For more than 95 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long-term resident camping, developing leaders, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich, support, and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth.
As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:
- Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
- Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
- Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
- Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.
The Order of the Arrow was founded by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson in 1915 at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council, Boy Scouts of America. It became an official program experiment in 1922 and was approved as part of the Scouting program in 1934. In 1948 the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1998, the Order of the Arrow became recognized as Scouting’s National Honor Society when it expanded its reach beyond camping to include a greater focus on leadership development, membership extension, adventurous programming, and broader service to Scouting and the community. Today, its service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults, are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich, support, and help extend Scouting to America’s youth.
Within the Gulf Ridge Council, the Order of the Arrow was accepted as well. Seminole lodge was chartered in 1936 under the name Kiondashama Lodge 85, and the head of Chief Osceola was chosen as the lodge totem. It was soon discovered that the Knight and Wall Paint Company of Tampa had trademarked the Osceola head. To avoid any confusion, became the lodge totem was changed to the Ibis. In 1944 the name of the Lodge was changed to Seminole Lodge 85.
In 1951 Seminole Lodge lost its charter, but just one year later was once again active. Seminole, the oldest lodge in the section, had a good name in the area and has won several competitions. One of their proudest moments was in 2003 when Nick Digirolamo, a Seminole Lodge member, was elected National Chief.
The Lodge maintains an active schedule of activities throughout the year. Included in their regular calendar are events such as Winter Fellowship, Spring Conclave, Annual Banquet, Beaver Day, Pegasus Day, and Fall Conclave. In addition, special events such as the National Order of the Arrow Conference or NOAC, are currently being planned. NOAC 2015 will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Order of the Arrow and will be held Aug. 3—8, 2015 at Michigan State University. More information about the Lodge is available on their website.