The Order of the Arrow has three distinct organizational levels: lodges, sections, regions, and national. Lodges carry out the Order of the Arrow program at the local level and are closely tied with BSA councils. Sections consist of several lodges within a geographic region and regions in turn consist of sections within a geographic region of the United States. Lodges, sections, and regions each have a distinct set of responsibilities which ensure that the OA program runs smoothly.
Each section is led by a chief, vice chief, and secretary, who play a crucial part in making the annual Conclave a success. The section may lead training seminars, promote national programs of emphasis, and provide resources to local lodges. The section chief presides over the Council of Chiefs, attended by delegates of each member lodge.
Section G17N was founded in 1973 as Section W-3B in the legacy Western Region. During this time they had 3 section chiefs become national officers in the Order of the Arrow. They served the lodges of Northern California and Nevada through 2008 before being reorganized as W-3N starting in 2009.
Section W-3N was established in 2009 when section W-3A and W-3B were merged together and traded lodges for a more even split of area 3. During the time were lodges were assigned, W-3N gained two lodges from W-3A, Ut-In Sélica, and Talako, and three lodges from W-3B, Tannu, Amangi Nacha, and Orca.
Section W-3N has been holding annual conclaves since its first year in 2009. Our first section conclave was at Coast Guard Island hosted by Ut-In Sélica lodge.
Our section has had two section officers elected to Western Region Chief, Joe Barton IV (2012) and Michael Kintscher (2014).
Section W-3N had been lead by youth since 2009 starting with Chief Jake Knudson from Tannu Lodge. We have been able to host some of the greatest conclaves in the region since then because of our youth leadership. Even some of our past chiefs have been elected to national positions and helped organize NOAC and other national events.
In 2022, with the condensing of regions from four down to two, the Gateway Region was founded. With the reorganization, W-3N changed its name to G17N. This transition was spearheaded by Chief Erik Carver from Orca Lodge.