For decades, every Arrowman has pledged to “always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow…” These traditions, like our history, continue to thrive in the actions of all members of the Order of the Arrow. This connection to the past is felt nowhere more strongly than in Nentico Lodge. The year 2022 marks the 100th Anniversary of the founding of this lodge, which is based in Baltimore, MD, and the lodge members are gearing up for a year of celebration!
To celebrate this momentous occasion and to become more in touch with the approximately 30,000 Arrowmen who have helped to make Nentico Lodge into the powerhouse that it is today, members will have the opportunity to participate in two key celebrations this summer!
Kicking off this summer, lodge members past and present will have the opportunity to celebrate at Nentico Lodge’s Centennial Gala. This event is sure to be a wonderful way for members to connect with past and present leaders of their lodge as they look forward to an even stronger future!
The highlight of this year of celebration is set to be the 100th Anniversary Ordeal. This four day experience will be centered around the traditions of our organization from almost a century ago! Twenty-three candidates, randomly selected from those eligible to attend an induction weekend, will have the opportunity to undergo an ordeal styled (while still following current OA policy) around the original challenges of the Ordeal. These candidates will be led through this process by specially selected elangomats from Nentico Lodge.
In addition to this experience being offered for those who will be inducted into the Order of the Arrow, Nentico Lodge will hold a similar program over this four day event with those being eligible for the Brotherhood Honor or those who have been called out for the Vigil Honor being able to experience these older traditions.
According to Nentico Lodge Chief Sean O’Toole, the purpose of this experience is for all lodge members to
“better understand what our lodge used to be like, and to revisit our heritage, or at least as close as we can get while remaining respectful and while following all guidelines of Scouting.”
Over its long history, Nentico Lodge has maintained a strong relationship with their council and their camps. Since Nentico Lodge predates their current council camp, the stories of the development of the camp and of the lodge are intertwined. This unique relationship allows Nentico Lodge to maintain one of their most prized traditions: the usage of the same ceremonies site for over seventy years. For decades, candidates on their journey to complete their Induction have walked the same trail. Soon-to-be OA members of today can feel this connection to all those who have come down that path before them.
These ceremonial grounds hold a special place in the heart of Nentico Lodge Chief Sean O'Toole, as he reflects that,
“for the last seventy years, thousands of Arrowmen have walked this path [...] though they may come in different forms, there is a strong connection between us all. We all face the same challenges, both during the Ordeal and in our daily lives.”
The modern success of Nentico Lodge was due to those, as Sean phrases it, “who set us up to be here today.” Over 100 years of youth leadership has led to the strength of Nentico Lodge, and the current lodge leadership continues to reflect upon those who came before them. By exploring the opportunities made available to them in the Order of the Arrow, new lodge members have the opportunity to earn the James A. Mitchell award, named after the first Nentico Lodge Chief.
“This should show the ever importance of maintaining the legacy of the Order of the Arrow. We should look back on the accomplishments of all of those who have come before us to pave the way for us to succeed, while also pushing forward to pave the way for all future generations who will come after us.” -Nentico Lodge Chief Sean O’Toole