Skip to main content

Chiefly Speaking: Redefining 2020's Impact

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Brothers,</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>It is hard to believe that we already find ourselves more than halfway through the year. This week, we are supposed to be gathered together for the 2020 National Order of the Arrow Conference. We may be physically distant, but we aren’t alone. This week as we come together for Momentum&nbsp;Launch, we all must look ahead to delivering our programs in this new normal.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>In any leadership role, specific moments arise that seek to define your term. Less than four weeks after our organization started experiencing a period of rapid change and restructuring, we began facing an unprecedented pandemic that would test each of us immensely. The spread of this virus has led to more tough decisions in our organization, like events from the local to the national levels. We know many of you are adapting your chapter or lodge’s programs to reach our members safely. That is no easy undertaking—we’re grateful for your leadership in these trying times. It is tempting to believe these moments can overshadow this year.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>At <a href="https://momentum.oa-bsa.org/">Momentum Launch</a> this week, we will chart a new course for the Order of the Arrow for the remainder of 2020. Our joint commitment to bold, decisive action will enable our organization to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The instant we let these tough moments define this year and our legacies as leaders, we seal our movement’s fate. This year will be remembered for each day that we take the opportunity to advance our organization. As we move through the second half of 2020, we invite you to join us in staying true to that promise. Together, here’s how we’ll make it happen:&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Providing each eligible Scout an election opportunity by visiting every remaining unit before December 31.</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Encouraging each candidate to complete their induction through upscaling our individual outreach.</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Inspiring all existing members to become active Arrowmen through regular virtual and/or in-person events.</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Last October we committed to thrive, setting up this year as our greatest opportunity for growth to-date. By fulfilling this promise, 2020 will be defined by the leaders who kept the momentum going. Our top priority as a national organization continues to be supporting lodges and chapters in these efforts. </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><strong><span><span>On behalf of the National Committee, <a href="/resources/reemerging">we are publishing our plan</a> as a national organization to join you as we redefine 2020.</span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Don’t let the tough moments control your year, for your abilities are far stronger than any obstacle you encounter. The challenges of the moment seek to define your term, but your character and resolve will leave a legacy.</span></span></span></span></span></span><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>With eyes to the sky,</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Zach Schonfeld</span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Noah Smith</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>&nbsp;2020 National Chief</span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 2020 National Vice Chief</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><br /> &nbsp;</p>

Aug 05, 2020   Chiefly Thoughts, OA Today
Chiefly Speaking: Lodge Support During COVID-19

<p><span><span><span>Section Leaders,</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>In moments like these, servant leadership is needed more than ever. We currently face unprecedented challenges as an organization, but we know that our organization also has unprecedented leaders like you. Lodges need our help as we navigate this “new” normal. We each must do our part to step up.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>This week, we launched our plan to support lodges as they emerge from a suspension of in-person events. Our top priority as a national organization is to support lodges, but the challenges in front of us will require laser-focused, united teamwork at every level of the Order of the Arrow. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>As section leaders, you possess a critical opportunity to support lodges in this commitment. After all,</span></span><span><span> a section’s purpose is “to support lodge leaders to produce High Performing Lodges, through a direct inter-council forum.” That responsibility is more important than ever, and the programs you work so hard to provide play a key role. &nbsp;Here’s how we’ll work together to enable lodge leaders in the most direct way possible:</span></span></span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span><span>Hosting a successful ACT Conference—virtual or in-person—in remaining sections, enabling a breakthrough in lodge performance through collaboration with lodge leaders.</span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>Delivering a safe, effective conclave in each section that is planning a summer or fall event.</span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>Providing direct support to lodges to ensure each eligible Scout is elected and inducted into our brotherhood.</span></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span><span>Each of us shares a unique passion for helping our Arrowmen succeed. We owe it to every young person who will one day wear a sash to ensure the Order of the Arrow thrives. Delivering our programs during this crisis will not be easy, but we will remain as strong as ever if we adapt to today’s challenges. It’s time to intervene in our future. Only then will we live up to </span><span>our oath to “preserve the traditions and obligations of the Order of the Arrow” so far as we are able. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>We know you are the ones to</span><span> rise to the occasion and embody the servant leadership that this moment requires</span><span>.&nbsp; We are here every step of the way as we join together in this commitment to grow our lodges and brotherhood. Whether it be through Conclaves, ACT Conferences, or anything in between, please let us know if we can ever be of service. Let’s keep the momentum going.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In service,</span></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span><span><span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Zach Schonfeld&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Noah Smith</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 2020 National Chief&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;2020 National Vice Chief</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>&nbsp; </span></span></p>

