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Goodman Edson Observatory: Exploring the Past, Inspiring the Future

The Goodman Edson Observatory (GEO) is returning to NOAC in 2024 to tell the story of the Order of the Arrow. The GEO is part museum, part interpretive center, and part gallery. It showcases the people, places, and events that have influenced the growth and evolution of Scouting’s National Honor Society. Visitors are sure to be inspired by the GEO to “Seek New Heights” in brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service.

The GEO will be in Room 235 of the University Memorial Center and is open on Monday through Thursday of NOAC.

“From photos and original pieces from our founders, to the description of the first ceremonies, there is something interesting for everyone,” said Special Events CVC Carter Stone. “Not only will you be able to tour and view various important pieces of OA history, you can also see how our Order has developed and morphed to fulfill our mission of cheerful service.”

Visitors to the GEO will be greeted by exhibits that focus on the shared experiences of Arrowmen, including call-out ceremonies, Ordeals and, later, the tests of Brotherhood.

The GEO will afford visitors the chance to step back in time to Treasure Island Scout Camp on the Delaware River near Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to get a sense of where it all began, including a sense of what the original induction experience was like in 1915 when Camp Director E. Urner Goodman and Assistant Camp Director Carroll A. Edson started our Order. The GEO, named for the OA’s two founders, will also present the influences and inspirations that guided them in establishing the principles of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. It will also tell the 109-year story of how the OA grew from a single lodge at a single Scout camp to today.

Included among the GEO’s exhibits are those highlighting the development of lodge flaps, national events, and national leadership. The OA’s commitment to the outdoors, including the OA High Adventure program, will have a special emphasis at the GEO, highlighting the service that the Order has provided over many years at BSA High Adventure bases and National Scout Jamborees.

The ceremonies of the Order of the Arrow have provided inspiration since the very beginning of the Order and will be celebrated in the GEO “rotunda.” The outside of the rotunda will focus on milestone anniversaries of the Order, including the 50th, 75th and 100th Anniversary. Arrowmen will also be able to make a virtual visit to the Order of the Arrow Summit Circle, our national ceremony site at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

The GEO staff looks forward to seeing you in Colorado for NOAC 2024!