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

What’s new at NOAC?

<p dir="ltr">Join Arrowmen from across the nation for the 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference this summer in Indiana. NOAC 2018 promises to be one of the most exciting conferences yet, with new and innovative programs for all Arrowmen. Whether this is your first NOAC or your 21st NOAC, the 2018 conference has something for you.</p> <h2 dir="ltr">WHAT’S NEW:</h2> <ul dir="ltr"> <li><strong>PILOT Academy:</strong> Just as an airplane pilot is constantly tasked with making decisions that impact the passengers and the crew, our lodge leaders must have the talent and tools necessary to meet their goals. This program will equip you with the tools needed to succeed.</li> <li><strong>Conference Wide Game:</strong> A new and exciting conference-wide game which leverages technology to enhance your NOAC experience.</li> <li><strong>Region Gatherings:</strong> Where you are from does not define who you are; chart your own course and decide your own destiny! During the NOAC 2018 Region Gathering, your region chief will guide you through a labyrinth of checkpoints to showcase what makes each region special. Spend time catching up with Arrowmen within your section, make new friends from across the region, and meet your region chief! These gatherings will feature a special program, games, inflatables, and more; there's no better way to spend your Thursday night than at your Region Gathering.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">This year, #DecideYourDestiny and take the future of the OA into your own hands. Join us this summer for the most remarkable Order of the Arrow event around..</p> <p dir="ltr">If you’re interested in attending with your contingent, speak to your lodge chief today! Or sign up for one of many <a href="">staff opportunities</a>.</p>

May 20, 2018   NOAC 2018, OA Today
Be a NOAC Delegate — From Anywhere in the World!

<p dir="ltr">Are you unable to make it to Indiana University for NOAC 2018 this summer? Whether you’re home staffing summer camp, gave a spot in your lodges contingent to a youth, or are stuck in summer school, you’ll have the chance to fully participate in the conference — from anywhere in the world.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Join the NOAC@Home Experience!</h3> <p dir="ltr">For the first time in conference history, the national Order of the Arrow committee is offering a remote delegate program! Being a remote delegate is as close as you can get to attending the conference —right down to receiving a limited edition “Remote Delegate” variation of the conference patch.</p> <p dir="ltr">This NOAC@Home program is designed to give Arrowmen joining from home a front-row seat to all the events they would want to attend if they were on-site, and exclusive events that are only available to remote delegates. This heavily discounted program is only $75, which includes the conference memorabilia packet and all program elements:</p> <ul dir="ltr"> <li>Unique NOAC delegate pack complete with a special remote delegate conference patch that will only be available to Remote Delegates</li> <li>Live broadcasts throughout each day at the conference (a morning broadcast, lunchtime broadcast, and “pre-show” broadcast</li> <li>Live streaming of conference activities throughout each afternoon</li> <li>Live streaming of NOAC evening shows and special broadcasts for remote delegates only</li> <li>Viewership into various NOAC trainings in the mornings</li> <li>A virtual tour of the NOAC museum</li> <li>Various Meet-the-Man sessions with national leadership only accessible by remote delegates</li> <li>Viewing of athletic competitions and various recreational activities from the eyes of an on-site delegate</li> <li>Inside scoops and interviews looking into the planning and delivery of NOAC 2018 from the conference leadership</li> <li>Recorded playback over select activities based on demand</li> <li>Regional group challenges to all remote delegates for various prizes and awards</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Cost:</strong> $75 per remote delegate</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Registration:</strong> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Mar 27, 2018   NOAC 2018, OA Today
OA Today: Students for Opioid Solutions

