"A Life of Service"
Recognition Show, Monday, August 3, 1998
Thousands of Arrowmen lined the steps of the north and west entrances of the Hilton Coliseum until the doors opened at 7:30 pm. The thirty-minute wait for the recognition show was filled with music, free prizes, and our second "Lenny Loosejocks" cartoon of the week. There was also a LottOA drawing for V.I.P. seats that was won by Tutelo Lodge #161 of Roanoke, Virginia.
At 8 pm the lights went down and Josh, our guide for the night, took the stage to tell us about the life of the Order's founder, Dr. E. Urner Goodman. Josh began with the familiar information about Treasure Island and July 16, 1915 when the first ceremony took place.
He then discussed the stage re-creation of the "Brotherhood Barn" in Vermont where the famous Order of the Arrow fireplace, constructed from rocks and stones sent to Goodman from Lodges across the country, can be found. We were then told about the very beginning, the birth of Edward Urner Goodman on May 15, 1891 in Philadelphia, his childhood, the death of his mother when he was four years old, the loss of his foster mother two years later, his musical prowess, and his literary skills.
The next part of the story began with Goodman's appointment as Scoutmaster of Philidelphia's Troop 1 in 1911 and his eventual appointment as Camp Director at Treasure Island. Josh explained that Goodman and Carol A. Edson, his assistant camp director and co-founder of the Order, wanted a special program to strengthen Scouting's ideals in the boys. Thus, a ceremony was created for induction into a special society and each troop was allowed to elect one Scout to be inducted at camp.
The spotlight then shifted to two men in long black robes waiting near a fire as a guide led two Scouts through the audience toward the stage. They approached a fallen tree, which blocked the view of the fire and men in black robes until they had passed under it. We were told that the two men near the fire were Goodman and Edson. The first two candidates were Robert Craig and Gilpin Allen. The narrator then described the original tests of the Ordeal as they were acted out and their significance was explained.
Josh took over again and explained the origin of the WWW we are so familiar with. The story goes that Horace W. Ralston and Horace P. Kern researched the Delaware Indians and found an English-Lenni Lenape dictionary. They chose the words to form the phrase "Brotherhood of Cheerful Service." We were then introduced to Nelson Block, distinguished Scouter and author of a Goodman biography, who told us the story of Billy Clark, a Scout in Goodman's troop. Billy had been cleaning a bedpan for a sick friend and spilled it on himself, but instead of stopping his task he continued it cheerfully. Goodman liked the story because Billy had demonstrated the ultimate in cheerful service for his sick friend.
Our guide then told us about the expansion of the Wimachtendienk and the adoption of the name "Order of the Arrow." He also discussed the creation of the Distinguished Service Award 58 years ago that was first given to Goodman. It was now time for National Chief Mathew Milleson, National Vice Chief David Petrush, former Chairman of the National OA Committee Dr. Carl Marchetti, and the Vice Chairman for Recognition Billy W. Walley to present the DSA recipients for 1998. Each recipient was recognized individually and then the entire group received a standing ovation.
We went back to the Brotherhood Barn with Josh to hear about Goodman's wife, Louise Waygood, and his three children. Two of Goodman's children, Ann Kapel and Ted Goodman, were in attendance to relate stories about their father. Mrs. Kapel explained that the serious side we usually saw of Goodman wasn't the way he was at home. He was often full of jokes and liked to play funny songs on his piano. Mr. Goodman related a story about his father and a trip to Treasure Island for summer camp. Ted was afraid that he would be alone at camp because his council camp was in New Jersey. His father convinced him that he should go and have fun, which he did, and two years later he was inducted into Unami Lodge #1.
The narrator then told us about E. Urner Goodman's 20 years of service as Director of Program for the BSA. Appointed by Chief Scout Executive James E. West in 1931, Goodman's tenure saw the Cub Scouting and Exploring programs enacted as well as the acquisition of Schiff Scout Reservation and Philmont Scout Ranch. He also oversaw the visit of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, publication of the first Fieldbook and three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, and development of training programs like Wood Badge.
Josh returned and introduced Dr. Carl Marchetti, former National Chairman, who was in the audience. Marchetti was a Section Chief at the National Conference in 1955 and was in charge of shows about the first OA ceremony. He went to visit Dr. Goodman in Vermont to discuss the first ceremony and accurately portray it in his show. The advice Dr. Goodman gave him was to "enjoy yourself, work hard, but watch out." Josh thanked Dr. Marchetti and spoke about Dr. Goodman's position as the first general director of the United Church Men of America, an organization affiliated with the National Council of Churches of Christ. He also told us about Goodman's speaking engagements across the country and his inspiring speeches at the National Conferences and OA gatherings. His closing challenges were often the highlight of the event.
Josh introduced two former National Chiefs from the audience who were fortunate enough to work with Dr. Goodman. Dr. Bob Szczys, National Committee member and National Conference Chief in 1967, remembered Goodman as a motivational speaker. He recalled the 50th Anniversary speech in particular, which was about dreams for the future. The memorable final quote from Goodman's speech was "and you my brothers will bring my boat to shore." Brad Haddock, National Committee member and National Chief in 1975, remembered a very genuine and sincere Goodman when they met for lunch the first time.
The narrator then announced the recipients of the 1997 E. Urner Goodman Camping Awards. It is awarded to two outstanding lodges in each region that promote and increase Scout camping. The recipients were:
The final part of the show was a video of Dr. Goodman. In an inspirational moment he said, "and that is what I pray for in the years ahead for the Arrowmen as they face the future-- feeling that God will help them to do that which our country needs and do it with devotion in the brotherhood of cheerful service." The video faded and the audience remained seated and silent for a few minutes until the house lights came up and music began to play. It was a great ending to a great story of a life of service.
Copyright © 1997,1998 Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America. All rights reserved.