National Event

First "National" Lodge Meeting

The OA gathered together again for a national meeting hosted for a fourth time by Unami Lodge at Treasure Island. The convention had originally been scheduled for 1935, as meetings were biannual. However, the workload created by the planned 1935 National Jamboree impacted the national officers and many leaders of the local lodges. It was decided to delay the meeting for a year. This pattern has been repeated in later years, the Order giving deference to the National Jamboree, even if it meant a three-year gap between NOAC’s instead of two.


The 1936 meeting was one of change. It no longer was a “Grand” Lodge Meeting. This was a “National” Lodge Meeting. The change in name a simple reminder of the change in the Order, now part of the BSA. The change in the program, however, was striking.

1935 National Jamboree Cancelled

The 1935 25th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, Jubilee National Jamboree was scheduled for August 21 – 30, in Washington, DC. Every registered troop in every Council was entitled to send one Scout – to fulfill President Roosevelt’s wish that,

every nook and cranny of America be represented in the Jamboree.

National Jamborees

The National Scout Jamboree (NSJ) is a gathering of thousands of members of the Boy Scouts of America and guests, usually held every four years and organized by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. A NSJ provides opportunities for youth and leaders to participate in program events, activities and attractions focusing on the activities of Scouting such as: physical fitness, conservation, ecology, and the universal spirit of brotherhood. A jamboree is typically held for ten consecutive days and offers many activities for youth participants and the thousands of visitors from the general public who visit. It is considered to be Scouting at its best.

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.

Tenth Grand Lodge Meeting

After requesting to host the Grand Lodge Meeting for ten years, the OA came to Chicago, hosted by Owasippe Lodge. Included in the host Owasippe Lodge contingent were several members of the all African American Takodah Chapter making the 1933 meeting the first that can be verified to be an integrated national OA meeting.

Many of the 252 delegates from 23 lodges attending the 10th Meeting of the Grand Lodge took advantage of the opportunity to attend the Century of Progress World’s Fair (and the lower promotional train fares.) This meeting was very different than any previous Grand Lodge meeting. The rules were suspended. The normal business of officer reports, committee reports, and by-law amendments were dispensed with. Instead, the delegates gathered in a casual manner to discuss the impending issue of official recognition from the BSA.

Ninth Grand Lodge Meeting

The Ninth Meeting of the Grand Lodge hosted by Buffalo Lodge (later Sisilija Lodge) at Camp Rotary, Pilot Knob on Lake George, New York was held September 11-13, 1931. At least 15 lodges were in attendance with an unknown number of delegates. The Grand Lodge reaffirmed action of the Grand Lodge in 1927 (although it does not appear in the 1927 minutes) “that the word ‘fraternity’ be replaced with the word ‘brotherhood’ throughout all printed matter.” The Order was starting to pull away from the fraternal roots that influenced its beginnings. The Order was no longer a camp fraternity; it was a brotherhood and had begun using terms that would be more acceptable to the BSA national office. (Note - the Latin root for the word fraternity means brother.)

Eighth Grand Lodge Meeting

For the 1929 Eighth Meeting of the Grand Lodge, the conference returned for a third time to Philadelphia. Unami Lodge once again hosted the 12 lodges in attendance and an unknown number of delegates. The first issue occurred prior to the meeting. Unami Lodge had scheduled the meeting for the week between Christmas and New Years. Many lodges objected to the dates and the meeting was re-scheduled for November 29 – December 1, 1929. The 1929 Grand Lodge Meeting was held at the Stephen Gerard Hotel. The Grand Lodge Scribe announced that there were now 33 active lodges in the Order instead of 37 with the pending Chicago consolidation.

Last "Annual" Grand Lodge Meeting

In 1927, the Seventh Meeting of the Grand Lodge was attended by 13 lodges and hosted by Ranachqua Lodge, The Bronx, New York. This was the Grand Lodge’s second visit to Camp Ranachqua, a camp within Kanohwanke Scout Camp near Tuxedo, New York. The number of delegates present is unknown. The first order of business was to finally approve changes in the rituals including the 31-question Brotherhood questionnaire.

Sixth Grand Lodge Meeting

The 1926 Sixth Meeting of the Grand Lodge was the second held at Camp Indiandale. Minsi Lodge of Reading, Pennsylvania hosted the eight lodges in attendance. The number of delegates is not known. This meeting was a working meeting where committee reports were reviewed and changes were made in the by-laws and rituals. The most substantive change to the By-laws was a decision to hold the Grand Lodge Meetings every other year starting in 1927. A committee was charged with exploring the concept of setting up regions and sections to hold meetings in non Grand Lodge meeting years. 

Fifth Grand Lodge Meeting

For the Fifth Grand Lodge Meeting and 10th Anniversary of Wimachtendienk, W.W. the Grand Lodge returned to Philadelphia and Treasure Island with Unami Lodge the host. 27 delegates from nine lodges attended the assembly. At the meeting it was determined that certain changes had to be made in ceremonies to satisfy religious organizations. Also a full update of the constitution was passed. The greatest change was in nomenclature. First, Second and Third Degrees would now also be called "Ordeal", "Brotherhood" and "Vigil".

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