Jun 22, 2020   Chiefly Thoughts
Chiefly Speaking: From the National Chief Regarding COVID-19

<p>Brothers,</p> <p>Our world has experienced a lot of change in recent days, and I want to take a moment to address the current situation. While the change caused by the spread of COVID-19 may seem disconcerting, we cannot lose sight of the bigger picture and our overall mission. The values that Scouting and the Order of the Arrow bring&nbsp;to communities are needed now more than ever before, and as we go through the uncertain days ahead, I implore you to always keep those principles at the forefront of your mind.</p> <p>To any Arrowman who has a family member or friend affected by the virus, my thoughts are with you.</p> <p>Earlier this week,&nbsp;<strong>we announced the suspension of all in-person national, region, and section events until May 2.</strong>&nbsp;We encourage you to work with your local council regarding lodge and chapter events. You can find our updates related to COVID-19 at&nbsp;<a href="https://bsa-oaalllistsconsolidation.createsend1.com/t/y-l-uihjijk-l-d/"><em><strong>oa-bsa.org/coronavirus</strong></em></a>. With the spread of the virus postponing many Scouting and OA events in the coming weeks, I know that many of you feel disheartened. I’m disappointed too, but I am not discouraged.</p> <p>To every Arrowman who planned to attend a Scouting event that has been affected by the virus—I am sorry. I cannot wait to see the exciting programs that still lie ahead, even if they may be delayed.</p> <p>To every unit elections chair, ordealmaster, conclave coordinator, and Arrowman involved in planning an event that has been postponed or cancelled—I am sorry. I appreciate all that you have done to deliver our Order’s program to our members, and your talent is still needed as we move forward.</p> <p>To every Arrowman who feels discouraged right now—I want you to reflect for a moment on how you feel. If the pause until your next Scouting event is saddening, I challenge you: channel these emotions into something positive. When we return to normal, whenever that may be, Scouting and the Order of the Arrow will need your help. Let’s work together as one united brotherhood to deliver this program to every Arrowman and the future generations of Scouts who will come after us.</p> <p>While some of our lives and Scouting plans may&nbsp;temporarily change, our core values of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service remain unaltered. These principles that bind us together are far stronger than any change or setback we encounter and will persist through the uncertain days ahead.</p> <p>Maintain our bonds of brotherhood. Keep planning engaging and innovative events that will help the future of our Order. Above all, never lose sight of the values we cherish.</p> <p><strong>“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin</strong></p> <p>If I can ever be of service, please do not hesitate to reach out. Stay healthy, and I’ll see you along the Scouting trail soon.</p> <p>In brotherhood,<br /> Zach Schonfeld<br /> 2020 National Chief<br /> <a href="mailto:2020chief@oa-bsa.org">2020chief@oa-bsa.org</a></p>

Mar 18, 2020   Announcements, Chiefly Thoughts
Letter from the National Chief and Vice Chief

