Order of the Arrow

SMMPodcast # 103 – Talking with Bob

In this show I have a lengthy chat with a fellow Scoutmaster and great Friend Bob Pierce.    Join us as we talk a little bit about everything.  Jamboree, Dutch oven cooking, Troop Guides, JLT, Anuual planning, Parents and Philmont just to cover some of the bases.  It’s what happens Scoutmasters get together and shoot the breeze.  The show was recorded on location at the Annual rendezvous of the Order of the Arrow at Camp Meriwether, so the crashing of waves and other camp sounds fill the background of this nice talk with my buddy Bob.
Hope you enjoy the show.
Please leave some feedback, drop us an email, or leave a comment in the comments section.  Thanks for listening.
Have a Great Scouting Day! 

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Categories: camp skills, Character, Cooking, gear, High Adventure, Jamboree, Journey to Excellence, Leadership, Order of the Arrow, Patrol Method, planning, podcast, stories, training, Webelos to Scout Transition | 2 Comments

Still Proud and not afraid to talk about it!

Yet another Ordeal Weekend has come and gone. No matter how many times I go, no matter how much I work with the Scouts of our Order of the Arrow Chapter, no matter what, they [the Scouts of the Order of the Arrow]… STILL make me proud.

A note to Scoutmasters… If you do not have active members of the OA in your Troop, you are missing out on the opportunities for both your Scouts, and your Troop, to see leadership and dedicated service in action.

As well as the ceremonies of the Ordeal Weekend, the Scouts work hard to prepare the Scout camps for the summer camp season. This weekend, due to extreme weather at Camp Pioneer, the Scouts of the Cascade Pacific Councils Wuana La’Montay Lodge moved to Butte Creek Scout Ranch. It was the first time in 10 years the OA had conducted an Ordeal weekend at the camp, and the timing could not have been better. Butte Creek is a Cub Scout (Webelos) camp with horse riding opportunities, BB Guns, Archery and the whole camp experience. The Scouts remain in camp for a 4 day, 3 night experience that is designed to prepare them for the leap to Boy Scouting.
Butte Creek does not get a lot of attention by the OA, due to the Cub Scout nature of the Camp and a robust staff of Wranglers that work the ranch on a regular basis.
This year due to the harsh and prolonged winter, the camp took a beating. Tent platforms were a wreck, weeds and brush had over grown, and general camp maintenance was the order of the day.
The Order of Arrow was there to meet the need. Cheerfully the OA went into action. A list that filled a 10X8 white board of tasks to be completed and repairs needed showed the Scouts that much work was to be done.
One by one the items on the list were crossed off, until the remainder of the list read.. “OPEN CAMP FOR SCOUTS…THANKS OA!”

The Scouts had rose to the occasion and got it done.
Pride.. yep that makes you feel great.. not just me, but the Scouts that accomplished the work.

And then there’s the Ceremonies…
Our Chapter..the Great Thunderbird Chapter, held Pre Ordeal, Ordeal, and Brotherhood Ceremonies. We certified a hand full of Scouts in their parts and provided some memorable ceremonies for the new candidates .. Arrowmen.
The site was perfect, the lodge went up and the site constructed by the scouts. Practices started and fine tuned parts lead to some of the best ceremonies I have seen.

An added bonus…

Josh, my youngest son and Arrowmen of 2 weeks, got his first shot at ceremonies. The older guys got him in some regalia, and he stood guard over the coveted sashes of the Ordeal. A bit part, but he got to dress and feel like part of the team. This is a great way to get them and keep the Scouts active and involved in the Chapter, the OA, and Scouting.

I can never say it enough.. these Scouts make me so proud to be a part of Scouting.
They give me such hope for everything that is great about our program and reassures me that Scouting is relevant, fun, and produces great results in the Scouts and camps we serve.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Order of the Arrow | 1 Comment

The Test of Cheerful Service

We are well into “Ordeal Season”. Lodges all over America are conducting Ordeal weekends for new Arrowmen and those that are converting their membership to Brotherhood.
In this process we test (Ordeal) those that have been chosen by their peers as worthy of membership in Scoutings Society of Honored Campers.
During the ordeal the candidates are asked to deprive themselves of certain things they take for granted for. In doing this they set aside comfort and selfishness for the good of others.
This teaches the candidate that there are things in this world that are more important than selfish needs and comfort. It also demonstrates that a Cheerful spirit can accomplish anything when the heart and mind are willing.
Cheerfully the candidates work to better Scout camps. They work hard and in the end see the results of their labor. It is especially nice to go back to a camp that they worked and see the look of pride on their faces as they explain that they were the ones that made it better.
Not to be boastful, but pride in doing a job that benefited the whole Scout camp.
This test of Cheerful Service is then asked to be brought back to their Troops so that they can serve those that had chosen them. This sometimes can be the hardest task, but again, with a Cheerful spirit and a willing heart and mind, this too can become a reality.

