The NOAC 2006 Experience: By Micahel C.
On July 29, 2006, 10 Arrowmen traveled to the Michigan State University campus for NOAC. The six days flew by quickly and a great time was had by all who attended.
Those who attended included Lodge Chief Kevin Clark, Daniel Woelffer, Michael Conn, Patrick Nolan, John Weber, Jim Weber, and Adult Leaders Kevin Fischer, Rick Clark, Paul Orgeron, and Jim Faison.
We took a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Detroit, arriving at 7 oclock East Coast time on Saturday morning. Catching one of several shuttle buses, we headed directly to East Lansing to join 8,000 Arrowmen for the largest ever NOAC.
We had a few hours to kill before the events officially got under way, so we all eagerly checked out the campus hotspots. The highlight of the campus was definitely the Student Union, featuring bowling lanes, a pool hall, and patch trading. NOAC 06 officially kicked off later in the night with our first of several shows.
However, the real fun started on Sunday with our first day of activities. Throughout the week, many exciting opportunities were offered to us. One major portion of the trip to NOAC was the classes. These classes were designed to enhance our NOAC experience or provide leadership and ceremonial training for us. Other classes taught Arrowmen about the history of patches or safety skills. Classes went on for several hours in the morning all week long.
We were also able to view the newest addition to NOAC, The Experience. The Experience was a promotion of the outdoors, and products which we as campers often use. This hands-on display allowed us a great look at camping gear.
Another exciting feature was the OA Museum, which was filled with OA and scouting history. Our lodge took a trip to the OA Museum on Monday. The Museum contained over 105 tables of memorabilia, containing over 50,000 items and filling over 6,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The show on Monday night was the Induction Ceremony for those receiving the Distinguished Service, Red Arrow, and Servant Leadership Awards. Among those inducted for Distinguished Service was the San Francisco Bay Area Councils Craig Leighty.
Lodge Leaders from all over the country gathered on Tuesday for the National Council of Chiefs. The Leaders in attendance discussed future national programs and provided feedback on existing programs.
Wednesday brought about Founders Day, which was a day-long celebration that began with an opening parade where regions and sections, were encouraged to use their creative skills to decorate their own golf cart. After the parade the Goodman Games started, which were intra-lodge friendly competitions.
In the afternoon Founders Day shifted attention to the Founders Fair. During the afternoon participants were able to visit lodge displays from all over the country. Founders Day closed with the final show of NOAC 2006. The show, entitled Texting Brandon: A Legacy of Leadership, spoke directly to the reasons why the Order of the Arrow exists, and why it will continue to be an organization that promotes service and leadership.
On Thursday morning we packed up and said good-bye to the Michigan State campus and NOAC. We still had a few hours to kill before we left for the airport so we went into East Lansing to just chill. We left Lansing around 2 oclock p.m. for Detroit. Leaving on the airplane back to San Francisco, we all felt like we had had a lifetime experience at NOAC, but were glad to be coming home.