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News, ideas, and information for lodge leadership.

Induction Guidance to Lodges Under COVID-19 Restrictions (Virtual Inductions)

<p>New guidelines have been issued to provide lodges in areas under COVID-19 restrictions to proceed with induction events. The objective is to build membership growth and maximize the number of completed inductions while under COVID-19 restrictions and particularly between now and December 31, 2020.</p> <p><a class="btn btn-default" href="/resources/inductions/covid-19/"><i class="fa fa-file-alt">&nbsp;</i> Read the Guidelines Here</a></p>

Aug 05, 2020   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
Reemerging from COVID-19 Resource Portal

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span>As our communities begin to emerge from sheltering in place and we adjust to our new “normal,” the Order of the Arrow will seek to help Lodges re-engage in their activities, support their local council, and provide cheerful service to their communities.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Goals and Objectives of this plan:</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Provide lodges with </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><span><span>suggestions and support</span></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span> to maintain an active, robust program that will attract membership participation</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Maintain a priority for compliance with BSA and local health and safety guidelines</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Focus on meeting the needs of the youth membership by providing structured activities that appeal to their desire for fellowship and fun while remaining consistent with our core principles and purpose.</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Continue our focus on enhancing membership.</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Maintain a sense of optimism as we develop a pathway that will ensure the future growth and relevance of the OA within Scouting and our nation.</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>In addition to the portal posted on our webpage, we’ve </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><strong><span><span>launched a Facebook group for lodge-leaders to connect and share comments and suggestions</span></span></strong></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span> regarding best-practices and resources developed by the national organization. </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span>You can view and join this group here</span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span>. Please note: The Order of the Arrow will share these ideas via posts, and you will have the ability to create conversation regarding them in the comments. </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><em><span>Only group administrators are permitted to create new posts or conversation topics.&nbsp;</span></em></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>For more information, visit </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span></span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span>. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

Aug 05, 2020   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
Increasing Induction of Adult Unit Leaders

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span>We’ve made some key changes to the process by which adults can be selected by the lodge adult selection committee.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>For unit-level adult leaders, the requirement that states at least one youth must be elected in a unit for any adults to be chosen remains. However, instead of the usual one adult per three youth ratio, we are now permitting </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><strong><span><span>two</span></span></strong></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span> adults to be selected per three youth elected. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>As an example, if a unit holds an election in which 10 youth are elected, they would be entitled to nominate 6.67 adults. Rounding up means they can nominate up to 7 adults.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>As a reminder, an unlimited number of council and district-level adults can be nominated to join the Order. As always, nominees must serve to provide a positive example to the youth and benefit the OA program.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>In terms of camping requirements, unit-level adults must have at least 15 nights of camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within two years prior to the unit election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved by the standards set by the BSA. For council and district-level adults, however, the camping nights requirement may be waived by the lodge adviser or scout executive.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>We’d also like to remind your lodge adult selection committees to time your meetings to include late year nominees. If your lodge is experiencing unusual circumstances or has any questions regarding unit elections for youth or adults, please email </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span></span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span>. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Aug 05, 2020   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
Digital Engagement Toolkit

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span>During the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be challenging to maintain the bonds of brotherhood that we share as Arrowmen as a result of widespread health restrictions for in-person programming. Many chapters, lodges and sections have adapted to the new situation by hosting virtual meetings and other activities. This newly-created guide provides best practices for virtual programming compiled from local chapters and lodges nationwide.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Together, we will inspire all existing members to become active Arrowmen through regular virtual and/or in-person events as one of three laser-focused objectives as we navigate this new normal.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Some of the programming listed in this guide includes communication between Arrowmen. All events should be held in accordance with Youth Protection guidelines and the </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span>Guide to Safe Scouting</span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span>. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>To access the guide, visit </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span></span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

Aug 05, 2020   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
Updated Unit Elections Video

<p>This video contains a brief summary of the Order of the Arrow and its programs as well as an explanation of the election procedures. We’ve recently re-filmed the video to accurately reflect the recent membership updates.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"></div> <p>For questions related to the video usage, please email <a href=""><u></u></a>.</p>

Aug 05, 2020   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
OA Ceremonial Update

