History of the Order of the Arrow

In 1915, Camp Director E. Urner Goodman and Assistant Camp Director Carroll A. Edson searched for a way to recognize select campers for their cheerful sprits of service at Treasure Island Scout Camp in the Delaware River.  Goodman and Edson founded the Order of the Arrow when they held the first Ordeal Ceremony on July 16th of that year.  By 1921, as the popularity of the organization spread to other camps, local lodges attended the first national gathering called a Grand Lodge Meeting.

The Order of the Arrow was one of many camp honor societies that existed at local Scout camps across the country.  As the years went on and more camps adopted the Order of the Arrow’s program, it gained prominence and became part of the national Boy Scout program in 1934.  By 1948, the OA, recognized as the BSA’s national brotherhood of honor campers, became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America.  Toward the end of the twentieth century, the OA expanded its focus to include conservation, high adventure, and servant-leadership.

Throughout the years, the Order of the Arrow has played an integral role in the program of the Boy Scouts and in the community service its members contribute to their communities.  To date, more than one million people have been members of the Order of the Arrow.

Presently, the Order of the Arrow consists of nearly 300 lodges, which form approximately 48 sections in four regions.  Leadership positions and voting rights are restricted to members under the age of 21.  Through the program, members live up to the ideals of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service set forth by E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson.

History of Section W-4N

In 1945, Canalino #90 invited all the lodges in Area U to a Fellowship held in Santa Barbara. A.R. Groeling, Scout Executive of Mission Council became its first Adviser. Ernie Houston, Chief of Spe-Le-Yai #249 was elected the first Area Chief. Area U consisted of all the lodges in Arizona, California, Nevada and the Canal Zone.

In 1955 Area U was divided into five areas. The lodges of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern and Los Angeles Counties became Area 12E. Conferences were held at council camps, military bases, colleges and high schools.

In 1972, the twelve regions at the time were combined to form the four regions we know today. In the new terminology, an “Area” became much larger, and was sub-divided into “Sections”. Area 12E became Section W-4A. This meant that the lodges were in the Western Region, Area 4 (“Sunshine Area”), Section A. What had been an area conference became known as a Section Conclave. Over the 35 years of W-4A different Lodges have moved in and out of the Section.

In 1983 Area 4 conducted a joint W-4A and W-4B area conference at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys.

In 1990 the full Area 4, W-4A, W-4B, and W-4C, conducted a joint Area Conference at Palm Springs High School in Palm Springs. This was the first time since 1955 that all the Lodges in Area 4 had been together.

In 2008, the Western Region did a realignment that put together six of the original W-4A Lodges back to form Section W-4N.

In 2016, the Siwinis Lodge (Los Angeles Area Council) and Ta Tanka Lodge (San Gabriel Valley Council) merged and became Tuku’ut Lodge (Greater Los Angeles Area Council) and joined Section W-4N.

In 2017, for the first time since 1990, Area 4 hosted a joint Area Conclave (“Areaclave”). Sections W-4N and W-4S joined together at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. The conclave was put together by a joint Council of Chiefs featuring Chumash, Cahuilla, Malibu, Puvunga, Spe-Le-Yai, Topa Topa, Tuku’ut, Wiatava, and Yowlumne Lodges.

In 2018, we celebrated 10 years of Section W-4N.