<p dir="ltr"><a href="">Students for Opioid Solutions</a>, an organization founded by Gerald Fraas and co-founded by Jonah Wendt, is dedicated to the vision of “reducing the number of opioid deaths on college campuses to zero.” Gerald Fraas, a senior at the University of Alabama majoring in political science and economics, is an Eagle Scout from Troop 8 in Hartford, SD, in Sioux Council. He is a Vigil Honor member of Tetonwana Lodge #105, served as section chief for Section C1-A, and is a recipient of the Founder’s and Centurion Awards.</p> <p dir="ltr">Opioids are drugs that include the illegal drug heroin and legal prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others. According to the Students for Opioid Solutions website, 33,091 deaths resulted from this drug, which is a 23 percent increase from the years of 2014 and 2015. This reality, combined with his passion of being a cheerful servant, is what caused Gerald to spearhead this effort after receiving a text that a close friend had died due to an opioid overdose. And this death, like all opioid deaths, was a preventable one according to Fraas. “Neither his roommate nor his residential advisor were able to recognize the symptoms. He had been a victim of his own actions and a crippling addiction, but also a victim of a lack of knowledge and preparation about an issue affecting millions of Americans.” The worst part of all is that opioid deaths are treatable with Naloxone, the antidote for opioid overdoses. When administered soon after an overdose, it will reverse and block the overdose. This medication can be easily administered and included in first aid kits. The problem is that it is not required by colleges to have this medication that can save thousands of lives.</p> <p dir="ltr">Students for Opioid Solutions overall goal is to have all colleges implement legislation that protects students from this horrible epidemic. The organization contacts those who advocate their cause to push either student government or school administration to passing some sort of policy that addresses this problem. Their mission is to prevent as many deaths as possible by providing more training to staff and requiring Narcan be carried. Additionally, they provide legal support for people who are facing this issue in any way, whether it is them personally or a friend.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gerald attributes many of the leadership skills he uses to run the organization to Scouting and the Order of the Arrow, especially during his time as section chief . Many of the organization’s volunteers were people he met at National Camp School or people he worked with at his local summer camp. This is proof of the lasting impact Scouting relationships can have. Students for Opioid Solutions already has a presence at 77 college campuses spanning over 33 states and continues their efforts to spread their message and further their mission across the country everyday.</p>

Mar 12, 2018   OA Today
OA Today: El-Ku-Ta Lodge Helps with Homeless Vaccination Project

<p dir="ltr">Ever wonder the impact that cheerful service can bring to local communities? Fellow brothers from El-Ku-Ta Lodge of the Great Salt Lake Council can tell you! It started in early December when El-Ku-Ta Associate Lodge Adviser Dave Bresnahan was attending a local medical relief core event within his community. The purpose of the event was to administer vaccination shots at a local relief shelter to the homeless population within the Great Salt Lake City area and build hygiene kits for all who came to receive a vaccination.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to Bresnahan, “there are at least 1,000 homeless people on any given day during the winter months at the three local relief shelters, 300-400 of them being children and another 1,000 homeless that don’t go to the three relief shelters.” Bresnahan along with the other volunteers worked for hours, but realized that there were still thousands of hygiene kits that needed to be made. That’s when the call went out to his fellow brothers in El-Ku-Ta Lodge.</p> <p dir="ltr">Within just a few weeks’ notice, they managed to have 24 Arrowmen gather and just under three hours, put together 2,000 hygiene kits. These hygiene kits were distributed throughout the months of January and February to all of those who needed assistance from the relief shelters to help them stay clean and healthy. El-Ku-Ta Lodge has already told the relief shelters that if they run low on hygiene kits, they are more than willing to come and do it again! &nbsp;Following the volunteer event, the adults surprised everyone with pizza for their hard work.</p> <p dir="ltr">This isn’t the only event that El-Ku-Ta Lodge does to help support their community. This past November, Arrowmen helped packaged food at a local Denny’s to give to community members who would have not been able to have a Thanksgiving dinner. They packaged meals over three nights with about 40 Arrowmen attending each night. Their efforts had made a difference as over 1,000 community members were able to enjoy Thanksgiving. Bresnahan said, &nbsp;“That with all of this cheerful service, the enthusiasm of the lodge is the greatest it has ever been. We have seen a great spike in activity of Arrowmen and this is due to the fact that they have been involved in meaningful service!” El-Ku-Ta Lodge is truly showing what cheerful service really means by doing this service project.</p>

