Message from the National Chief

Each day, we wake up to a world filled with new and exciting opportunities. Some of these opportunities unknowingly at the time have the ability to change our lives forever. For me, NOAC was one of those life changing opportunities.

My first NOAC experience was in 2009. At that time, I was in my second term as lodge chief for Woapeu Sisilija Lodge. I remember being bombarded with messages about how great NOAC was from the trainings, games, shows, and something called the Grand Hodag. I naively figured it would just be similar to one of my lodge events, just on a larger scale.

Little did I know that as I was stepping into my lodge's cramped rental van to embark on that long journey from Pennsylvania to Indiana that my perspective of not only the Order of the Arrow, but life in general would be forever changed. They always say it's not the destination, but the journey that matters most, but in this case, the destination was much better than the journey! There is no greater feeling than stepping out of a crowded van and seeing hundreds of people dressed from the traditional tan uniform and white sash all the way to vibrant blue shirts and sunflower hats. It was at that moment I realized that I was a part of something much bigger than my lodge of 600 or myself.

Now, it is nearly impossible to try and capture the essence of NOAC through just words. Because NOAC is not just another national event, it is an experience. Everyone who attends the national conference takes away something unique. In my case, it was realizing that there is an entire world out there filled with people who believed in the same thing I did.

The theme of this year's National Order of the Arrow Conference is "United, We Leave a Legacy," because one person can make a difference, but when we come together, anything is possible.

I personally cannot wait to see all of you at Michigan State University for the BEST NOAC yet, so you too can have the experience of a life time!

John Rehm
National Chief

Archived letter from 2011 National Chief Jonathan Hillis