In the formative years of the Boy Scouts of America, the Order of the Arrow was just one of the over 100 known honor camper societies that existed in Scout Camps and Councils throughout the United States. In those early days most camps were run with a huge single camping area by a Council professional. Borrowing from Daniel Beard and Culver Military Academy (many of the patches feature the Culver "C") Councils adopted honor camping associations as a means of enticing young boys to return to their camps summer after summer.

Michael F. Bowman, National Capital Area Council (and a Firecrafter from Central Indiana Council in his youth) has been gathering information on one of these groups known as "Firecrafter" for several years and building the web pages dedicated to the Firecrafter Organization that can be reached by the link above.

David Eby, Running Waters District Historian has been gathering information on all of these groups for a number of years and the results of his efforts are found under the "Scout Honor Societies" link above. With his kind permission, we've reproduced his web pages at usscouts.org.

Both David and I are asking for help from those of you who visit these pages in learning more about any Boy Scout honor camping organization that has existed in your area. If your original OA lodge was chartered after 1938 it is almost a given that you had another group before it. There were a number of these societies that existed in multiple locations.

It appears the biggest were Gimogash (created in Kansas City, Missouri in 1914), Ku-Ni-Eh (created in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1923), Nani Ba Zhu (created in Omaha, NE in 1919), Firecrafters (created in 1920 in Indiana) and WWW (the OA, created in 1915 at Treasure Island, PA). There are a number of these societies that still exist including Firecrafters (in Indiana and Illinois) and Mic O Say (in Missouri).

Thanks! Michael F. Bowman and David L. Eby


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