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So You Want to Be Chief? 

Song of the day: “Fever” by The Black Keys

Whether from burning issues at a National Leadership Seminar or from ‘Meet the Man’ sessions at a section conclave, I’ve been asked a wide variety of questions so far in my term. Out of all the questions I have answered, one of the most frequent and interesting is simply, “How do I become national chief?” Now the procedural answer is easy (e.g. you must be a section chief, not turn 21 during your term etc.), but the answer of how you get elected to the position, or any officer position in the Order for that matter, is a lot harder. In short, there really isn’t a surefire method or really a right answer; however, there are some pieces of advice (found below) I do like to offer up to any youth interested in running for a leadership position.

  • Should you run? This is a dilemma a lot of Arrowmen face when deciding whether or not to run for an officer position.  In my experience, if you think you could succeed in the position, bring in fresh ideas, and be a positive force for the Order in that role, go for it!
  • First position? No problem! We all start somewhere. For me it was vice chief of membership in my chapter. Just because you may not currently be in an elected office doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified to run for one. 
  • Do your job, and do it well. Every elected position in this organization is important. If you find yourself currently in one of those positions with the hope to move on to a different position (note not ‘higher’ or ‘better’), you first need to make sure you are committing your time and energy into that role. How well you carry out the duties of your current office will speak louder then any election speech. 
  • Know the Territory.  Have a good understanding of what the job entails (i.e. know what meetings you have to attend/run, what activities/events you must plan etc.). Ask current officers, “has-beens” (immediate past officers), and advisers what is expected.
  • Have vision and passion. What could the chapter/lodge/section/national do better? How can you contribute to this if elected? Be enthusiastic and engaging. Show them why you are excited about this organization.
  • Be yourself, and don’t forget your roots. We each have our own Scouting/OA story. Embrace it. Don’t change to fit some image or idea of what you think a chief should look like or do. Above all, remain humble and grateful. Appreciate every youth and adult who helped you get to where you are today, both in Scouting and outside of it. 

- 2014 National Chief Nick Dannemiller

Happy 99th anniversary, OA!

Today we celebrate the 99th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow and reminisce upon how we have learned to incorporate the principles of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service into our daily lives.

Shown above: The Friday night kick-off video for SR-7A’s Section Conclave at Camp Shenandoah, featuring SR-7A Section Chief AJ Kelly, 2014 Southern Region Chief Wesley Seaman, NE-6B Section Chief Brant Portner, and NE-5B Section Chief Michael Shostek. Video Credit: Section SR-7A

In April, I had the amazing opportunity to attend conclave with Arrowmen in Section SR-7A. With nearly 1,100 Arrowmen in attendance, this event offered great food, an OA High Adventure area, and spectacular shows. This was an experience that will not be forgotten. One of the highlights of the weekend was doing my part in the SR-7A Conclave’s service project. That Saturday, Arrowmen had the opportunity to fill the care packages for the Virginia Chapter of the Wounded Warrior Project. Over 6,000 bags were filled with stationary, hot sauce, and other items to provide care to wounded veterans recovering from amputations and other injuries right in their own state. It was a great outlet for lodges to come together and serve! The lodges of SR-7A engaged in a great weekend of fun, service, and fellowship. Conclave in Virginia was truly a great experience!

- 2014 Southern Region Chief Wesley Seaman

The Section C-6A Conclave was held at Vinsences University in Indiana. My attendance at this event marked the first time I had ever been to a Conclave on a college campus! Vinsences is quite an old university, dating back to 1801. Age, however, did not keep Conclave attendees from utilizing some modern amenities including bowling, a zip line, and a state-of-the-art swimming facility.

The theme for the event was “Quest for the Golden Sash” — an adventure-based weekend filled with challenges, clues, and riddles. One could frequently discover groups of Arrowmen running around campus on the hunt to find the next riddle they needed to solve. Everyone was on a quest to find their golden sash. Just like any other Conclave, this one had trainings, lodgeball, ceremonies competitions, and an opportunity for the highest bidder to pie me in the face.  