Mar 12, 2018   OA Today
OA Today: Kittan Lodge Autism Awareness

<p dir="ltr">There is nothing that an Arrowman enjoys more than patch collecting. That is why the leadership of Kittan Lodge of the Twin Rivers Council decided to collect with a purpose. Every year, Kittan Lodge releases lodge flaps in support of a local charity with all proceeds donated as well as more awareness raised. With these flaps, Kittan Lodge has been able to raise thousands of dollars for local charities. Kittan Lodge Chief Matt Kusche shared the effect that these flaps have made on the charities they support.</p> <p>Originally, the idea started in 2014 when lodge leadership decided they would create an annual lodge flap that could be dedicated to a local charity in order to give back to the community. The idea took off as the new flaps began to sell incredibly quickly becoming one of the most popular patch designs within Kittan Lodge. With all of the success in the first year, the lodge leadership decided to expand their fundraising efforts and designed three different flaps for 2015. Organizations that have benefited from this patch set include: a local autism awareness organization, breast cancer research and the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).</p> <p>Since then, Kittan Lodge has continued designing and selling flaps to go towards charity. Last year, they raised over $1,500 for the Upstate New York Autism Alliance (UNYAA), an organization they plan to continue to support in the future. According to Matt, their lodge has “received quite a bit of support from the local community for not only being able to raise money, but also awareness for very righteous causes in their area.” When asked if Matt had any advice for other lodges that might be considering creating their own charity fundraising patches, he says to, “put in the work; if you don’t take time or put in any effort then you won’t get any results.” It may take some extra time to organize a fundraiser, but the effect that it can have on the charities you are going to support is immeasurable. For some, this fundraiser means more than a patch that you wear on your field uniform, but instead represents a bright future ahead for who they support.</p> <p>This organization was created to provide people within the Glens Falls NY area with the resources they need to thrive while living on the Spectrum. UNYAA Executive Director and President Kristin Howarth said in a written response, "UNYAA is grateful for the generous donation from the Order of the Arrow, Kittan Lodge. Since we received this donation, we have been able to offer several programs for children and families affected by Autism in our community. Some of these offerings include sensory friendly movies and music therapy." The $1,500 check was presented by lodge vice chief of administration, Michael Casey, at their biggest fundraiser, Soup r' Bands. Casey networked through his French Teacher, Ms. Andrea Jacobs, who serves as a member of the Board of Directors, to find a place for this money to go. The UNYAA was also presented with a framed autism awareness patch.</p> <p>If you wish to purchase this special edition patch to support this endeavour, feel free to email <a href=""></a>.</p>

Mar 12, 2018   OA Today
OA Today: 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference Vice Chiefs Elected

