Service grants and their impact at home

By Matthew Watson

The Order of the Arrow sponsors service grants as a way to assist those lodges who have sought to provide meaningful cheerful service to their council properties. Many service grant projects have been executed through the years and have exemplified the OA’s purpose to crystallize Scout habits into a life of unselfish, cheerful service.

In 2017, 31 lodges across the nation were chosen to receive a combined total of $50,000 in matching grants via the OA service grant program. Portage Lodge of the Heart of Ohio Council, headquartered in Mansfield, Ohio, received $1,000 to assist in building a human foosball court at Firelands Scout Reservation. Arrowmen worked hard for four full Saturdays with fifteen to twenty youth and adults serving each day. By the middle of May, the foosball court was completed and the final product exceeded all expectations. Lodge Adviser Richard Geyser reflected on the project stating, “The final cost of the project came in at around $3,800 so the $1,000 OA service grant really helped.”

Perhaps your lodge is planning a large undertaking on council property and needs financial assistance. The National Order of the Arrow Committee is available and willing to help! If your lodge is planning a council camp or service center project for 2018, you can apply now for a 2018 OA matching service grant. All lodges applying for the grant must be a 2016 Journey to Excellence lodge (bronze level or higher) and should not have received a grant from the OA during the last two years (2016 or 2017). Applications must be submitted by October 31, 2017, and they must be signed by the lodge chief, lodge adviser, council president, and Scout executive.

All 2018 camp property or service center projects approved for funding must be completed by October 31, 2018. The total cost of your proposed project should not exceed $20,000. The OA 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, 2018. Note: OA service grants apply only to BSA properties.

You can find the complete guidelines, including the 2018 OA service grant application here. If you have any questions, contact Michael Thompson of the National OA Committee at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Associate Director Travis Rubelee at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The OA service grant program is another way to help carry your lodge’s tradition of service into the second century of the OA. If your lodge is eligible, don’t miss this potential funding opportunity, as the OA continues to support local councils as it has since 1915. Be sure to apply soon and forever become a part of the service grant legacy!

Check out the lodges receiving a 2017 service grant here.

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