My favorite part of the event was the ceremonies competitions. Sakima Lodge reported on Friday night at the Council of Chiefs meeting that their ceremonies team wouldn’t be able to compete because one of their ceremonialists was no longer able to attend Conclave. This gave me the opportunity to be part of a ceremonies team! It was great to be accepted by their lodge and be able to compete for the first time in a Conclave ceremonies evaluation/competition.  

We had a blast conducting the ceremony, and it was a great learning experience. What made the weekend super rewarding for me was that the Sakima Lodge Ceremonies Team came in 1st place in the competition! This event will stand as one of my favorite Scouting experiences thus far!

- 2014 Central Region Chief Ricky Angeletti

I’ve just returned from the adventure of a lifetime! During the last weekend of April, the Northeast Region Key Three traveled to visit our brothers in Black Eagle Lodge and the members of the Transatlantic Council during their camporee commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Activities kicked off from the moment we arrived on Friday with a visit from the BSA National Leadership to each campsite. As evening fell, I caught up with ceremonialists from Black Eagle to conduct Vigil Honor Call-Outs late into the night.

The next morning, the Northeast Region contingent attended the Prayer for Peace service held in the Bayeux Cathedral. Scouts from across the world gathered to reaffirm our dedication to bringing peace through our words, and actions. After the service, participants returned to the Omaha Beach for the campfire program. I was able to participate in a Webelos Crossover ceremony; this opportunity was one of my personal favorites from the entire experience. Following the campfire was a multi-media presentation highlighting the memorial on Omaha Beach for those who fell during the D-Day invasion. After the inspirational show, it was time to head back for dinner and fireworks on the beach!

Morning rose and Scouts made their way to the American Cemetery Colleville Sur Mer for the final activity of the camporee. Keynote speakers addressed the Scouts before flowers were laid upon gravestones throughout the cemetery. It was truly an honor to be present for this solemn occasion.

Before heading home, I was able to take a quick tour around Paris to see some of the most famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the home of Voltaire, the Louvre and Pont de l’Archevêché. I even attended my first Catholic mass at Notre Dame! To see pictures of these landmarks is one matter, but to be in Paris and experience the sights and sounds of this historic city is an experience all its own.

I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. This experience will always be one of my most cherished memories. Thanks to Northeast Region chairman Mark Chilutti and Northeast Region Staff Adviser Brian Gray for traveling along with me, and to the Transatlantic Council and Black Eagle Lodge for their hospitality!

-2014 Northeast Region Chief Kyle Piper

During the last weekend of April, I had the privilege of traveling up to Washington state for the W-1N Section Conclave! W-1N is the section that covers western Washington and Alaska. Of course, in true Seattle fashion, the first difference between California and Washington I noticed when getting out of the airport was the rain. It was raining, and sunny, and windy all at the same time! This is apparently referred to as a “sun-shower” up there.
We spent that night exploring the city of Seattle. Unlike the San Fransisco bay area, there are very few bridges over the Puget Sound. The primary means of getting across the Sound is by ferry boat. We rode on one of these boats, and were treated to a beautiful night-time fully lit-up view of the Seattle skyline. Not much was open late, but we found a nice IHOP to have a late night snack in, after a short hike through the city on foot.
The next day we headed down south to Conclave! One of the most unique things about this Conclave was the lodge spirit. Lodges would get together and face off and head-on lodge yell matches! Sikhs Mox Lamonte and T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodges would especially take each other on in spectacular displays!
The Conclave was an amazing experience. While it was a little cold and rainy up north, the bright spirit of the Arrowmen kept the event exciting! My favorite part of the weekend was spending some time with the Arrowmen from Alaska. They had traveled by plane more than 3 hours to get to Conclave. Since Conclaves are often in Washington, and only move up to Alaska every so many years, this extreme travel is a regular for them. They still come out to Conclave though, and challenge the other lodges! THAT is dedication! Meeting the outstanding Arrowmen of W-1N made for a great weekend. It is refreshing to see the Order so healthy and alive! This trip is something I will not soon forget!
- 2014 Western Region Chief Michael Kintscher 

