NOAC 2018 Recap
By Kyle Hoffmann
Our National Order of the Arrow Conference has come to a close. Each of us walks away from this week with memories we will keep forever, friends we will grow closer with, and a motivation to return to our home lodges to take them to new levels. While it’s impossible to experience everything NOAC has to offer in the time we are here, there were some aspects of the program particularly memorable for all of us.
One impossible-to-miss part of NOAC were the shows. Each of the four shows dazzled us in a different way, but hammered home a common theme of urging our brothers to rededicate themselves to Scouting’s values. From the ceremonial parts of Monday’s show, to Tuesday’s celebration of “keepers of the flame,” to Wednesday’s journey through The Vault, to Friday’s incredible theme show, everyone was entertained.
Training sessions revealed new perspectives on our favorite parts of the Order of the Arrow. Advisers learned how to better connect with youth. Youth learned how to better connect with all different facets of the OA – from ceremonies, to Brotherhood candidates, to one’s lodge executive committee. Arrowmen learned from training that will be brought back home to elevate their lodge’s program.
Now, remember when each region cheered so loud at the opening show it made the house shake? Well, on Thursday the four regions got together again at their respective region gatherings for even more fun. Lodges who won region-wide awards were recognized, as well as the lodges from each region that earned Exemplar status in ceremonies. The time set aside solely for interacting with other Arrowmen from one’s own region certainly made everyone’s time here even more cheerful.
Finally, the Wayfinder Festival gave every lodge the chance to put themselves on display for the rest of the country. Arrowmen were given a direct opportunity to network with those from different lodges and have one last celebration before heading home. All the music, goodies, and fellowship at the festival made it a hallmark of NOAC 2018.
The 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference has been an incredible event, and we hope to see you at NOAC 2020 to make even more memories!