In April 2023, over 300 Scouts, leaders, and Arrowmen came together in Union Grove, NC, for an exciting weekend full of games, activities, and training for a camporee hosted by Nv Ya O Sa Ni Chapter of Eswau Huppeday Lodge. Twice a year, Arrowmen from Nv Ya O Sa Ni vote on the theme for the upcoming camporee. They hold two camporees yearly, but this spring’s “Back to the Future” themed event has been widely considered their best.
The camporee featured many different activities for the Scouts to experience. The event kicked off on Friday night with a movie for all participants. The next morning, training cells were offered to teach youth important Scout skills. They learned how to tie lashings, build a fire, change a tire and build a stretcher. Following the training cells, they hosted the cart race. Each unit was responsible for building and decorating its own “DeLorean” cart that they would race against each other.
After lunch, it was off to the main event, where Scouts and their patrols used their knowledge from the morning’s training cells to compete in various activities. They built stretchers, tied knots, threw axes, shot slingshots and even got to experience a themed escape room!
Later in the evening, after a “Timeless Taste Pudding Cook-Off,” where troops presented the senior staff with homemade pudding, everyone gathered at the amphitheater for an exciting campfire full of line dances, troop skits, and a show put together by the OA staff. To end the weekend positively, Sunday morning featured a chapel service and awards ceremony, and the crowd departed.
Vice Chief of Program Laci S. said her favorite part of camporee is the campfire program.
“They are an important part of camporee. It’s a fun end to an action-packed Saturday that allows the Scouts to get involved. From performing a skit to dancing the Cotton-Eyed Joe, it just adds an extra bit of fun to the whole experience.”
Indeed, the campfire program was one of the highlights of the event. It started with line dances to get the crowd excited and then moved into the skits. Members of the chapter performed various “Back to the Future'' themed skits that involved troops too. Some of the most eagerly anticipated skits are the “series skits,” which are skits written by Laci that don’t end after the campfire: they carry into later camporees with more storytelling and humor added every time.
For example, the “Scouting Nature Documentary” skit is performed by former chapter chiefs. It is about a fumbling magician who messes up all his tricks and even a “Juggling Juggernaut” who tries to juggle a box of TNT. These silly skits are the staple of the campfire program and a favorite among the Scouts. Nv Ya O Sa Ni strives to make their campfires memorable and enjoyable for all. The experience of seeing three hundred people dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe, laugh at someone shoving a banana in their pocket, and sing Scout Vespers is a sight unlike any other.
The campfire isn’t the only part of an event that requires planning and organization. It takes a dedicated team of Arrowmen to create and execute an event like this. Chapter Chief Jacob S. shared what made the camporee special to him:
“Being the chapter chief is a uniquely special role. I get to see firsthand the new Scouts having fun and experiencing new things, the older Scouts making memories with their friends, and the staff stepping up to create a wonderful event.”
The camporee is more than just an event. For some Arrowmen, it’s a memory. Senior staff member Ian M. reflected,
“When I was a younger Scout, I loved performing skits during the campfire. Now, I get nostalgic when I return to the camporee!”
The nostalgic remembrance of being an excited and enthusiastic young Scout allows staff members to ensure campers get to create those same memories. Nv Ya O Sa Ni’s camporee has a very special place in many Scouts’ hearts, entirely made possible by its Arrowmen. The Order of the Arrow brings many talented and passionate Scouts together. Together, Arrowmen can create unique events that will impact Scouts for generations to come!