Skip to main content

News, ideas, and information for lodge leadership.

2019 OA Matching Service Grant

<p><strong>REMINDER: </strong>2019 OA Lodge Matching Service Grant Applications Due By October 31, 2018.</p> <p>If your Order of the Arrow lodge is planning a council camp or service center project for 2019, you can apply now for a 2019 OA Matching Service Grant. All lodges applying for the grant must be a 2017 JTE Lodge (bronze level or higher) and should not have received a grant from the OA during the last two years (2017 or 2018).</p> <p>Applications must be submitted by October 31, 2018, and they must be signed by the Lodge Chief, Lodge Adviser, Council President and Scout Executive.</p> <p>All 2019 camp property or service center projects approved for funding must be completed by October 31, 2019. The total cost of your proposed project should not exceed $20,000. The Order will provide up to one-half of the money for a service project with a $5,000 maximum amount awarded by the National OA Committee for any lodge project. The local lodge must also contribute at least 50 percent of the labor necessary to complete a grant-approved project. All lodges awarded these merit-based grants will be notified by January 31, 2019. <em>Note: OA service grants apply only to BSA properties.</em></p> <p>You can find the complete guidelines, including the <a href="/uploads/resources/forms/grantform-2019.pdf">2019 OA Service Grant application</a>. If you have any questions, contact Michael Thompson of the National OA Committee at <a href=""></a> or Travis Rubelee of the OA National Office at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Since 1999, the National OA Committee has helped numerous camp and service center projects. If your lodge is eligible, don’t miss this potential funding opportunity, as the Order of the Arrow continues to support local councils as it has since 1915.</p>

Oct 10, 2018   Lodge Ledger
New and Innovated National Leadership Seminar

<p>The National Leadership Seminar (NLS) has been a long-time staple of honing the leadership skills of Arrowmen from across the nation since its first introduction in 1978. When first implemented, the program itself was created with the main focus that the lodge key three would attend at least once every three years. Since then, it has gone through several changes to broaden its scope and reach. In the past twenty years however, the program has remained vastly unchanged. This year is different.</p> <p>The NLS program has been under review for the past two years by a select team of Arrowmen from across the country led by Jeff Sedlacek and Jason Riley as the adviser. They have worked tirelessly meeting all over the country, looking at statistics, developing training cells, running pilot programs and now, starting this year, presenting the brand-new version of NLS. Many people have wondered what sort of changes might have been made to the NLS program. To answer this, one needs to look at the conceptual framework behind NLS.</p> <p>The former NLS program mainly focused on the servant leadership model which teaches the idea that leaders should serve first. The new NLS program has gone from this model to now focusing on the adaptive leadership model. This model focuses on the leaders who have the group rise to the occasion to overcome the challenges that may be faced. This new program has a 100% different approach and 70% of the same desired outcomes than the previous program. The new courses are much more focused on the individual. The program avoids long sessions led by a single lecture-style presenter. Instead, table based crews allow the trainee to engage in the program by being more hands on.</p> <p>Two themes will be presented to all participants during NLS. First, value face leadership. This is the idea that leaders should be focused on their actions. Second, a mindset of resiliency. The NLS program defines failure as "giving up when faced with a challenge" this is where the mindset of resiliency comes in. The program seeks for all participants to view the hurdles that they face in life not as failures but rather obstacles that can be conquered through perseverance and adaptivity.</p> <p>When speaking to Sam Aronson, a team member heavily involved on the project, he said, "This new course will help you gain the tools to be able to deal with a variety of problems that you could encounter. You are given this brand-new, versatile toolkit at this course that can be applied to all aspects of life whether or not it is within Scouting." As for the adult DYLC program, Sam said "the DYLC class has also been modernized so that you can understand what the current youth are being taught and are going through when they attend NLS. This way we make sure that all leadership within the OA are on the same page and that there is no disconnect with the overall goals that we all strive for." When asked about what he thought about the new NLS program, Sam stated, "This is the best, most modern, most professional leadership course that the Boy Scouts have offered to date."</p> <p>Whether you are a thinking about becoming a first time participant of the program or questioning whether or not to go to NLS again, Sam said it best, "I have attended almost every NLS course held this year and each time I have seen these youth leaders form great friendships with Scouts they otherwise would have never met, meet and converse with the national officers and learn great tools that stick with them. The leaders that attend really get the opportunity to interact with a bunch of great people and learn a lot of new strategies, all while having fun doing it."</p> <p>For more information and course dates, please select your region below:</p> <p><a href="">Central Region NLS</a></p> <p><a href="">Northeast Region NLS</a></p> <p><a href="">Southern Region NLS</a></p> <p><a href="">Western Region NLS</a></p>

Oct 10, 2018   Lodge Ledger
National Chief's Address

<p>Brothers,</p> <p><br /> Thank you all for an amazing conference. The memories I made are ones I will remember forever - they would not have been possible without each of you.</p> <p><br /> Throughout the conference, we talked a lot about destiny. About how the decisions we make today shape our reality tomorrow. We truly are the future of this organization. As we discussed, we are living through an extremely exciting time to be an Arrowman. Starting next year, we will be serving the most diverse audience in the Order of the Arrow than ever before in our 103 year history. Now, it's up to us to welcome each new member. It's up to us to live by the Admonition.</p> <p><br /> As you go about your daily lives, keep in mind the importance of the decisions you make. You never know how one small action can make a difference in someone else’s life. Never lose sight of the tremendous impact you can make on someone by just being there for them.</p> <p><br /> Recall those feelings and use them to recommit yourself to our organization and its values. Our Order’s best work does not happen during the few days at NOAC every couple years. The best work is done everyday in your home units, chapters, and lodges. The Order’s best work is you.</p> <p><br /> In two years, we will gather again at Michigan State University to celebrate the OA. But we won’t be celebrating NOAC 2018 - we’ll be celebrating everything we do from now until then. So go make it happen. Serve as an elangomat at a lodge ordeal, or conduct a unit election for a local troop, crew, or ship. Volunteer as a ceremonialist, or get involved on your Lodge Executive Committee. Reach out to someone new, or re-engage with an old friend. After all, the best part about our Order is the friendships we make along the way.</p> <p><br /> Thank you again for attending the 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference. As we each set out on our separate ways, my heart is full of pride.</p> <p><br /> See you on the trail,<br /> <br /> Anthony Peluso<br /> 2018 National Chief</p>

Aug 23, 2018   Lodge Ledger, NOAC 2018
Bold New LLD Program

<p dir="ltr">Last summer, Arrowmen from around the nation gathered at Philmont Training Center to recreate a new, modernized Lodge Leadership Development (LLD) to help improve their programs.</p> <p dir="ltr">The rewritten LLD program is a fresh, innovative, and simple way to deliver quality training. Each of the sessions and supplemental learning materials have been rewritten. In addition, there is now an algorithm which generates a list of suggested sessions to teach based on your Lodge’s Journey To Excellence (JTE) &nbsp;scores. The tool is on the OA website at <a href=""></a> and gives you recommended sessions based on whether your lodge wants to host a half-day, full day or weekend long LLD. Don’t be afraid to have fun and incorporate team building exercises into the training mix! A weekend of wall-to-wall training &nbsp;will not be as fun so be sure to include time for recreation, fellowship, and make the weekend unique to your lodge.</p> <p dir="ltr">For the training sessions, not only have all the materials been revamped, but a new genre of sessions have been created. There are now two categories: flagship sessions and general sessions. Flagships are big concept sessions meant to be taught to as many ears as are willing to listen. Flagship sessions include building and maintaining relationships and member retention.The general sessions are meant to be taught in breakout sessions to specific groups to whom the content would most benefit. For example, budget creation and management would most likely be a session taught to lodge officers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another point this program stresses is you do not need to restrict the attendance to only the lodge executive committee. Lodges can invite more people than just lodge officers to train at the LLD. Consider inviting past lodge chiefs and section officers or lodge officers from other lodges to help you train so your lodge officers can get something out of it too. There is additional information about how to plan a new LLD in the guidebook soon to be released online at <a href=""></a>. Also, additional resources that will be posted to the national training website are branding and supplemental materials, including official PowerPoint templates, certificates of completion, and a fully customizable LLD patch! The LLD program is a wonderful way to help launch your lodge into the next level of performance.</p>

Aug 23, 2018   Lodge Ledger
New Lodge Announcement | O-Ni-Flo Lodge

<p><span><span><span><span><span>When the Order of the Arrow was founded in 1915 by E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson, no one imagined the success and popularity it would have within the Scouting organization. The popularity of the Order of the Arrow was so great that a mere six years later the first national gathering of local lodges was held, dubbed the Grand Lodge Meeting. The years that followed were marked by many more successful milestones. In 1948, the OA was officially recognized as a national Boy Scout program. Now, in the year 2018, the Order of the Arrow has hit another momentous milestone. Following the formation of the new O-Ni-Flo Lodge in the Pony Express Council, there is now a lodge in every council across the United States.&nbsp; This was not a change that happened overnight; it took countless hours of hard work, many years, and many Arrowmen.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The Order of the Arrow has had a long-term goal<span> to build positive relations in all councils and to have an active OA program available to all youth across America. While&nbsp;serving as the national chairman, Ray Capp formed a team to begin working with those councils that did not have a lodge. Through positive interactions, the Pony Express Council Executive Board agreed to charter an OA lodge. In 2017, 29 individuals were inducted, and helped pave the way for elections to be held in 17 troops, providing the opportunity for 104 new members to be inducted in 2018. All twenty-nine of the inaugural members have re-registered this year; nearly half have completed their Brotherhood. Section C-5A and the surrounding lodges gave their time and effort throughout this historical project. 2018 Section C-5A Chief Ben Friend and Section C-5A Adviser Russ Votava worked to ensure the new lodge’s first induction weekend took place without a hitch. The section oversaw the election teams, planning, and execution for the event, and helped the new members hold the first Lodge Executive Committee meeting on May 19<sup>th</sup>, 2018.&nbsp; At the inaugural Lodge Executive Committee meeting, the members selected their name: O-Ni-Flo, which means “Last Arrow.” They also elected their first slate of officers, and later selected an arrow as their lodge totem. O-Ni-Flo sent five Arrowmen to the 2018 NOAC, where they were introduced to the entire conference in the opening show. At the National Council of Chiefs meeting, the lodge leadership was presented with their lodge charter by National Chief Anthony Peluso and National Vice Chief Michael Kipp. The O-Ni-Flo member’s accomplishments in just a few short months is no small feat. We wish all our brothers in O-Ni-Flo Lodge the best of luck in the coming months and thank the project team for their efforts!</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

Aug 23, 2018   Announcements, Lodge Ledger
2018 National Bulletin

<p dir="ltr"><a href="">Click here</a> to view the 2018 edition of the <em>National Bulletin</em>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Fellow Arrowmen,</p> <p dir="ltr">Over 95 years ago, a vision was proposed to better communicate with other lodges in the Order of the Arrow. This idea soon became the <em>Grand Lodge Bulletin</em>, first published by Grand Scribe William Stumpp in 1924. After undergoing a name change ten years later, the <em>National Bulletin </em>continues to be published today, albeit taking numerous forms including newspapers and pamphlets. However, one thing has remained constant over the years: the desire to share the story of our Order.</p> <p dir="ltr">Overhauling the design, content and general purpose of a national publication is no easy feat. But like all great endeavors, it started with an idea few people believed would be successful. Following a discussion on how to best evolve the <em>National Bulletin</em> to meet the needs of our organization, the suggestion of publishing a long-form&nbsp;lifestyle magazine was presented. After months of planning and research, the national Order of the Arrow committee approved the project in May 2017, establishing a publication date for the following spring/summer. Over the course of the next year, a dedicated and diverse team of youth and adult Arrowmen worked to craft the story of the OA through inspiring narratives on service, engaging photography,and an appealing layout and style. Following a plethora of phone calls, page drafts and content edits, the newest iteration of the <em>National Bulletin</em> was published in June 2018.</p> <p dir="ltr">As you open the <em>Bulletin</em>, you may notice it does not feature news, updates, or generic event recaps. Each article offers something unique to a different reader, whether it'd be a Scout Executive, lodge adviser, or new Ordeal member. Each edition will tie the front content, center features and back-page insights together to a central essence. As you learn about the inception of the OA High Adventure program, as you follow a young Arrowman’s travels providing hurricane recovery in the Florida Keys, as you meet three generations of lifelong Arrowmen, take a moment to pause and think: what does the OA mean to me, and how can I best show others what it means to live by the Obligation? Never let loose the ties of brotherhood and remember to always serve cheerfully. Thank you for your continued support of the project, and enjoy this year’s edition of the <em><a href="">National Bulletin</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kyle Kipple</p> <p dir="ltr">Publisher, <em>National Bulletin</em></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Do you have questions, comments, or feedback regarding the <em>National Bulletin</em>? Are you an Arrowman (youth or adult) skilled in Adobe InDesign, journalism, or photography and want to join the team? Send your inquiries to <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Aug 23, 2018   Lodge Ledger, National Bulletin
World Scout Jamboree: Rover Brigade

