National Order of the Arrow Conference
The next NOAC is August 3-8 2020 at Michigan State University. We’ll start accepting deposits in August 2019. Contact us for more information about the deposit. Our fee for 2020 will be around $750. We'll depart on a few days early and return August 8 or 9.
What is NOAC?
Every three years, Arrowmen from across the country gather on the campus of a major university for the National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC). These gatherings draw nearly 7,000 Arrowmen, traveling from as far away as Europe and Asia, for six days of training and fellowship. With each progressing year, NOAC becomes more diversified, more fun, and larger than the previous year.
NOAC has many different aspects and it is impossible to participate in every event in one year. Each year more events are added and changed so you can go to NOAC every time and probably not do anything twice. The main activities at NOAC include ceremonies evaluation, training, Native American events, shows, and Founder’s Day. NOAC has something for everyone of all backgrounds and all ages. It is definitely one of Scouting’s most unique and entertaining training events.
Why come to NOAC?
There are several great reasons to come to the National Order of the Arrow Conference next August!
NOAC is like the National Scout Jamboree for the Order of the Arrow. Arrowmen from all over the country are coming to Indiana University to get together and have a great time on a beautiful college campus. Arrowmen stay in dorms, eat in the cafeterias and have a blast attending the events throughout the campus. No matter if this is your first NOAC or you are a veteran conference attendee, there will be something new there to do along with many old favorites.
A key part of NOAC is sharing knowledge and learning new ideas. One of the best ways to learn at NOAC is through the formal training sessions that take place. This is a chance for Arrowmen to share new ideas and suggestions of some of the best trainers in the country. They present sessions on various topics that range from being an efficient officer to the meaning of the customs and traditions of the Order of the Arrow. Another way to get important ideas is through demonstrations, workshops and talking to other Arrowmen. Although more informal, this way of learning can be just as fun. Not to forget, attending NOAC is probably the best way to meet the National Officers. These young men make the Order of the Arrow the way it is. They liked to be questioned and told new ideas.
American Indian Activities are another of the traditional events that take place at NOAC. They include many training sessions and workshops, as well as chances for lodges with individuals interested in American Indian dancing and singing a chance to perform for a panel of judges. During Founders Day, there is usually a Pow Wow in which the American Indian Events participants are encouraged to take part. There is a dazzling array of regalia and talent.
Ceremonies have also been a part of NOAC for many years. Lodges can enter teams in Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil evaluations. Judges give recommendations on how the team can become better. The goal of this type of competition is for the participants to become better through the evaluation. The participants have put a lot of time and effort into practicing and it is incredible to watch them. Seeing other teams gives lodges ideas on what they would like their own teams to be like. Those interested in ceremonies can also attend training sessions on all aspects of our ceremonies.
Another set of exciting events are the sports, games, and competitions. These activities give those lodges who are willing
to sweat and have some fun a chance to take home a trophy in basketball, volleyball, or a ton of other events. If you are the type of person who prefers a less physical approach, OA Jeopardy can challenge your mind. Also, patch trading can be very fulfilling. There is a sense of fascination watching some of the patch trading experts in action. All the lodges that attend have patches that are unique and very well designed. Not only is it fun to see all of the different designs from the various lodges, but patch trading is a great fellowship opportunity. Don’t pass up an opportunity to take part in the fun.
Founders Day is a day at NOAC where the original founders of Order of the Arrow are celebrated. A Midway is set up and lodges do all kinds of displays and activities. One of the most popular activities during Founders Day is the silk-screening of T-shirts. Make sure you bring a plain T-shirt so you too can have the Founders Day logo silk-screened on. Lodges do many different things that generally reflect the part of the country they are from. They may cook food associated with their hometown or bring pictures and memorabilia to distribute. Any way you look at it, Founders Day is another great way to meet new folks and have fun.
For the entertainment lover in all of us, the shows are definitely worth going to. This is an opportunity for all the Arrowmen to pack into a theater for a brilliant display of lights flashing, music playing, and Arrowmen having a blast. In case you missed it earlier, you can usually catch a glimpse of the best American Indian Activity participants at the American Indian Show. The Theme show is made spectacular with the use of brilliant laser light shows and fireworks. The shows are also where many of the important awards are handed out to those Arrowmen who have shown exceptional service. The closing show is where all of the great times of NOAC are wrapped up.
There are so many more activities at NOAC that you cannot possibly do them all. Besides those mentioned above, there is The Outdoor Adventure Place (TOAP), Special Events, VIPs, Regional Gatherings, Religious Services, Displays and Exhibits, and much more. There’s also a Conference Newspaper, Radio Station, Band, Chorus, Trading
Post, and still more!