<p dir="ltr">Chiefs,</p> <p dir="ltr">It is hard to believe that only a few short weeks stand between this moment and the beginning of a new year. When we descend on Dallas for the National Planning Meeting (NPM), we will lay the groundwork for the 2020 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC). Each of you will play a key role in planning and delivering the 2020 national program of emphasis, and we are excited for the unique skills and ideas that you will bring to NOAC! A large majority of you have not attended a NPM before, and we would like to give you a brief overview of the meeting and provide you with a few key reminders.</p> <p dir="ltr">Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect when you touchdown at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (remember, don’t go to Love Field!):</p> <p dir="ltr">When you land, grab your bags and head to Terminal C, baggage claim C-31, and check-in with the uniformed BSA representative who will assist with transportation to the hotel. Once you arrive at the Marriott, you may check into your room and participate in afternoon recreation. Find some time to get to know the other section chiefs, national committee members, and key NOAC staff as they arrive! We will also be holding the traditional national officers vs. national committee basketball game. Feel free to come on out and watch; you know which team you should be rooting for…</p> <p dir="ltr">On the night of December 27th, there will be a reception, dinner, and a presentation on the basics of NOAC and the unveiling of the conference theme. Following this general session, you will go straight into the national chief and national vice chief elections. The elections are notoriously known to end late at night, so make sure you are well rested when you get to the hotel. After the elections, you’ll want to head to bed because you will have to wake up in the morning on the 28th for breakfast and region chief elections. Each region will meet in a separate room and elect their region chief.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the region chief elections, professional photos of each planning meeting guest will be taken, as well as a group photo of all the meeting’s attendees. In the afternoon, the new officers will be installed, your conference committee assignments issued and NOAC planning will commence! After going through some initial, big picture discussions on your committee’s vision and involvement at the conference, you will elect a conference vice chief (CVC). The rest of the meeting will be spent compiling your plan to deliver on your respective committee’s responsibilities at NOAC next summer. Of course, the planning meeting is not strictly business. You will have the chance to enjoy fellowship with other planning meeting attendees, as well as see first-hand the exciting things happening in the Order of the Arrow.</p> <p dir="ltr">On December 30th, continental breakfast will be served and we will depart, ready to put on an event of a lifetime.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Please be sure all of your paperwork has been taken care of, and you have reviewed all of the event information that was sent to you several weeks ago.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Additionally, make sure to download the 2019 National Planning Meeting App on your smartphone or tablet to access schedules and other important information you’ll need on-site.</p> <p dir="ltr">We look forward to joining you soon, and if we may be of service, please do not hesitate to ask.</p> <p dir="ltr">Yours in Service,</p> <p dir="ltr">Matt Parsons &amp; Eric Harrison</p> <p dir="ltr">2019 National Chief &amp; Vice Chief</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Dec 20, 2019   Chiefly Thoughts, NPM 2019
Thoughts on The Power of One

<p>The idea of "power" is quite remarkable. Empires have both come to being at its hand and conversely fallen because of its tight grasp. Although power is often thought of as a negative influence, when we think of it in terms of the NOAC<strong>2009</strong> theme, "THE<strong>POWER</strong>OF<strong>ONE,</strong>" its good qualities shine through.</p> <p>The power of one implies that all people can have the power. The power in this case encompasses the opportunity to make a difference. Furthermore, the power of one person does not warrant corruption or hostile takeovers, instead, it offers them a chance. That chance is in essence to live the golden rule to the fullest which states, that we must treat others the way we want to be treated. This rule serves as a map that guides us to achieving a positive impact as a result of our power.</p> <p>Many others in history have embarked on ways to use their power as a positive influence. George Washington humbly showed when to use the power and when to give it up to benefit generations. Susan B. Anthony fought for women's rights and succeeded. Mark Twain inspired many people to use their imaginations. Martin Luther King Jr. gave an unforgettable speech in his fight for equality. Amelia Earhart paved the way for women pilots by completing her legendary flight over the Atlantic. These people and many more provide a wonderful example for us to follow.</p> <p>We as Arrowmen, just as those that have come before us, have the power to make a positive change to the world around us. We can leave our mark on history and not only use the power, but also be the power. The power starts with one individual and then it grows into one group, one cause, or one organization. The Order of the Arrow will be moving forward working to capture and harness its own power to make a positive difference in the world. However, the success of that endeavor can only be achieved when each member uses their power for the better.</p> <p>So, the use of power is not so much to conquer other peoples or nations - its intended use is to in fact make a difference by living the golden rule. Each of us have the power to better the world around us, now, we just need to use it.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   Chiefly Thoughts
Duty to Country

