From July 30th to August 6th, 49 of our brothers experienced an event that will not soon be forgotten. At around 4am those of us from the Fayetteville and surrounding areas boarded a Holiday charter bus in Sanford to head toward Durham to pick up the rest of our contingent. Once everyone was loaded we headed towards Indiana for NOAC! Thursday was used as a get to know everyone day for the contingent, where we learned our fellow brothers most embarrassing moments! Thursday night we arrived in Indiana; Friday marked the start of some touring that took place throughout Indianapolis and parts of the state. The contingent visited the NCAA Hall of Champions, saw the outside of the Colt’s new Lucas Oil Stadium, ate at White Castle (bad decision for everyone that went except Kevin Pusak) and visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! At the speedway we all kissed the bricks and walked Jimmie Johnson’s winning burnout marks, just like we had won the race! After one last night on the road we made our way to Indiana University at Bloomington (one of the biggest campuses many of us had ever seen!)
As soon as we got on campus, the party started! With everyone full of excitement we vibrantly expressed this by standing in line signing up for events!!! Oh the rage, but shortly following our check in process which was made express lane fast thanks to Mama bear AKA Gail Barker and Mary Dilday for getting health forms approved ahead of our arrival! We headed to our dorms where, as you can imagine, we UNLOADED the bus! With rooms established and meeting places decided the guys were let loose to explore and experience NOAC for themselves.
Sunday marked the start of competitions, in many different forms. Occoneechee entered a Geo-caching team and used the Power of ONE, James Flowers, to come in second place! We got a special award that we are going to display in the Charlie Sullivan Training Center OA History Museum! Occoneechee entered 3 grass dancers and one straight dancer, and Kevin Pusak, Dylan Taylor and John Taylor all made it into the semi-finals! We also competed 2 Pre-ordeal Ceremony teams, with Netami earning a top 10 spot and both Eluwak and Netami teams earning honors! Occoneechee also entered its first every Drumming/Singing team which finished in 6th place!
Did you notice the new ICON on our website?? Lodge104.net entered the Lodge website completion. We received the prestigious Honor Site during NOAC. One of only 11 lodges in the nation to earn this distinction! We have permission to display honor ICON on our website until the next NOAC in 2012.
The OA History Museum covered almost 10, 000 square feet of space. Both lodges and individuals could contribute with displays this year. Occoneechee lodge followed the conference theme of The Power of ONE and honored the memory and contributions of Charlie Sullivan in our exhibit. We collected comments and thoughts in a registry book left for others to share memories of him. The display received an honor award which will be displayed in the Charlie Sullivan Training Center OA History Museum.
Our week was filled with training classes, sporting events and special exhibitions. Classes were mostly attended in the mornings. Lots of learning in leadership, OA history, ceremonies, dance, AIA crafts and special classes related to the Power of ONE theme were taken by our contingent members. Many positive conversations were held during and after the classes among the attendees. The training was top notch stuff! If not in classes, the afternoons included sport tournaments and the opportunity to visit the OA Museum, TOAP (The Outdoor Adventure Program), XPerience (vendor exhibition tent with free giveaways!) , the OA TP (trading post) or just hang out at the student union outside the TP. Oh, and of course, there was lots of patch trading – EVERYWHERE!
At the evening shows, Occoneechee rocked the house! Our patch theme was “It’s No Weird Science”. We donned white lab coats and science lab goggles, later added some green wigs, bubbles, kazoos and monster noise horns with blinking lights to let the NOAC crowd know we were there! We may have been only 49 of 7200, but the 104 spirit was one to be reckoned with. We enjoyed lots of dancing and cheers and crowd fun during the preshows both outside and inside the IU basketball arena where the shows were held. We were obviously having way too much fun, one night a couple brothers from another lodge asked to sit with us instead of their lodge! For the first time in at least 5 NOACs, someone from Occoneechee was randomly selected to sit in the Skybox, which is a special seat in the gym at NOAC shows complete with refreshments served by cute college girls! Joseph Amodei from Eno Chapter being selected!
This NOAC set a Guiness World Book of records for the largest kazoo band. Our Southern region won the largest Lodgeball game ever played! Can you imagine playing Dodgeball with teams of 300? It was crazy fun! Founders Day started with a parade, continued with Goodman Games, Founders Day and a huge POWWOW. With the help of a Tennessee lodge tradition, we celebrated our staff advisers birthday at Founders Day. Ask Terry McIntire if he has regained his hearing yet!
The bus ride home was very quiet as everyone tried to catch up on lots of lost sleep….midnight garlic pizza anyone? ALL in ALL…. NOAC was a FANTASTIC experience !
SEE YOU IN EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN ON THE MICHIGAN STATE CAMPUS FOR NOAC 2012!