The Road Less Traveled: Finding Creative Ways to Travel to NOAC

By Preston Podolske

Attending a National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) is an adventure in and of itself, but Kon Wapos Lodge took it one step further. Kon Wapos Lodge, headquartered out of Appleton, WI, covers the eastern half of Wisconsin north of Milwaukee, and the majority of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Its eastern border, Lake Michigan, looked to be an obstacle in travelling to NOAC 2015 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. The path most traveled would have taken the contingent through downtown Chicago through rush hour traffic. However, for the last few NOACs at Michigan State University, the lodge has embarked upon the SS Badger Ferry to traverse Lake Michigan in the dead of night. With some coordination, this added an extra bit of adventure to the centennial celebration.

The contingent met a week before NOAC 2015 at Bear Paw Scout Camp after it hosted an ArrowTour stop to review final logistical details for transportation to East Lansing and to hand out patches, shirts, and other memorabilia. With rendezvous locations set up in various parts of the lodge, two coach buses, one starting at the northern end of the lodge and the other at the southern end, picked up Arrowmen to begin their trek. With a large contingent the adults were asked to go to specific locations, not necessarily the one closest to their home, to facilitate loading, boarding, and departure. The first stops were around 8:00pm with the final one around 11:00pm before heading to Manitowoc, WI, to board the SS Badger Ferry. In the spirit of brotherhood, Ni-Sanak-Tani Lodge’s contingent, also in Section C-1B, joined the Kon Wapos contingent for the expedition.

All Arrowmen boarded the SS Badger around 1:00am on the morning of August 3, 2015, for the 1:30am crossing. Most slept inside to stay warm, but some braved the cold, starry night outside and played games. Four hours, a time change, and a sunrise over Lake Michigan later, the two contingents came ashore in Ludington, MI. They boarded the buses and continued on their journey to Michigan State University. NOAC is an adventure like no other, so don’t let something like a little lake get in the way of your travel plans!

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