Last weekend, I had a blast watching lodges duel it out in friendly competition at the SR-6 Conclave Gameday. Held at Camp McKee with Kawida Lodge serving as the host lodge, the weekend was met with clear skies and a ton of spirit. Saturday morning, I enjoyed administering Meet the Chief and Centuries of Service training sessions. A highlight of the weekend was no doubt the Quest Event, which featured great competitions like Jello eating, doughnut passing, and football. Witnessing the immense amount of lodge spirit was quite refreshing. After an action packed day, I had the pleasure of kicking back in the dunking booth and getting soaked. Section Chief Aaron Shepherd made sure he got me with a great dunk. Saturday evening capped off with an awesome campfire with Matt Brown, Damon Miller, Sam Lyons, and I portraying sportscasters and giving a play-by-play of the championship football game. Sunday brought with it the end of Conclave, and a new set of officers installed: Nick Oliver, Section Chief; Hunter Jones, Section Vice Chief; Nathan Vick, Section Secretary. Congratulations to the new SR-6 Officers, and to Aaron Shepherd and Noah Robertson for a very successful terms. This Conclave was no doubt one for the history books!

- 2014 National Vice Chief Taylor Bobrow

Shown above: VIA Luncheon attendees at C-7 Section Conclave meet 2014 Central Region Chief Ricky Angeletti for an inspirational meal.

While attending the C-7 Section Conclave, I had a really great opportunity to connect with my childhood dream of being a secret agent. The theme for the weekend can best described from the official hashtag #C007. It was great to be able to connect with my inner James Bond throughout the weekend and the theme resonated through the event. The activities, games, trainings, signage, and the shows had their own secret agent aspects to them.

The Conclave took place at the Stoughton County Fairgrounds in Wisconsin. The facilities included a skatepark on which attendees could play and even meet some members of the local community. Most of the Conclave activities took place in a building that housed the local ice arena. With its ice removed, the arena was rearranged to form a great open building for us to eat all our meals in as well as play a full game of ultimate frisbee.

There was so much stuff going on at this Conclave that there was no way to participate in everything. I delivered two training sessions about the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow, took part in a “Meet the Man” session with the other special guests at the event, speak at the VIA luncheon, and dance in the powwow. There were two fun activities that were probably the most memorable for me. The first was allowing Arrowmen the opportunity to dunk me in a dunk tank. The second event took place on the inflatable joust where I was victorious against my predecessor, the 2013 Central Region Chief Mike Gray.

I had a blast this weekend and it was great to be able to be there with my adviser, Mr. Dan Segerson. I took the opportunity to introduce him to the iPhone app called Snapchat. It was great to finally be able to teach him something for a change!

- 2014 Central Region Chief Ricky Angeletti

During the last weekend of March, I was able to pay a visit to Section NE-1’s inaugural Lodge Excellence Summit in Andover, Massachusetts. During the seminar, participants were allowed to choose between several program tracks which corresponded to their individual roles within the lodge. A contingent from Section NE-3A was present to observe and participate in the seminar in hopes of adopting this training method in the next year’s program. An all-star staff was able to provide an excellent program. Guest trainers included Mitchell Heisler, Michael Shostek, Zach Sager, Forrest Gertin and myself. A special thanks goes out to the Section NE-1 Leadership Team for facilitating an outstanding weekend!

2014 Northeast Region Chief Kyle Piper

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to staff the Western Region National Leadership in Cedar Glen, California, which is situated in the mountains outside of Los Angeles. As NLS is a national program, not much was different from the seminars we hold in the Southern Region. However, the subtle differences there made it distinct and great to have been apart of. One of my favorite opportunities I had at NLS was being a table guide for 7 youth Arrowmen from local L.A. area lodges. Hearing best practices and lodge operations in the Western Region was very insightful. I also highly enjoyed the camaraderie I had with the staff of the seminar and the songs we sang together. I’m grateful for the experience I had in the West this weekend, and I would be mistaken to forget what will stay with me forever from the weekend, the Oscar winning song from the film Frozen, “Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go.”