<p dir="ltr">The National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) would not be possible if it were not for the dedicated youth leaders who plan the awesome program for the thousands of Arrowmen who are able to attend. The 2018 NOAC is no different.</p> <p>In addition to the youth leadership from the national and regional officers, there are ten conference vice chiefs (CVC) who were elected at the 2018 National Planning Meeting (NPM) to serve in key programmatic roles on the conference leadership. These CVCs help plan all programmatic events and activities at the conference - ranging from shows to training sessions to branding stations. They lead committees comprised of youth section chiefs and key adult volunteers, as well as Arrowmen from around the country, to execute on these programmatic initiatives.</p> <p>Take a read below to find out who who was elected and what program area they lead!</p> <p><strong>Matt Parsons - Activities and Recreation Committee Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“This NOAC will be a great opportunity to show Arrowman that the Order is still growing even after our 100th anniversary. I look forward to being a part of the NOAC planning process, and [seeing] what new and exciting things we can incorporate this conference.”</p> <p>Matt hails from Millsboro, DE. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Brotherhood member and Founder’s Award recipient of Nentego Lodge. Matt serves as section chief for NE-6A, and has also served as section vice chief and lodge vice chief. Matt is a architectural engineering major at Delaware Technical Community College. He enjoys sailing, kayaking, and chilling at the beach in his free time.</p> <p>The activities and recreation committee is responsible for staging a variety of activities, including athletic competitions, recreational activities, movies, and off-campus activities, as well as facilitates conference-wide patch trading.</p> <p><strong>Austin Thrift - Adventure Central Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“I am looking forward to the upcoming year and what it holds for our Order. This year's NOAC is shaping up to be a great one and I’m honored to serve in this position.”</p> <p>Austin Thrift hails from Brunswick, GA. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil honor member of I-Tsu-La Lodge. Austin serves as section chief for SR-9. Austin is a outdoor recreation major at Georgia Southern University, and he would like to lead treks and expeditions professionally following his graduation. He enjoys rock climbing and paddling in his free time.</p> <p>The adventure central committee is responsible for all high adventure related activities, including the Experience, OA Extreme, STEM, Arrowman Conservation School, high adventure training, and more.</p> <p><strong>Garret Schmidt - American Indian Activities Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“I look forward to working with Arrowman from all over our nation to put on an amazing NOAC and work to share the AIA program with the participants.”</p> <p>Garret Schmidt hails from Clever, MO. He is an Eagle Scout and a Hornaday award recipient. He is a Brotherhood member of Wah-Sha-She Lodge, and serves as section chief for C-5B. Garret attends Clever High School, and plans to study business administration following his graduation. He enjoys studying politics and history in his free time.</p> <p>The American Indian activities committee is responsible for conducting the many and varied American Indian programs, including pageants, dance, singing and regalia competitions, and the American Indian Show.</p> <p><strong>Andrew Zucker - Communications Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“I look forward to working with my fellow Arrowmen to deliver an innovative and inspirational conference.”</p> <p>Andrew Zucker hails from Walnut Creek, CA. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil Honor member and Founder’s Award recipient of Ut-In Sélica Lodge. Andrew currently serves as section chief for W-3N. Andrew is a marketing and political science major at Southern Oregon University, and wants to become a campaign manager following his graduation. He enjoys improv in his freetime.</p> <p>The communications committee is responsible for the various media outlets at NOAC, including the website, social media, hometown blogs and national event promotions.</p> <p><strong>Nick Allen - Conference Festival Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“The festival committee is excited to use modern technology in new ways to enhance the festival experience like never before, using augmented reality to expand opportunities beyond the physical presence of activities.”</p> <p>Nick hails from Springfield, Ohio. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil Honor member of Tarhe Lodge. Nick serves as section chief for C-6B, and is a recipient of the Founder’s Award. Nick is a computer science and engineering major at Ohio State University, and would like to have a career in network security and national defense following his graduation. He enjoys aviation, travel, and drumming in his free time.</p> <p>The conference festival committee is responsible for all programs and activities associated with the festival on the last full day of conference prior to the theme show including the festival, lodge booths, musical entertainment and other programs.</p> <p><strong>Jeremy Bedient - Engagement Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“I'm really excited to find ways that we can provide the staff and delegates with an experience that they'll never forget.”</p> <p>Jeremy hails from Plainsboro, NJ. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil member of Ajapeu Lodge. Jeremy serves as section chief for NE-5, and is a recipient of the Founder’s Award. Jeremy is an industrial engineering major at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and would like to pursue a career in operations research or supply chain management following his graduation. He enjoys camping, ultimate frisbee, and volunteering at his local church in his free time.</p> <p>The engagement committee is responsible for the overall delegate and staff experience including, delegate orientation, delegate gift, participation award and wide game. The committee also manages the concierge team and VIP relations, as well as coordinates the religious services.</p> <p><strong>Noah McGovern - Inductions and Ceremonial Events Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“I believe we all have the potential to achieve greatness in our lives. NOAC 2018 is the best way for us to reach the top…stepping outside our comfort zone is one of the best ways to really make this coming NOAC excel. The possibilities are endless.”</p> <p>Noah hails from Shickshinny, PA. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil member of Wyona Lodge. Noah serves as section chief for NE-4A, and was the Eagle Scout Class of 2016 President. Noah is a political science major at Lock Haven University, and would like to join the United States Air Force and go through OCS to become an intelligence officer following his graduation. He enjoys hiking, pole vaulting, and skiing in his free time.</p> <p>The inductions and ceremonial events committee is responsible for helping lodges improve the quality of the full spectrum of their OA inductions, from conducting unit elections to the Vigil Honor, via classroom sessions and live evaluations of ceremonies teams.</p> <p><strong>Brett Randall - Shows Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“I’m very excited to deliver the conference’s message through engaging and exciting shows.”</p> <p>Brett Randall hails from Spring, TX. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil honor member of Colonneh Lodge. Brett serves as section chief for SR-3, and is a recipient of the Founders Award and the James E. West Award. Brett is an accounting major at Baylor university, and he would like to earn a masters degree in accounting following his undergraduate career. He enjoys sports, climbing and reading in his free time.</p> <p>The shows committee is responsible for the development, production, and staging of the opening show, recognition show, theme show, and supporting the American Indian show at the conference.</p> <p><strong>Jorge Salazar - Special Events Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“The conference gives us an opportunity to showcase our accomplishments and how we will build up on these to create a path for the future!”</p> <p>Jorge Salazar hails from Montebello, CA. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil honor member of Tuku’ut Lodge. Jorge serves as section chief for W-4N. Jorge is a finance major at California State University, Los Angeles, and would like attend law school following his graduation. He enjoys Netflix, camping and reading in his free time.</p> <p>The special events committee is responsible for all special events and activities, receptions, very important Arrowmen (VIA) luncheons, Distinguished Service Award (DSA) and Red Arrow reception and dinner, professional Scouter luncheon, meetings with national officers and committeemen, OA museum, and NOAC band and chorus.</p> <p><strong>Christopher Craig - Training Conference Vice Chief</strong></p> <p>“We have an incredible opportunity to establish opportunities for Arrowmen around the nation to have an impact on their lodge and the Order at the conference. I cannot wait to see what NOAC has to hold, and am excited beyond belief!!”</p> <p>Christopher hails from Fredericksburg, VA. He is an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil member of Es- Kaielgu Lodge. Chris serves as section chief for W-1E, and is a ScoutReach counselor. Chris is a political science and business administration major at Gonzaga University, and would like to attend law school after graduation. He enjoys club lacrosse, being a pre-orientation counselor and orientation guide, and being a student ambassador in his free time.</p> <p>The training committee is responsible for planning, developing, and conducting all training programs and educational opportunities for both youth and adult Arrowmen, including the National Council of Chiefs (NCOC) session at the conference.<br /> &nbsp;</p>

