E. Urner Goodman bigraphy, stories - Founder of the Order of the Arrow

E. Urner Goodman : biography

May 15, 1891 - March 13, 1980

Edward Urner Goodman (May 15, 1891 – March 13, 1980) was an influential leader in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) movement for much of the twentieth century. Goodman was the national program director from 1931 until 1951, during the organization's formative years of significant growth when the Cub Scouting and Exploring programs were established. He developed the BSA's national training center in the early 1930s and was responsible for publication of the widely read Boy Scout Handbook and other Scouting books, writing the Leaders Handbook used by Scout leaders in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s, Goodman was Executive Director of Men's Work for the National Council of Churches in New York City and active in church work.

Goodman is best remembered today for having created the Order of the Arrow (OA), a popular and highly successful program of the BSA that continues to honor Scouts for their cheerful service. Since its founding in 1915, the Order of the Arrow has grown to become a nationwide program having thousands of members, which recognizes those Scouts who best exemplify the virtues of cheerful service, camping, and leadership by membership in BSA's honor society. As of 2007, the Order of the Arrow has more than 183,000 members.

Early years and marriage

Goodman was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where his father, George, was a printer and real estate agent. His mother, Ella, died of typhoid fever in early 1895 when Goodman was just three years old. He attended Central High School, graduating in 1909. He enjoyed writing and began keeping a detailed journal of daily activities during his senior year of high school, expressing his aspirations for the future along with occasional doubts. With several classmates, he began a literary club and published a newsletter, The Inkstand. He also showed interest in music, playing the piano and violin, and composed a song for his high school senior class. When it was not selected by the class officers, he wrote in his journal of his disappointment.

Goodman also took an early interest in church activities as a youth, participating in a boys' brotherhood group and Sunday school and becoming a member of Tioga Presbyterian Church at age 14, an event he described as "the most important step I ever took or ever will take in my life." Just barely out of his teens, Goodman became a popular and highly respected Sunday school teacher and led the Philadelphia chapter of a young men's group called the Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip.

Aspiring to a career in education, Goodman enrolled in the Philadelphia School of Pedagogy in 1911. He was selected to be the commencement speaker at his graduation in 1913 and his address was entitled, "The Call to Teach". Goodman then did graduate work in education at Temple University, while teaching at the Potter School in Philadelphia.

On June 18, 1920, Goodman married Louise Wynkoop Waygood, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and a 1918 honors graduate of Swarthmore College. They had three children: Theodore (born 1921), George (born 1923), and Lydia Ann (born 1927). He was a member of Kiwanis, Rotary International, and a Freemason, joining Robert A. Lamberton Lodge No. 487, Free and Accepted Masons of Philadelphia on March 5, 1918.

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.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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