Last week, we had the AMAZING experience of attending the 2012 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
Jonah, an Eagle Scout and one of the ClassB team members to attend, said, “I hadn’t realized just how huge Order of the Arrow really was, nor how much it really enhances the Scouting experience until I was given the opportunity to visit the 2012 NOAC.” From being an exhibitor at the Adventure Central EXPO to attending nightly shows and events, we were fortunate to share the NOAC experience with the over 7,000 Arrowmen who attended
. Here are some highlights of the trip.
We really had no idea what to expect when we arrived to the Breslin Center the first night of NOAC. The first lodge on the scene with crazy awesome hats was Coosa Lodge. (Coosa Rocks!
The energy of the opening show was incredible along with some truly professional stage, lighting and sound work from Scouts. Gregg, an Eagle Scout, OA member and our VP, described his first NOAC experience, “I wish I’d made it to NOAC as a Scout. The opening show was incredible and got me pumped up for the week even though I wasn’t an attendee.”
After setting up the ClassB booth (more on that later), we explored NOAC a bit. We made two-part resin neckerchief slides at the Composite Materials
booth, saw some epic patch trading blankets and got an idea for just how much fun Arrowmen like to have – which is good, because we also showed up to have a great time!
Also impressive was the support from the Greater Lansing, Michigan
community. All the businesses nearby had prominent signage welcoming the Boy Scouts of America
and many were even giving away free t-shirts!
Adventure Central EXPO & the ClassB Booth
There’s just something cool
about being on an ice arena floor for three days. Take over 7,000 Arrowmen who are looking for an air conditioned break between a hectic NOAC event schedule and give them a game to play and you’ll have plenty of fun!
Kristen, aka “the ClassB girl,” ran our Toss & Win game until she lost her voice. But, for the thousands of Scouts who played, it was well worth the wait. We gave out 100 limited edition Eagle patches, 900 regular Eagle patches, ~3,000 flying discs, and 10,000 pens to eager Arrowmen. You juggled for bonus prizes, had your mascots pose for us and, of course, threw underhand and gently!
The end of NOAC was sad for us. While, of course, we were at the event to tell people about our t-shirts
, we also made new friends and had a great time. But, the best way to end a once-in-a-lifetime experience is with a great blow-out party!
We donated 1,000 flying discs just for that occasion and the NOAC Radio station blasted those during their “Pre-Show Insanity” show. As it turns out, flying discs also double as great fans to stay cool. ;) Once inside, the “Human Sacrifices” show really showed off the depth and quality of show we’d come to expect from NOAC. And, what better way to close a show than to lead 7,000 people in karaoke to classic rock tunes and shower them with 250 lbs. of confetti
?! In that moment, all of the bonds forged over the week-long conference were more prominent than ever.
This was an incredible experience for us and we’re totally looking forward to returning for NOAC 2015 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow!
ClassB @ NOAC 2012 – Flickr Photo Album
ClassB @ NOAC 2012 – Facebook Photo Album