In the summer of 1992, three young Arrowmen had an idea that would soon change the Order of the Arrow as a whole, envisioning a service program at Philmont Scout Ranch for OA members. At its inception in 1995, the program was intended to be run for only one summer and only one project. But due to its success and popularity, that single summer of service has evolved into one of the Order of the Arrow’s most meaningful experiences: five programs, at all four national high adventure bases, known as OA High Adventure.
As a member of the Order of the Arrow, there is a lot to look forward to during this upcoming year. The spring will kick off with OA PhilBreak 2019, an exciting opportunity designed to provide meaningful service to Philmont in March following the forest fires of 2017. June will bring the second-ever OA Hackathon, where Arrowmen will explore the changing landscape of technology, and how it can apply to the Order of the Arrow. This year will also host a year-long initiative: Focus 2019.
Each year, Wewanoma Lodge out of South Texas holds a public powwow. The event was started twenty one years ago by Troop 68 from McAllen, Texas as a way for Scouts to get the Indian Lore Merit Badge. Since then, it has grown to become an annual tradition with up to 1,500 people in attendance. Some of the powwow’s events include afternoon demonstrations on topics such as beading, animal skinning and choker necklaces. Scouts still have the opportunity to earn the Indian Lore Merit Badge, and there are special activities for any Cub Scouts in attendance.
Cheerful service is one of the core values of the Order of the Arrow, and Withlacoochee Lodge was sure to fulfill that purpose with the service it provided to Camp Osborn following two recent natural disasters. In January 2017, during a NYLT staff development weekend, Camp Osborn was hit with an extremely powerful wind storm. Just two weeks later, it was hit again during the Withlacoochee Lodge Banquet, this time by a tornado. Following the disastrous events, Withlacoochee Lodge was ready to serve.
Last year, Pa-Hin Lodge and Naguonabe Lodge completed a joint service project as part of the Section C-1A’s Lodge Partnership Program. For this program, lodges are asked to attend each other’s events to gain a sense of community by getting to know the members of their partner lodge. The lodge leadership also gets the opportunity to see how other lodges run their own events such as induction weekends, reunions, or fellowships. This facilitates the sharing of best practices from across the section which they can implement in their own lodges.