Vigil Honor Letter Request

Vigil Honor Recognition Letter Request

First Vigil Honor Ceremony

E. Urner Goodman Receives Ritual Second Degree

At end of the camping season in 1915, E. Urner Goodman held a vigil on the Devil’s Tea Table. There was no real ritual ceremony that accompanied his experience, just Goodman alone with his thoughts through a night that he often referred to as life changing for him.

Carroll A. Edson recalls the following as the events that happened at the end of the Camping Season in 1916:

By the summer of 1916 a basic organization had been set up, and essentially the present First Honor, a First Degree, as we then called it, ritual developed, and the lodge functioned actively at camp.

At the end of that season, there was a universal feeling among the members that Urner’s leadership had been so splendid that they should do something to raise him above the rest.

I was running a Sea Scout camp that summer, but at the end of the season ran up to Treasure Island for a few days. A few of us got together, and planned out what is now the Vigil Honor, but which was then called “Second Degree”. We developed the essentials of the present ordeal and ritual, and put Urner through it.

There is not a consensus among Wimachtendienk historians on whether or not the above quote is accurate and whether or not Goodman kept a second vigil. No ceremony existed for the Second Degree prior to 1916. Whether or not Goodman went through a Second Degree ceremony as defined by the 1916 Constitution of the Wimachtendienk and whom the identities of any ceremonialists were is unknown. If Goodman was not the first Arrowman to go through the actual ceremony for the Second Degree (Vigil) – because he had already kept his vigil prior to the ceremony being written, then Carroll Edson was the first to receive the full ritual in 1917.The Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting. 

The Vigil Honor

Alertness to the needs of others is the mark of the Vigil Honor. It calls for an individual with an unusual awareness of the possibilities within each situation.

This high mark of distinction and recognition is reserved for those Arrowmen who, by reason of exceptional service, personal effort, and unselfish interest, have made distinguished contributions beyond the immediate responsibilities of their position of office.

In recognition of achieving the Vigil Honor the Friends of Treasure Island (FTI) are proud to provide a letter recognizing this milestone.  We also provide a vial of earth from the original Ceremonial Grounds, the Birth Place of the Order of the Arrow (1915) on historic Treasure Island (1915) the first BSA camp in the United States as a tangible memento which symbolizes the scout’s commitment to the service of others.

The Friends of Treasure Island and Treasure Island Camp are not in any way affiliated with or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, BSA or any BSA council.

Please allow a minimum of four (4) weeks lead time before the Vigil Ceremony date. * Required information.

Please make your request by providing the information below via email to :

Date of Vigil Ceremony:

Month *

Day *

Year *

Full Name of Vigil Member:

First *

Middle *

Last *

Full Lodge Name and Number:

Given Name and Meaning

Address of the Vigil Member:

Street Address *

City *

State *

Zip *

Name of Person for Mailing:

First *

Last *

Address of Person to Mail Letter and Vial

Street Address *

City *

State *

Zip *

Phone *

Donations to FTI, a 501c3, all volunteer organization, while not required to receive the Vigil Letter are certainly appreciated.  Your support funds our no cost camping weekends on TI.  All donated funds go directly to program support not to the private owners of TI. 

To make a donation go to the Donation Tab on this site.  Contribute via credit, debit, or PayPal.