Mar 12, 2018   NOAC 2018, OA Today
New Jersey State Police Camporee

<p dir="ltr">Every three years, Scouts from across the state of New Jersey and beyond come together for the New Jersey State Police National Guard Camporee. With over eight thousand attendees, it will be the largest Scouting event held in the state of New Jersey this year. With a growing interest in STEM, the organizers of the camporee built the entire event around exploring technology. From touring a forensic lab to working with robotics and drones, there was a plethora of events Scouts could attend around the State Trooper Training Academy during the weekend.</p> <p dir="ltr">The event is well known among Scouts for many reasons, whether it’s watching the parachute team jump out of helicopters or just trading patches with Scouts from around the Northeast. Participants have the opportunity to earn rockers for each station they attend, chasing the ultimate goal to earn all four to complete the circle, This was the seventh year the event took place, and while its program has grown significantly each time, this was the first time the Order of the Arrow (OA) played a role in the day program.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the morning, Arrowmen scattered throughout the event to meet Scouts and fellow Arrowmen in all of the program areas. They handed out special OA edition event patches, and spread word about an ice cream social happening at the main stage at noon. However, the ice cream social wasn’t just for Arrowmen. The patches were handed out early, but the excitement was already starting to build. A few hours later, the crowd around the stage grew larger, but those who came left with much more than a bowl of ice cream.</p> <p dir="ltr">By 12:30 PM, nearly one thousand Scouts and Arrowmen were gathered around the stage, their chatter and energy radiating far into the sea of tents behind them. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh was spotted celebrating with Scouts in the crowd, and those without sashes were deep in discussion with their lodge leadership about how they too could get involved in the OA. Lenapehoking Lodge, in Northern New Jersey Council, brought their own surprise as well. Members of their dance team performed a ring dance for the crowd, which left all in awe of their dedication to lore and tradition.</p> <p dir="ltr">This contribution to the camporee was a joint effort by lodges across Section NE-5, and truly demonstrated how coming together yields some truly extraordinary outcomes. Shane J., an Arrowmen from Woapalanne Lodge, Patriots’ Path Council, served as the OA chairman for the event, and knew from the beginning he wanted to orchestrate something that brought everyone together. Even though the camporee has had a long history of success, Shane emphasized why the OA needed to play a role. “As servant leaders, making a contribution to an event like this is part of what we do,” Shane commented. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing the spark go off in the eyes of a future Arrowmen, and I think getting out there like this to ignite a spark is valuable for both us and the units we serve. At the end of the day, these are our leaders of tomorrow, and it’s our duty to support them in any way possible.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The camporee won’t be held again for another three years, but its challenges for participants began as soon as the event was over. From working together to solve large scale problems, to extending a hand to those who need it, the idea of coming together offer benefits that extend far beyond the events that weekend. Shane and the rest of the staff hope to see others follow in their footsteps to provide a fulfilling program for Scouts around the world.</p>

