In the Pacific Northwest, Washington’s Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge stands as a pinnacle of cheerful service. On the second Saturday of each month, Arrowmen from throughout the lodge gather at Fire Mountain Scout Camp to provide beneficial service necessary for the camp’s program delivery. The idea was conceived five years ago when Antonyo Mitchell, the 2019 Western Region Chief, stepped into the role of “Vice Chief of Cheerful Service” with Rich Mueller serving as his adviser. Mitchell saw that Mount Baker Council, the council their lodge serves, held monthly service weekends at the camp. He understood that service was the foundation of what the OA was built upon, and sought to get the lodge involved with these work weekends. While it all began with simple projects, the scope of the lodge’s contributions has greatly expanded, setting a precedent for how a lodge can truly support their council and camps.
Ranging from mowing grass to splitting wood, the Service Saturdays began simply as odd jobs done around the camp. As time progressed and more Arrowmen became involved, the council properties committee began collaborating directly with the Arrowmen of Sikhs Mox Lamonti to plan and undertake more large scale projects, many of which have included trail construction and repair. To date, over one hundred hours of service by Arrowmen has contributed to the restoration of a quarter-mile trail into camp.
More recently, the lodge installed a unique “Trail to First Class” area at their past induction weekend with instructional boards stationed throughout. The program is designed to utilize the patrol method, with the materials and directions necessary for the Scouts to work together and teach each other. This promotion of the patrol method stems from the OA’s commitment to advancing all of Scouting’s values. To further their promotions of camping, Arrowmen broke ground on an improved tent camping site during Labor Day weekend, a project for which the lodge received a National Service Grant. This will provide the Scouts attending Fire Mountain Scout Camp more opportunities for traditional Scout camping in the outdoors.
In addition to these projects supporting the lodge’s service goals, they provide an opportunity for Arrowmen to interact with other troops’ Scouts that may not have been inducted. This gives those Scouts the opportunity to learn more about the OA and why they may strive to be apart of it one day.
On a typical weekend, the lodge can expect about twenty to thirty Arrowmen, yet those numbers change depending on the time of year or if it falls on an induction weekend. In that case, one might find up to two hundred Arrowmen and inductees all performing cheerful service together. It is this service that has extended far beyond monthly weekends as many chapters often perform their own acts of service, typically at district camporees. It is clear the Arrowmen are truly fulfilling the lodge’s purpose to support the council, and Sikhs Mox Lamonti’s commitment to this as perpetuated a service-oriented culture. With over five thousand service hours per year dedicated to cheerful service, the lodge has successfully enhanced the experience of NYLT, Woodbadge, National Camp School, and year-round camping while expanding the reach of their lodge throughout the troops in the council.