- E. Urner Goodman
As a volunteer and local council leader
While studying for his degree in Education, Goodman first became involved in Boy Scouting in 1911 when only 20 years old, as a volunteer Scoutmaster of Troop 1, the first Scout troop in Philadelphia. In his four years as Scoutmaster, the troop grew to more than 100 Scouts. A contemporary of Goodman described him in 1912 as "well beloved by the boys, enjoys their confidence and is heart and soul in this phase of the work." In later years, he would recall with nostalgia his troop, noting that renowned composer
Albert Hay Malottewas "one of his boys" in Troop 1.cite book|last=Goodman|first=E. Urner|title=The Building of a Life|publisher=Standard Printing|location=St. Augustine, Fla.|year=1965] In April 1915, he entered full-time professional service in Boy Scouting as a field executive, serving that summer as director of the Philadelphia Scout Council's summer camp.cite news |author=William F. Downs |title=Tribute to Urner |publisher="OA National Bulletin"|date=April–May 1980] He was promoted in December 1917 to Scout executive of the Philadelphia Council.cite book |last=Geller |first=Allan |title=The Brotherhood of Cheerful Service: A Pictorial History of Unami Lodge |publisher= Unami Lodge|location=Philadelphia, Pa.|year=1983]
Goodman's professional Scouting career was interrupted during
World War I, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army shortly after his promotion to Scout executive. He served in the infantryas a first lieutenant, but his unit was never sent overseas. In December 1918, he was discharged from the Army and resumed his professional career as Scout executive in Philadelphia. He served as Scout executive there until May 1927, when he was promoted to the larger Chicago Area Councilas Scout executive (1927–1931). During his four-year tenure in the "Windy City", he reversed a decline in finances and increased Scout membership from 11,806 to 16,920.
As a national leader
On April 1, 1931, Goodman was promoted by
Chief Scout ExecutiveJames E. West to become national program director of the BSA, as part of an organizational restructuring. Goodman was one of four division directors reporting to West (the other divisions were operations, personnel, and business). As national program director, he was responsible for professional and volunteer training, relations with sponsoring organizations, public relations, and program development. The Cub Scouting and Exploring programs were established under his leadership. He greatly expanded BSA training programs for adult leaders, establishing the BSA's highly regarded national training center at Schiff Scout Reservation in New Jersey in 1932 and, later, the training program at Philmont Scout Ranch, beginning in 1938. He also oversaw the publication of the "Boy Scout Handbook", edited by his good friend and colleague William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt, as well as the "Handbook for Scoutmasters" and the first edition of the widely read "Scout Field Book". Goodman also wrote the "Leader's Handbook", a key instructional guide for Scout leaders.
In early July 1937, the BSA held its first national Scout jamboree in
Washington, D. C., attended by 25,000 Scouts and Scouters. In addition to overseeing the innovative event itself, Goodman's public relations service did yeoman work to ensure extensive news media coverage. A jamboree press tent accommodated 626 news media reporters, photographers, and broadcasters. Sixty-four news releases were issued and the public relations service assisted in the making of 11 newsreels and 53 magazine articles."The National and World Jamborees in Pictures", New York: Boy Scouts of America (1937).] The three major U.S. radio networks of the time, NBC, CBSand Mutual, all set up complete broadcasting studios near the jamboree headquarters to produce almost 19 hours of live, on–site jamboree coverage broadcast coast–to–coast. Celebrities also visited the jamboree, including well–known broadcaster Lowell Thomasand U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. While at the jamboree, Scouts also attended a three-game baseball series between the Washington Senators and the Boston Red Soxat Griffith Stadium, with Goodman arranging for Eagle Scouts to have a place of honor with President Roosevelt in the stands (pictured).
In his comprehensive biography of E. Urner Goodman, Nelson Block writes that the mutual respect between Goodman and West grew over their 12 years of working together at the national BSA office: "West, the hardworking, detail–oriented executive, came to rely on Goodman and his style of accomplishing big things through diligent organization and planning, executed by carefully recruited staff...".
