Centennial Update: Administering NOAC: Youth Committees and Leadership
By Donnie Stephens
The idea of the Order of the Arrow as a youth led organization can be seen on all levels—from chapter chiefs to the national structure. Each National Order of the Arrow Conference, too, is organized and staffed by key youth leaders across a number of committees. These committees, and the youth that lead them, are responsible for administering the entire conference.
There are normally nine NOAC committees that manage different aspects of the conference. These committees are Activities and Recreation (ARC), American Indian Affairs (AIA), Communications, Inductions and Ceremonial Events (ICE), National Eagle Scout Association at NOAC (NESA @ NOAC), Outdoor Adventure, Shows, Special Events and Training. New for the 2015 NOAC, there will be a tenth committee added to handle all aspects of the conference related to the centennial, aptly named the Centennial Celebrations Committee.
These committees are responsible for running many of the programs under the focus area suggested by their names. The ARC committee holds many of the fun activities that NOAC offers: the “NOAC Idol” talent show, region-wide dodge ball competitions and much more. The AIA committee is responsible for bringing the Order’s traditions rooted in the Native American culture to life through displays and dance and drum competitions. All conference communications—text updates, daily newsletters, radio channels and social media— are handled by the communications team. ICE coordinates programs like the ceremonies and regalia competitions, while NESA@NOAC provides programs to encourage Arrowmen to advance to the rank of Eagle Scout. The shows committee plans and executes the fantastic daily theatrical displays held on each night of the conference, while the training committee provides the high quality cells offered each morning. Lastly, the Centennial Celebrations Committee will handle the delivery of the Centennial Gala, rededication ceremony, Legacy Project displays and the Centennial Festival. Together, these committees foster the dynamic program that has made NOAC into the premier national event that it is today.
As mentioned, these committees, aside from necessary adult advising, are led almost exclusively by youth leaders from across the country. At the helm of each committee is a youth leader referred to as a conference vice chief, or CVC. These CVCs will be selected among the Order’s section chiefs months ahead of the conference at the 2014 National Planning Meeting in December. Before arriving at the national planning meeting, section chiefs submit their top three NOAC committee preferences and the newly elected national chief and national vice chief will assign section chiefs to committees accordingly. Then, committees will break out, where the youth section chiefs on that particular committee will select their conference vice chief, and start planning the conference.
“The Order’s mission outlines that its program should be driven by positive youth leadership,” says 2014 National Chief Nick Dannemiller, “and our national conference is no different. Everything you experience during conference is ultimately planned and executed by the section chiefs who serve on the youth planning committees.”
The youth leadership and planning involved in the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference is just one of many reasons to be excited about this historic event. Be sure to look for updates pertaining to NOAC, specifically in regards to the NOAC committees and selected CVCs, which will be announced in early 2015!
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