Participants are joining over 6,800 Arrowmen from across the country to the 26th National Order of the Arrow Conference. Everyone knows that it takes a great deal for a lodge contingent to prepare for the conference, but many participants are unaware of the vast planning that takes place before anyone arrives on campus.
The first stage of planning began several years ago when the national committee picked the location of this conference to be The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Following the choice of a location, contracts were drawn up and preliminary planning for the facilities was made.
In December of 1999, at the National Planning Meeting in Dallas, all of the section chiefs met and developed the theme and conference activities. After electing the national chief, vice chief, four region chiefs, and the conference vice chiefs (CVC's), they started to develop their program plans. With members of the National Order of the Arrow Committee providing guidance, the CVC's led their committees into creating the individual program areas.
This year the conference will be divided into nine program committees: American Indian Events, Camping and High Adventure, Communications, Competitions and Recreation, Founders' Day, Inductions and Ceremonies, National Council of Chiefs, Shows and Special Events.
In addition to the program committees, there are three support service groups that are designed to ensure the success of the conference. The committees are headed by a member of the National Committee and supported by enough staff to carry out the support responsibilities. This year's service committees are Financial Services, Support Services and Trading Post.