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News for all Arrowmen about what's happening today in the Order of the Arrow.

NE-6A & NE-6B Lodge Enabling and Developing (LEAD) Conference

<p dir="ltr">Earlier this year, around 200 Arrowmen from Sections NE-6A and NE-6B met for the Lodge Enabling and Developing (LEAD) Conference. The event was held on January 26th at Carroll Community College in Maryland. The event’s main purpose was to provide a mix of basic and intermediate leadership training to members of the two sections. Scott Walters, who served as the NE-6A chief during the event, said that it was “targeted towards those who have the ambition to become a chapter, lodge, or section leader”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The event is a newly designed iteration of the #LEAD Conference, a similar event held by NE-6A and NE-6B aimed towards teaching new Arrowmen everything they needed to know about the Order of the Arrow. While the new LEAD Conference included courses for new members, it also had tracks designed for lodge chiefs and officers, chapter chiefs, ceremonialists, advisers, and trainers. “We were able to get a lot of good trainers to come out for the event and it sounded like people really enjoyed themselves and were able to take what they learned back to their lodge or chapter to help improve their performance,” said Walters. The key feature of this event was the wide variety of experienced trainers that were brought in from all over the Northeast Region. One of the most well-received training sessions was the High Performing Lodge course for lodge leadership that came on the heels of the Northeast Region’s High Performing Lodge Summit earlier in the year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Going forward, the LEAD Conference will be held biennially. In the years when the event isn’t held the two sections will hold the Chief’s Summit, a roundtable-style event that prepares new leaders in the Section for service. Until the next LEAD Conference, NE-6A and NE-6B leadership will be taking what they learned this year to improve the event for the future. “We’re going to adjust the curriculum based on what our area needs at the time of the next conference, but we’re definitely moving in a positive direction”.</p>

Sep 26, 2019   OA Today
Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge Service Saturdays

<p>In the Pacific Northwest, Washington’s Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge stands as a pinnacle of cheerful service. On the second Saturday of each month, Arrowmen from throughout the lodge gather at Fire Mountain Scout Camp to provide beneficial service necessary for the camp’s program delivery. The idea was conceived five years ago when Antonyo Mitchell, the 2019 Western Region Chief, stepped into the role of “Vice Chief of Cheerful Service” with Rich Mueller serving as his adviser. Mitchell saw that Mount Baker Council, the council their lodge serves, held monthly service weekends at the camp. He understood that service was the foundation of what the OA was built upon, and sought to get the lodge involved with these work weekends. While it all began with simple projects, the scope of the lodge’s contributions has greatly expanded, setting a precedent for how a lodge can truly support their council and camps.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ranging from mowing grass to splitting wood, the Service Saturdays began simply as odd jobs done around the camp. As time progressed and more Arrowmen became involved, the council properties committee began collaborating directly with the Arrowmen of Sikhs Mox Lamonti to plan and undertake more large scale projects, many of which have included trail construction and repair. To date, over one hundred hours of service by Arrowmen&nbsp;has contributed to the restoration of a quarter-mile trail into camp.</p> <p dir="ltr">More recently, the lodge installed a unique “Trail to First Class” area at their past induction weekend with instructional boards stationed throughout. The program is designed to utilize the patrol method, with the materials and directions necessary for the Scouts to work together and teach each other. This promotion of the patrol method stems from the OA’s commitment to advancing all of Scouting’s values. To further their promotions of camping, Arrowmen broke ground on an improved tent camping site during Labor Day weekend, a project for which the lodge received a National Service Grant. This will provide the Scouts attending Fire Mountain Scout Camp more opportunities for traditional Scout camping in the outdoors.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to these projects supporting the lodge’s service goals, they provide an opportunity for Arrowmen to interact with other troops’ Scouts that may not have been inducted. This gives those Scouts the opportunity to learn more about the OA and why they may strive to be apart of it one day.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">On a typical weekend, the lodge can expect about twenty to thirty Arrowmen, yet those numbers change depending on the time of year or if it falls on an induction weekend. In that case, one might find up to two hundred Arrowmen and inductees all performing cheerful service together. It is this service that has extended far beyond monthly weekends as many chapters often perform their own acts of service, typically at district camporees. It is clear the Arrowmen are truly fulfilling the lodge’s purpose to support the council, and Sikhs Mox Lamonti’s commitment to this as perpetuated a service-oriented culture. With over five thousand service hours per year dedicated to cheerful service, the lodge has successfully enhanced the experience of NYLT, Woodbadge, National Camp School, and year-round camping while expanding the reach of their lodge throughout the troops in the council.</p>

