The Order of the Arrow has teamed up with American Hiking Society (AHS) to offer our Scouts and Scouters more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. For years, it has been our purpose to enjoy the outdoors as well as to be its stewards.
Now, the Order has a chance to build upon the great work that our high adventure programs, ArrowCorps5, and SummitCorp - The New River Experience have been able to accomplish. With this partnership, the Order is asking for your support. The AHS not only promotes hiking and the outdoors but they also work to restore its beauty through their many nationwide trail events.
To be a part of something larger than us is something that greatness hinges upon. The Order asks that you take advantage of this opportunity by becoming an integral part of stewardship and outdoor enjoyment. Check out American Hiking Society at their website. On the website you can find out how to host or join one of American Hiking Society's National Trails Day® (NTD) events. Your lodge, chapter, troop, or Scout unit can be leaders in your local area by getting involved in NTD now!
Has your unit, chapter or lodge participated in a National Trails Day event? Send a brief summary and pictures to share on the Order's website and social media. Have questions? Please contact us at @email.
From the American Hiking Society
Dear Order of the Arrow Member,
American Hiking Society is excited to be a partner with the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America. We would like to introduce you to American Hiking Society and our National Trails Day ® and share how you can be part of the nation's largest trails celebration! Since its founding in 1976, American Hiking Society has been the only national voice for hikers - dedicated to promoting and protecting America's hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience.
American Hiking Society works every day by speaking for hikers in the halls of Congress and with federal land managers, building and maintaining footpaths through our trails and volunteer programs, educating and supporting hikers by providing information and resources, and supporting all hiking and trail organizations nationwide.
On June 7, 2014, American Hiking Society and outdoor enthusiasts across the country will participate in the 21st annual National Trails Day® (NTD), a long-standing celebration of America's magnificent trail system. More than 2,000 events will take place around the country including trail maintenance projects, hikes, paddle trips, bike and horseback rides, wildlife viewing activities, trail dedications, and so much more!
Happy National Trails Day and Happy Trails,
Trail Programs Manager
To help plan unit, chapter or lodge National Trails Day event, visit the National Trails Day website for resources including an organizer's manual, general facts, frequently asked questions, style guide, and press information. The resources are available here.
How You Can Host a National Trails Day Event
National Trails Day is a year long opportunity and just doesn't happen on the first Saturday in June. Chapters and even Sections are encouraged to participate in a National Trails Day event at any time that is available and all Arrowmen can participate in more than one event over the course of the year. Arrowmen should check the National Trail Days events page regularly to find opportunities in their local area.
Host an Event
- Plan your very own event. It can be as small or as big as you want it to be. If you can't plan a new event, register an event that you already have scheduled for spring, summer, or fall 2014. This could be a maintenance project, hike, paddle trip, bike ride, or anything celebrating trails. Get creative!
- Let your scouts know that they are taking part in a trails celebration that is occurring in all 50 states with over 1,500 events and 100,000 participants around the country.
- Let your event count towards the total numbers of Scout events across the country and be a part of the important national community of trail volunteers and stewards.
- Events do not have to take place only on June 7, 2014. They may occur any day throughout the year. You can register for more than one event.
Register your event as public or private. Public events are viewable on the AHS website and open for others to participate. Private events are only open to your lodge and will not be advertised to the public on our website. Both public and private events will count towards the total number of Scout events. Register your event here and direct any questions to @email.
Partner with a Retailer or Local Organization
Visit the NTD page to find events in your area. Call the host and ask how your group can help in the planning or by volunteering. If their event is already registered on the AHS website, ask them to email @email to add your troop to the partner list.
Contact a local retailer or group and encourage them to host an event and offer your volunteer support.
Participate in an Event
- Attend an event near you! Visit www.americanhiking.org to view the map and events in your area. New events are added weekly so continue to check back.
Record Your Service Hours
Help your council while you help the environment! Lodges are encouraged to track their NTD service hours. Your lodge's service hours count towards your council's overall efforts on their Journey to Excellence. Each local council has an OA lodge ID that can be used to log Order of the Arrow service hours. The Unit ID of OA units begin with 200 and a 3 digit council number. The OA lodge for council 087 is 200087. The unit id for council 112 is 200112. Anyone from the lodge can create an account and record hours with that unit it. All OA units are "troop" unit type. The unit number is a 1, 2 or 3 digit number that matches the council number. Council 1 OA unit number is 1, council 212 OA number is 212. If the council has units with the same number as the council number, that is not a problem because the unit ID will help the computer differentiate between the various accounts. Follow the same instructions for units recording their service hours. The Journey to Excellence website, which contains a link to the on-line form to record the hours, is found at: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/JourneyToExcellence.aspx
Recognize June 7th as the National Trails Day (but remind Scouts that anytime is a good time for trail cleanup project - not just June 7th). Schedule a trail cleanup and show the world your commitment to keeping our trails clean!