<p>The Order of the Arrow has always served as one of the pinnacles of service to our country, not because we are asked to, and most definitely not because we are told to, but rather because it is our duty as Arrowmen. Dr. E. Urner Goodman, in his 1966 address at the Area 2C conference, talked to Arrowmen about the founding of the Order. He said to them that the Order of the Arrow was not founded on Treasure Island. Rather, it was founded many years beforehand. In 1776 a nation was founded, one that spoke of freedom and liberty.<br /> <br /> These principles stayed with the country through hundreds of years, and men who exemplified these traits were those who went through that particular ceremony of the Ordeal. The Arrowmen of today are no different. There are Arrowmen from coast to coast who volunteer to our country and volunteer to our communities. Their dedication to others and to this country has been amazing in the past 93 years.<br /> <br /> This year, Arrowmen have a new opportunity. As the summer approaches, thousands of Arrowmen from all over will be joining shovels in our national forests. They will be preserving hundreds of years of human impact, while ensuring the future beauty that enthralled so many people about our country. It is estimated that the volunteering will provide millions of dollars of work to the five national forests, proving to be the largest service project that the Boy Scouts have ever undertaken.<br /> <br /> So as you go out into the woods, tools in hand, remember Dr. Goodman's message. We have always answered the call to our country. This summer will be the perfect opportunity to answer that call once again. The Order has and always will be the pinnacle of our nation's founding principles. <em> ArrowCorps<sup>5</sup></em> will always be remembered as an excellent testament to our dedication as Arrowmen, not only to the founding principles of Dr. Goodman, but the founding principles of our country.<br /> <br /> Yours in Brotherhood,<br /> <br /> Benjamin L. Stilwill<br /> 2008 National Vice Chief</p>

Oct 29, 2016   Chiefly Thoughts
Thoughts on Being a Role Model

<p>I remember playing football in the fourth grade every recess. It was twenty minutes of my time during a long day of learning; but, for those glorious minutes, I was Cris Carter, John Elway, and Thurman Thomas, all in one. The games resembled nothing like a real football game, but my friends and I had fun. We all dreamed of catching the game-winning touchdown on Super Bowl Sunday that won our team the championship. During football season, I would watch every game that I could, and even go to some Arizona Cardinals games with my dad. On Monday, back at school, we would talk about the amazing plays and prepare to take the field as our favorite players, our role models. Their skills were envied by all, and we wished we could be like them. These NFL superstars did not know who I was, but I looked up to them.</p> <p>As I grew older, I no longer looked to the television for my role models because I started to find them in my life. I realized that the people I held on a pedestal were no longer great football players, but people who had changed my life. I started to look up to my teachers, coaches, and parents. When the time came, the older Scouts in my troop became my role models. I had no older brother to look up to or to guide me, so I watched the older Scouts instead. Those were the guys I wished I could be like when I grew up.</p> <p>During my first summer camp, the Senior Patrol Leader was my former Den Chief. I had known him for sometime, and wanted to be where he stood during role call one day. I watched how he led the troop, worked towards perfect campsite inspection everyday, and how he journeyed out on his own to become a Solo Hiker, a camp tradition.</p> <p>Four years later, it was my turn to serve as Senior Patrol Leader. I worked hard to make sure the campsite was ready to go for inspection every morning, and I tried my best to lead the troop to the Big "G" Gold, the highest troop rating at summer camp. I also journeyed out into the woods to find a small box on my solo hike, as my former Den Chief had done.</p> <p>Today, my role models are people I know; they are my friends. I look up to those around me because I see the challenges they face, and learn from the actions they take. I have learned more from my real-life role models then I ever could from a NFL superstar.</p> <p>Being a role model is something that we are all called to be. You will never realize how much influence you have on other people or how many lives you impact. I no longer dream of NFL glory, but the idea of being a role model has never faded away.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   Chiefly Thoughts
Thoughts on Commitment to the Order of the Arrow

