It wasn't until 1954 that the Lodge had a group of Arrowmen participate in a National Order of the Arrow Conference. That year a group of lodge members traveled to the Conference held at the University of Wyoming in August.


A group of Arrowmen, including Dabney Kennedy and Ric Wilkins, traveled to the National Order of the Arrow Conference held in the summer of 1958 at Lawrence, Kansas, by way of Philmont Scout Ranch. They toured the prison at, Boulder, Colorado, the Royal Gorge, and Pikes Peak. They met Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Col. Carroll A. Edson face to face at the Conference and had both men sign their OA Sashes.

The participants watched a group out of Colorado do a team dance using live rattle snakes as part of their dance. Several incidents happened during the Conference including one of the scouts getting mad at a gag pulled on him. He retaliated by breaking the glass on the fire alarm and pulling the alarm. This brought several fire trucks to the dormitory. Also one of the Scouts got into a fight with some of the local college students. Needless to say, Dabney Kennedy, the organizer of the trip, was not too happy with the group! However, they did make it home safely.


1961 was a big year for the Lodge. Not only did they host the Area 9-D Conference at Camp Billy Gibbons on August 4-6, but twenty Arrowmen attended the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, from August 21-24 under the leadership of Glen E. McClatchey of Brownwood.

1994 NOAC Lodge Patch

Six Arrowmen participated in NOAC held at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, on July 31 - August 4, 1994. Under the leadership of Don M. Beach and John Cox, Michael Beach, Cody Stephens, Michael Fulton and Bradley Maples went to the Conference. They went to the quarterly finals in Volleyball and Michael Beach received a red ribbon in Indian Dancing.

1996 NOAC Lodge Patch
1998 NOAC Lodge Patch
2002 NOAC Lodge Patch
2002 National Order of the Arrow Conference

Arrowmen have attended every NOAC since 1994.  The 2002 NOAC was the last attended by Otena Lodge.  NOAC 2002 took place from July 27 - August 1, 2002 on the campus of Indiana University at Bloomington. Approximately 7,000 Arrowmen attended the Conference. The theme for the 2002 National Order of the Arrow Conference was “Test Yourself and So Discover.”  Arrowmen from Otena Lodge attending were Joey Ellis, Kendal Teague, Jared Blair, and Alex Huse. Adult advisers were Bob Rider, Pam Rider and Shirley Teague. 

2002 National Order of the Arrow Conference
Left to Right: Joey Ellis, Jared Blair, Kendal Teague, 
 Alex Huse

Left to Right:  Robert "Bob" Rider, 
Pam Rider, Shirley Teague
The days were filled with attending a vast array of training cells and sessions designed to educate Arrowmen with useful up-to-date information. All Arrowmen at the conference had the opportunity to attend various sessions, take the training home and use it to strengthen the Lodge and use it in their everyday life as well as.

The OA Museum was visited and offered 6,000 square feet of OA memorabilia and was a great place to see not only the history of the Order, but of Otena Lodge and Camp Billy Gibbons as well. An Otena Vigil lodge flap was donated by the lodge and placed on the US map displayed in the museum.

The Otena contingent also attended a religious assembly, Scout's Own Service with inspirational speaker which was held at Indiana University Auditorium.

One of the favorite areas was the Total Outdoor Adventure Place (TOAP) where participants tested their physical strength and mental ingenuity. By far, the two favorite events were the climbing wall and the mechanical bull riding. Other activities included: learning about Leave No Trace camping, building teamwork through the challenge events, orienteering, shooting, disability awareness and its experiences, fly fishing, and meet the National Forest Service mountain men. By the way, one of National Forest Service mountain men was Fred Atnip, formerly of Comanche Trail Council. Chris Firth and Tim Price worked on staff in the TOAP area as well.

Another interesting area explored was the High Adventure Exposition where the latest technologies and equipment for high adventure activities. Equipment manufacturers and retailers displayed and demonstrated their latest products. 

Patch trading was also a favorite activity. NOAC participants interested in patch trading met at IU Fieldhouse, near Assembly Hall. This was the place to be if patches were your game!

The "Grand Hodag" was a super charged activity with live music, food, and fellowship.

Of course, the nightly shows were always entertaining. The opening show featured a parade of giant lodge flaps of all the lodges in attendance. The Otena Lodge flap was carried by Alex Huse.  Other nightly shows included the History and Recognition Show, American Indian Show, and the Closing Theme Show. Immediately following the closing Theme Show on Wednesday night, NOAC participants were greeted by members of the National Order of the Arrow Committee and National Boy Scout Executive Staff who served ice cream outside Assembly Hall. NOAC officially closed with an impressive fireworks display.

Ready to board the van for a long trip to NOAC
Left to Right: Bob Rider, Pam Rider, Alex Huse, 
Shirley Teague, Kendal Teague, Jared Blair, Joey Ellis
2002 -Dr. Pepper replica of NOAC Otena flap.
Left to Right: Alex Huse, Jared Blair, Joey Ellis, 
                              Kendal Teague

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