Jan 14, 2018   OA Today
Octoraro Lodge Fundraiser - Buzz the Beard

<p dir="ltr">Octoraro Lodge of Chester County, Pennsylvania, recently held an innovative event to raise money for their council camp, Camp Horseshoe. Founded in 1928, Camp Horseshoe has experienced the loss of hundreds of pine trees per year, making some areas very dangerous. Many trees have become old or experienced disease, making them susceptible to falling during major storms. The leadership of the lodge decided the best course of action would be to replace these dying pine trees with new, more rugged hardwood trees. The new hardwoods would also provide much needed shade and make the camp more inviting for the many Order of the Arrow (OA) and summer camp activities.</p> <p dir="ltr">While making the decision to replace the trees was an easy one, the real challenge was how to finance a project which could be quite expensive. Fortunately, the Octoraro Lodge leadership devised an ingenious plan to pay for the new trees. The camp ranger, Tom Murphy, was presented with the idea to shave his 44-year-old beard for the benefit of Camp Horseshoe. Tom, a Vigil Honor member, recipient of the Founder’s Award and the Silver Beaver, was originally reluctant to part with something which had been with him so long. However, he decided that if shaving his beard would raise enough money, he would go through with it. The original goal was to raise $5,000, but due to widespread interest, the lodge soon realized that they would greatly exceed that amount.</p> <p dir="ltr">The lodge executive committee approved the project and began publicity using emails, flyers, and merchandise. Patches, shirts, hats, and fidget spinners with Murphy’s face were sold throughout the year to help raise money and awareness for the event. The patches were so incredibly popular that the trading post had to restock the items three times. They adopted a tiered system which included front row seating at the beard shaving, a tree planted in a donor’s name, and even a catered dinner reception.</p> <p dir="ltr">The beard shaving took place at Octoraro’s Fall Fellowship in September 2017. Lodge members enjoyed a good meal together on the morning of the buzzing as members got to have “Breakfast with the Beard.” Saturday was packed with carnival games and music from a live band. Many families came out to camp for the day and enjoyed a barbecue cookout. There were many service projects that took place that day, most of which consisted of the ultimate intent of the fundraising project: planting much needed trees around Camp Horseshoe. In the afternoon, more than 550 Arrowmen and their families gathered together to witness the shaving of Tom Murphy’s beard. This event was complete with a barbershop quartet and was exciting and fun for all in attendance. After the shaving, a catered dinner for donors was held in the lodge building and was a time to celebrate Murphy’s service (and sacrifice) to the camp, council, and lodge.</p> <p dir="ltr">Over the course of nine months, the “Buzz the Beard” campaign raised $26,000. The lodge plans to continue the success by encouraging local troops, packs, and other individuals to continue to raise money and plant trees which should last for future generations. The trees planted will continue to make Camp Horseshoe a special place for all Scouters alike. Octoraro Lodge hopes this campaign serves as an example of thinking outside the box to achieve a great reward. In celebration of Murphy’s dedication to Scouting, two Pennsylvania and Maryland state representatives declared September 23, 2017 “Tom Murphy Day.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Check out video from the Buzz the Beard Event <a href="">here</a>!</p> <p>To contribute to the effort to plant trees at Camp Horseshoe, click <a href=";OrgKey=713">here</a>!</p>

Jan 14, 2018   OA Today
Area W-4 Areaclave

<p dir="ltr">Conclave season for the Arrowmen of Sections W-4N and W-4S was very special this year, as it included an unique event - Areaclave. An “Areaclave” in this case is a joint-conclave held by two sections. The event was a major challenge for both section’s leadership who had to plan and organize the event. Before this event, Area 4 had not held an Areaclave in almost 30 years, which made the leadership nervous, but excited to bring it back. While it would be an amazing opportunity for both sections, it would also be a massive undertaking to plan such a colossal event. Organizing a single conclave is hard in itself, but doing the same for an event doubled in size is a very challenging and impressive feat. Section W-4N Chief Jorge Salazar had to work with the leadership of both sections to make sure everything was running smoothly. The planning process lasted for several months, and the sections’ leadership met four times in person, twice on-site, to ensure a quality experience. This was in addition to holding numerous conference calls.</p> <p>In the weeks leading up to the event, hundreds of emails were sent to double check everything and make last minute fixes. In order to ensure a large attendance, each lodge chief was charged with setting a goal of members they would bring and hopefully exceed their goal. To promote the event further, the two section chiefs issued the challenge of creating an Areaclave promotional video to every lodge, a long time Section W-4S tradition. The youth leaders were willing to give plenty of their time and service to make sure that this was an event to remember by stuffing it full of unique attractions. Salazar said that the biggest challenge was managing the finances and usage of resources for this event, as taking bits and pieces from all nine lodges was no small task. All of the lodges had their own ideas to bring to the table. At times, it would be difficult to reach a consensus, and other times it would be a breeze. When determining a theme, everyone had ideas that they wanted to contribute but ultimately, only one theme could chosen. Finally, the conclave season was upon them and after months of planning, the event was about to kick off.</p> <p>On September 15th, at Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, over 500 Arrowmen gathered to begin the Areaclave hosted by Wiatava Lodge of Orange County Council. The weather was great and spirits were high. From sand painting to patch trading, all sorts of activities were available throughout the day. The Areaclave also featured a Section W-4N tradition called “Flight of the Thunderbird,” a triathlon-styled event that pits lodges against each other in a classic Section W-4N manner. To make it unique to the event, they created the “Flight of the RamBird,” a similar event conjoining both sections’ totems. To accompany the Hawaiian theme of “Kaikua’ana,” roughly translated to brotherhood, there were shows with Pacific Islander dancers and traditional leis given out to everyone. Just as you would see at a regular conclave, there was still a fair share of singing, drumming, and ceremonies. Expert dancers from Wipala Wiki Lodge in Arizona came out to host the evening pow-wow and lead everyone in a traditional dance. On Sunday morning at the closing show, awards were given out after various competitions and final goodbyes were said. Malibu Lodge was named “Best Overall Lodge” in the Area and Cahuilla Lodge was deemed “Most Spirited Lodge” in the Area.</p> <p>After all of the planning and effort it had finally paid off as the Area put on the best Areaclave that Area 4 had ever seen. For now, the sections are returning to their regular conclave schedules, but they hope for the Areaclave to one day make a reappearance.</p>

