Category Archives: Order of the Arrow
One of my favorite events we do as a district is to place flags on the graves of our fallen Veterans. It is hosted by our Order of the Arrow Chapter and open to all Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers. In recent years we have done this service for a cemetery in NW Oklahoma City. When I called this year to let them know we were coming they informed me that they had agreed to allow a different group to do it. Needless to say the Scouts in our OA Chapter were disappointed when we told them we would not be doing it this year. On Tuesday, we got a call from Fairlawn Cemetery asking us if we could help them put out flags. Without hesitation we agreed. We had a light turnout but not too bad for 48 hours notice. While there I made an arrangement to do this every year for the cemetery. The Scouts will be happy to know we have a permanent place to honor our nations veterans for years to come!
In early August, mys sons and I traveled to the National Order of the Arrow Conference hosted at Michigan State University. It was the 100th Anniversary Celebration for the Order of the Arrow and me and 15,000 of my closest friends got the privilege of attending. It was especially sweet for me as my oldest son, Drew, was the Ma-Nu Lodge Chief at the time and Cameron had just earned Eagle Scout. We had a great time and it is an experience I will never forget!
Sometimes you learn a lot about how a person has grown when you least expect it. That moment came for me at our Order of the Arrow Fall Ordeal.
During our Pre-Ordeal ceremony on Friday night the unthinkable happened. During one part of the ceremony, one of the ceremonialists strings a bow to be used in the remainder of the ceremony. All of this is done in the dark with minimal lighting from some “candles” burning around the ceremony. My youngest son was performing that part when out of darkness everyone hears a “SNAP”. My first thought was absolute terror and panic. The bow had just broken and the ceremony was ruined. I immediately wondered how the team was going to finish the ceremony. Luckily, they were quick on their feet and improvised in a matter of seconds and kept right on going. They finished the ceremony without a hitch and no one knew any different.
Scouting does that for youth. It takes the immature 10-yr-old Cub Scout and turns him into the seasoned teenager who can think fast and not freak out when thinks do not go as planned. Great job guys!
My youngest son, Cameron, was called out for the Order of the Arrow on Friday evening at our District’s Webelos Woods. Our Troop held its election in November and he has been dying to know if he was elected ever since. A memory he will never forget about it was he was called out by his older brother Drew.
In true older brother torturing younger brother fashion and in a long standing family tradition he was the last Scout called at the ceremony. I was the last person called at my callout, Drew was last at his and now Cameron was last at his. And since it was his younger brother there might have been a small love “tap” when he called him even though Dad and Mom told him not to do it.
We are ready for Ordeal and all of the adventures in the OA including NOAC in 2015.
This past weekend my oldest son, Drew, was selected to receive the Vigil Honor. The Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting.
Drew and the 17 other candidates that have been chosen have given a lot to Scouting and to the Order of the Arrow and are very deserving of the honor. I can’t wait until the ceremony next month. Congrats to all of them!!
You really get a glimpse into the soul of a Scout occasionally.
We held our Order of the Arrow call-out on Friday night and we had a couple of Scouts in our Troop that were on the ballot but were not elected and were upset. I totally get that as my oldest son was not elected on his first ballot so I completely understand. What was really telling though was one of our Scouts in the Troop was elected and asked me if he could give his election status to one of the Scouts who was not. I explained to him that it was not and there is always next year.
That my friends is what Scouting and the OA are all about. How many times have you seen a 15-yr-old willing to unselfishly give up something that is really important to a lot of people? Not very often.
Makes me proud to be involved in the program!
About 10 years ago a change was made in our OA Chapter that had our OA Crossover teams going to each Pack and conducting individual crossovers at the Blue & Gold Banquets. For the Arrowmen in our Chapter that meant that we had to visit 10-15 Blue & Gold Banquets and spend lots of time away from our personal lives.
Last year we made the decision to move to a single, district-wide crossover ceremony that would include all of the Packs and Troops in the district. Last weekend our Order of the Arrow Chapter Hosted our first District-wide crossover. We held it at our local Scout camp at the Council Ring and held a short reception after the crossover was complete for the new Boy Scouts and their families.
