OA Wilderness Voyage Awarded
USFS Highest Volunteer Service Award
The US Forest service has awarded the Order of the Arrow
Wilderness Voyage program the 2003 Chief's
Volunteer Award for Youth Volunteer Service.
This is the highest volunteerism award the US Forest service
can present to a youth organization.
The award citation notes the "exemplary service and efforts"
contributed by the OA Wilderness Voyage.
Nobody would have thought in 1999 that a new
program that started with just 71 participants
would advance within five years to achieve such a result,
but the enthusiasm and hard work of the OA Voyage participants
and staff have led to this national recognition.
USFS presents top award to OA Voyage leaders
OA Wilderness Voyage
program, based on the very successful
OA Trail Crew
has helped to rebuild and restore portage trails in the Boundary Waters
Wilderness Canoe Area (BWCA) of northern Minnesota.
Some of the trails that have been worked on date
back to the old fur trading days. Most others date back to the Civilian
Conservation Corp (CCC), part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program
of the 1930's.
The staff and participants past and present are
proud to be part of this legacy.
Since the program's origin in 1999, the Voyage
has completed a total of five and a
half miles of trail work. Over 300 participants
and 50 staff members have been involved during the past five years.
None of this work could have been
accomplished without the help and support of
many people inside and outside of the OA and
Scouting. As director Brian Seeton noted,
"All the staff would like
to thank the United States Forest
Service for their support, guidance, and training as well as
Voyage for the award. We would also like to
thank Northern Tier National High
Adventure Base for allowing the program to
use the Sommers canoe base, their
equipment, as well as the management's support and
enthusiasm for the program.
Lastly we would like to thank all the past
staff members, participants, and
advisers along with the National OA Committee.
For without all the work and
support of these people, the program would not
have happened at all."
Lead Adviser Dan Segersin added,
"Congratulations to the outstanding team of youth and young adults who
created the vision of the Voyage.
On behalf of the National OA Committee and our partnership with
Northern Tier and the US Forest Service, congratulations and thanks!"
If you would like to be a part of this great experience
in the future, download an
OA Voyage application
and send it in.