<p>Ninety years ago, at a summer camp on an island in the Delaware River, E. Urner Goodman inducted a group of young Scouts into an organization of honor campers. Since that first ceremony, the organization has grown exponentially and has spread from coast to coast, with more than 300 lodges and more than 100,000 members. The organization, now known as the Order of the Arrow, has become a staple of the Boy Scout program and has developed into its premier leadership development program.</p> <p>Thousands of Arrowmen gather together for national conferences every other year, hundreds attend lodge and section events on weekends, and over three hundred take time out of their summer breaks to travel to the BSA high adventure bases and render service. The Order has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on its members and on the Scouting program. Our members dedicate themselves to the idea of servant leadership.</p> <p>Over time, however, our dedication can begin to fade. As we grow older and become busier with school and work, the things that at one time seemed so important to us begin to get pushed to the background by new opportunities and activities. As commitments pile up, it becomes easier and easier to skip the occasional lodge weekend; it becomes easier and easier to detach ourselves from the organization to which we once felt so connected.</p> <p>When I was twelve, I almost quit the Scouting program. School and friends distracted me, and the things that had once seemed so important began to fade. Luckily, I did not quit. I found a way to rekindle my dedication to the Order of the Arrow, and so can anyone else who may find his enthusiasm waning. Every year we are provided with innumerable opportunities to renew our commitment to the Order and to servant leadership through programs like OA Trail Crew, OA Wilderness Voyage, OA Ocean Adventure, NOAC, National Leadership Seminars, and Scoutreach Mentoring. I challenge all of you to take advantage of these opportunities.</p> <p>It seems almost ridiculous for me to ask you to give even more to the Order and Scouting than you already do. However, these programs have so much to offer you for such a small additional investment of your time. These programs have the ability to refocus your energy, revive your spirit, and renew your enthusiasm for the Order. We cannot allow this organization and the values for which it stands to become just another chore.</p> <p>Take the time to examine your commitment to the Order and its principles. Are you still dedicated to it in the same way you once were? Take advantage of the national programs and the unique opportunities they offer. Use them to help you recharge your batteries and renew your commitment to the Order of the Arrow and to the idea of servant leadership. What you gain will far surpass what you give.<br /> &nbsp;</p>

Oct 29, 2016   Chiefly Thoughts
Thoughts on Servant Leaders and The Great Outdoors

<p>The vast forests, fields, oceans, and mountains of the United States have become our most vital resources in the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow; they are, for us the staging grounds to learn life's most precious lessons for every scout and scouter. As an Arrowman, one of our central obligations is to be mindful of our duty to the outdoors, to not only preserve them but also to interpret the deeper messages that nature leaves behind.</p> <p>We are charged to be servant leaders and as such must strive toward leaving an everlasting legacy of cheerful service. In doing so, each of us defines what our own dreams are and with every breath drawn and every mile tread come closer to the ultimate pinnacle. The domain of our leadership though, is the future. It begins as a single spark within and becomes a roaring flame so intense that all around are enveloped by it. However, we must keep in mind that as we dream and look toward the future, a fire must be built in steps.</p> <p>There is a natural progression of life around us, soaring through the air, rushing through the rivers and rising from the earth. Every great achievement by our natural surroundings has taken time to develop and grow from its own modest beginnings to an awe inspiring presence. The giant redwoods of Sequoia National Park, the deep gorges of the Grand Canyon, the breadth and power of the Mississippi River and the eloquent beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains took millions of years to become some of the most beloved natural treasurers within our nation's borders. Each built upon past successes and accomplishments because the natural world we live in knows that great undertakings take time. It is from this simple observation, that we can learn a valuable lesson.</p> <p>Leaders are meant to be authors of great ideas and wild dreams, taking a simple problem and applying a unique form of creativity to imagine the possibilities. As the dream takes shape, a leader must also determine and define for themselves and for their group how success will be measured. If we only defined success as achieved after we had reached and perfected our dreams, no one would ever feel that deep sense of accomplishment. Never knowing the taste of victory can demoralize and dishearten those you serve. Within little goals and aspirations can a group find the will and energy to continue serving their ultimate purpose; it is through those "baby steps" that Mother Nature perfected the natural world and that we will come closer to reaching our own summits.</p> <p>As a leader, celebrate victories often. Always seek out and learn to identify the building blocks that become the foundation of a truly great achievement and with every block placed, have a party. Observe the world around you and see that even the largest tree in a forest was once a sapling, the deepest canyon, a shallow hole, the widest river, a trickling stream and the oldest mountains, a modest hill. A servant leader can look beyond the horizon of tomorrow and believe that although what they do today may seem small and insignificant, they too will someday realize their ultimate dream.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   Chiefly Thoughts
Thoughts on A Thing of the Spirit