<p dir="ltr">Dear Brother,</p> <p dir="ltr">Last summer, Operation Arrow played a vital role in the execution of the 2017 National Jamboree and our services are needed again. The reputation of the Arrowmen in ‘zesty blue’ has spread around the world and we are once again being called upon to provide cheerful service at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, this time to the 24th World Scout Jamboree in the summer of 2019.</p> <p dir="ltr">You have two amazing opportunities to join the staff of the World Scout Jamboree as part of our <a href="">Rover Brigade</a> and provide service in support of the 50,000 scouts from over 160 countries we will be hosting. The Rover Brigade is composed of two teams, the Puma Patrol and the Baden-Powell Corps.</p> <h4 dir="ltr">PUMA PATROL</h4> <p dir="ltr">The <a href="">Puma Patrol</a> is sourced exclusively from the countries sponsoring the World Jamboree (US, Canada, and Mexico) and designed to be a cadre of 'Hosts' for the WSJ. These energetic and highly engaged young adults will be charged with driving cultural engagement in base camps and integrating across program areas to enhance the social components of jamboree activities — like a cross between a camp commissioner and a Philmont Ranger. For example, these individuals will emcee base camp bashes, lead evening games and reflections in sub-camps, and help units navigate their jamboree trek experience to Mt. Jack.</p> <h4 dir="ltr">BADEN-POWELL CORPS</h4> <p dir="ltr">The Baden-Powell Corps is open to Scouts from around the world. Similar to the OA Service Corps, the BP Corps will be the International Service Team's go-to group for manpower and program support — it is the perfect spot for Scouts who love to solve problems, while making international friends in the process. If you enjoy the value of hard work, thinking on your feet, and quickly adapting to challenges, this is the place for you. Examples of daily projects may include setting up program areas, ushering at jamboree shows, and leading service projects around the Summit.</p> <h4 dir="ltr">SCHOLARSHIPS</h4> <p dir="ltr">Don’t let finances stand in the way! We know the World Scout Jamboree costs more than most Scouting events, but it’s also unlike any other Scouting event on the planet. And for the first time in nearly half-a-century, it’s coming to our backyard! Some <a href="">scholarships</a> are available, which can reduce the cost by as much as 50%.</p> <p dir="ltr">The success of the 24th World Scout Jamboree depends on the dedicated efforts of staff members like you who believe in the value of service! We hope to see you back at the Summit next summer as part of the Rover Brigade.</p> <p dir="ltr">Yours in Scouting,</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Forrest J. Gertin&nbsp; &nbsp;</td> <td>Preston H. Marquis</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chief Rover</td> <td>Lead Adviser</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

Jun 29, 2018   Lodge Ledger
Adult adventure weekend at the Summit Bechtel Reserve

<p dir="ltr">The Adult Adventure Weekend is a brand-new, once-in-a-lifetime&nbsp;program offered this summer at the Summit Bechtel Reserve from June 20-24th. The youth leaders of the Order of the Arrow could not do everything they do without the support of their advisers; now is your chance to enjoy more of what Scouting has to offer.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chaired by OA Committee Member Toby Capps, the adult adventure weekend will offer exciting activities both on and off the Summit property. From shooting sports to whitewater rafting -and everything in between- there is an exciting adventure for every Scouter.</p> <p dir="ltr">Looking for more information? Make sure to visit the Summit Bechtel Reserve’s official <a href="">Adult Adventure Weekend site</a>, or check out Scouting magazine’s “<a href="">Bryan on Scouting</a>” blog.</p>

