Early reviews of the special-edition red OA sashes are in, and they’re glowing.
As I first mentioned back in 2014, a special 100th anniversary sash is being issued at the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference.
Instead of the traditional white sash with a red arrow, this one is red with a white arrow. On either end of the arrow are the dates 2015 and 1915 to commemorate the OA’s 100th anniversary. In the center, where the Vigil Honor triangle is located on the traditional sash, you’ll find the OA 100th anniversary logo.
The sashes are special because they were produced in limited quantities and are only issued here. They’re also special because they’re only to be worn during the conference itself. Once Arrowmen are back in their home lodges, they should return to wearing the traditional white OA sash.
A card included with each red sash explains this further: “Wear this sash during these 100 hours, and only these 100 hours, which will mark the transformation of the Order from one century to the next: 100 hours during which we will create tomorrow through our actions.”
So let’s get to the important question: How do the Arrowmen like them?
One focus group I found — five Arrowmen from the Ma-Nu Lodge of the Last Frontier Council in Oklahoma — heaped unanimous praise on the red sashes.
Jaron Keller likes how the sashes don’t differentiate between Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil Honor members. At NOAC, he says, everyone is simply an Arrowman.
“It brings us all together as one,” he says. Jaron plans to find a nice frame for his sash after the conference.
Shelby Mann, a Vigil Honor member of the OA, is proud to show off his Vigil Honor status back home. But here, he likes how he’s on the same level as everyone.
Shelby says he wishes he could wear the sash outside of the conference, but he understands the rule.
“That would imply exclusivity, and we don’t want that,” he says. He’ll make space to display his red sash on the wall of his room.
Dilynn Stovall likes both the traditional white and the special red sash because both symbolize the OA’s importance in Scouting. But the red sash is appropriate for NOAC because it unites everyone, he says.
“We’re here with 15,000 of our other brothers,” he says. “Here, we are one.”
NOAC 2015 Coverage
See my other posts from NOAC right here.
Photo: Scouts from the Ma-Nu Lodge. They are, from left: Shelby Mann, 17; Tyler Carr, 18; Dalton Raibourn, 15; Dilynn Stovall, 15 and Jaron Keller, 17.