National gatherings have been a part of the Order of the Arrow since the early 1920s. While the format has changed and developed over time, one thing has always remained: the fellowship of our Brotherhood that spans far and wide.
The first national event in 1921 was called the “Grand Lodge Meeting” and was hosted by Unami Lodge 1 and Unalactigo Lodge 8. At this event, delegates framed the Grand Lodge Constitution and held national elections. Grand Lodge Meetings were held 15 more times over the next 27 years. These weekend-long events included primarily business-oriented activities.
The official addition of the Order of the Arrow in 1933 to the Scouting program ushered in a new era of national events. The 15th Grand Lodge Meeting in 1948 was also the first official National Order of the Arrow Conference. This was the first national event to be held in a university campus setting, to have over one thousand in attendance, and to have its own patch. It was announced here to the Arrowmen that the OA would be fully embraced into the wider Scouting organization.
Since then, NOAC has been held at various university campuses around the country. Indiana University, which has hosted 13 times, has hosted the most NOACs of any university. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is no stranger to hosting NOAC; it has hosted four times in the past as of March 2022. Common, popular events at NOAC have continued to be the training sessions and the shows, which will continue to be staples of NOAC 2022 and for years to come.