Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And in the end....

National OA Chief Jack O'Neill and his friend

The last day of NOAC is typically called Founders Day and is named after E. Urner Goodman and co-founder Carrol Edson. The year was 1915 and Philadelphia Scoutmaster Goodman was then director of a local camp located out of the city called Treasure Island. Edson was his assistant and with some help from some outside folks, they concocted a new Scouting fraternity that emphasized brotherhood and cheerful service. The Order of the Arrow grew from those first tentative steps into a burgeoning group of hundreds of thousands of alumni with a primary emphasis on camping. Theirs is a service organization and their involvement in making a difference is palpable. There are adult members and youth members, but the youth run the organization and are the only ones allowed to vote. Since Boy Scouts troops elect their members based on performance and past records (such as a minimum number of nights of camping), it is unique that non-members select those who join the ranks of the OA. That's the way it has been largely from the beginning. It's about as good a process as can be found and that is as it should be. Today's events included the competitive Goodman games and Founders Day exhibits in which participating lodges could give away different items or inform fellow Arrowmen about points of interest in their respective areas. The day was capped by a nighttime show that brought much of what attendees had learned throughout the six days. Life is determined by the amount of time we spend and the love we give one another. The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" was used as a musical theme to the final spectacular, which featured indoor fireworks and sing-a-longs to favorites like "Good Vibrations" from the Beach Boys and "Don't Stop Beleving" by Journey. The piece-de-resistance was an outdoor concert with plenty of vanilla ice cream (300 pounds) scooped out for the hungry Scouts. All in all it was a great night and one that prepared all of us for our forthcoming journeys home.

No comments: