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Dec 10, 2019   Lodge Ledger, NOAC 2020
Expanding OA in the Far East Council

<p dir="ltr">Every chapter and their lodge strives to complete 100 percent of their unit elections each year. For unit visitation teams, this only requires a short drive. However, the Far East Council spans the Pacfic ocean with different districts across Asia and encompassing groups of Arrowmen on different continents. Edgar LaBenne, chapter adviser in Achpateuny Lodge, shared his story on how the youth are able to conduct unit elections across the Pacific.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Achpateuny Lodge serves the Far East Council’s 450 Arrowmen. Mr. Edgar LaBenne is a past chapter chief, lodge chief, section chief, and section adviser. Currently, he serves as a chapter adviser in seven different countries, including Japan and the Philippines, that have unit connections with the OA. He has been the key coordinator in helping the youth of the lodge reach out and connect with the units.</p> <p dir="ltr">Shaonaxan Chapter Chief David Luay and Mr. LaBenne share the work in bringing together the youth from Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines through a system of clans. Each clan has a clan chief and adviser in each country to help run OA programs. Unit elections are usually done by the clan members and the clan chief in the area.</p> <p dir="ltr">The lodge and chapter have been making many strides to connect youth across the council. Mr. LaBenne explained, “We have several inductions every year in the Philippines, Korea, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. We just had an induction for the first time in Malaysia earlier this year, reaching two units. Also, last year we had one in Hong Kong where we were able to reach out to youth in two China units who have never had the OA come before.”&nbsp;</p> <p>In years prior, Achpateuny Lodge has had Scouts and leaders come from Indonesia to the Philippines to go through their induction weekends. They have inductions planned at the end of July with youth from Thailand, Singapore, and China.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">These Arrowmen are making amazing strides to connect the youth of the Scouting organization from all parts of the Pacfic and areas across Asia. Keep up the amazing work and we can’t wait to greet these new Arrowmen!</p>

Aug 08, 2019   Lodge Ledger
Hnu-Ra-Con Chapter Zoo Campsite Installment

<p dir="ltr">All across the country, chapters conduct service projects at local camps and parks in practice of cheerful service. Typically, these service projects can take a few hours or a few days. For the past two years, the Hnu-Ra-Con Chapter of O-Shot-Caw Lodge has been working on a large-scale, unique service project that they take lots of pride in. Last year, they were given the opportunity to build a primitive campsite at Zoo Miami. In a new tradition, the chapter works to build and maintain this campsite each year as their annual service project.</p> <p dir="ltr">This zoo is surrounded by protected pine rockland and the area they work in is a plot of already disturbed land, so the environment is not being tampered with. 2019 Chapter Chief Carson Engelmann noted, “Initially, the project started with clearing over an acre of 10-foot-high Burma reed. After that, we laid down logs to delineate each campsite. We also filled in the sites with pine needles, and the walkways with mulch.”</p> <p dir="ltr">With this campsite in particular, one special feature is the distinctive decision to install permanent hammock camping poles. These keep campers off the rocky ground and makes setting up their hammocks much easier. Carson remembered, “At one workday, we placed the hammock poles in the ground, then solidified them with cement sand. While doing this, our chapter advisers pressure cleaned the large concrete slab and building next to the campsite. Once this was done, we held a series of painting workdays, where we put three coats of primer on the building and painted the building, painting a white rectangle in the center where movies will be projected.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Campers will also be able to hear the nocturnal animals at night, and see bald eagles, ospreys, and red shouldered hawks during the day. One of the chapter members is even working on building a fire ring and 8’ benches as part of his Eagle Scout Project, and another built six 8’ picnic tables for the campsite. In the future, they are hoping to work with another Eagle Scout candidate to build composting toilets in the campsite. As it currently stands, future plans include adding a floating dock to the lake adjacent to the camp.</p> <p dir="ltr">This campsite will not only be a unique place for the chapter to meet and camp, but also will be a major asset for the zoo enabling them to develop new group interpretive programs in the future. Carson proudly declared, “The zoo is very excited about this project, and I am very proud of what our mighty chapter has accomplished.”</p>

Aug 08, 2019   Lodge Ledger
Talako Lodge Celebrates their 60th Anniversary

<p dir="ltr">Section W-3N’s Talako Lodge recently celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2018. Talako Lodge, meaning lodge of the high eagle, has a membership of less than one hundred members and has no chapters; instead the lodge holds monthly meetings, with an average attendance of thirty Arrowmen. 2019 Talako Lodge Chief Josh H. shared his thoughts.</p> <blockquote> <p dir="ltr">"As a small lodge, we have the opportunity to make deeper and more personal connections with our members. At our fellowship, you could really see how all of these friendships have impacted the lives of so many Arrowmen."</p> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The 60th anniversary fellowship took place on Saturday in September. The event boasted nearly 100 attendees at Camp Tamarancho, located in Fairfax, California. At this event, Arrowmen were invited to shoot at the rifle range, inspect lodge patches, view OA history displays, share stories with other lodge members and attend a powwow. The 2018 Northeast Region Chief Justin St. Louis attended and spoke to the lodge about the future of the Order of the Arrow. Justin also noted during his speech how lodges like Talako, despite their small size, can have a significant impact on the program at a national level. Arrowmen in attendance were given commemorative flap to remember the night and celebrate their lodge’s anniversary.</p>

Mar 07, 2019   Lodge Ledger
Jaccos Towne Lodge Supports Toys for Tots Drive

<p dir="ltr">In November 2017, Jaccos Towne Lodge created and ordered one hundred twenty-five lodge flaps to raise funds for Toys for Tots. Arrowmen from across central Indiana donated toys to enter a raffle with prizes such as an opportunity to win the unique patch or a year event pass. They also had the chance to purchase the flap for $15. Jaccos Towne Lodge Chief Jordan W. shared his thoughts on the fundraiser.</p> <blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“I would say it’s definitely rewarding that, as a lodge and service organization, we not only give back to Boy Scouts of America, but also lend a helping hand to other organizations around us such as Toys for Tots.” He believes it is very rewarding that this attitude of service was expressed by lending a helping hand to a community cause. This lodge flap initiative showed service can be anything you make of it, whether it’s a small toy or a purchased patch."</p> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Overall, this initiative was a huge hit. The lodge collected 2 boxes of toys and over $1500 to donate to Toys for Tots. Many Arrowmen realized the impact and were ecstatic to give back to an organization much like ours - one that helps others and doesn’t ask for anything in return.</p>

Mar 07, 2019   Lodge Ledger
Year of the Lodge Hits the Ground Running with Focus 2019

<p dir="ltr">In 2019, the Order of the Arrow is turning its focus to the lodge in an effort to improve the program from the bottom up. This year, the year of the lodge, the OA has committed to growing membership and ensuring that every lodge is a high performing one. At the 2018 National Planning Meeting this past December, section chiefs divided into committees with a unique purpose for Focus 2019. Each group within Focus 2019 will seek to strengthen lodge membership and elevate lodge programs through three distinct areas: inductions, activation and elections.</p> <p dir="ltr">The activation committee is tasked with discovering how to improve a lodge's activation rate, which is the percentage of new ordeal members that attend at least one lodge event within a year of completing their ordeal. Years of research into lodge membership trends have shown that if an Arrowman does not come back to another lodge event within a year of his or her induction, then it is unlikely they will ever be active in the OA. The activation committee is researching what encourages new members to come back for a lodge event.</p> <p dir="ltr">Before a lodge can be concerned with activation, they have to induct members. The inductions committee is researching what makes the induction experience a memorable one that will leave Arrowmen itching to come back to their next event. The committee will also emphasize improving a lodge’s induction rate – the percentage of elected candidates who complete an ordeal. The chief research question is how lodges can maximize the number of elected Scouts that follow through with their induction.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lastly, before a member is activated or inducted, he or she is elected into the Order of the Arrow, and strengthening the unit election rate of every lodge is the focus of the elections committee. An increase in activated and inducted members can also result from an increase of elected members. No lodge is a stranger to having difficulty with elections, whether it be one particular unit or several. Alleviating concerns from units will benefit the elections efforts of every lodge, resulting in higher attendance at induction weekends.</p> <p dir="ltr">The culmination of the work of these committees will be a webinar on October 19, 2019. Lodges are encouraged to schedule a training event or LEC meeting coinciding with the webinar. The committees will be presenting their findings on how to improve elections, inductions and activation within their lodges. Mark your calendar now, because the year of the lodge is here to help your lodge succeed for many years to come.</p>

