The History and Purpose of the Order of the Arrow

The purpose of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting's National Honor Society, is fourfold:

  1. Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
  2. Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
  3. Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
  4. Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

For more complete information about Tamegonit Lodge and the customs and traditions of the Order of the Arrow, review the Lodge Handbook & By-Laws on our Resources page.

The History of Tamegonit Lodge

In 1915, on a wooded Island in Delaware, the Order of the Arrow was founded by E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson. On Treasure Island in Philadelphia, the first ceremony took place with only a few being inducted that year.  Over the years, the Order spread slowly across the nation.  In 1926, Camp Naish opened as property of the Boy Scouts of America, Kaw Council.  As the Order spread, it reached Camp Naish in 1939, where Tamegonit Lodge became the 147th Lodge to charter with the National Council.

As the Order grew at Camp Naish, Tamegonit Lodge developed a reputation for strong leadership and value.  One of the first of such leaders was James Feil, who in 1953-1954 served as National Order of the Arrow Conference Chief, one of the first in the position that would later become National Chief.  James’s father, L. George Feil began 18 years of services as the National Chairman of Order of the Arrow starting 1956.  In 1958 Tamegonit Lodge was again honored by being asked to host the bi-annual National Order of the Arrow Conference, which was held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS.

Tamegonit Lodge continued on, having its 25th anniversary in 1964, just one year before the 50th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow.  While Tamegonit Lodge was growing, a major event loomed on its horizon, poised to launch Tamegonit Lodge into a greater and better era.  In 1974, the Kaw Council and the Kansas City Area Council merged to form the Heart of America Council.  Tamegonit Lodge had now almost doubled in size thanks to this fortunate merger. Just two years later, in 1976, the Theodore Naish Scout Reservation celebrated its 50th Anniversary, another milestone for the camp that our Order had sat on all those years.  In, 1979 Mary Lee Feil and Louise Goodman received the Red Arrow Award. Mary was the mother of James and husband of L. George, thus bringing more success and recognition to our Lodge.  Furthermore, Founder’s Recipient Ed Hubert was honored in 1981 by being the first Founder’s Award ever; the award presented was by the 1981 National Chief Brad Starr.

In 1989, the 50th anniversary of Tamegonit Lodge ushered in yet another age of cheerful service and brotherhood in Tamegonit Lodge, just one year before the 75th anniversary of Order of the Arrow.  At the 50th anniversary celebration, the Tamegonit Lodge Great House was dedicated, thus reaffirming the presence of Tamegonit Lodge in the Heart of America Council.

Through the 1990’s and the new millennium, Tamegonit Lodge went on establishing success in many areas.  Both the Tamegonit Lodge Nitis Wiwingtonheet and the Gentgeen team have been recognized nationally many times, being praised for their excellent Native American attire at almost every National Order of the Arrow Conference since 1992.  Furthermore, several members of the lodge were recognized with the Distinguished Service Award*, the national award to individual arrowman based on their service to Scouting and the Order.  The most recent recipient of the Distinguished Service Award was Forrest Bolles, who was honored at the National Order of the Arrow Conference in 2009.  At the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference, Phillip Raine will become just the ninth recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Kansas City area.  Tamegonit Lodge has also been honored by being given the E. Urner Goodman Camping Award.  In these past years, Tamegonit Lodge has also shown positive growth, achieving more than 4000 members, and receiving the Quality Lodge award countless times.

As we look to the future of the Order, Tamegonit looks to have a bright one, by Leading a Legacy for the 75th Anniversary of Tamegonit Lodge in 2014, followed by the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow in 2015.

Purchase 2022 Lodge History Book Here

Distinguished Service Award

*Distinguished Service Award Recipients within the Current Tamegonit Lodge Boundaries

James Feil
Sidney North
George Feil
Jack Hedinger
Robert Burt
Tom Ford
Cortland Bolles
Forrest Bolles
Phillip Raine

Recent Tamegonit Lodge Distinguished Service Award Recipients

Phillip Raine, 2012


Forrest Bolles, 2009

Cortland Bolles, 2004