The Distinguish Service Award (DSA) was created in 1940 from the need to honor those Arrowmen who rendered exceptional service to the Order beyond the lodge. The first awards were presented at Camp Twin Echo in Pennsylvania to E. Urner Goodman, Carroll A. Edson and eight others. It is the only award in Scouting that is presented to youth members, adult volunteers and professional Scouters.
Between 1940 and the first national Order of the Arrow conference in 1948, the DSA was presented at national meetings as deserving individuals were identified. Thereafter, the Award became a traditional apart of the pageantry and ceremony of the national conference.
Since the time of the first
Awards in 1940 only 541 DSA's have been presented. This alone is testament
to its standard of excellence .Three adults of the Otena Lodge have received
the DSA. They were so honored, but were not members of the Lodge.
We would like to mention them here.
The first one was presented to Dabney Kennedy in 1969, a former Lodge Chief, Junior Lodge Adviser, Lodge Adviser and Vigil member of Otena, for his outstanding services as Area Adviser for Area 9-B and service on the National Order of the Arrow Committee. Kennedy served in the OA Service Troop at the 1957 National Jamboree held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. He was serving as Adviser for the Lodge of the Sam Houston Area Council, Houston, at the time the award was presented. Kennedy served on the National OA Committee for 36 years. The National OA Committee has announced that they will award Kennedy with the "Life Time Achievement Award" at the 2006 National OA Conference (NOAC). It will only be the third one to be awarded.
Richmond C. (Ric) Wilkins, a former member and former Director of Camping for the Circle Ten Council, Staff Adviser for the Mikanakawa Lodge #101 and Staff Adviser to OA Section II, received this award at the National Order of the Arrow Conference in 1994 for his long years of contribution to the Order on a section and national level.
The third adult to receive the Award was Frank T. Hilton, former Scout Executive, who served as Staff Adviser of Otena from 1991 to 1996. The Award was presented in 1983 for his services as Section Staff Adviser in Sections 9-B, 3-B and SC-IV for many years. He was serving as Staff Adviser for the Wahinkto Lodge, Concho Valley Council, San Angelo, and Staff Adviser to Area SC-IV at the time of the award presentation.