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Effective January 1, 2020, changes will be enacted pertaining to the attire worn by ceremonialists during the official Order of the Arrow ceremonies.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>While American Indian attire has been the historic tradition used in OA ceremonies, circumstances may dictate that lodges use either the Scout Field Uniform or the Alternative Ceremonial Clothing. For example, Alternative Ceremonial Clothing should be used in situations where a lodge does not have a relationship with a local tribe, a local tribe has expressed concern with the use American Indian ceremonial attire for this purpose, or limited resources preclude a lodge from developing historically correct and acceptable American Indian ceremonial attire.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Beginning in 2020 one of the following three options should be selected for OA Ordeal, Brotherhood or Vigil ceremonies:&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>American Indian attire</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>The Scout Field Uniform</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>The </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><em><span>Alternative Ceremonial Clothing </span></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>​consisting of black shirt with black pants</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The Alternative Ceremonial Clothing consists of a plain black shirt and pants, as well as the Order of the Arrow sash and ceremonial neck medallion. Ceremonialists should all wear shirts and pants of the same style to ensure uniformity.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Ceremonial medallions are available through the national office and should be worn by ceremonial principals that use either the Scout Field Uniform or the Alternative Ceremonial Clothing option. They are not to be worn with American Indian clothing.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>If lodges use American Indian attire, all efforts should be made by the lodge to depict the American Indian tribes that are native to the area. It is recommended that a lodge engage and work with the American Indian community to determine what attire would be appropriate and accurate.</span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>If a lodge cannot feasibly fulfill the requirements to conduct ceremonies in traditional attire, the Scout Field Uniform will suffice. If this method is done, all pieces of the uniform, including the Order of the Arrow sash and ceremonial neck medallion are to be worn. Extraneous patches and additional headwear are prohibited.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Ceremony scripts and the core messages they possess are remaining the same. Uniformity in both attire and content will be maintained.&nbsp; This will ensure the same meaningful experiences for candidates in these ceremonies.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The Order of the Arrow is proving more vital than ever, and the standards being set are to ensure the importance of the program and its values of forging a purpose of lifelong service for the future.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>For questions related to this ceremony update, please email <a href=""></a>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

Feb 10, 2020   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
2019 OA Innovation Award Recipients

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Many lodges develop creative and innovative solutions to the challenges they face in implementing their annual program plans. In order to spread the best ideas to other lodges and areas across the country, the Order of the Arrow Lodge Innovation Award was created in 2012 to not only recognize lodges for their efforts but to share them nationwide as best practices. Up to two awards in each region can be presented annually.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Each award is accompanied by a $1,000 cash gift to the donor restricted endowment fund of the council that each lodge serves. That gift will benefit Scouting in that council in perpetuity - meaning forever. &nbsp;In total since 2012, local council endowment fund balances have received over $70,000 in total from the OA as a result of the creation of these permanently encumbered financial gifts.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Announced in 2019, seven lodges were chosen for the Innovation Award.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><strong>Narragansett Council’s Tulpe Lodge</strong> (Rhode Island) was one of the lodges to receive the Innovation Award.&nbsp; Inspired by a fulfilling experience at the Order of the Arrow’s ArrowCorps5 in 2008, Tulpe Lodge developed and implemented ArrowCorps Yawgoog at their council camp, Yawgoog Scout Reservation.&nbsp; “ArrowCorps Yawgoog is a one week experience at Yawgoog Scout Reservation where the principles developed during the summer of 2008 at national ArrowCorps5 are being applied in our own camp setting.”</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>ArrowCorps Yawgoog is offered during one of the existing weeks of summer camp. The cost&nbsp;is much reduced from the regular summer camp fee. ArrowCorps Yawgoog participants form a provisional unit at a summer camp with Adult Advisers functioning as Scoutmasters for the week and a youth chairman who functions as the Senior Patrol Leader.&nbsp; Participants work alongside camp rangers Monday through Friday all morning. The rest of the day they participate in camp programming and advancement opportunities.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Projects have included the construction of Adirondack shelters and trail creation and/or trail improvements. According to lodge leaders, “The program has not only strengthened our lodge, but it has also provided expanded opportunities for youth leadership and service.&nbsp; It has increased camp attendance, developed current and future camp staff, and offers an affordable summer camp experience for the families of southern New England.”</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><strong>Pee Dee Area Council’s Santee Lodge</strong> (South Carolina) was recognized with the Innovation Award for their “O.A. Week” program at Camp Coker.&nbsp; At the end of the summer camp season, the week-long program is open to all OA members and newly elected candidates. There is an Ordeal at the beginning of the week and a focused “Day of Service” for members.&nbsp; Merit badges are offered during the week, typically different merit badges than those offered during the regular summer camp program. A Native American-themed “pageant” – a full-length play – is practiced throughout the week and performed for families and guests at the end of the week.&nbsp; The week concludes with the lodge’s Summer Fellowship. Staff positions are volunteers, each staff member paying $50 to cover the cost of food. Participants pay a fee well below the normal summer camp fee. “Order of the Arrow Week increases membership retention of our Scouts, improves the quality of leader for Santee Lodge, and provides increased direct benefit to Camp Coker with additional service opportunities.”</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><strong>Navajo Chapter of California Inland Empire Council’s Cahuilla Lodge</strong> was awarded an Innovation Award for its successful efforts to improve member communications and activate new members.&nbsp; They developed a weekly e-mail campaign to keep members informed of upcoming events and service opportunities. They also had two “big events” after both of their Ordeals to welcome new members.&nbsp; These “big events” were a summer barbeque and a fall luau. Each event included a chapter meeting, drum and dance, a patch auction, and other activities. “The costs of both events were offset by donations from members in a ‘tip jar’ and a silent/live patch auction with donated patches from one of our members.”&nbsp; Both the e-mail campaign and the “big events” targeting new members served to engage members effectively, resulting in improved participation and enthusiasm.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Other lodges recognized with the Innovation Award were <strong>Woapalanne Lodge, Patriots’ Path Council (New Jersey); Illini Lodge, Prairielands Council (Illinois);&nbsp;Ku-Ni-Eh Lodge, Dan Beard Council (Ohio); and Netopalis Sipo Schipinachk Lodge, Longhorn Council (Texas)</strong>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Consistent with the business plan of the National Order of the Arrow Committee, lodges and their leadership should be focused on election, induction, and activation rates. The Lodge Innovation Award is the perfect platform to share innovative techniques and programs that lead to or sustain a lodge thriving in these areas.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>By seeking out those lodges that have been especially effective with unit elections, inductions and/or new member engagement, the National Order of the Arrow Lodge Innovation Award will provide a platform to enhance and promote the exchange of new ideas across our organization.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

