Lodge Ledger: Ken Davis Celebrates 40th Year on National Committee

By Nick Allen

This year, Ken Davis is serving his 40th year on the national Order of the Arrow committee. He joined the committee in 1974 as the first chairman of the Southeast Region and continues to serve today on the national events & 100th anniversary committee. He has a Ph.D. in history and is well known for writing a history of the OA, titled The Brotherhood of Cheerful Service.

Ken was given the task of writing a history book in 1974 by George Feil, the national chairman at that time. For the first four chapters of the book, Ken consulted a writing by George Chapman, the first chief of Unami Lodge, titled The Arrow and the Vigil. This was completed in 1953 and gave a history of the Order up to that time. Davis updated this and continued until 1990 when the book was published to commemorate the OA’s 75th anniversary.

Ken was surprised as to how well the early records of the Order were kept. While there were some gaps in the information of the Order’s early years, Ken found that there was an abundance of primary sources that greatly assisted him in the writing of this book.

In addition to The Brotherhood of Cheerful Service, Davis has also written The History of Wood Badge and more recently Born at the Confluence, A History of the Philmont Staff Association.

Ken has staffed over 25 Wood Badge courses, serving as Scoutmaster on many of them. He has served as school director at multiple National Camping Schools, and has led OA Service Corps groups at jamborees.

Ken has also received many of Scouting’s highest awards, such as the Silver Beaver Award, Silver Antelope Award and Silver Buffalo Award. He received the OA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1977.

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