Sep 26, 2019   OA Today
Section C-3B American Indian Seminar

<p dir="ltr">Regalia - the first impression the Order of the Arrow leaves upon its newly inducted brothers. So often it is neglected how influential the indigenous cultures are within our Order. They shape, define, and grant us an identity as a brotherhood of service and caretakers of the outdoors. The traditions of our ceremonies are the first impactful experiences a candidate has in the OA. The question then becomes: Why do we not capitalize more so on this unique opportunity to engage newly inducted Arrowmen? Section C-3B leadership recognized this special occasion and coordinated an event focused on traditional culture which garnered the support and attendance of &nbsp;seven lodges and hundreds of Scouts.</p> <p dir="ltr">It took communication, dedication, and perseverance, but eventually all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. The section faced many challenges that arose with organizing a new event - several of which involved marketing to the youth. How do we get Arrowmen to this event? The leadership team opted to rely on lodge representatives, diffusing the information throughout the section down to the chapter level.</p> <p dir="ltr">After months of planning, all of their hard work came to fruition. At the event, there were activities, shows, training, and most importantly, fellowship. The event fostered relationship growth between lodges and showcased the OA to those Scouts present who had not yet been inducted. One attendee explained that the best part was, “the gathering of all programs within the Scouting Family: Cub Scouts, Scouts, BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venturers alike were present and bonding. Trainings were conducted, lessons taught, but the true takeaways were the memories formed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Section C-3B’s challenge to all Arrowmen is to explore new ideas. What would be an event that YOU would be interested in - oftentimes others share your interest as well. The event was a testament to the ingenious ideas brought about by the Arrowmen of our great Order. The event’s leaders advised that anyone interested in planning their own event should remember the following: keep your vision in mind - always! Without a vision, without a direction, how are you to succeed? With a vision, and support from others, much can be accomplished! Go out and be a change agent in your local chapter, lodge, or section. Try out the ideas you have, and accept that it is a learning experience if it doesn’t succeed. To change the future you must start today, so what are you waiting for? Become an active agent for change. Congratulations on a successful event, Section C-3B!</p>