When the venerable youth leader and longtime National Scout Commissioner
Daniel Carter Bearddied shortly before his 91st birthday in June 1941, Goodman was selected to be in charge of the beloved pioneer's funeral in Suffern, New York. An estimated 2,000 people lined the funeral route to the cemetery in Monsey, New York, where nowrap|127 Boy Scouts formed an honor guard and assisted with traffic control. [cite news |title=Scouts Officiate at Beard Funeral | date=June 16, 1941 | work= The New York Times|url=http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=FB0911F83F5B147B93C4A8178DD85F458485F9 | accessdate=2008-01-15 ]
As war clouds cast an ominous shadow over
Europein the late 1930s amidst the rise of fascism, West, Goodman, and other BSA leaders considered how Scouting might better train youth in democratic principles of government. Referring to the Nazi " Kristallnacht" rampage against Jews in 1938, Goodman wrote shortly afterwards: "...the program of persecution has stirred up our hearts and minds as nothing else that has happened before has done. It has furnished the impetus of a wave of resentment against the evil; but more than that, for a surge of satisfaction and thanksgiving concerning our own happier state under a democracy." During World War II, various BSA programs were developed under his leadership in support of the nation's war effort, such as the collection of scrap aluminum, tires, and waste paper for recycling into war material, distribution of war bondand air raid posters, assisting Civil Defense officials, and planting of fruit and vegetable " victory gardens". [cite book |author=Hillcourt, William |authorlink=William Hillcourt |title=Norman Rockwell's World of Scouting |publisher=Harry N. Abrams |location=New York, NY |year=1977 |isbn=0-8109-1582-0 ] [cite web |title=Fact sheet: National BSA Good Turns |publisher= Boy Scouts of America|url=http://www.scouting.org/Media/FactSheets/02-569.aspx |accessdate=2007-10-23]
On September 16, 1951, Goodman retired as national program director, ending a professional Scouting career spanning 36 years. He was given the title of National Field Scout Commissioner, to continue his service to Scouting on the national level as a layman.
Founding and development of the Order of the Arrow
As the Philadelphia Council's newly hired field executive in 1915, one of Goodman's assignments was to serve as director of the council's summer camp at
Treasure Island Scout Reservationon the Delaware River. He believed that the summer camp experience should do more than just teach proficiency in Scoutcraftskills; rather, the principles embodied in the Scout Oathand Scout Lawshould become realities in the lives of Scouts. Along with his assistant camp director, Carroll A. Edson, he started an experimental program to recognize those Scouts best exemplifying those traits as an example to their peers.cite book |title=Order of the Arrow Handbook |publisher= Boy Scouts of America|year=1977 |isbn=0-8395-5000-6]
Goodman and Edson were strongly influenced by the use of American Indian culture by
Ernest Thompson Setonin his Woodcraft Indiansprogram. [cite book |author=Peterson, Robert W. |authorlink=Robert W. Peterson (writer)|title=The Boy Scouts: An American Adventure |publisher=American Heritage | year=1984 |isbn=0-8281-1173-1 ] They decided to create an honor society of their own at camp that summer, in a manner befitting a boy's interest and understanding. Goodman utilized the appeal of Indian lore and recognition by a Scout's peers as motivational tools. He devised a program where troops chose, at the camp's conclusion, those boys from among their number who best exemplified the ideals of Scouting. Those elected were acknowledged as having displayed, in the eyes of their fellow Scouts, a spirit of unselfish service and brotherhood. Edson helped Goodman research the traditions and language of the Lenni Lenape—also known as the Delaware—who had once inhabited Treasure Island. [cite web |last=Peterson |first=Robert |title=Celebrating 90 Years of Strong Values and Leadership |publisher=Scouting |date=January–February, 2000 |url=http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0001/a-nasv.html#sbarf |accessdate=2007-10-20]
The brotherhood of Scout honor campers with its American Indian overtones was a success and was repeated again the following summer at Treasure Island. Those Scouts honored at Treasure Island in 1915 and 1916 would eventually become members of the Order of the Arrow's
By 1921, Goodman had spoken to Scout leaders in surrounding states about the OA, and lodges were established in a score of Scout councils in the northeast. In October 1921, he convened the first national meeting of what was then called the National Lodge of the Order of the Arrow in Philadelphia, and Goodman was elected Grand Chieftain. [cite web |last=Dordick |first=Bruce |title=Unami Lodge One History |publisher=
Cradle of Liberty Council, BSA |date=2004-07-04 |url=http://www.unamilodge.org/history.htm |accessdate=2007-10-16] Committees were organized to formulate a constitution, refine ceremonial rituals, devise insignia, and plan future development. Reflecting Goodman's ongoing interest in music, he composed the words to the Order of the Arrow's song, "Firm Bound in Brotherhood", set to the stirring melody of a hymn found in the Presbyterian hymnal of the 1920s, "God the Omnipotent" in 18.104.22.168 meter, which was adapted from the Russian national anthem, " God Save the Tsar!", composed by Alexei Lvovin 1833. [cite book|author=Diana Sanchez |title=The Hymns of the United Methodist Hymnal |location=Nashville, Tennessee |publisher=Abingdon Press|year=1989 |ISBN=0-687-43149-2]
