Centennial Update: Watch the OA’s first Vigil reenacted in NOAC museum film

By Chris Boyle

This summer, at the National Order of the Arrow Conference, guests were treated to a museum experience like never before. The Goodman Edson Observatory, or GEO, took Arrowmen on an interactive tour of the history of the OA. One special feature from GEO was a film produced specially for the event portraying the first Vigil Ceremony called NUWINGI -The Willing.

The short film sought to recreate the night that Dr. E. Urner Goodman kept his Vigil atop the Devil’s Tea Table, overlooking Treasure Island and the Delaware River. It gave GEO visitors a taste of what it was like back in 1915 when the vigil was held.

Executive producer and National OA Committee member Bill Topkis, along with producer and youth key volunteer Kyle Palmer and 32 other people had only 40 hours to create the video. The shoot took place at Camp Tracey Wigwam and Camp Tooele Wigwam. All in all, more than 10,000 people came through the GEO and had the chance to see this video, which was the result of hard work by many.

Topkis is no stranger to filming short films for the Order of the Arrow. For NOAC 2012, he produced a short film recreating the first OA induction ceremony that took place in 1915 at Treasure Island; a film that has allowed Arrowmen to learn more about the organization of which they are a part.

The film is available below and online for anyone to watch on the OA’s official YouTube channel. Watch the film from the GEO and be prepared to travel back to 1916!

Last revised on