Jun 18, 2019   OA Today
NE-5 Leadership Conference

<p dir="ltr">Each and every Arrowman at some point in their Scouting career wishes to leave a legacy within our Order, wishes to make their voice known, and wishes to make a positive, lasting impact for generations to come. Each has a great idea waiting to be implemented into our organization, however, many go unheard. This past January, Section NE-5 leadership recognized this invaluable opportunity to obtain perspective, and coordinated a leadership conference to foster a positive environment for their lodges to exchange best practices.</p> <p dir="ltr">Section chief Jeremy Bedient explained, “... every good idea has been had by someone - not too many have not yet been said.” This idea, in tandem with the observation that all too often there are few supplemented trainings second to those hosted at conclaves, served as the inspiration behind the Leadership Conference. Section NE-5 recognized that they were missing out on opportunities to train lodge officers so as to better serve Arrowmen. With the assistance of section officers and associate advisers, along with coordination with lodge leadership, the section organized an event to introduce what it means to be a high performing lodge that supports its chapters, council, and youth. The event garnered support from nearly all 11 lodges within the section and witnessed an attendance of around 90 strong - roughly 8 to 10 from each lodge’s leadership team. The conference was open to any and all prospective leaders but emphasized attendance from lodge chiefs and chapter chiefs The objectives were simple: introduce the high performing lodge (HPL) concept, assist with the understanding and implementation of HPL in their own councils, and encourage discussion of best practices among lodges.</p> <p dir="ltr">Of course, every lodge is unique and not every solution is applicable to each individual scenario. As nearly all present had prior leadership experience, the coordinators opted to host intentional discussions which created a more intimate environment. Through the personalized agenda of the conference, leaders had the opportunity to explore each lodge as an individual rather than attempt to force solutions for the entirety of the section. Participants were randomly grouped to encourage diverse perspectives, opinions, and ideas. The event hosted several sessions with topics ranging from specific roles in the organization (advisers, lodge chiefs, chapter chiefs, etc.), how to lead the change, lodge breakouts, High Performing Lodge discussions, and debriefs focused upon implementation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Overall, the event proved to be highly successful. As reported by Jeremy, the lodges within Section NE-5 recorded significant achievement in reaching their election and induction goals. Additionally, all lodges with members present reported an increase in activation rates, significantly improving the lodge membership. Most importantly, the event served as a catalyst for improved relations and communication among the lodges.</p> <p dir="ltr">To sections interested in adopting this same forum blueprint, Jeremy had the following advice: First, timing is everything. The conference was hosted just before election season so that lodges may have the opportunity to implement the ideas gained as well as plan out their upcoming schedule. Second, use this as an opportunity to get to know each and every lodge chief. The leadership conference is a prime opportunity for lodge leaders to understand how they impact their home lodges. Lastly, and most importantly, remember your audience. Emphasize on lodge officers and advisers, as these two are best able to implement change in the program and understand the needs of their Arrowmen.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jeremy hopes that all sections will adopt some sort of training conference to prepare the future leaders of tomorrow. Furthermore, he encourages sections to “take the time to develop lodge leaders now more than ever before!” section events are more accessible to Arrowmen while still maintaining high quality trainings unavailable otherwise. Leadership Conferences prove to be invaluable in developing solutions and assisting in the cultivation of youth as they continue to become active agents for change. &nbsp;Congratulations to Section NE-5, on a successful and productive conference!</p>

Jun 18, 2019   OA Today
Tuku'Ut Lodge Rivers and Mountains Conservancy Grant

<p dir="ltr">Within the Greater Los Angeles Area Council (GLAAC), many youth gathered together along with the Tuku’ut Lodge Chief, Ben Deveau. Ben currently serves as the Section W-4N Vice Chief and is a Vigil Honor member of Tuku’ut Lodge and had the opportunity to speak before the fifteen members of the Governing Board of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains and Conservancy (RMC).</p> <p dir="ltr">Ben helped sponsor GLAAC’s application for Proposition 1, a grant request for funding of $112,800. The grant will be used to help Camp Trask’s Water Rehabilitation Project. Eventually, the proposition will lead up to a second proposition. Proposition 68 will be a second grant for $1 million for procurement, installation, and construction of a packaged water treatment system and a new water storage tank at the camp.</p> <p dir="ltr">After Ben’s amazing experience of participating in OA Trail Crew (OATC) he returned to Philmont. Ben has had the opportunity to work as an OATC Foreman and spend time in the backcountry. Ben has been cheerfully serving and helping others cheerfully serve along the trails of Philmont. He has helped many experience the ranch in a special and unique way for two weeks showing the conservation and sustainability commitments of all scouts.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am humbled and honored to be included in this group of experienced scouts and I know our participants will have a blast on their treks” Ben said. He is also very excited to welcome the first co-ed crews for the OA treks during this new record breaking season of backpacking.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ben is an example of an outstanding Arrowman who has showed the importance of sustainability within the community. GLAAC and Tuku’ut Lodge are reaffirming their commitment to sustainability in maintaining the council camp and their scouting spirits. Since the Order of the Arrow’s sustainability commitment was adopted back in 2017, Arrowmen across the country have shared their stories of sustainability and this is just one more amazing story to be shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We don’t just build trail here on the ranch, we are here to change lives and show our participants what they are truly capable of” Ben said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ben did an outstanding job presenting the proposition and representing the youth representatives, not only from the Lodge but also from the council. The address that Ben gave explained the merits of the project to the governing body. The proposition in the end passed with a unanimous vote. Great job, Ben!</p>

