The Order of The Arrow High Adventure (OAHA) program provides an opportunity like no other. It gives Arrowmen the experience of tackling the high-adventure bases while providing cheerful service and meeting others from around the country. In 2023, OAHA was incredibly successful: across all four bases, Arrowmen provided 9,332 hours of cheerful service.
The OA Summit Experience offered six sessions throughout the summer, and forty Arrowmen participated. They had the opportunity to help construct more trails throughout the Summit Bechtel Reserve and within the New River Gorge National River Area. In addition, saw their impact across the SBR property since it’s the newest High Adventure program. In total, they completed 1,120 service hours throughout the sessions held this past summer.
The OA Trail Crew at Philmont also hosted six sessions throughout the summer, providing adventure to 94 participants. On the 14-day trek, Arrowmen spent the first seven days learning and participating in trail maintenance. The last seven days of the trek allowed them to design and lead their backpacking trek and experience Philmont’s backcountry. Across the summer, their main focus was working on improving the Mt. Philips Trail. In total, Arrowmen provided 3,562 service hours to the projects at Philmont.
Indeed, spending time in any of these programs can be a life-changing experience. For example, Lodge Chief Wesley C. of Sebooney Okasucca Lodge was inspired by the desire to meet new Arrowmen and strengthen the bonds of brotherhood in the OA. He helped lead his team in service on Cedro Peak at Philmont, as they operated to transport building materials to and from the site.
Although the tasks were weighty, Wesley stated,
“The work was hard but rewarding, especially for a beautiful view and an amazing team.”
Ultimately, his experience allowed him to further his view of the OA, uphold its traditions, and experience the nature of OAHA.
Next, the OA Wilderness Voyage (OAWV) and OA Canadian Odyssey (OACO) at Northern Tier hosted six sessions throughout the summer and had a combined total of 84 participants. The OAWV is a two-week trek where Arrowmen have the opportunity to experience all the boundary waters offer while also giving back to the environment. They provided service through portage trail work, benefiting thousands of visitors annually. Similarly, the OACO offers service and exploration opportunities at the Quetico Provincial Park of Ontario, Canada. In all, Arrowmen from both programs helped maintain 25 portages, cleared 24,750 feet of trail and twenty-five feet of turnpike, and gave 4,560 hours of service.
All OAHA programs are rewarding for those who desire to strengthen the values within the OA. It stands out amongst other programs as an opportunity to give back to Scouting’s beloved bases while building lifelong bonds. So what are you waiting for? Registration for the summer of 2024 is now open at https://oa-bsa.org/high-adventure. Register today to live the spirit and traditions of the OA at High Adventure!