In the early 1920s, many Scout executives were skeptical of what they called "secret camp fraternities". By September 1922, opposition to the Order of the Arrow was such that a formal resolution opposing "camp fraternities" was proposed at a national meeting of Scout executives. Goodman argued against the motion: "Using the Scout ideals as our great objective", he said, a camp activity that will "further the advancement of those ideals" should not be suppressed. The motion was narrowly defeated, and the fledgling Order continued as an experimental program throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
Goodman maintained his active support of the OA's National Lodge, as it was then called, during his years as Scout executive in Chicago and then BSA national program director. In observance of the 15th anniversary of the brotherhood's founding, the National Lodge presented Goodman with a medal in 1930 formally recognizing him as founder. In 1940, the National Lodge presented him with the first Distinguished Service Award on the OA's 25th anniversary. The citation said, in part, "As the founder of the Order of the Arrow, through his ability, wisdom, and foresight, his vision of service to others was transformed into a national honor brotherhood which has been a positive influence in the lives of thousands of boys...". When he was first appointed as director in 1931, there were OA lodges in seven percent of BSA councils nationwide. By 1948, about two-thirds of the BSA councils had established OA lodges. In that year, three years before Goodman's retirement from the BSA, his "honor society of Scout camping" innovation was fully integrated as an official part of the Scouting program.. [cite web |last=Lindgren |first=Jim |title=Honoring a Legacy of Service |publisher=Scouting |date=January–February, 2007 |url=http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0701/a-honr.html |accessdate=2007-10-20] [cite web |url=http://www.main.oa-bsa.org/misc/basics/
title=OA Basics: The Order of the Arrow is Scouting's National Honor Society |publisher=Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America |accessdate=2007-10-12] Kenneth Davis, in his book "The Brotherhood of Cheerful Service: A History of the Order of the Arrow", concludes that the National Council's approval in 1948 "...was due largely to his [Goodman's] personal efforts and recommendation...".
Over the decades since the Order of the Arrow's founding, more than one million Scouts and Scouters have worn the OA sash on their uniforms, denoting membership in the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service. There are presently 183,000 members of the Order of the Arrow in all but two of BSA councils nationwide. [cite web |url=http://www.scouting.org/Media/FactSheets/02-512.aspx |title=OA Fact Sheet |publisher=Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America |accessdate=2007-10-12] Summarizing what he felt the order signified, E. Urner Goodman wrote in the foreword to the "Order of the Arrow Handbook" from the perspective of more than a half century after the brotherhood's inception:
Blockquote|"The Order of the Arrow is a 'thing of the spirit' rather than of mechanics. Organization, operational procedure, and paraphernalia are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what count in the end. The things of the spirit count:
*"Brotherhood" — in a day when there is too much hatred at home and abroad.
*"Cheerfulness" — in a day when the pessimists have the floor.
*"Service" — in a day when millions are interested only in getting or grasping rather than giving.
National Council of Churches leadership
Following his retirement from professional Scouting, Goodman served the
National Council of Churches(NCC) during 1951–1954 as the NCC's first general director of the "United Church Men", a laymen's program he formed to strengthen men's ties to local churches and their communities. Goodman publicly inaugurated the laymen's group on October 7, 1951 in Cincinnati, Ohio. By the end of 1952, United Church Men departments were formed in more than 24 states, providing financial support to NCC–affiliated colleges and missionary work.cite news | title=E. Urner Goodman is Dead at 88; Official of Boy Scouts of America | date=1980-03-15 | work= The New York Times|url=http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=F10E13FF395C12728DDDAC0994DB405B8084F1D3&scp=1&sq=urner+goodman&oref=slogin | accessdate=2008-01-15 ] His new post entailed working closely with Eugene Carson Blake, NCC president (1954–1957), and meeting frequently with officials of the participating denominations in the NCC. Speaking with various men's church groups in the U.S. and abroad was, he believed, a means of promoting brotherhood. Reflecting on his NCC service with these notable church leaders, Goodman said more than a decade later, "Great faith and devoted service, I am very sure, are for ordinary folk as well as for the clergy. ... I have been privileged to know some great clergymen in my day ... but I have also known and loved some truly great laymen, men whose lives and works matched their faith". Goodman retired from his NCC post on September 1, 1954 because of tuberculosis.
