ArrowCorps5 the 2008 program of emphasis conducted by the Order of the Arrow (OA) was a joint project between the OA and the United States Forest Service (USFS) to provide service at five U.S. Forest Service sites across the country. The five sites were selected based on USFS needs and the OA’s ability to provide the type of service requested at each site. ArrowCorps5 was open to both youth and adult participation and cost $250.00 per participant.
The National OA Committee of the Order of the Arrow conducted fundraising and sought sponsorship to acquire program funds needed above those provided by participants.
Each service site was administered by Order of the Arrow leadership, and USFS personnel. Starting in 2003, both sides began planning for the conservation project, programmatic elements and the logistical support needed to host 1,000 Arrowmen per site. In the fall of 2007 promotional material was sent out to councils and lodges. The tagline for the event was “Five Sites, Five Weeks, Five Thousand Arrowmen.”
Throughout early 2008 the Order of the Arrow hired 42 Arrowmen to serve on the Instructor Corps. This group would oversee conservation projects and implement the program while onsite at each venue. A documentation crew was hired by the OA to work alongside the USFS in capturing what was promoted as “the largest service project conducted by the Boy Scouts since World War II.” Overall, through the efforts of the participants and staff, the OA provided 280,000 volunteer service hours worth $5.6 million to the Forest Service.
Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri – June 7 to 14, 2008 The summer-long series of service projects kicked off at the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. Some 575 participants, staff, and U.S. Forest Service personnel assembled at a specially created base camp in the Ozark Mountains. The proposed “Arrowman’s Glade” project consisted of cutting down more than 285,000 invasive Eastern Red Cedar trees within a 134-acre track. Participants completed the task ahead of schedule and as a result were able to provide restoration to the natural environment and help sustain the wildlife of the area.
Manti-La Sal National Forest, Utah – June 14 to 21, 2008 The Manti-La Sal National Forest site in Utah brought together 463 participants, staff, and 21 different government agencies. A base camp was erected at the Canyon View Junior High School in Huntington, Utah. During the week, Arrowmen removed invasive Tamarisk, a non-native shrub harmful to other vegetation and wildlife. In total approximately 13,000 acres or 33 square miles miles of channel area was cleared and sprayed. Special guests included the Lieutenant Governor of Utah, Gary R. Herbert and senior leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
George Washington & Jefferson National Forests, Virginia – June 21 to 28, 2008 Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest project site included 736 participants, staff, and U.S. Forest Service personnel. In total 8.3 miles of new multi-use trail appropriately named “ArrowCorps Loop” was constructed. Arrowmen also built and installed four information kiosks along with 86 trail signs. Additionally, some crews camped and worked at Lake Moomaw surveying and constructing seven camping platforms. Camp Goshen of the National Capital Area Council served as the primary base camp. Deputy Chief of the USFS, Gloria Manning spoke at the closing gathering.
Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California – July 12 to 19, 2008 Mt. Shasta Ski Park served as the primary base camp to the 600 participants, staff, and U.S. Forest Service personnel that arrived for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest ArrowCorps5 site. Lodge delegations included Arrowmen from the US, Japan and Taiwan. Project tasks included the removal of 22 tons of illegally dumped trash, constructing or reconstructing more than 75 miles of trail on the Pacific Crest Trail, Sisson-Callahan Trail, and McCloud Loop Trail system. Additionally, a fire lookout tower and four “comfort stations” along the Pacific Crest trial were refurbished.
President Bush presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award to National Chief Jake Wellman, Western Region Chief Mark Hendricks, and Youth Incident Commander Alex Braden during a visit to Redding, California on day five of the project. To conclude the week, the keynote address at the closing gathering was given by the Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Mark Ray.
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming – July 26 to August 2, 2008 The final and largest project of the summer-long service event occurred at the Bridger Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. 1,034 participants, staff, and U.S. Forest Service personnel worked to construct more than 12 miles of multi-use trail within the Teton-Pass area. While headquarters for the “Arrow Trail” project in Teton Pass was at Jackson Hole High School, a remote camp was constructed at the base of the Teton Mountains to allow Arrowmen easier access in removing 10 miles of fencing and to construct off highway vehicle closure points and primitive campsites. Special guests included Chief of the USFS Gail Kimbell, David Freudenthal, the Governor of the State of Wyoming, and Chief Scout Executive, Bob Mazzuca. The White House awarded additional Presidential Volunteer Service Awards to all of the ArrowCorps5 site leadership at the closing gathering.