Jan 14, 2018   OA Today
Area C-1 Midwest Rally

<p dir="ltr">The Midwest Rally is an area leadership training conference, where 11 lodges in the Central Region aimed to start on a path of success from the ground up. This event took place in October 2017, and was hosted at Camp Decorah by the Ni-Sanak-Tani Lodge. To make the experience meaningful for everyone, trainers were brought in from Timmeu Lodge from Section C-3A, and Michigamea and Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Lodge from Section C-7. In addition, Taylor Giles, the 2017 Central Region Chief, served as a trainer.</p> <p dir="ltr">The event had multiple training sessions, including these featured Link sessions: Unit Election Rate, Induction Rate, and Activation Rate. The last session tied it all together and gave participants a chance to come up with ways to apply it to their lodge and chapters.The training sessions were designed to mimic those from the National Leadership Seminar (NLS). With that in mind, each table had a current or past section officer as a table guide to provide every table with a wealth of experience and guidance. Uniquely though, the area leadership tried to set up the event like a section conclave to give an exciting atmosphere and experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">The structure of the event worked very well, starting off on Friday evening with a show that set the stage for the weekend. Saturday morning had the first three training workshops and one in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon was filled with the program they call the “Amazing Race,” which also incorporated how to use all these skills learned in their lodge as well as outside of Scouting. Later that night, the Rally featured a “Lodge Fair,” modeled after the old Founder’s Day events at National OA Conferences (NOAC). This allowed the lodges to showcase the best of their practices and help other lodges struggling with those areas gain a boost. Also, on Saturday night, the closing show featured a “Tonight Show”-themed closing.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Midwest Rally was a culmination of hard work, planning, and determination that was two years in the making. In 2015, the head chairmen were the elected section chiefs as follows: Seth Murray from Section C-1A and Preston Podolske from Section C-1B. They got to know each other at Podolske lodge’s fellowship, where they decided they wanted to do another area-wide event. They went through three complete iterations before they finally decided on the Midwest Rally. Leading up to the event they had monthly conference calls with the chairmen and their advisers to gain status updates and to develop their plan.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the event date arrived, it was the cheerful spirits of the brothers that made it work. For a better understanding, that Friday afternoon weather had started raining and carried on through the weekend. Although the event was dampened a little, the participants were actively engaged and said they learned and gained something from this experience. Thanks to the great success of the Midwest Rally, the area is looking to host another similar event in 2019.</p>

Jan 14, 2018   OA Today
OAHA Foreman Feature

<p>Aubrey Cover has recently returned from his second summer as a foreman for the OA Trail Crew (OATC) program at Philmont Scout Ranch. He first became interested in the OA Trail Crew program in 2011, a couple years before he had went as a participant. He thought it was a cool way to go to Philmont, but he was always busy attending national events and working at summer camp. Aubrey has attended two national jamborees, one world jamboree, and three NOACs; he ultimately attended OATC in 2014. He, along with a few other camp staff members, planned a road trip from Iowa to New Mexico to experience the program together. It was an experience that has shaped his life forever. Aubrey was inspired by his foreman, Casey Burns, and hopes that he impacts participants the same way his foremen impacted him.&nbsp;</p> <p>Aubrey is a graduate of St. Ambrose University with a degree in biology. He is a Vigil Honor member and Eagle Scout from Konepaka Ketiwa Lodge in Section C-3B. Aubrey has previously spent seven years at Camp Loud Thunder in Illinois before beginning his work at Philmont in 2016. This past summer, he was able to help lead OATC participants in making more progress on their latest project: a new trail up Mount Phillips. He hopes that he can return for a third year at Philmont and serve the OATC program once again.&nbsp;</p> <p>Aubrey believes that, “...OAHA [for so many] is one of the most significant experiences in Scouting both introspectively and in service. Although it seems weird to travel just for ‘work and hiking’, in the end, it is an amazing experience which will ultimately ensure your continuance with the Scouting program.” He also discussed how being a foreman has helped him in his hobbies and schooling. He said that being a foreman gave him the necessary leadership skills to do an effective job as a ski patrol member and possibly as a future doctor. Aubrey wants to encourage all Arrowmen who are able to attend OAHA to go for it. “If you have the ability to go, take advantage of OAHA. Every base has a totally different experience and be sure to talk to your lodge chief or section chief about the scholarships available for Arrowmen like yourself.”&nbsp;</p> <p>To learn more about OAHA, visit <a href=""></a>.</p>

