The Compass Point

2017 National Planning Meeting

By Conor Power

Section Chiefs, National Committee Members and other key leaders in the Order of the Arrow gathered for the 2017 National Planning Meeting (NPM) from December 27th to 30th in Dallas, Texas. This year’s National Planning Meeting was full of exciting progress, including the announcement of the theme for the 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC), elections for national officers and the commencement of planning for the 2018 NOAC.

The first day was kicked off with an introductory banquet to allow attendees to socialize and meet fellow leaders from across the country. During the dinner, 2017 National Chief Forrest Gertin and 2017 National Vice Chief Talon Parker welcomed all Arrowmen to the meeting. Forrest and Talon reviewed the reason for the National Planning Meeting and the goals to be accomplished in the following days.

Shortly after, Forrest and Talon introduced the theme for the 2018 NOAC: Decide Your Destiny! The theme of the conference is designed to capture the decisions that are made each day and how they impact our lives. During the conference, this theme will guide delegates through decisions about how they can improve their chapters and lodges back home.

The night was brought to a close with the elections for National Chief and National Vice Chief. Only section chiefs are able to vote in the election, which is run by the current National Chief. Known to run late into the night, the elections were announced over the main Order of the Arrow social media channels. Congratulations to Anthony Peluso for his election to 2018 National Chief of the Order of the Arrow! Anthony is a Vigil Honor member of Blue Heron Lodge, Tidewater Council #596 in Virginia Beach, VA and previously served as the SR-7A Section Chief. Later in the night, Michael Kipp was elected 2018 National Vice Chief of the Order of the Arrow! Michael is a Vigil Honor member of Sakima Lodge, La Salle Council #165 in South Bend, IN and previously served as the CR-6A Section Chief.

The next morning, section chiefs from their respective region gathered to elect their next region chief. These elections were much shorter than those for National Chief and National Vice Chief. The following Arrowmen were elected region chiefs:

  • Northeast Region: Justin St. Louis, previous Section NE-1 Chief
  • Southern Region: Zach Callicutt, previous Section SR-6 Chief
  • Central Region: Will Coots, previous Section C-7 Chief
  • Western Region: Jordan Jefferis, previous Section W-1S Chief

With the conclusion of the national officer elections, the national officers were installed and officially welcomed to their new positions.

The remainder of the meeting was used to begin planning for the 2018 NOAC. Each section chief was assigned to a committee that would oversee activities at NOAC, including Communications, Activities & Recreation, Adventure Central, Shows and much more. Each committee met and discussed their roles at NOAC, how their committee can improve each attendee’s experience and elected a Conference Vice Chief (CVC) to lead the committee. In the coming months, these committees will work hard to make the 2018 NOAC one to remember.

The planning meeting wasn’t all work. Section chiefs, National Committee Members and NOAC staff were all given the opportunity to have fun and socialize with fellow Arrowmen from across the country. A thrilling basketball game was held between the national officers and the national committee.

Another groundbreaking happening at the National Planning Meeting was the use of a mobile app. Traditionally, attendees were issued a large binder full of information about upcoming national programs and happenings in the Order of the Arrow. This mobile app replaced the binder and had all of the information at the tip of each meeting attendees fingers. The OA Technology Committee developed this app, and a similar app will be used at the 2018 NOAC.

At the National Planning Meeting, the National Order of the Arrow Committee approved the redesign of the national Order of the Arrow website. For the past year, the National Communications Subcommittee has been working hard to update the website to be modern, efficient at delivering information and look great. The new website design can be seen at

The National Order of the Arrow Committee announced that two service initiatives will be held in the coming months of 2018. Due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Florida Sea Base and Puerto Rico Council’s Camp Guajataka have suffered flooding, high winds and damage. At Florida Sea Base, the main facility has endured minimal damage, but this is not the case for other parts of the high adventure base. Camp Sawyer and Big Munson Island, both located in the Florida Keys, were heavily hit. In Puerto Rico, damage to Camp Guajataka includes minimal running water, no electricity and all building have been flooded. From March 4-10, 2018, the Southern Region of the Order of the Arrow will host SeaBreak, a service initiative to give relief and make repairs to Florida Sea Base, Camp Sawyer and Big Munson Island. Section NE-5 of the Northeast Region is organizing the Puerto Rico Arrowcorps, a program to rebuild and give aid to Camp Guajataka from March 11-17, 2018.

The 2017 National Planning Meeting saw innovative steps to take the Order of the Arrow into the future, including the use of a mobile app, planning to make NOAC the best it can be and discussing how other programs, including high adventure and service, can be used to further improve the Order of the Arrow. The recently elected 2018 OA National Officers will lead the 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference as it guides Arrowmen to Decide Your Destiny! Each NOAC committee, comprised of section chiefs, has begun it’s planning for the conference. Each committee will contribute to the effective delivery of an exciting and innovative conference. The next big step for the Order of the Arrow is the 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference. Thousands of Arrowmen will converge on Indiana University to learn how they can improve their lodges, enjoy fun and fellowship along with meeting fellow dedicated Arrowmen from across the country. Will you be at NOAC 2018? Visit to learn about how you can Decide Your Destiny!

Region Leadership

Northeast Region

Justin St. Louis

Northeast Region

Bob Chaballa

Northeast Region
Staff Adviser

Brad Bowsersox