Maintaining his lifelong interest in music, Goodman was active in the Hymn Society of America (now the
Hymn Society in the United States and Canada[cite web |title=The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada |date=2008-01-16| url=http://www.thehymnsociety.org/index.html |accessdate=2008-01-24] ) in the 1960s and 1970s, and three hymns he composed were published: "Christ Calls Men", "As Within the Pillared Temple", and "O God of Love, Who Gavest Life". [cite web |title=E. Urner Goodman song licenses |publisher=LicenSing Online.org |url=http://www.licensingonline.org/songs/72537 |accessdate=2007-10-31]
In 1965, Goodman wrote "The Building of a Life", a collection of recounting some of his Scouting experiences and giving advice to young men. Summing up his years in Scouting and church work, he wrote, "In the last analysis, it is the things of the spirit rather than material possessions that count." Later that year, the Goodmans moved to the Penney Retirement Community at
Penney Farms, Florida. Goodman then served as Director of Christian Education at Flagler Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida.
In retirement, the Goodmans enjoyed a rich family life, visiting often with son Theodore ("Ted") and his wife Carol, and daughter Lydia Ann ("Ann") and son–in–law Bob. To his unabashed delight, Urner and Louise Goodman had nine grandchildren. Their son George was
killed in actionin Franceduring World War II, however. Upon hearing the news in December 1944, Goodman was deeply grieved, and Louise, his wife of 60 years, said it was the only time she ever saw him cry. Although retired, Goodman remained active in Order of the Arrow affairs during the 1960s and 1970s. Acclaimed as an eloquent orator, his keynote addresses at the OA's biennial National Order of the Arrow Conferences reportedly made an unforgettable impression upon his youthful audiences. [cite web |url=http://www.atlascom.us/urner.htm |title=The Order of the Arrow — Scouting's Honor Society |author=Howes, Jim |publisher= Atlas Communications|accessdate=2008-01-15] Nelson Block writes in "A Thing of the Spirit", that even in the 1970s the octogenarian founder "crisscrossed the country to attend lodge and section events... surrounded by young Arrowmen...witty and charming, keeping everyone enthralled with his stories." Displaying his self–deprecating humor, Goodman himself was more prosaic about all of the adulation he received at OA gatherings, writing that, "to many of the young men I was a museum piece. In fact I have been informed that there was considerable surprise because I didn't hobble in on a cane and mumble in my dentures." But, he added, "I looked upon them with deep emotion, for there was a spiritual bond".
Reflecting on his career, Goodman said late in life:Blockquote|"I had indeed found my life mission...Those 36 years of professional service, 16 years as executive in Philadelphia and Chicago, and 20 years as national program director, brought rich rewards, far beyond any salary considerations. They represented the work, above all others, that I wanted to do."
He continued speaking with OA members until shortly before his death at age 88, when he succumbed to
pneumoniaon March 13, 1980, at Lenox Hill Hospitalin New York City. He was buried at Penney Farms, Florida, on March 29, 1980. At his funeral, held at the Penney Memorial Church in Penney Farms, Goodman was eulogized by Executive Secretary of the Order of the Arrow William F. Downs: "The shake of [his] hand, sincerity of greeting, twinkle in the eye, smile and dignity immediately relayed...the feeling of confidence from the leader, so necessary to build teamwork. Urner made you feel important".
Honors and awards
Upon his retirement from full–time professional Scouting in 1951, Goodman was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humanics from
Missouri Valley College, the first such degree awarded by the college. He was also honored in 1947 when he was made an honorary chief of the Blackfoot Tribe of American Indians and given the name "Chief Eagle".
In his memory, the BSA confers the E. Urner Goodman Camping Award, recognizing lodges that have excelled in the promotion of camping within their host council. The Founder's Award is given by Order of the Arrow lodges in honor of OA co–founders Goodman and Edson. Up until 2004, the BSA administered the E. Urner Goodman Scholarship Fund program, providing financial grants towards the college education of Arrowmen aspiring to professional Scouting careers. [cite web| title=E. Urner Goodman Scholarship Fund |publisher=
Boy Scouts of America| date=2005-09-06 |url=http://www.oa-bsa.org/misc/anr/goodmanscholar.htm |accessdate=2008-01-16]
NAME=Goodman, E. Urner
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Founder of the
Order of the Arrow
DATE OF BIRTH=May 15, 1891
PLACE OF BIRTH=Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DATE OF DEATH=March 13, 1980
PLACE OF DEATH=New York City
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