Feb 10, 2020   Lodge Ledger
Join Operation Arrow at the Summit for the 2021 National Jamboree!

<p>Lodge Leader,</p> <p><br /> We hope to see you and members of your lodge at the 2021 National Jamboree as a member of Operation Arrow! The OA has supported National Jamborees since 1950, but next year we will embark on our largest initiative to date. When tens of thousands of Scouts descend on the Summit Bechtel Reserve (SBR) next July, it’s on us to help provide them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.&nbsp;</p> <p>When you join Operation Arrow, you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of Arrowmen from across the country as you provide critical support to the largest Scouting event in 2021. By serving on our dedicated Conservation Team or as part of our storied Service Corps, you will have the opportunity to impact the Jamboree at the most fundamental level at a variety of program areas across the Summit. As a reward for your service, you will get to experience all sorts of adventure from stadium shows, field sports, international fellowship and mountaintop experience hikes – all in the scenic backcountry of beautiful West Virginia. We have plenty of opportunities for adults to take on a role and youth get to participate for half the price of what they would pay as a regular contingent member!</p> <p>For us to continue our decades-long mission of serving the National Jamboree, we need your help to make it another success. We have seen first-hand the impact the OA can have on Scouting’s flagship event and now we are committed to paying that forward to the next generation of Scouts. As Arrowmen, we are charged to serve others so far as in our power lie­­­­­­­­s — let’s put those words of the Obligation in action.</p> <p>We are beyond excited for the Jamboree and know that the Order of the Arrow will continue to live up to its mission and purpose next summer. It’s time to face the challenge and recommit ourselves to delivering the Scouting program.&nbsp;<br /> For more information and to access registration, visit <a href="/jamboree"></a>!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> In cheerful service,</p> <p>Zach Schonfeld<br /> National Chief</p> <p>Noah Smith<br /> National Vice Chief</p>

