Posted: February 20, 2009 by Evan Michael Hess

<img src=images/Del_Loder.jpg width=150 height=187 align=right style=padding-left:4px;padding-bottom:4px> The Western Region is proud to announce that Del Loder will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Order of the Arrow Conference in August 2009. The National Committee describes the award as that which is intended to recognize only those extraordinary Arrowmen who have deeply influenced and significantly contributed to the vision, direction, and growth of the Order of the Arrow, faithfully demonstrated a lifetime of servant leadership, and, through their daily example, illuminated and reinforced the significance of the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The requirements for the award are few, but arduous. A nominee must be a Vigil Honor member who has been recognized with the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) and has continued service to the organization on the national, regional or sectional level since receiving the DSA. In addition, the nominee must have been a member of the Order for no less than 25 years. The only the recipients of the award, to date, are Thomas McBride (PA), Carl M. Marchetti, M.D. (NJ), and Dabney Kennedy (TX).

Del Loder’s Scouting career and OA history are lengthy and distinguished.

In May 1948, Del Loder met E. Urner Goodman. A teenager at the time, Loder’s Scouting career would begin to flourish when the young Scouter came to Seattle. Del decided that he wanted to meet Goodman to learn how the man went about organizing the first Jamboree. After 19 year-old Loder received the answers he sought, Goodman asked him a life-changing question. Goodman inquired about Loder’s knowledge regarding the Order of the Arrow. Goodman walked Del through the Ordeal and Brotherhood process including his Vigil on the Devil’s Tea Table. That was my beginning, said Loder.

Del was very interested in the election process. He brought the idea back to his Scout troop. After four to five years, the OA took foot in his council. The first members of the lodge were members of the pre-existing Camp Honorary Society. In 1954, the first members were inducted into the Order following the ceremony outlined by Goodman. Del, a Scoutmaster at the time, made sure that his Scout Troop was registered for the first week of camp when OA began in his council. Members of the camp staff came to Del and made inquiry about holding an OA election. The first member of the OA in his council came from his unit that summer. He was inducted July 3, 1954.

The first meeting of the lodge was in December 1954, where the first officers and lodge name were selected. Del started as Adviser to the Historian, later becoming the Adviser of the Brotherhood Committee. Del was very active and knew how very significant the Order was in the lives of scouts. Del underwent the Brotherhood ceremony in 1955.

In 1956, his Lodge’s Adviser was appointed to the National Committee, thus creating a void that needed filling. Loder’s Scout Executive asked him to take over, but he turned it down. Del’s commitment was to his Scout Troop, and he made it clear to his scout executive that he wished to continue service to his troop. In July 1958, Del was recognized with the Vigil Honor. Nearly 10 years and multiple requests to be Lodge Adviser later, Del took over the role of Lodge Adviser in 1965, where he served for 10 years. Meanwhile, Del attended the National Conference in Bloomington, Indiana where he realized that, though his lodge was in great shape, there were some problems. He instituted an effective training program for his youth lodge leaders and ensured that all his leaders knew the ins and outs of the OA.

Del later served as Associate Adviser for his section from 1971-73, and served as Section Adviser thereafter.

In August of 1973 Del was appointed to serve the National Council on the OA Committee by the BSA President. Del was surprised that he was appointed (a testament to his character). At the first meeting, Del was asked to become the Chairman of Ceremonies for the OA. Del, always having been interested in OA ceremonies, was thrilled to take on that position. As a member of the National Committee, Del inherited what he deemed to be a group of dedicated thinkers for ceremonies (the ceremonial advisery group). Del’s committee solved a great many of the problems in ceremonies that existed at that time. In 1975, Del was recognized for his unselfish service to the Order with the Distinguished Service Award. Meanwhile, Del served as the Western Region Area 1 Adviser concurrently with the National Committee. Del left the Ceremonies Committee in 1981 to become the Western Region Chairman. He loved the position and the people with whom he worked, said Loder. I traveled everywhere, and loved every minute.

Leadership and training has always been a passion for Del. In 1975, Del was concerned that there was no existing national OA Training program for lodge officers and advisers so he convinced the National Committee to re-institute the National Training Course and to create a new and improved training program (Brad Haddock spearheaded the effort as National Chief, while he was chief). In 1979, the program was functioning; the National and Region Chiefs would meet with Del to go over the draft and plan, which Del ensured was enforced. This program developed into the National Leadership Seminar, and later the Lodge Leadership Development program. Not yet done with his service, Del then assisted in the reformation of NLS and the creation of NLATS.

Upon suffering a heart attack in 1989, he was appointed to the Founder’s Council by then National Chairman Marchetti. He served on the Council for two years, after which he was appointed National Vice Chairman of Lodge operations in 1993. This was also the first time he served the OA at a National Jamboree. Del returned to the Founder’s Council as Chair of the Goodman Society one year later, and serves there presently.

Of the great many highlights in his career, Del was given the opportunity to work with Goodman on the Ceremonies Committee during the last 10 years of Goodman’s life.

In addition to his extensive list of accomplishments, Del noted that he has worked with OA Shows at the last three national jamborees, worked on the OA training program where he has trained three of the four regions in the NLATS program for the last few years.

Del Loder has attended almost every National Conference since 1959, making a total of more than 28 National Events.

For more information on the Lifetime Achievement Award, and other national awards, please visit the National Order of the Arrow website at <a href=></a>.