Jun 18, 2019   OA Today
Legacy Projects Fuel T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge’s Cheerful Service

<p dir="ltr">Each one of us has that special council camp we call home. It could be where we had our first campout, where we earned our first merit badge or maybe even where we went through our Ordeal and became part of something greater. Regardless the meaning or the reason, each of us has wished to leave our mark on the camp that has given us so much. That is exactly what T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge did at three of their council camps.</p> <p dir="ltr">T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge, chartered to the Chief Seattle Council, decided that it would plan and execute two legacy projects at their council camps. What exactly is a legacy project? A legacy project is a planned venture that leaves a tangible mark of service, and in T’Kope Kwiskwis’ case, it meant leaving a legacy of service that Scouts and Scouters would be able to see and benefit from for years to come. Dylan Rogers, who was the lodge vice chief of activities at the time and currently serves as Section W1-N vice chief, said that it was the observation of an Arrowman that drew the lodge’s attention to the need of a Scoutcraft Barn at Camp Shepard, the council’s winter camp. The camp previously didn’t have a Scoutcraft structure, and with its establishment, came the ability for camp staff to utilize the building to improve camp program. Planning for the construction of the Scoutcraft barn began all the way back in January of 2018 and with the continued leadership of the lodge, was completed in May of 2018. This was only Phase 1 of the legacy project and the lodge hopes to continue to add to the structure as needed and seen fit. Its most recent improvement to the structure was the addition of power to the barn.</p> <p>T’Kope Kwiskwis was sure to emphasize the cheerful nature of these legacy projects with the construction of two Gaga Ball pits. One was built at Camp Edward, the council’s Cub Resident Camp and another built at Camp Pigott. The Gaga Ball pits were projects that remaining Arrowmen staff at Ordeals were responsible for constructing. Rogers added that, “these projects reminded the Arrowmen that even though they had already completed their ordeal, they were expected to give that same value of service in the years following that ordeal.” Since their construction, the Gaga Ball pits have become centerpieces and social hubs within the camp facilities for Scouts enjoying time at camp. Dylan himself has added he has enjoyed playing him just as much as the next Scout.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rogers’ favorite part of the entire experience was the excited and pleased attitude that Scouts and Scouters gave as well as the overall communal enjoyment. When asked what advice he would give to lodge’s that want or are maybe thinking about doing a legacy project he reminds them that, “communication is the key and if this is your first project to start small. Take the momentum of a smaller project and funnel towards the completion of another. Always looking for what could benefit the camp in its endeavor to bring the Scouting program to youth across the council. And share the excitement. Allow as many Arrowmen as possible to take ownership of a piece of the project harnessing that cheerful spirit of all who want to give back and take part in leaving a legacy. It was the determination and dedication shown by all, that made these projects such a success.” Congratulations to the T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge on their successful legacy projects that gave back to their council camps and left a mark a service for all to see for years to come.</p>