<p>In 1915, Dr. E. Urner Goodman founded an organization that would have a great impact on the Scouting movement. Our founder's vision for our Order was a program built on the principles of Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service that recognized older Scouts for service to their unit. After nearly ninety years, his legacy is the organization that we know today &nbsp;Scouting's National Honor Society.</p> <p>Goodman spoke countless times throughout his life about a certain thought, about the <em>Things of the Spirit</em>. In the foreword to the 1961 edition of the <em>Order of the Arrow Handbook</em>, Goodman wrote:</p> <blockquote><em>"The Order of the Arrow is a thing of the spirit rather than of mechanics. Organization, operational procedure, and paraphernalia are necessary in any large and growing movement, but they are not what count in the end. The things of the spirit count."</em> </blockquote> <p>I'm sure that many of us have seen these words of our founder used at one time or another, and while it is easy to grasp the main idea of what he meant, I contemplate his words and wonder what these things of the spirit are that he refers to.</p> <p>Recently, I attended my lodge's spring conclave. I had a great time seeing old friends, working on our lodge's new ceremony site, and playing the part of Meteu for the Pre-Ordeal and Ordeal ceremonies for the last time.&nbsp; It was during this time I came to a new realization.&nbsp; After I was inducted into the OA, I started to get involved, first in my chapter and then on the lodge level &nbsp;working on and chairing committees, helping out with ceremonies, and running for various lodge offices. Getting involved and active in the Order gave me many responsibilities and required my attendance at all lodge functions, but this was not why I went to our lodge's meetings. I stayed active because of the feeling I got when the weekend or meeting was over&nbsp;knowing that I had just spent some time with my best friends, that we had in some way given back to our local council or Scouting, and that we were part of a truly great organization committed to serving the youth of our nation.</p> <p>Being an Arrowman is more than just wearing a white sash or going to lodge executive committee meetings or conclaves. While these too are important, it is about living up to the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law in our daily lives, about setting the positive example at all times, about being a friend to all, and about cheerfully serving others. It is about living by the three principles of the Order of the Arrow - Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service. These are what make the OA a strong organization. These are the things that truly count. These are the <em>Things of the Spirit</em>.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   Chiefly Thoughts
Thoughts on Tradition

