NOAC

Elder Goodman

Goodman’s retirement in 1951 allowed him to spend more time with his wife Louise. They lived during the winter in the Penney Farms retirement community near Jacksonville, Florida and during the summer at a small farm in Bondville, Vermont, with both a house and a barn, which the Goodmans converted to living quarters with rooms for their children and grandchildren, named Brotherhood Barn.

NOAC 1952

The 1952 NOAC was called the “37th Anniversary Meeting”. For the first time the term Conference is used often to describe the event. The first documented usage of the phrase “National Order of the Arrow Conference” is in a letter following the event written to the National OA Committee by LeRoy Kensrad of Hyas Chuck Kah Sun Klatawa Lodge, Portland, Oregon.

1951 National Planning Meeting

The National OA Committee and Area Chiefs from around the nation gathered at Miami University at Oxford, Ohio for the second National Planning Meeting. This was the only National Planning Meeting where the Area Chiefs did not elect the next Conference Chief. National Conference Chief James R. Montgomery of Pellissippi Lodge, Knoxville, Tennessee had been elected at the 1950 NOAC.

NOAC's

The National Order of the Arrow Conference, or “NOAC,” is the primary national gathering of Arrowmen. They are typically held every two years unless a conflict exists. NOACs are always held on university campuses. All NOACs have had at least 1,000 attendees and as many as 8,000.

The modern NOAC started in 1948 at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University has now hosted ten Conferences, more than any other university. Each Conference has a host lodge that is assigned service duties best performed by a larger local group.

NOAC 1950 - 35th Anniversary Meeting

While today the 1950 meeting is called a National Order of the Arrow Conference or NOAC, back then they called it the 35th Anniversary Meeting or Convention. This meeting was like a modern NOAC. It was held for the second time at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. Approximately 1,100 delegates attended. There were group discussions and classes on topics ranging from regalia, ceremonies and lodge functions. This time many of the classes were taught by youth including Area Conference Chiefs.  The OA Distinguished Service Award was presented.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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