In preparation for the Order of the Arrow’s (OA) 100th anniversary in 2015, the Order’s statewide organization, known as Southern Region Section Seven A (SR-7A), is seeking members of the public who have a personal or family connection with the OA in Virginia in order to gather stories, images, and other historical information to be included in a groundbreaking history project.
Specifically, SR-7A is seeking historical anecdotes, photos and documents relating to regional or statewide events known as Area Pow Wows or Section Conclaves or Indian Seminars dating from the late 1940s to present day. Typically held at Boy Scout camps, hundreds of OA members would gather at these annual events for leadership training, activities and competitions, and fellowship. Currently coordinated by Section 7A of the Southern Region (SR-7A), these events were associated with the following designations in the past: Area III-A, Area III-C, Southeastern Region Section 1 (SE-1), and Southeast Region Section 8 (SE-8).
SR-7A is currently comprised of six OA lodges associated with local Boy Scout councils headquartered in Newport News, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Waynesboro, and Winchester. Through the 1970s, these Virginia-based lodges also participated in area or section events with lodges from Maryland, Delaware, northeastern Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
Activities and events at the local lodge level have been well-documented (in general) over the years, but there have been few concerted efforts to gather historical information from multi-lodge events like area pow wows and section conclaves. “OA Members may not have had a venue or opportunity to display or share information on these statewide events in the past, and we think that current members, former members, or their families may have treasure troves of photographs, newsletters, articles, and other items in their garages or attics,” said Rhys Franklin, SR-7A Section Secretary.
Interested parties are invited to visit history.sr7a.org to learn more about the project and how they can get involved. Individuals have the ability to upload scanned photos and documents as well as sharing OA memories through a form submitted online. Materials gathered may be used in a comprehensive print or web-based OA history publication in 2015. For more information, visit history.sr7a.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Order of the Arrow Background
Founded in 1915, the Order of the Arrow‘s purpose includes:
- Promoting camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience.
- Developing leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
- Crystallizing the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.