In 1921, the Grand Lodge of the Order of the Arrow was formed, with organizational meetings being held on an annual basis. In 1926, it was decided to move to bi-annual meetings "with regional groupings of lodges meeting in intervening years" (Davis 25). Comparable to a National Conference, delegates elected "regional" officers, inducted Vigil Honor candidates, and discussed methods of strengthening the program at the local lodge level.
At the 1927 Grand Lodge meeting, regional meetings were set for lodges in BSA Regions 1 & 2, Region 3, Regions 7 & 9, and "other regions might be organized as the need arose" (Davis 27). One of the first of these regional meetings was held October 19-21, 1928 at Camp Siwanoy and hosted by Chappegat Lodge #15 (Davis 29). Six lodges representing Regions 1 and 2 attended. Octoraro Lodge's 50th Anniversary History (1976) records that in 1929 their lodge "played host to a Regional Meeting of the Order held at Camp Horseshoe," with seven of the nine lodges of Region 3 in attendance (Davis 29). Davis also documents regional meetings that were held in 1930, 1932, and 1934.
In 1936, Owasippe Lodge #7 invited Tom Kita Chara Lodge #96 and Ay-Ashe Lodge #73 to their lodge fellowship in Chicago. It was so successful that National Chief (i.e., National Committee Chairman) Joseph Brinton declared "We believe these fellowship meetings are fine activites for our lodges, and we are hopeful of promoting many more next spring and fall." (Davis 52). When the National Lodge executive committee met in Pittsburgh Jan 17, 1937, they approved the idea of promoting "sectional fellowship meetings" (Yates 2.1). An article in the June OA bulletin, (Lodge News (1.1) 1937), reported that Kuwewanik Lodge #57 and Anicus Lodge #67 had a "sectional" meeting of all of the lodges "in their area" on May 29-31, 1937 at Camp Twin Echo in Ligonier, PA.
In February, 1938 National Chief Joseph Brunton appointed fifteen professional scouters to serve as a resource for local council executives and lodges. They were also urged to set up "fellowship meetings" among local lodges within fifteen numbered Area Territories. Yates states (2.1-2.2) that there were Area Fellowships meetings held in September of 1938 in several areas. The earliest of these events to be documented by Dingwerth is the 1939 Area 11 Conference that was hosted by Tom Kita Chara Lodge #96 at Camp Tesomas. In 1940, areas were renamed as letters (see fig. 1). This was perhaps to avoid confusion with the numbered BSA regions (Yates 2.2).
Because of the growth of the Order, the number of areas increased to twenty-one by 1943 (see fig. 2), the next year to twenty-four (see fig. 3), and then in 1945 to twenty-six areas (see fig. 4).
In 1946, Area U was reorganized to become part of the Twelve Scouting Regions-- two years before all of the other areas. The new region was split into Areas 12-A, 12-B, & 12-C.
As part of the 1948 integration into the BSA program, the remaining areas were abandoned and lodges were redistributed among the 12 Regions. 1949 was a transition year, with some areas holding final events while others adopted the new region-area alignment.