Apr 26, 2018   Lodge Ledger
Introducing the SURGE Recognition Device to OA Elections

<p>A committee of Arrowmen have been working hard for the past two years to develop a program that assists sections, lodges and chapters with conducting unit elections in those units chartered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). This initiative is called SURGE: Supporting Units through Really Great Elections.</p> <p>This initiative was started to boost the activity by units chartered by the LDS Church. The key resource created for use by unit election teams is an LDS Unit Election Video which can be shown at a troop meeting. This video contains images and statements that are familiar to members of the LDS faith.</p> <p>SURGE was presented as a main course in the curriculum at NEXT in 2016. The response and interest in this initiative was strong and the team has since developed more resources to help increase the quality of unit elections.</p> <p>In addition to these great resources, a recognition device has been created to encourage and motivate Arrowmen to participate in using these resources, conducting Unit Elections and mentoring those elected through their induction weekend. The SURGE Recognition Device can be earned by any Arrowman that completes the requirements.</p> <p>There are two ways to earn the SURGE recognition device:</p> <ol> <li>The first way is to be elected by your LDS unit. You must complete the induction process and become an Ordeal member of the Order of the Arrow.</li> <li>The second way to earn this recognition device is for any Arrowman. As a youth member of an election team you must conduct one or more unit elections in LDS units and have five or more of those Scouts who were elected successfully inducted becoming Ordeal members of the Order of the Arrow.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <p>In units where at least one Scout is elected, the unit may nominate qualified adults, including the Scoutmaster. Adult Arrowmen who want to earn the SURGE recognition device must help conduct one or more unit elections in LDS units where Scouts are elected and adults are nominated. Three or more of those adults nominated must be successfully inducted becoming Ordeal members of the Order of the Arrow.</p> <p>Youth Arrowmen are expected to encourage and communicate with the youth that are elected and adult Arrowmen with the adults that are nominated until they have completed the induction process.</p> <p>You can find more information regarding the SURGE Recognition Device along with materials such as an LLD training syllabus and Powerpoint presentation, How-to Guide, sample letters, scripts and other resources that have been created at <a href=""></a>. You can access the Unit Election video directly on <a href="">YouTube</a>. The SURGE Team can be reached at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p></p>

Apr 26, 2018   Lodge Ledger
Striking Gold: Series on Journey to Excellence | What is JTE?

<p><em>NOTE: This article is the first part of a multi-part series on JTE.</em></p> <p>Beginning in 2012, the introduction of the <a href="/resources/ucl-support/journey-to-excellence">Journey to Excellence (JTE)</a> program evolved the way we understand membership and program data in the Order of the Arrow (OA). JTE aims to measure the performance of a chapter, lodge, or section, including what areas are excelling as well as what areas require more attention. Seventeen objectives are organized in six categories: membership, program, unit service, finance, council support, and leadership &amp; governance. Based on a scorecard format, each JTE objective is measured in one of three levels of recognition, increasing in difficulty: Bronze, Silver, or Gold. Three levels of our organization use the Journey to Excellence program: chapters, lodges and sections (although chapter JTE is determined by the lodge). The JTE criteria are frequently evaluated and updated to reflect the needs of lodges across the country.</p> <p>Journey to Excellence is your lodge’s roadmap for the calendar year. This series will aim at explaining the different pieces of the JTE criteria so that you may create more specific goals aimed at improving your lodge. Your lodge’s JTE performance from the previous year will allow you to determine your lodge’s strengths and weaknesses – in what areas should you continue what you’re doing, and in what areas the lodge should look to improve. After identifying where improvement is needed, the lodge leadership should look for ideas on how to succeed. Use LodgeMaster to track your lodge’s progress in accomplishing the goals set in the beginning and throughout the year.</p> <p>Several resources are at your disposal to understand the Journey to Excellence Program. This series will focus on the 2018 JTE performance points scorecard and will detail all seventeen objectives by providing best practices and other resources to help your lodge. Stay tuned!</p> <p>Journey to Excellence resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="/resources/ucl-support/journey-to-excellence">National JTE Website</a></li> <li><a href="/resources/publications#jteg">Journey to Excellence Guide</a> (PDF)</li> <li><a href="/resources/forms#2018jtepoints">2018 OA Lodge Performance Recognition Program</a> (PDF)</li> <li><a href="/resources/forms#2017jtepoints">2017 OA Lodge Performance Recognition Program</a> (PDF)</li> <li><a href="/resources/forms#chapter-workbook">2017 Chapter Journey to Excellence</a> (Excel)</li> </ul>