May 02, 2019   OA Today
The Arrowman in Antarctica

<p dir="ltr">Tim Lynch, Eagle Scout, is living the dream, with a heart for adventure. &nbsp;He recently spent six months in the world’s most remote landscape, the frozen continent of Antarctica, as part of the United States Antarctic Program at McMurdo Station.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lynch, seen above posing with a small replica of the Lodge flag and centennial patches outside McMurdo Station, is a Vigil Honor member of Nawakwa Lodge in Richmond, Virginia. The memorabilia displayed by Lynch will be auctioned as part of Nawakwa’s Centennial Celebration later this year. Lynch was a member of the Nawakwa National Honor ceremonies team as a youth and served as an advisor for several years.</p> <p dir="ltr">Through Scouting, Lynch grew to love the outdoors and through service to Nawakwa Lodge he was well prepared to perform cheerful service, even in the most trying of environments. &nbsp;Traits developed along Scouting’s trail helped make his time in Antarctica a breeze. Additionally, skills like cold weather camping, packing efficiently, and living Scouting's Oath and Law certainly made the transition from Richmond to McMurdo as smooth as can be.</p> <p dir="ltr">The path Lynch took to Antarctica was, predictably, long and toilsome. &nbsp;It took over four years for Lynch to be selected as he competed against applicants from all over the country. &nbsp;Selected after the intensive application process, Lynch finally began his journey South. He flew from Richmond, Virginia to Houston, then down to Auckland, New Zealand and finally Christchurch, New Zealand. &nbsp;There he went to the United States Antarctic Program Passenger Terminal and Clothing Distribution Center to complete his preparation for departure to Antarctica. From the Terminal, he and his colleagues took the last leg of their journey by plane to Phoenix Airfield on the icy continent. From there it was a short drive to McMurdo.</p> <p dir="ltr">At McMurdo, Lynch served as a Computer Technician. &nbsp;He and five other technicians were responsible for over 700 computers at McMurdo, ensuring that all of them functioned to the highest standard. &nbsp;Technology is a crucial part of any research team’s equipment, so the maintenance of all devices is essential to keeping McMurdo firing on all cylinders. &nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">As any Arrowman would, Lynch loved the natural wild he encountered around McMurdo. &nbsp;Pods of Orcas would swim through McMurdo Sound adjacent to the station. Penguins would waddle near, sometimes getting close to the station. &nbsp;The Southern Lights dazzled Lynch a few weeks into his time at McMurdo, giving him a glimpse of the auroras most people only dream of seeing in person. &nbsp;Living in the unique environment of Antarctica gave him the chance to observe some of the most unique creatures and phenomena our planet has to offer.</p> <p dir="ltr">While not everyone has experienced adventure like Tim Lynch, he is confident that with determination anyone can experience it. &nbsp;When traveling the long road to success and adventure, Lynch notes that “it’s important to have perseverance during the process.” &nbsp;So long as you keep persevering and following the ideals of Scouting and the Order of the Arrow, they can take you anywhere. With a goal on your mind and Scouting in your heart, you too can bring the Order to new and remote locations.</p>

May 02, 2019   OA Today
California Arrowmen Support Fire Relief

<p dir="ltr">In late November last year California was hit by its most destructive wildfire in history. For two weeks the Camp Fire spread over 150,000 acres affecting countless lives. After the devastating fire Arrowmen from all across the State of California took charge and stepped up in order to aid their communities and help their fellow Scouts and Scouters.</p> <p>Gavin Cho is the W-4N section chief and helped lead his section after the devastating fire. “One thing that we recognized from the start was that because of the incredible damage that was caused by the wildfire we saw that, as an Order, it was an important time as any to come together under the bond of service and brotherhood,” Gavin said.</p> <p>Each section in California was affected by the wildfire in numerous different ways and their chiefs made sure to keep close contact with each other to create unique solutions to each of their unique problems. “We obviously are always trying to be prepared in living up to the Scout Motto; but, we weren’t really able to be prepared to a wildfire of that magnitude and power.”</p> <p>Where some portions were kept completely safe from the fire, many parts of Section W-4N had to be evacuated. After the fire members of Section W-4N organized supply drives for affected communities and lead numerous service projects; for example, constructing sifter boxes that can be used to clean-up ash from wildfires. “We had to recognize a pressing need that went beyond ourselves; our communities really needed us to be there,” Gavin added.</p> <p>“Our needs were mainly in the moment; we had to keep watch for each other and stay cheerful and use this as an opportunity to strengthen our bonds as opposed to letting it tear ourselves apart,” stated Gavin. For now Section W-4N are working on creating a fundraiser patch that will help cover the cost of their service projects in response to the Camp Fire and other projects in the future that will help prepare them for aiding their communities in the event of any future fires.</p>