Oct 03, 2017   OA Today
A Legacy of Service: Christiansen Appointed Western Region Chairman

<p>After being a member of the Order of the Arrow (OA) for the past forty-five years and serving as an adviser at the chapter, lodge, and section level, Gary Christiansen was announced as the next Western Region chairman. Christiansen took over the role from his predecessor, Toby Capps, in January 2017.</p> <p>Christiansen is a member of Malibu Lodge 566, chartered to Western Los Angeles County Council, and was inducted in June 1972 as a youth. According to Christiansen, he had always wanted to be a member of the OA. “I can remember watching Arrowmen come in and do dances at Scouting events and that was something I was really interested in,” said Christiansen.</p> <p>In contrast with all the excitement that Christiansen had, and still has for the program, “I’m one of those guys who should have never really made it in the program,” he says. “You know, the people who could have been lost in the chapter, going to meetings and not really knowing what’s going on.”</p> <p>Even so, what saved Christiansen from being lost in the fold was the fact that there wasn’t anyone to get lost among. With only about four people in his chapter, Christiansen was immediately thrust into a leadership position. Beginning as a chapter treasurer, he soon worked his way up to chapter vice chief and eventually chief, which he calls his “first big position in the OA.”</p> <p>Christiansen continued to serve in advanced leadership roles, serving as Malibu Lodge chief before being elected to the first of two terms as section chief of Section W-4A. It was in this capacity that Christiansen was able to attend the 1978 National Planning Meeting, which at that time was always held the year immediately preceding a national conference. He calls his experience of planning the 1979 National Conference challenging but exciting.</p> <p>“Being able to be with a group of my peers and plan an event as big as a national conference was beyond my dreams at the time,” he said. Christiansen added that most Arrowmen don’t know all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work that goes into planning a national meeting, but this enabled him to learn more about all the work that goes into the OA.</p> <p>Through all this, Christiansen was attending a local junior college where he obtained his associate’s degree. He recalled having to balance Scouting and school extremely difficult, but said it was a matter of time management. “It was difficult to juggle it all, but I got it done.”</p> <p>After his time as section chief, Christiansen remained involved in Scouting and the OA. He received the Distinguished Service Award at the 1981 National Conference and worked extensively on the National Leadership Seminar program. He is currently the Venturing Area 4 Vice President of Program and was also the region vice chairman for Area 4 for eight years, in which capacity he oversaw the region’s high adventure scholarship program. In addition to these responsibilities, he served as the adviser for the same chapter, lodge and section that he was elected chief to prior to becoming the Western Region chairman.</p> <p>As one could expect, Christiansen’s family has also been involved heavily in Scouting. Both his parents were adult leaders and his younger brother Kurt served as the 1981-82 Western Region Chief. Christiansen’s son is an Eagle Scout and a former Malibu Lodge chief. Christensen’s grandson will join Cub Scouts in the fall and he “tease[s] that he will be a future Malibu Lodge chief because it’s his legacy!”</p> <p>When asked to serve in his current position, Christiansen said that he was humbled to be asked. “It wasn’t anything I had ever foreseen for myself.” He says that during his tenure, he hopes to ensure that youth members continue to have the opportunity to serve in advanced leadership positions. “[Current Western Region Chief] Manué Lopez has brought more of his section chief peers into the fold and they’re really starting to have some good interaction on some of the region’s committees,” says Christiansen. This increased interaction is important, he says, because getting youth involved keeps them in the program.</p> <p>Christiansen says there are three main goals he hopes to accomplish. First, he hopes to further implement programs like Supporting Units through Really Great Elections, or SURGE, to bring in and retain more youth in the program. Secondly, he wants lodges to support their councils with their Journey to Excellence programs. This will help strengthen relationships between the two, which is his third goal.</p> <p>When asked to describe the Order of the Arrow in one sentence, Christiansen called it, “The most fantastic leadership program to build the character and knowledge of young people.”He added that he has “dedicated a good portion of [his] adult life to the Order of the Arrow. It’s kept me involved in Scouting and enabled me to help so many young people find themselves and do things they never thought they could. Every day is a treasure.”</p>

Oct 03, 2017   OA Today