Apr 18, 2018   Lodge Ledger
2017 Natural Disaster Aid Offered by Arrowmen

<p dir="ltr">As 2017 started to come to a close, the country was rocked by several devastating natural disasters. These disasters affected millions. There were many who faced the devastating wildfires in Northern California that destroyed over 10,000 structures and caused more than an estimated $13 billion dollars in damage. There were others who were hit by Hurricane Harvey in Texas which left 336,000&nbsp;people without electricity and tens of thousands requiring rescue. More than 48,000 homes were destroyed, and many others had lost everything with the flooding that resulted. Another hurricane, Hurricane Irma, devastated Florida Sea Base so a group of Arrowmen went to help with the recovery of the base through the SeaBreak program. And then there was Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico which destroyed its power grid, leaving the island without any power. Additionally, there was the mass destruction of the island’s agriculture along with the mass flooding that was as high as waste deep in some areas. In these troubling times, Arrowmen stepped up to provide help to those who needed it. Here are just a few of those stories:</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>California:</strong> When the fire first started in California, it was quite shocking according to Section W-3N Chief Andrew Zucker. Very soon after the fire spread, one of Section W-3N’s lodges, Orca Lodge in Redwood Empire Council, was badly damaged. As soon as the section leadership heard of this, they knew that they needed to help. With local community support already helping clean up what remained after the fires, the section leadership decided that the best course of action was to start a GoFundMe page on behalf of Orca Lodge. They ran the GoFundMe page for a total of three months and the outcome of this resulted in over $2,000 being raised along with other donations collected at the Western Region Gathering of Officers. According to Zucker, the funds are in the process of being transferred to the Redwood Empire Council so that they can use the money as they see best. At the end of the day, looking back on what has been accomplished, he “was glad that [the] section was able to come together in a time of need to be able to provide support to [their] brothers.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Texas:</strong> Once Hurricane Harvey made landfall, Section SR-3 was right in the hurricane’s path. Once the hurricane passed through, they realized that some of the most impacted regions were right within their section and they immediately began to think about how they could help. AJ Valverde, the Section SR-3 secretary, said that “a lot of the lodges within our section really wanted to help out and support each other in any way possible.” After some debate, they came up with the idea of doing fundraiser patches to provide support. The three who spearheaded this project were AJ Valverde, the section secretary, Nik Newman, the associate section adviser, and Grant Phifer. They came out with two different patches to help in their cause - a silver border one for $10 and a gold border one for $100. They ran these patch sales from September 20th until early January and they were able to raise more than $1200 that they were able to distribute equally amongst the four heavily impacted lodges. The four lodges (Colonneh Lodge, Hasinai Lodge, Karankawa Lodge and Wihinipa Hinsa Lodge) each received more than $300 each. These funds went to the restoration of the camps that were damaged within each of the lodges. Wewanoma Lodge was able to gather together a contingent of 80 Scouts, which was comprised of 59 Arrowmen, to send down and provide relief in an area known as Aransas Pass. This area was one of the most devastated areas according to Wewanoma Lodge Chief Ricky Zamora. Zamora said that they “went down there not really knowing what to expect” but knew “they had to help.” They went down for two weekends and provided relief by serving warm meals and giving out emergency supplies to help those who had nothing left. He said “they were so happy to see the Order of the Arrow there with a hot meal as many had been living off of cold meals for days. The entire experience was quite humbling.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Florida:</strong> In September 2018, Hurricane Irma struck much of the state of Florida, and took a heavy toll on the Florida Keys. Florida Sea Base, one of the four national high adventure bases, was hit hard on both campuses. Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, approached the leadership of the Order of the Arrow and the Southern Region of the BSA to create a relief effort. &nbsp;SeaBreak, as it was branded, was a service opportunity available to youth and adult Arrowmen from across the nation, and over 40 Arrowmen attended the event March 4-10, 2018 to provide recovery assistance to the Brinton Environmental Center and Big Munson Island at Sea Base. SeaBreak adviser Devang Desai and youth co-leads Harrison Fry and Kyle Kipple worked closely with Sea Base leadership and BSA professional Rob Hoffman to organize the event to ensure valuable service could be provided to the high adventure base. Throughout the early part of the week, Arrowmen performed repairs and renovations at the Brinton Environmental Center before camping out on Big Munson to clear storm damage and rebuild campsites for the latter portion of the event. &nbsp;All in all, 1200 service hours were provided by four different work groups. One Arrowman who attended said of the event, “I was just glad to come down and give a little back to Sea Base after all it has done for Scouting. I can’t wait to come back with OA High Adventure this summer and experience the benefit of all of this.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Puerto Rico:</strong> As Hurricane Maria passed and Section NE-5 realized the total extent of the destruction that occurred in Puerto Rico, they looked back to past events like these to see what they had done previously to provide help to the affected areas. They saw they previously had a Hurricane Sandy fundraiser patch that did extremely well and benefited the areas hit greatly. They ran with this idea again coming up with a Hurricane Maria fundraiser patch. They immediately put it up for sale and news of it spread like crazy. They were able to raise over $60,000 in relief funding for their camp that was destroyed. After these sales, they then organized an event called Arrowcorps Puerto Rico. This was a week-long event that started on March 11th where any Scouts from around the nation could come and help rebuild Camp Guajataka, the council camp in Puerto Rico. This was a major success where 100 Scouts from across the nation, some even as far away as Alaska, came to help and the results could not have been more amazing. They were able to repair more than 20 buildings that were around the camp and removed all of the debris that was scattered across the property. Area Director Jim Hans said that “not only had [they] accomplished more than [they] had set out to do, but [they] could tell [their] fellow Scouts from Puerto Rico that their beloved Camp Guajataka was now open for business. The scars of Hurricane Maria had been removed by Arrowcorps.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Each one of these acts are astounding as they were able to provide aid to the areas that were heavily affected this past year. In the end, these are just a few of the countless acts that Arrowmen have done that truly exemplify what the Order of the Arrow and Scouting as a whole is all about.</p>