May 02, 2019   OA Today
What to Expect in 2019

<p dir="ltr">As a member of the Order of the Arrow, there is a lot to look forward to during this upcoming year. The spring will kick off with OA PhilBreak 2019, an exciting opportunity designed to provide meaningful service to Philmont in March following the forest fires of 2017. June will bring the second-ever OA Hackathon, where Arrowmen will explore the changing landscape of technology, and how it can apply to the Order of the Arrow. This year will also host a year-long initiative: Focus 2019. Three task forces made up of section chiefs will work together to improve inductions, elections and activation. A national live stream event will be hosted in October to present the research and findings of this initiative. 2019 National Chief Matt Parsons told us why he is excited for what is coming up this year and why you should be too.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>OA Philbreak 2019</strong>, similar to ArrowCorps Puerto Rico at Camp Guajataka and SeaBreak at the Florida Sea Base, will take place during academic spring breaks. Arrowmen from all over the country will travel to Philmont and assist in the recovery and preparation for the ranch’s 2019 season.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’ll be a great opportunity for Arrowmen to go and give back to Philmont which was severely ravaged by the forest fires out there last summer so that they’re repaired and ready to go for this upcoming summer,” Parsons said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Three week-long sessions in late March and early April will be offered, each with a low attendance fee of $100. Arrowmen will be expected to provide their own transportation to the Philmont Training Center, where they will stay each night. Starting on Monday, they will drive out to work sites each day for service projects to help Philmont prepare for the 2019 summer session. Sign up today at <a href="https://registration.oa-bsa.org/">registration.oa-bsa.org</a>!</p> <p dir="ltr">The <strong>OA Hackathon</strong> is making a return in 2019. The first OA Hackathon was held in October 2017 in Folsom, CA, where attendees learned how they can take advantage of the innovative world of tech to benefit their lodges. To build on its success, the 2019 OA Hackathon will be held this June 26-30 at the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign campus. All Arrowmen can attend, regardless of experience level.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Arrowmen will be able to go down and not only learn [about] technology; but, also be able to implement technology as the Order of the Arrow moves into this new age of technology in order to better take advantage of all of the new opportunities that will come along with it” said Parsons.</p> <p dir="ltr">This event’s focus will be problem-solving. In one of the most exciting activities, attendees will be given a challenge and twenty-four hours to find an innovative solution to conquer it. After the event, attendees will be able to take their newfound knowledge of technology and bring it home to implement it for their lodge. Registration is now open at&nbsp;<a href="https://registration.oa-bsa.org/">registration.oa-bsa.org</a>!</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Update 05-07-2019:</strong>&nbsp;The 2019 OA Hackathon has been cancelled.</p> <p dir="ltr">This year also brings <strong>Focus 2019</strong>, which is a trio of task forces lead by section chiefs focusing on elections, inductions and activation. Over the next year, they will work towards their goal to increase membership and the quality of experience for all Arrowmen.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In activation we’re trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to conclaves so that we can leverage them into being able to show off the idea of a high performing lodge while also trying to standardize them so that all Arrowmen can get the best parts out of NOAC, that many Arrowmen don’t get to see, closer to home without having to attend the conference,” Parsons said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“To present our research and findings and to provide direction we will be holding our first-ever nationwide webinar,” Parsons shared. This webinar will be held on <strong>October 19th, 2019</strong>. “We ask each lodge to save the date, and plan to gather their leadership teams to view the webinar and partake in opportunities to collaborate and plan for the future.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Above all though, what Parsons is most looking forward to is the new opportunities that will be available to Sea Scout Ships and Venture Crews. Parsons himself is a Sea Scout and recently stepped down as Northeast Region boatswain’s mate to better fulfill his new role as national chief. Much like countless other Arrowmen across the country, he is excited to see a new class of deserving Sea Scouts and Venturers he has served with eligible to be elected to join the Order of the Arrow.</p>