Mar 07, 2019   Lodge Ledger
The Growth and Success of SR-9's Indian Winter

<p dir="ltr">This past January, over 250 Arrowmen from throughout Section SR-9 gathered at Camp Tukabatchee for their 2019 Indian Winter. They experienced a wide array of American Indian Affairs (AIA) activities, history and training. All of this was in an effort to assist the lodges with their ceremony and dance teams. Held annually, Indian Winter has developed over time to offer leadership courses and additional trainings in addition to the AIA opportunities, leading to the 2019 event to become the most innovative one yet. In fact, the success experienced this year has set precedent for how the event should be run in the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">Indian Winter is led by the SR-9 Section Vice Chief. There is also a host lodge rotation in place with Alibamu Lodge acting as this year’s host. The location of Alibamu’s Camp Tukabatchee was especially beneficial to the event’s success as its centralized location allowed greater accessibility to more Arrowmen than ever before. In addition, Alibamu performed exceptionally in their role as the host lodge, designing patches, scheduling the program and locating training sites while also collaborating with the vice chief on acquiring experienced trainers for the various courses.</p> <p dir="ltr">Over the past few years feedback from Arrowmen has compelled the section leadership to look for new trainings and diverse courses designed to appeal to all types of Arrowmen, ranging from newly inducted Ordeal members to seasoned lodge officers. A new feature this year was the non-competitive ceremony evaluations, utilizing the conclave judging rubric to better prepare ceremony teams to compete at the 2019 SR-9 Conclave. Another beneficial addition was the inclusion of the Saturday night show, inspired by what one might see at NOAC. A prominent feature of the show was an AIA performance, highlighting the core component of Indian Winter on center stage.</p> <p dir="ltr">Being an AIA event, Indian Winter’s main focus was on training and exposure to ceremonies, constructing regalia, native american dance, singing and beadwork. Trainings for specific ceremony roles were also offered to give participants a better understanding of their purpose within their lodge's ceremony team and the impact it makes on new candidates. To generate greater diversity, the scope of the event has expanded from beyond just AIA to additional courses including a Journey to Excellence Q&amp;A, mock NLS session, adviser workshop and an Lodge Leadership Development course. These additions are largely due to the section leadership’s focus on integrating the various aspects of Scouting into the entire event, leading to a more engaging and innovative experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">It is their innovative spirit that has driven Indian Winter to be what it is today. The commitment seen in the Arrowmen leading the event has expanded its program to a much more comprehensive and dynamic experience. With this momentum, Indian Winter will only continue to grow as its benefits impact more and more Arrowmen throughout the section.</p>

