It is my honor to serve as your Lodge Chief this next year. I would like to thank Keanu and his officers for their amazing leadership over the past two years. Keanu did a great job and has continued to support us as we start the year.
As you all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Scouting program in many ways. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the O-Shot-Caw Lodge has continued to innovate and reinvent ourselves to provide a successful program to our members. I am very proud of our lodge leaders for their dedication to our lodge.
Over the Summer, we had several of our Arrowmen staff at summer camps throughout the country, such as Camp Rainey Mountain in Georgia. The National Order of the Arrow Conference, or NOAC was scheduled for this August at Michigan State University. We originally had over 70 members registered for NOAC, which is truly incredible. Due to the virus, this event was canceled, so our lodge took a contingent to Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia to participate in the Summit Experience. We also had two members of the Aal-Pa-Tah Lodge from Gulfstream Council join us on our trip. They were very grateful to be able to join us because they would not have been able to participate on their own. We participated in many activities at the Summit such as shooting sports, rock climbing, BMX biking, and much more. The Summit Experience was a great time for everyone who went.
After several months of virtual meetings, our members were ready for an in-person event. We held a Lodge Workday and Fellowship at Camp Elmore on July 25th. This was our first in-person event since the pandemic started and it was a great success. We provided service to camp in the morning and enjoyed time in the waterfront in the afternoon. Our camp ranger, Ranger Ray, was very happy with the service we provided to Camp Elmore. All members who came out enjoyed a Chick-Fil-A lunch from the lodge as a thank you for their service.
Last weekend, August 14-16, we held our Lodge Leadership Development program (LLD) at Camp Elmore. This was an incredible event where our Lodge Executive Committee went through leadership trainings and had a great time. For the first time at an LLD, we hosted arena shows on both Friday and Saturday night. Our participants really enjoyed these shows and our LLD Staff did a great job. We were able to camp for two nights at Camp Elmore, keeping all participants in groups of 10 that could not intermingle throughout the entire weekend, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We were able to design our program around this to improve our LLD even with these small groups. This was a great learning experience for larger in-person campouts to come.
Recently, our Lodge Executive Committee decided to cancel the 2020 Haunted Forest. We decided that this was in the best interest of the safety of everyone involved. Since the originally scheduled weekend for Haunted Forest was then available, our LEC decided to move the Fall Ordeal, originally scheduled for September 11th – 13th to October 23rd – 25th. This allows us more time to conduct virtual unit elections and notify candidates about the ordeal.
As you can see, we have been very busy even during these times. The O-Shot-Caw Lodge continues to receive national recognition for our great program, and many other lodges have been able to benefit by replicating our ideas.
I look forward to seeing you all soon!
Carson E. | Lodge Chief