Feb 13, 2019   OA Today
Wewanoma Lodge Powwow Benefits Local Camp

<p dir="ltr">Each year, Wewanoma Lodge out of South Texas holds a public powwow. The event was started twenty one years ago by Troop 68 from McAllen, Texas as a way for Scouts to get the Indian Lore Merit Badge. Since then, it has grown to become an annual tradition with up to 1,500 people in attendance. Some of the powwow’s events include afternoon demonstrations on topics such as beading, animal skinning and choker necklaces. Scouts still have the opportunity to earn the Indian Lore Merit Badge, and there are special activities for any Cub Scouts in attendance. They end the day with a show hosted by The Texas Connection in the evening.</p> <p>The powwow is volunteer driven, and local troops are asked to run different stations during the event. Usually by mid-November about 1,200 people are expected to sign-up to attend, but this year there were only ten people signed up. The officers reflected on the lodge’s use of advertising and began a complete overhaul. Lodge Chief Gabe R. reflected on their shift. &nbsp;</p> <p>“We looked and we were really only using Facebook and that was not reaching many people.” A list was drawn up of attendees from the previous five years and the new advertisement campaign began. Robo calls were made, paid social media campaigns (with the new addition of Instagram) were released and mass emails were sent out.</p> <p dir="ltr">The change resulted in a huge success, and the powwow is the Rio Grande Council’s most attended and most profitable event. All the profit generated from the powwow goes into the capital campaign for Camp Perry, their local council camp. The capital campaign, which is also funded by regular donations, has recently paid for a new 1.2 million dollar dining hall and improvements on campsites and other areas.</p>

Feb 13, 2019   OA Today
Rebuilding Camp Osborn

<p dir="ltr">Cheerful service is one of the core values of the Order of the Arrow, and Withlacoochee Lodge was sure to fulfill that purpose with the service it provided to Camp Osborn following two recent natural disasters. In January 2017, during a NYLT staff development weekend, Camp Osborn was hit with an extremely powerful wind storm. Just two weeks later, it was hit again during the Withlacoochee Lodge Banquet, this time by a tornado. Following the disastrous events, Withlacoochee Lodge was ready to serve. The lodge handled and coordinated the basic clean-up, including clearing the roads from debris and sorting the various supplies in the program area around camp, &nbsp;as well as the serving of meals to the Scouts and Scouters who came out to help with the recovery effort.</p> <p>The lodge created the Facebook page ‘<em>Rebuilding Camp Osborn Together</em>’ to document the process. Withlacoochee Lodge Chief Jonathan L. was excited to see Camp Osborn get rebuilt and demonstrate how the lodge’s service could impact his council. After rebuilding, Camp Osborn was hit by Hurricane Matthew in September 2018, but Jonathan says that the Hurricane did not impact Camp Osborn or its structures as much as the other storms. Withlacoochee Lodge embodied the core principle of the OA and stands as a leading example of cheerful service at the council level.</p>

Feb 13, 2019   OA Today
Joint Service Project Brings Lodges Together

<p dir="ltr">Last year, Pa-Hin Lodge and Naguonabe Lodge completed a joint service project as part of the Section C-1A’s Lodge Partnership Program. For this program, lodges are asked to attend each other’s events to gain a sense of community by getting to know the members of their partner lodge. The lodge leadership also gets the opportunity to see how other lodges run their own events such as induction weekends, reunions, or fellowships. This facilitates the sharing of best practices from across the section which they can implement in their own lodges. The purpose of the program is to form bonds between lodges and help build the lodges so they have a better program for the youth of their lodge and council.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lodges were given free range to do anything as long as they had an end goal in mind. Some lodges decided to coordinate travel to the 2018 NOAC together. The chiefs of Pa-Hin and Naguonabe decided to do a joint service project. They divided up responsibilities such as finding a project location, food planning, creating a task list and building programs for the event. The location of Fergus Falls, MN was chosen due to it being close for both lodges and was in need of service.</p> <p dir="ltr">Both lodges wanted to do more than just a day of service, so the decision was made to create a weekend event with both fellowship and service. The event was held the weekend of October 5-7, 2018 with twenty members in attendance. With temperatures near freezing, participants were bundled up during the cheerful service on Saturday. Arrowmen built flower boxes, added new soil to areas that needed it, harvested plants and cleaned up for the winter. Before the event began, food was collected to be donated to a local food shelter. After all of the work had been completed, participants went to an outdoor movie party, accompanied by a campfire and feast for all of their hard work.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think this project brought two different lodges with two different skill sets closer together, and I look forward to following up with the friends I made during this event,” 2018 Pa-Hin Lodge Chief Ryan H. stated.</p>

Feb 13, 2019   OA Today