Mar 07, 2019   Lodge Ledger
OA PhilBreak 2019

<p dir="ltr">Philmont and the Order of the Arrow are excited to offer OA PhilBreak 2019. This event will consist of a full week preparing Philmont for the 2019 camping season. Following the fires of 2018, Philmont needs our help to accommodate campers once again. Actual work will include slope stabilization projects, such as log erosion barrier and wattle installation, as well as re-vegetation, campsite installation, and forest thinning. By March 2019, the Philmont Conservation Department will have the exact details and locations ready to go. Please note these projects are heavily dependent on the weather and road conditions. Though there is no guarantee that fire restoration will be the main project, there are many service opportunities available to help Philmont prepare for the summer. Only 50 slots will be open for each session, filled in the order that registrations are received. Visit <a href="https://registration.oa-bsa.org">registration.oa-bsa.org</a> to register today!</p> <p dir="ltr">There are three sessions available: <strong>March 16-23, March 23-30, and March 30-April 6</strong>. The cost is only $100; note, this does not include travel arrangements. The registration deadline is <strong>February 15th, 2019</strong>. Please see the Registration and Cancellation Policies at the end of this article. Lodging for the entire week will be indoor dormitory type housing at the Philmont Training Center (PTC). Participants will be transported to the worksite every day. Breakfast and dinner will be at the PTC dining hall with trail lunches provided at the worksite.</p> <p dir="ltr">Participants are required to be registered with the BSA and a member of the Order of the Arrow. This program is available to Order of the Arrow members 16 years old and above. The minimum age is 16 years by date of participation. The full <a href="https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/resources/philmonthealthform/">Philmont medical form</a> 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 OA PhilBreak program will require hard work, long hours, good crew spirit and a sense of humor. This program is not leisurely; it is of similar or greater difficulty than a normal Philmont Trek, and participants should be able to carry a 50 lb pack. Participants should be comfortable digging, dragging debris, and moving heavy loads. The Order of the Arrow reserves the right to return the entire registration fee of any person who would be inappropriate for this program.</p> <p dir="ltr">A recommended packing list will be posted when it becomes available.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Currently, the tentative schedule is as follows:</h3> <ul dir="ltr"> <li><strong>Saturday, Day 1</strong><br /> Arrive at Philmont during the day. You must arrive by 5 PM Mountain Time. No late arrivals will be allowed. If you cannot arrive by 5 PM, then you should plan on arriving on the Friday before your start date and stay in Cimarron, Taos, Raton, etc. The first provided meal will be dinner in the PTC Dining Hall. In the evening, the Philmont Conservation Department will begin the program with introductions and specific plans, gear info, advice and general Q&amp;A.</li> <li><strong>Sunday, Day 2</strong><br /> Medical recheck, finalize plans and eventual transport to the fire area / worksite to begin work. Approximately one-half day’s work. Breakfast and dinner at the PTC. Trail lunch in the field.</li> <li><strong>Monday, Day 3 through Friday, Day 7</strong><br /> Daily transport to the fire area / worksite (shorter work-day on Friday). Breakfast and dinner at the PTC. Trail lunch in the field.</li> <li><strong>Friday evening, Day 7</strong><br /> Recognition dinner and final gathering.</li> <li><strong>Saturday, Day 8</strong><br /> Depart Philmont after breakfast.</li> </ul> <h3 dir="ltr">Below you can find some of the frequently asked questions (FAQ):</h3> <ol> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Are we camping?<br /> <em>No. We will spend all nights at the PTC and stay in roofed housing. You will share rooms with other Phil-breakers. We will be transported daily to the worksite.</em></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Do we need a pack?<br /> <em>Yes – a good-sized day pack or small weekend pack. Every day you will be driven to the worksite, but you’ll need to carry a trail lunch, lots of water (4-6 liters), rain gear, extra warm clothing (think layers), camera, etc.</em></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Will it be cold?<br /> <em>Probably. This is the backcountry in early March at 8,000 – 9,000 feet. Plan on layers for your clothing.</em></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Where will we be working?<br /> <em>In the backcountry burn area. It’s too early right now for the conservation team to pinpoint exactly where we’ll be working.</em></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Are there multiple OA PhilBreak sessions?<br /> <em>There are&nbsp;3 OA PhilBreak sessions this year.</em></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Can a spouse or other family member hang out at the PTC while I work every day?<br /> <em>No.</em></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">Can I arrive later in the week and still participate?<br /> <em>No.</em></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">What happens if 30 people register before me?<br /> <em>We will put you on a wait list. Cancellations are inevitable.</em></p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr">What about shuttle transportation?<br /> <em>Shuttles available from Raton, NM $20 round trip. Shuttle available from Albuquerque Airport $100 round trip. Must arrive by noon on the first day and depart after 1 pm on the last day.</em></p> </li> </ol> <p>For further questions, contact Ben Harper at <a href="mailto:Benjamin.Harper@scouting.org">Benjamin.Harper@scouting.org</a> or Matt Dukeman at <a href="mailto:Matt.Dukeman@Scouting.org">Matt.Dukeman@scouting.org</a> or (972) 580-2455.</p>

Dec 18, 2018   Lodge Ledger
Northeast Region Town Hall

<p dir="ltr">The Northeast Region Town Hall was a online event held on September 19th, 2018 that Arrowmen could attend to learn about high performing lodges. The town hall featured a prepared presentation led by the region leadership that shared best practices with Arrowmen to take back to their lodges, and provided Arrowmen with the ability to ask questions directly to the region chief. During the call, sixty-five Arrowmen attended from throughout the region. This included lodge key 3 leadership, section chiefs, region leadership and other Arrowmen from the region.</p> <p dir="ltr">Overall, the town hall focused on highlighting best practices within lodges throughout the region along with high performing lodges and what classifies a lodge as high performing. This went along with a prepared presentation created by the region leadership followed by a Q&amp;A session.</p> <p dir="ltr">Any Arrowmen from the Northeast Region who currently have or are looking for leadership roles in their lodge or section are encouraged to attend future town halls. 2019’s final town hall covered unit elections, and was held in December. Updates about future town halls can be found on the region website at&nbsp;<a href="https://www.northeast.oa-bsa.org/">northeast.oa-bsa.org</a>.</p>

Dec 18, 2018   Lodge Ledger
Membership Information Page

<p dir="ltr">Earlier this year, the National Order of the Arrow Committee approved a change to the OA’s membership policy, permitting unit elections in Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scout units. These changes will take effect on February 1, 2019.</p> <p dir="ltr">Over the next few months, lodge and unit leadership will likely be approached about these new changes. In order to secure a smooth transition into this new era, it is imperative that any information shared be accurate. Above all else, this is in the interest of ensuring that all of the BSA’s members are able to take advantage of all of the opportunities available to them.</p> <p dir="ltr">The membership information page on the national website is an excellent resource to both refresh your memory and share with others who have any questions about these changes. Make sure to pay close attention to the “Requirements” and “News and Updates” sections.</p> <p dir="ltr">You can access the membership information page by clicking “Membership Info” on the home page or at <a href="/about/membership">oa-bsa.org/about/membership</a>.</p>

