Centennial Update: Centennial celebrations committee plans special events at NOAC

By Austin Pauling

As we continue to get closer to NOAC 2015, we all are wondering what will happen at NOAC, and what changes are there compared to past NOACs?

For this NOAC, the national Order of the Arrow committee has placed a special emphasis on providing once in a lifetime experiences that will encourage NOAC guests to reflect upon the Order of the Arrow’s impact over the last hundred years while being mindful of our obligations for the next century. Tasked with planning and delivering on this vision is the centennial celebrations committee, lead by national committee member Donald Cunningham. The centennial celebrations team will spearhead four major programs: the Legacy Project, the Centennial Gala, a Centennial Rededication and the Centennial Festival.

“The Legacy Project will offer an opportunity for lodges to tastefully display their efforts over the last few years to produce rocks, lids and history books associated with our anniversary,” Cunningham explained. “The displays will be housed in a busy part of campus in an air-conditioned tent that will also be home to various affinity group reunions throughout the conference.”

The Centennial Gala will feature a three-course meal dedicated to honoring the traditions of our past as we thoughtfully ponder future Centuries of Service. This will be the premier banquet at NOAC 2015 replete with a high-profile keynote speaker, an opportunity to honor recipients of the Order of the Arrow's Centurion Award, and a special token associated with our centennial. Arrowmen from around the country will mingle with Centurions as we all reflect upon the Order's role during its next 100 years.

The Centennial Rededication will allow Arrowmen from across the country to make use of local firewood that they have brought to NOAC to be ceremoniously burned and co-mingled with all other lodges’ firewood. The ashes from which will be distributed to every lodge in the country to commemorate this very special occasion. The rededication team will also be responsible for distribution and symbolic references to the special red sash that only guests of the conference will receive.

The Centennial Festival will feature live music, a midway, food & drink vendors, games and other activities reminiscent of a carnival, fair or other outdoor festival. “The festival bears no agenda; rather, it is intended for NOAC guests to let loose, have fun and enjoy a day of celebrations without any structure, deadlines, or training components,” says Cunningham.

As NOAC 2015 approaches, be on the lookout for more information on these unique centennial programs available to NOAC participants and staff!

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