosted by Anicus Lodge of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania was convened at their beautiful Camp Twin Echo (often called CTE), National Chief Joe Brunton’s home camp. Records for number of lodges and delegates were set with 64 lodges and 615 attendees, a nearly 50% increase over the 1938 Meeting. This was the last National Meeting held at a summer camp. With the continued growth they would have to move to a larger venue. During the early years of the Grand Lodge the OA had met in cities, hotels and camps. That would change for the next meeting.

Twelfth National Lodge Meeting

Shawnee Lodge, St. Louis, Missouri at their Camp Irondale, hosted the 1938 National Meeting. Just like the 1936 National Meeting, the 1938 National Meeting was no longer handling Order of the Arrow business, with the notable exception of National Lodge officer elections. The National Executive Committee handled the business of the Order and had increased in number from three to five members plus a National Council BSA representative.

The official statistics reported at the meeting demonstrated the dramatic growth of the OA. At the time of the meeting there were 103 active lodges and for the first time over 10,000 active members and over 25,000 initiated. The OA was a nationwide growing phenomenon. A record 448 delegates attended the meeting from a record 44 lodges. After traditional reports from the national officers, the meeting broke into eight discussion groups.

First BSA National Jamboree - 1937

The 1937 National Jamboree was held in Washington, DC from June 30 to July 9 with 27,232 Scouts and Scouters in attendance.

Dan Beard fired up the opening campfire with flint and steel using wood that was brought by Scouts from all 48 states. The 1935 Jamboree before it was cancelled had been planned as a “spoon-fed” Jamboree, meaning a mess-hall kind of camping. That is what was done for the 1937 Jamboree. With thousands of professional chefs available due to the great depression, the meals for each subcamp of 1,200 Scouts were prepared by professional chefs in regiment-sized kitchen tents and were delivered three times a day to the troops.

Joseph Brunton

Joseph A. Brunton, Jr. (June 26, 1902 – July 8, 1988) was an Arrowmen and a career professional for the Boy Scouts of America. He served as National Lodge Chief in the Order from 1938 to 1940 and in the BSA National Council as the fourth Chief Scout Executive from 1960 to 1966.

National Bonnets

The original golden eagle feather bonnet worn and passed down by the national chiefs of the Order of the Arrow (OA) was made in 1938 by members of Anicus Lodge, East Boroughs Council located in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Former Anicus Lodge Chief, Joseph A. Brunton, Jr. was the first chief to wear the bonnet. He had recently been elected chief of the National Lodge at the twelfth National Lodge Meeting hosted by Shawnee Lodge 51 at Irondale Scout Reservation located in Irondale, Missouri. Subsequently, Anicus Lodge presented this bonnet to the National Lodge of the Order of the Arrow in 1940 when they hosted the Order of the Arrow’s 25th Anniversary meeting at Camp Twin Echo, located near Ligonier, PA. Chief Brunton was the host council’s Scout Executive at the 25th Anniversary meeting and it was Brunton that ceremoniously passed the bonnet to the newly elected National Chief, George Mozealous of Owasippe Lodge. The ceremonious passing of the bonnet is a tradition that still continues to this day.

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