Apr 18, 2018   Lodge Ledger
Wah-Sha-She Lodge Old Christmas Tree Fish Habitat

<p dir="ltr">After the holiday season most people are forced to throw out their Christmas trees, but that’s not the case for Wah-Sha-She Lodge, chartered to the Ozark Trails Council. Instead, with their Christmas tree recycling program they collect people’s Christmas trees to have them be turned into habitats to protect fish in local lakes. Every year after Christmas, lodge members set up a tent outside their Bass Pro Shop (fun fact: the original one) in Springfield, Missouri. At the end of the week the Christmas trees are then picked up and sent off to be turned into fish habitats. These trees are dropped by boat to the bottom of lakes where smaller fish can use them as shelter from their predators. They make very efficient habitats that can have a big impact on the local environment.</p> <p dir="ltr">Every day from December 26th until January 1st, Arrowmen wait outside to receive people’s used Christmas trees. “It gets cold, but we all just kinda have fun with it and we know we’re helping the fishes and the local wildlife,” says Wah-Sha-She Lodge Chief James Emeric. The average high temperatures for those days are usually 22 degrees but Arrowmen keep their spirits high. This event has been going on for almost ten years and each year provides new experiences for the Arrowmen willing to volunteer their time to see the benefit to the environment these trees can have.</p> <p dir="ltr">This event also means a lot to the local community. Emeric says that “every year the local news station will do a small story on the [recycling program]. It is received well and the lodge really enjoys doing it.” To wrap things up, Emeric said, “It was pretty darn cold this year so that made it a little rough but we had people there every single day and everyone still had fun and we had some pictures of smiling Scouts, and that is what it is all about”. Wah-Sha-She Lodge knows how much of an impact this program has on the environment and how many people are willing to support it.</p>

Apr 18, 2018   Lodge Ledger