Welcome to all the new Arrowmen. Continue to seek the Arrow within you.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Order of the Arrow, Service | Leave a comment


Today before we left another great Order of the Arrow ordeal there was a Scouts Own Service.
During that service, a Scout that led the Scouts Own service talked about unity.
He read a short story about George Washington at Valley Forge. He spoke about a near riot that occurred between the soldiers of the Continental Army. They were frustrated at the long winter and the lack of “Victories” against the Army of the King.
The point of the story was that George Washington quelled the riot by getting in the mix and physically separating individuals. Then once the fight has stopped he spoke to his men explaining that we [the Army] could not, and would never achieve victory if they remained divided in purpose. They would have to gain a unity of purpose. They would have to stand together and move in one direction. They had to have unity in their purpose to start the nation. A house divided will certainly fall… and so you must by unified.

And so it is within the Boy Scouts of America. We must be united in our purpose. United in our values and ideals. Our Scouts should be united in the Law and Oath. They must understand our promise to help other people at all times. They need to be united in our duty to God and Country.
Our Patrols stand united in moving the patrol in a direction of success. The Patrol, united by a common set of values and ideals, a clear purpose, and boy led direction can achieve anything they set out to accomplish.

Unity. We must have it to succeed in Scouting.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Oath and Law, Order of the Arrow, Scout Law | Leave a comment

Picture of the Week

Members of Order of the Arrow from Troop 664 performing at the 2008 Crossover Ceremony

Categories: Order of the Arrow | Leave a comment

They never cease to impress me

If you ever loose faith in what a young man can do, or get discouraged watching the evening news, or read in the paper that our youngsters are not making the grade. Then I encourage you to look at your Scouts… In particular your members of the Scouting Honor Society, the Order of the Arrow.

I have posted these sentiments before, but they truly never cease to impress me.
This past weekend our Lodge held it’s largest event of the year, the Rendezvous of the Order. The event is 100% youth driven. And I must say that the Scouts that put this years on did a great job. The youth leadership really put together a first class event. Well organized and executed. The Lodge holds its elections during the event also. Again, I was impressed with the way in which they conducted themselves as they elected a new Lodge Chief and Vice Chiefs.

I was happy to hear the accomplishments of the youth that were tapped out for the Vigil Honor after the Banquet. To hear the Scouting resumes of these young men was impressive. A true demonstration of the Spirit of Scouting that lives within each of them. It gives us great hope to see such fine young men.

And then again, tonight as the Scouts from my Troop held a practice for an upcoming Arrow of Light and Crossover ceremony. I watched as each of them transformed into their part. I watched as they practiced giving the gift of Scouting to new boys that will join our ranks. I can see that they take it seriously and that they want to do well. This is a far cry from the nightly news and the daily paper.

I am proud of these young men, both the Scouts from my Troop and those fine Arrowmen that put on one heck of a Rendezvous weekend. I look forward to our next event knowing that with the boys in charge and running it, it will be a great time and an experience that leaves us all proud.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: Order of the Arrow | Leave a comment

Music, Video games, and Scouting!?

This weekend our OA Chapter held a “Pow Wow”. Essentially it was a way to kick off 2008 with a fun and relaxing get away weekend. A hand full of adults and a nice size group of Arrowmen met at Scouters Mountain and had a party.
Friday was a fellowship gathering, cracker barrel and a generally relaxed night.
Saturday, the group worked on regalia and the ceremony teams did a little practicing, but by and large it was just a bunch of fun. Saturday night after dinner we had a special demonstration of the Native American Flute, all the guys got a shot at it and learned how neat it was and how it can enhance ceremonies. Then the ceremony team competed in a ceremonies contest. They made up ceremonies or presented cross over/Arrow of light ceremonies.. it was pretty cool.
Then it was game time.

Xbox’s were set up and projected on the wall via computer projectors, other game systems were in this corner and that corner, the music was turned up, the light went out and hours of gaming and electronic activity began.

Now I personally do not have a problem with this, I suppose it falls into the “Time and place” category. What I found interesting however was the choices of music and games the young men play.
At one point, the small group of adults sitting in the room collectively asked the boys.. “Why don’t you play your own music?” Everything they played was from our High School day and earlier. And that was a while ago. I guess I should applaud them for their collective taste in music and thankful they turn away from other modern musical styles, but come on… it’s ours and we want it back.

The games, well, I am not sure what to say about that. I am a fan of the “Shooter game”, as long as it is not that graphic. I really like the sports games and find the Madden Football outstanding, sure beats “Pong” or “Asteroids”. I am not a believer that video games cause a kid to flip out and become ax murder participants. Besides, these are Scouts and a firmly believe in what our program is offering them. A night of video games will not hurt.

I guess the point is, sometimes the Scouts need a break from the norm. Taking the Honor Society up to the Camp and letting them have a good time will do good things.
This morning as we cleaned up and parted ways, the boys were tired, but happy. They had made new friends, hung out with buddies, learned some new things, but mostly had fun.

We have a real active Chapter of the OA. 2007, these guys worked their tails off and made it more active, more directed at Service, and more fun. Ending 2007, 31 of the Arrowmen earned the Leadership in Service Award, that is the most in the Lodge, and a handful of them are from our Troop. 2008 promises to be even better.

It was nice to go to a youth party and have the ability to sing along…


Happy Scouting!

Categories: Just fun, Order of the Arrow | Leave a comment

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