The Language of the OA to Serve as Primary Resource for OA Terminology

<p><span><span><span><span><em><span>The Language of the OA</span></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span> encompasses style, usage and grammar norms observed by both the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow. The OA has developed this resource so that communications at every level of the organization are more consistent. Through periodic updates of terminology, it will become a more comprehensive primary resource to ensure chapters, lodges, sections and regions are aware of the terms and style specific to the OA.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>An idea which began before the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference to provide Arrowmen with tools to effectively communicate, </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><em><span>The Language of the OA </span></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>has been a long-awaited project. We are excited to share this resource as a facet of the national communications committee’s initiative to provide tools to assist the development and execution of effective communication at the local level.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Designed to complement </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><em><u><span><span>The Language of Scouting</span></span></u></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span> and </span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><em><u><span><span>BSA Style Manual</span></span></u></em></span></span></span></span></a><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><em><span>The Language of the OA</span></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span> includes terminology unique to the Order of the Arrow such as conference vice chief (CVC) and publications such as the </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><em><u><span><span>Guide to Inductions</span></span></u></em></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span>. Be sure to refer to this tool while writing and editing publications and program materials. To make this resource more thorough, we will add more terms throughout 2020 and onward.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>For more information on broader Scouting terms not commonly used in day-to-day OA operations, please visit </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><em><u><span><span>The Language of Scouting</span></span></u></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span> and the </span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><em><u><span><span>BSA Style</span></span></u></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><u><span><span> </span></span></u></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><em><u><span><span>Manual</span></span></u></em></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span>. To suggest an update and/or edit of </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><em><span>The Language of the OA</span></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>, please email </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href=""><span><span><span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><span><span>.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>This tool can be found <a href="/resources/looa">here</a>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Feb 10, 2020   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
Philbreak 2020

<p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Have you planned your spring break yet? If not, sign up to join the Order of the Arrow during Philbreak as the Order performs cheerful service at the BSA’s premier high adventure base. Arrowmen from your lodge could help to prepare Philmont for the 2020 summer season! You will get to make new friends from across the country, all while providing service. Past Philbreak projects have included slope stabilization projects, such as log erosion barrier and wattle installation, as well as re-vegetation, campsite installation and forest thinning.&nbsp; </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Projects in 2020 will continue work on forest thinning and volunteers may get to assist in burning debris piles made during the 2019 Philbreak! At the end of the week, every volunteer will get the opportunity to participate in a guided backcountry hike to iconic Philmont locations such as Window Rock, Heart Peak, and Lover Leap.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>There are four opportunities to participate in Philbreak 2020! The dates for the four different sessions of Philbreak in 2020 are:</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Feb 29-March 7, 2020</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>March 7-14, 2020</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>March 14-21, 2020</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>March 21-28, 2020</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Philbreak is available to all Arrowmen 16 years old and above. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Participants are required to be registered with the BSA and a member of the Order of the Arrow. The full Philmont medical form with your doctor’s approval is required. Please note, just because your doctor certifies you, it does not mean this program is for you. This PhilBreak program will require strenuous hard work, long hours, good crew spirit and a sense of humor. This program is </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><em><span>not</span></em></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span> leisurely. The Order of the Arrow reserves the right to return the entire registration fee of any person who would be inappropriate for this program.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The cost to attend Philbreak is $105. Participants are responsible for planning and booking their own travel. </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Shuttles are available from the Amtrak Station in Raton, NM and The Albuquerque Airport for an additional fee.</span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span> For more information and to access registration, visit the <a href="">Philmont website</a>. </span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Be sure to register soon - spots are filling up quickly!</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

Feb 10, 2020   Lodge Ledger
Thrive: A National Effort, A Local Commitment

<p dir="ltr">We left last month's <a href="/thrive">Thrive Webinar</a> excited, empowered, and motivated to lead the OA with a renewed spirit, and to help ensure that the Order of the Arrow thrives for generations to come. How is your lodge leadership working towards its tangible goals and commitment to thrive? Keep the discussion alive and action happening within your lodge leadership. We'd love to hear stories of what you're doing. Please share them with us at <a href=""></a>.</p>

Dec 10, 2019   Lodge Ledger
Tell us your story!

<p dir="ltr">The Order of the Arrow is a global network of Brothers that live the obligation and serve cheerfully. Every day amazing things are happening within local chapters, lodges, and sections. As the OA National Communications Committee, we continuously work on trying to highlight these stories, but we can’t do it without you! The team has set up an email - <a href=""></a> - for all story ideas and potential articles for publication. If you believe your chapter or lodge is doing a cool event you believe is worth highlighting, we would love to consider sharing it with the rest of our organization!</p> <p dir="ltr">Please send the following information with your submission:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Your name and position in your lodge or chapter</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Your lodge/chapter name</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Where your lodge is located</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Brief story details</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Your contact information and best way to reach you</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Any additional contact information needed to source additional information for the story</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">If your submission is selected, one of our writers will contact you with more questions and information. Thank you in advance for your contribution!</p>

Dec 10, 2019   Lodge Ledger