2001 National Jamboree:
Order of the Arrow Service Corps
by Brian Kelly
The OA Service Corps accomplished much at the 2001 National Scout
Jamboree. Exceptional service was rendered to many, many program areas at the
Jamboree. Over one hundred and thirty enthusiastic Arrowmen from across
the country proudly served Scouting's premier event. The hours of service
forged bonds of brotherhood between them that will last a lifetime.
Serving on the OA Service Corps was a unique and powerful experience for
The whole point of having a Service Corps was to provide service, and
the service we did had a big impact on both the people served and on the
people who provided the service. Every day, new requests would come in for
help in different areas. No two days had quite the same projects.
Service Corps members grab some lunch in the field
Arrowmen performed the opening flag ceremony
spent their days distributing kiosk lunches, tying knots at the fishing
pond, hosting international Scouts, providing arena show security, and
many other essential tasks. We also had the distinct privilege of
conducting the opening flag ceremony for the Chief Scout Executive. You
always knew that the work you did was appreciated. Although the purpose of
the Service Corps was not for recognition, people recognized the value of
our service and never failed to thank us.
Service Corps members helped to usher at the arena shows
Distributing food was another weighty task
Service was only one component of the OA Service Corps experience.
Fellowship increased as the work for the day wound down. The Service Corps
was organized into five chapters, and the members of each grew together
throughout the week. We swapped humorous camp songs from around the
country, played cards, toured the Jamboree together, and became best
friends. Nighttime was the right time for jamming at the youth staff
recreation tents run by the OA National Officers. Special themes included
"Nerd Night", "Redneck Night", and "Karoke Night". If the rec. tent was
not your thing, there were always people to talk with, games to play, or
other things to do.
Evening activities in the Rec Tent included lots of games.
What to do when it rains? - Have a mud slide night!
One of the greatest parts of national events is getting to meet
Scouting people from all over the country. The guy in the bunk next to you
could be a new Section Chief from Hawaii, a Lodge Chief from Texas, or a
new Ordeal member from Virginia. The OA national officers lived in a tent
just down the row, and any Arrowman knew that he could always talk to them
as they walked around the youth staff area or went out on service projects
with the chapters.
New friends were easily made in the Service Corps
Adult Advisers help to keep the service on track
The adult leaders of the Service Corps also had their
fun, vying for a spot in front of the coveted fan when it was very hot.
They also gave the youth the perspective of their many experiences over
the years. And they showed the youth that experience helped during
intense games of Euchre or Skip-Bo.
The official theme for Service Corps was "Getting our sash dirty." The
singer Jana, during an appearance at the Jamboree, gave us the line
that would come to define our experience: "You're Awesome." All of the
leaders who had volunteered their vacation time to come work at the
Jamboree were definitely awesome. The more we worked on projects
throughout the days, the more we came to realize how completely awesome
all the people were whom we helped out. Whenever we got a phone call at
our headquarters, we would answer it, "OA Service Corps, You're Awesome!"
It helped brighten up the day for everyone who called.
As my two weeks of intense OA experience came to a close, leaving
the Jamboree and all the friends I had made was very difficult. Those of
us who served on the OA Service Corps will always remember the work we
performed and the friends we made. We would all like to be back for more
at the next Jamboree.
(Brian served as one of the five Chapter Chiefs of the 2001
OA Service Corps.)