<p>The nature of the Order of the Arrow can be ascribed in many ways to the ideals that Lord Baden-Powell sought to nurture when establishing the Boy Scouts--to teach boys to appreciate the outdoors while remaining unselfish and courteous in their everyday lives. Dr. E. Urner Goodman envisioned a similar standard by creating an organization for youth who exemplified the spirit of Scouting. The Order of the Arrow was founded upon ideals dating even farther back, before the formation of the Scouting movement. The legend of our Order is the source from which we have derived many of our traditions throughout our history.</p> <p>Tradition has been an important aspect in the progress of the Order of the Arrow because it has provided a foundation upon which we could build. Some of the strongest roots of our traditions come from the American Indians. The Order of the Arrow puts a strong emphasis on American Indian culture and customs for this reason.</p> <p>The 2003 Order of the Arrow Indian Summer was a prime example of Arrowmen celebrating and learning about American Indian traditions by participating in ceremonies and American Indian activities throughout the week. Many Arrowmen who are involved in these facets of our order find themselves better able to comprehend the true meaning of why our organization exists.</p> <p>Ceremonial work has helped me to gain a better understanding of our Order. When I was a new Arrowman attending my first Lodge conclave, an older member of the Lodge approached me and asked if I would help out with a ceremony. I jumped at the opportunity to hang out with the older guys, and I found myself portraying Allowat Sakima later that night in the pre-Ordeal ceremony. I was not very prepared for the role and, admittedly, I was nervous about being the "little guy" in the midst of three seasoned ceremonialists. I was even more intimidated by the amount of candidates and brothers whose eyes were glued on me for the longest 3 minutes of my life, as I recited what lines I could recall from the script.</p> <p>After the candidates were sent off on their Ordeal and the ceremonial principals retired for the night, an older brother in my Lodge explained to me the impact I had made on the candidates to whom I had just spoken. He said, "You just explained to them why we are here, and they chose to continue; well done."</p> <p>Reflecting on the words that I said in that ceremony, I did not really understand what they meant or where they came from at the time. However, as the ceremony team inspired those who heard the words we spoke that night, I too was inspired to learn more about the ceremonies and the origins of the Order of the Arrow.</p> <p>I feel that the years I have spent becoming more familiar with ceremonies and American Indian culture have helped me come to realize the true meaning behind the traditions of the Order. For this reason, I would encourage every Arrowman to get involved with your Lodge's ceremonies and American Indian activities. If you are already involved in these areas, I urge you to invite another Arrowman to join you.</p> <p>The Order of the Arrow was founded with a vision based on tradition. It is now up to us to preserve the ideals given to us by our founders. We have many responsibilities as Arrowmen and as Scouts&nbsp;tasks to undertake and complete, events to plan and lead, goals to set and reach. In carrying out those responsibilities, let us not lose sight of the real reasons why we do what we do, the things of the spirit that our founders reminded us are so important. Be mindful of the true meaning of the Order and why we choose to remain unselfish in cheerful service.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   Chiefly Thoughts
Thoughts On Brotherhood Around the Country

<p>When we think of a brother, we generally think of a sibling, both younger and older. Someone who shared childhood memories and laughter with us: someone who kept pestering us as we drove away on our family vacations to visit distant relatives. Our brothers have somehow helped us grow, both in our relationship and as individuals. Brothers have affected our lives; they are responsible for looking out for us, just as we are for them. However, in the Order of the Arrow, this word "Brother" has a different meaning, one that means something unique to each and every one of us.</p> <p>We commonly use this word "brother" in our Order, but what does it mean? Why is it that the chief addresses us as brothers? Why is it that we feel the way we do, about these people that are not even related to us? I suppose it all started when we stepped forward and chose to undertake that Ordeal. That Ordeal weekend, we spent a great amount of time cheerfully serving our camps and communities, cheerfully serving each other. As the day progressed, we started to think differently about one another, we began to feel true brotherhood. That night we were bound together in this brotherhood, and then we heard, at the end of our Ordeal ceremony, an exclamation from our chief: "My Brothers!!! I congratulate you..." Is this what makes us brothers?</p> <p>Well, I have traveled from coast to coast, south to north and east to west. I have seen the products of our Order. I have seen brotherhood at its best. At the Train the Trainer in the Florida Keys, we traveled throughout Key West as a pack, a band of brothers, nothing could separate us. In North Carolina, at the Cardinal Conclave, lodges gathered for an Iron Man competition, and cheered each competitor on as they all raced through this triathlon race. In Alaska I was part of a lodge that toured around Anchorage, and we showed the world around us that we were the best definition of brothers. I have seen brotherhood from coast to coast, and brothers, it is strong.</p> <p>We are brothers by choice, and we share a bond that any Scout could only dream of. We have a bond that can never be broken, and it is all explained in one word, our admonition. This is what our founder could only imagine, this is what he dreamed. Brothers, this dream of perfect brotherhood has now become a reality and I for one am thankful for that.</p>

Oct 29, 2016   Chiefly Thoughts