The Order of the Arrow was founded during the summer of 1915 at Treasure Island, the Philadelphia Council Scout Camp by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson, camp director and assistant respectively. These two men, working with their staff at Treasure Island, originated the ideas that became the basis for the national brotherhood of honor campers of the Boy Scouts of America.
Treasure Island, located north of Trenton, N.J., on the Delaware River, was an early camping ground of the Lenni Lanape or Delaware Indians.
Goodman and Edson wanted some distinct form of recognition for those scouts in their camp who best exemplified the spirit of the Scout Oath and Law. Since the valley of the Delaware was rich in tradition and the site was an island used in the bygone days as a camping ground of the Indians, it seemed only natural to base this brotherhood of honor campers on the legends and the traditions on the Delaware. As a result, they prepared a simple, yet effective, ceremony that, in turn, led to the organization of what was later to be known as the Order of the Arrow.
It was from this beginning that the procedures and programs of the organization were to be based on the ideals of democracy. Thus, a unique custom was established in that the members were elected by non-members. There has been no change in this since that time. The original name, Wimachtendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui was suggested by Horace W. Ralston, a Philadelphia Scouter.
The Original ceremony was quite different than the one that developed later. Yet there was still three lessons taught.
In the first year, 25 members were inducted into the brotherhood. Many members wore a black sash with a white arrow on it. The black sash was used because it offered an excellent contrast to the white arrow. In the original plans there were two degrees; the first, was like a combination of the Ordeal and Brotherhood memberships, and the second, an early version of the Vigil Honor.
From 1915 until 1921, the Order grew slowly. In 1921, steps were taken to establish the Order on a national basis. And, in 1922, the Order of the Arrow became an official program experiment with the Boy Scouts of America.
On June 2, 1934, at the National Council Annual Meeting in Buffalo, New York, the Order of the Arrow program was approved by the National Council.
In May 1948, the Executive Board, upon recommendations of its Committee for Camping, officially integrated the Order of the Arrow into the Scouting movement. In the 1974 re-organization of the Boy Scouts of America, the Order of the Arrow Committee became a subcommittee of the National Boy Scout Committee.
The growth of the Order of the Arrow through the years has never been based on an aggressive promotional plan. Growth came because councils believed in the ideals expressed by the Order and voluntarily requested the lodges be formed. The soundness of providing a single workable honor camper's brotherhood, rather than many, is evident. Over one million Boy Scouts, Explorers, and Scouters have been inducted into the Order during the past 80 years. There are now over 200,000 active members.
This coverage of the nation makes possible a unified approach. It provides for transfer of membership, standard books and supplies, national training plans, and a coordinated scheme for building strength in local units through regional and national service. All of this adds color, enthusiasm, and quality to the camping program of Scouting.
The Miami Lodge #495 is named after the great Miami Indian nation. The origin of name Miami comes from their Ojibwe name, Oumami (Oumamik, Owmaweg, Omaumeg) "people of the peninsula" altered by the French and English into our familiar form of Miami (Maumee).
The Order of the Arrow was initiated in the Miami Valley Council in the fall of 1952. A group of Scouts and volunteers petitioned the Council Scout Executive, Wayne Hopkins (a Vigil Honor member), for permission to charter and start a lodge.
The first ceremony and induction of members was held at Cricket Holler in October of 1952. At the time 121 new members were inducted in a ceremony by Arrowmen of Owasippe Lodge #7 of the Chicago Area Council. A loan from the council permitted the lodge to purchase materials for Indian outfits for the second Ordeal. Ordeal and Brotherhood ceremonies were held annually at Cricket Holler through 1958. With the opening of Woodland Trails Scout Reservation in 1959, Miami Lodge embarked on a plan of holding events at both camps, a tradition that continues today.
In the first year of opening, the lodge inaugurated its basic plan of service. The lodge helps in preparation for the summer and winter camping seasons by providing conservation work and general improvement to the two council camps. This is one of our greatest traditions and is continued to this very day.
Initially, a reunion and dance was held every December. This event was replaced by the annual Fellowship Dinner. The first dinner was held in January of 1958 and continues to this day as the major social event of the lodge.
The totem of the Miami Lodge is the crane, officially designated as the Sandhill Crane in 1996 by the Lodge Executive Committee. The first pocket emblem and neckerchief were designed by Don Huxley. Since that time the lodge has had many different lodge flap designs approved by Lodge Executive Committee. A special lodge flaps are normally created for special events like Anniversaries, National Scout Jamborees, National Order of the Arrow Conferences, and hosting a Section Conclave.
Miami Lodge has always been proud of its service to Miami Valley Council. During our three annual Ordeal Fellowship weekends we have given countless hours of service to our council camps since 1952. Gifts to the camps of materials like roofing shingles, paint, and wood are common place. Most reciently, large gifts of a new climbing tower and Archary Range shed at Woodland Trails have proven the lodge's commitment to our council and its youth.
Section Conclaves have always been an important part of the history of the Miami Lodge. In the fall of 1960, the Lodge hosted its first conclave at Cricket Holler. Since that time the Miami Lodge has hosted the section conclave as follows:
The Miami Lodge has continually sent a delegation to each section conclave. We have gained a substantial reputation as a respected competitor and spirited lodge.
The Lodge has been represented at every National Order of the Arrow Conference since 1954. In 1977 the Miami Lodge Ceremonies Team placed among the nations finest in national competition in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the 1986 National Conference at Central Michigan University, Miami Lodge's John Kincer placed third in Traditional Indian Dance Competition.
At the 1988 National Conference at Colorado State University, Rick Hauser was among a select group of Arrowmen to be inducted into Brotherhood membership at the first ever National Brotherhood Induction Ceremony.
Miami Lodge is most known for its consistence presence as servant leaders on the sectional, regional, and national level. Many of our members have served on numerous NOAC staff contingents over the years. Several of our past lodge officers are currently on the National Order of the Arrow Committee. In addition, Miami Lodge has always been an interregnal part of any Section Conclave operating in many different capacities.
Training has always been important to the Miami Lodge. To that extent a delegation from the Miami Lodge has attended every National Leadership Seminar in our area since the inception of this program by the National Order of the Arrow Committee. Three recent Lodge Chiefs, Alex Rhodes, Rick Hauser, and P. J. Hentrich have distinguished themselves by serving on NLS Staff on numerous occasions. Moreover, one of our past lodge chiefs, Randy Cline, is widely recognized for constructing the current NLS course.
In 2011 the Lodge began reforming Chapters with the hope of reigniting a passion for the OA in the Miami Valley Council. It was decided that four Chapters would represent the 6 Districts of the Miami Valley Council. Since then the Chapters have met with varying degrees of success however many dedicated youth and adult leaders are working diligently to ensure the Chapters' and their Lodge's long term success.
With over 70 years of cheerful service behind us, our supporting role continues to be of major importance to Scouting in the Miami Valley Council.
Lodge Chiefs of Miami Lodge 495:
Over the years many fine volunteer leaders have served as Lodge Adviser. This group includes:
Members of the Miami Lodge who have been either Area 4C, C-4A, EC-6A, C5-B or C4-B Section Chief:
Dr. Chris Grove, former Miami Lodge Chief and Lodge Adviser served as the Central Region Chairman for the Order of the Arrow also the National Vice Chairman of the National Order of the Arrow Committee. He is currently the National OA Chairman of the Order of the Arrow
Randy Cline, former Miami Lodge Chief led the development of the Order of the Arrow National Leadership Seminar, was the Northeast Region Chairman for the OA and is currently a member of the National Order of the Arrow Committee.