Dec 18, 2018   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
National Scouting Historian Summit

<p>In June 2019, Philmont Scout Ranch will be hosting an event the likes of which Scouting has not yet seen. This event, the National Scouting Historian Summit, is being co-sponsored by the National Scouting Museum and the Order of the Arrow. The National Scouting Historian Summit will teach Scouting historians how to excel in preserving and telling the many stories of Scouting.</p> <p>Rather than teaching about the history of the Boy Scouts of America itself, the summit will teach techniques for how those enamored with Scouting history can do their best work as historians. With classes on archiving, inventory control, evaluating artwork, and historical storytelling, no stone will be left unturned in revealing how to best keep Scouting history alive. The quality of training at the summit will be second to none.</p> <p>Another great aspect of the summit is, of course, it’s location at Philmont, and at a very unique time in Philmont’s own history. The National Scouting Museum has recently moved to Philmont Scout Ranch, and attendees will have the chance to learn plenty of Scouting’s history as they learn how to be Scouting historians. After the fires of this past summer, Philmont is earnestly welcoming the summit’s attendees as they help support Philmont through their attendance. Lead adviser for the summit, Bill Topkis, describes the summit as "a good thing for Philmont." One attendee said, "I’ve been looking for a good excuse to go to Philmont, and now I have one."</p> <p>The summit is open to anyone that would like to come – youth or adult, experienced or just getting started – that has an interest in honing their historian skills. Topkis notes that the summit is intended for "all levels" of interest in being a Scouting historian. The National Scouting Historian Summit will be the premier OA program to attend during the summer of 2019. No matter who you are, the National Scouting Historian Summit is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your ties to Scouting and our brotherhood.</p> <p>The National Scouting Historian Summit will be held at Philmont Training Center from June 9-15 2019. <a href="http://www.philmontscoutranch.org/PTC/conferencesO/NationalScoutingHistorianSummit.aspx">More information can be found online.</a></p>

Oct 16, 2018   Lodge Ledger
Lo La'Qam Geela Lodge hosts a council wide Camp-O-Rall in Central Oregon

<p dir="ltr">Within the Crater Lake Council in Central Oregon, the Lo La’Qam Geela Lodge hosted a council wide Camp-O-Rall. Camp-O-Rall was similar to a camporee/conclave event that welcomed all Boy Scouts, Venture Scouts, Explorers, Varsity Scouts and Webelos in search for Boy Scout troops. This year's Camp-O-Rall theme was ‘The Lost Frontier’ at New Frontier Ranch; this was to represent the ranch 150 years ago in 1868. Every unit represented a group of pioneers on the Applegate Trail heading towards the Willamette Valley, a historic town next to New Frontier Ranch.</p> <p dir="ltr">The&nbsp;council-wide event was designed to bring all members of the council together for a weekend of fun. Lo La’Qam Geela's Lodge Chief at the time, James Verheyden, stated, “We are a geographically diverse council and we wanted to provide a council wide event to show Scouts everyone who wears the same council shoulder patch.” Crater Lake Council is located in Northern California and&nbsp;Southern/Central Oregon. The Lo La’Qam Geela Lodge were the event planners and staff for Camp-O-Rall. They wanted to plan this year's Camp-O-Rall to include the council, as it&nbsp;is usually a district event. The last time the Lo La’Qam Geela hosted the Camp-O-Rall, it was in 2015 in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Order of the Arrow.</p> <p dir="ltr">The event was packed with a number of&nbsp;fun activities. Every unit&nbsp;was able to work at its own pace and enjoy the event competitions and activities from an obstacle course, field sports, crosscut saw, gold panning, lassoing, branding, dutch ovens, and arrowhead making, along with tomahawk throwing!</p> <p dir="ltr">The event took a year to plan, with the lodge executive committee (LEC) of the Lo La’Qam Geela Lodge as the main support and planners for the event. Each member of the LEC served as&nbsp;a conclave vice chief or conference vice chief (CVC). Each one of them was tasked to plan out a different part of the event, and they&nbsp;held separate meetings to focus on the event. “The event was amazing, we hit our main key which was to bring everyone together,” according to James. Everyone in attendance had an outstanding time and their feedback was extremely positive. The event provided a unique experience for everyone in their council.</p>

Oct 10, 2018   Lodge Ledger