Overall, I think things went very well. We had 19 Webelos Scouts registered and 15 attended crossing over to 4 different Troops. We had close to 100 people in attendance. The whole thing would not have been possible without the efforts of a lot of people. In particular the Arrowmen of the Kittakima Chapter. Thanks to everyone that played a part in making it a great success. I can’t wait to see this event grow next year!
This weekend I went with my son and our OA Chapter Adviser to the Ma-Nu Lodge good Turn weekend to Dripping Springs Scout Camp which is one of the Last Frontier Council’s camps. We live in a very blessed Council as we have six properties for our Scouts to utilize.
About 90 people, Cubs, Boy Scouts and adults, from around the Council camp to help clean up the camp from the winter month as well as get the camp ready for this summer’s Cub Scout Day Camp for the District in the Western part of the state.
Most of the day involved picking up fallen limbs and sticks and running them through a wood chipper. The work wasn’t too tough but we worked up a sweat none the less. We had Scouts that ranged from 8 to 18 and adults helping as well.
There was one Scout that really caught my eye. While I was running the chipper with two Chapter Advisers I noticed this very hard working Cub Scout. It seemed that every time I turned around to take the limbs and sticks from the Scouts he was standing there. I watched him all day and he always had a smile on his face and he rarely sat down. I mentioned to our Chapter Adviser that he was the hardest working Cub Scout I had ever seen. He agreed. He displayed what service was all about and brought a smile to my face. He will make a great Arrowman one day and our Lodge will be better with him as a member.
Following a great dinner of pulled pork and brisket we attended an OA Brotherhood ceremony. It was a beautiful night with many stars in the sky. Just before sundown you could hear the turkeys gobbling in the distance and in the middle of the ceremony the coyotes started calling and they were literally all around us. It was a memorable ceremony.
Overall it was a great weekend and it did a lot to recharge the Scouting battery.
So I have run into a dilemma in my Scouting career. It is not a big problem and one that should be easily answered but a dilemma none the less. I am trying to decide if I want to staff to the 2013 Jamboree. For most people this is a no brainier but for me it presents a real challenge.
As many of you know I am seriously overweight. I made an attempt to to lose the weight to go on a Philmont Trek with our Troop and failed miserably. Following that my son decided that he did not want to go to Philmont and dropped from the crew. It was a decision that nearly broke my heart. I so want him to go to Philmont and fear that he will regret not going later in life. Since that time he has signed up for a Sea Base Crew together with my wife and will be going in June. That eases the pain and I am finally over it.
Since my post about the Philmont Journey my youngest son has crossed over to the Troop and is now signed up to attend the 2013 Jamboree at the Summit. My oldest son went in 2010 and was a Patrol Leader and has not interest in attending as a participant again. We have talked and he does seem to have some interest in going as OA Staff but nothing definite yet. I would like the opportunity to go as staff and be there with both of my sons.
Per everything the BSA has put out there will be strict guidelines in regards to the BMI a person must have in order to attend. I get that in my current shape that I would be a risk so I have to abide by the standards. Below is the video that Tico Perez made regarding the standards.
So that brings me to today. In order for me to be able to attend I must lose over 100 pounds. I would like to go but that is a huge task. I have actually started the application process but right now I have stopped and I am trying to make the decision if I can actually pull this thing off or not. So what do you think? Could you do it? Let me know.
Last Saturday I spent my last evening as Cubmaster of Pack 163. I have been the CM since 2005 and have loved almost every minute of it. But following many great years my youngest son crossed over to Troop 168 and I passed off the reins.
Not only did my time as Cubmaster come to an end but so did my wife’s time as a Den Leader. She has been the Den Leader for Cameron’s Den since they were Tigers. At one point, her Den swelled to 22 Scouts but she finished with eleven and ten crossed over to the Troop. She has poured many hours of sweat and love into providing the best program she could for her boys. She is a great Mom, wife and Den Leader and they could not have asked for better!
It was a great night for our family. Our youngest, Cameron, left Cub Scouts and started his trail towards Eagle. My oldest son played a vital part in that event. Drew is the Chapter Chief of our Order of the Arrow Chapter and has been a part of the ceremony team since completing his Ordeal. Drew played the role of “the Mighty Chief” in the crossover ceremony. It was a very special night for us to watch our oldest son welcome our youngest son and the rest of his Den into Boy Scouts.