What everybody’s dancing about: Wachipi in a nutshell

By Ron Cain

In addition to the national jamboree, the Order of the Arrow (OA) will be hosting another summer event, this time at Philmont Scout Ranch. From June 6th to the 10th, the OA will be hosting an event called Wachipi, which is the Lakota word for dance or gathering of people. A group of section chiefs led by Preston Podolske began working on Wachipi at the 2016 National Planning Meeting. Preston says, “Wachipi is designed to both introduce Arrowmen to the American Indian arts and to help develop additional skills in those experienced in the American Indian arts.” There are plenty of reasons to attend this exciting American Indian seminar - three full days of program will be centered around hands-on training in crafts, dance, drumming, singing and more. According to Preston, the training will be valuable for the Arrowmen who attend, as well as their chapter and lodge. “The benefits to yourself and to your lodge are tremendous,” he said.

Wachipi will feature a professionally-performed powwow, and participants will be able to perform in their own powwow.  All Arrowmen—from new Ordeal members to the experienced—are welcome to attend. The cost is $285 for participants and staff. Each Arrowman that attends will leave with a piece of regalia they can use in their future American Indian endeavors. 

As an incentive for lodges to send its members, a unique inter-lodge competition was implemented. In each region, the lodge chief with most registered Arrowmen will receive a Pendleton blanket, an important piece of American Indian tradition and culture.

Wachipi takes place at the Philmont Training Center in Cimarron, NM June 6th-10th, 2017. Make sure to register here.

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