Nanuk Lodge #355 is the Order of the Arrow lodge associated with the Great Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Order of the Arrow (OA) is the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). It uses American Indian-styled traditions and ceremonies to bestow recognition on Scouts selected by their peers as best exemplifying the ideals of Scouting. The society was created by E. Urner Goodman, with the assistance of Carroll A. Edson, in 1915 as a means of reinforcing the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. The goal was to establish these as lifelong guidelines, and to encourage continued participation in Scouting and camping. Influenced in part by camp traditions, and Indian folklore, the OA uses “safeguarded” symbols, handshakes, and ceremonies to impart a sense of community.
Nanuk Lodge #355 was established July 1, 1947, with the inception of the Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America, based out of the State Capital of Juneau. Initially the Council was responsible for the entire State of Alaska.
The Lodge Totem is the great Alaskan Polar Bear, which the Inuit people call “Nanook”, the lodge name is a variation of that name. By 1957, scouting was developed enough in the Anchorage area to support a new council. The Western Alaska Area Council was formed on July 1, 1955 and retained the original lodge name. Southeast Alaska formed a new lodge, named Kootz, which merged into Nanuk Lodge in 2006 when Southeast Alaska and Western Alaska Councils merged, thus becoming the lodge of the Great Alaska Council. Nanuk Lodge is responsible for OA programs across 297,833 square miles, covering the Aleutian Islands, Western Alaska Coast, South-Central Alaska, and the Pan-Handle to the South-East.