History of the Order

Many years before we were born, the ideas of a few men sprung to life to create the Order of the Arrow. Without their work, our Lodge would not be here today.

The Order of the Arrow was founded in the summer of 1915 at Treasure Island Camp on the Delaware River in the Philadelphia Council of the Boy Scouts of America. At that time, Dr. E. Urner Goodman was Camp Director and Col. Carrol A. Edson was his assistant. These two men, together with the camp staff, worked to develop a recognition for those campers who best exemplified the spirit and ideals of the Scout Oath and Law in their everyday lives and, by such conduct, set the example for others to emulate their actions.

During 1915, five inductions were held with a total membership of 25 members. From 1917, news of the organization spread slowly to other camps and inquiries began. As a result, lodges were established in New Jersey, Maryland, New York, and Illinois. From 1915 to 1921 the Order grew slowly. In 1921, steps were taken to establish the Order on a national basis. The first National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) was held in 1921 in Philadelphia, at which a national lodge was formed. Following the convention, there was a steady growth in lodges and membership. In 1922, after a national lodge meeting in Reading, PA, the Order of the Arrow became and official program experiment of the Boy Scouts of America. In May, 1948, the Executive Board officially integrated the Order into the Scouting movement. The national lodge was dissolved and shifted to the Boy Scouts of America.