- 2014 Southern Region Chief Wesley Seaman

Photo Credit: Longs Peak Council

Song of the day: “All the Pretty Girls” by Fun

Last Thursday, I had the privilege to attend the 2014 Larimer Leadership Breakfast, which was hosted by the Longs Peak Council in Loveland, CO. The breakfast serves as a major fundraising event for the council and is attended by various members of the community. Besides enjoying a delicious breakfast and meeting a variety of Scouting supporters, I participated in the program by sharing a testimony of how my time in Boy Scouts has not only provided me incredible opportunities, but also has helped me chart a path for my life.

However, the real highlight of the breakfast was hearing Jim Davidson speak; Jim tells the incredible story of how after summiting Mt. Rainier, he and his climbing partner fell into a crevasse on the descent down to their cars. His partner inevitably died from the fall and Jim, alone and injured, was faced with an extremely difficult climb out of the crevasse. Consequently, Jim made it out of alive, which is a feat he credits to resilience. Now resilience may seem like a just another word or idea, but through the time I spent with Jim, I quickly learned it could make all the difference. Whether it’s climbing out of an 80-foot crack in a glacier or starting a new ceremony team for your chapter, resilience (which Jim define as a powerful mixture of passion and action) can be the force you harness to succeed. So whatever life throws at you, or wherever it takes you, just remember to rally your resilience.

- 2014 National Chief Nick Dannemiller

Did you know that the Order of the Arrow has a YouTube channel? The channel posts all sorts of neat videos such as historic Order of the Arrow videos, as well as past NOAC summation videos. The YouTube account is a great way to relive exciting OA memories and stay informed about upcoming events and programs! Make sure to like the videos as well as follow the oabsa account today!

This weekend was incredibly action packed, as I had the pleasure of joining my fellow brothers of Blue Heron Lodge for our March Ordeal. Beautiful weather and clear skies made the weekend an enjoyable one, as I caught up with many close and old friends.

When I arrived, I helped the dance team to set up our tipi, and then spent the evening performing as a ceremonialist in the Pre-Ordeal Ceremony. The next day, I helped to deliver water and food around camp. In the afternoon, I performed in the Brotherhood Ceremony where we saw a record number of 53 new Brotherhood members participate. The night concluded with an awesome Ordeal Ceremony. We had four new members who participated in ceremonies for the first time this weekend, so it was a joy to coach and work with them.

Next weekend, I will be taking a break from traveling to get caught up on school work, and to work on a few projects centered around ArrowTour.

- 2014 National Vice Chief Taylor Bobrow

A Day in the Life: A Typical Thursday

Song of the day: “Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men

People always ask me what I do outside of the Order or how I balance being national chief with school, so I figured I would sit down and map out what a day in the life is like by walking you through my typical Thursday.

8:00 AM: Rise and Shine

I wake up, eat a quick breakfast, take a shower and wake up again.  After getting ready, I head to campus.

9:00-10:50 AM: Animal Anatomy Open Lab

I miss a lot of Friday classes and even Thursdays sometimes as you could imagine, so in order to stay on top of school I have to seize every extra opportunity. One of the tougher classes I’m in this semester is Gross Domestic Animal Anatomy, and open lab is a great chance to review the material and get a jump on studying.

11:00-12:15 PM: Human and Animal Disease Lecture

I have an awesome professor and the class is pretty small so it’s always an interesting 75 minutes.

Lunch with friends

1:00-3:30 PM: Business Hours

While checking email and answering texts seems like an ongoing battle, I usually sit down for an hour or two if I can, making sure I’ve answered/replied to everything. Most of this time is dedicated to the OA and includes working on upcoming projects, making phone calls to advisers and other youth officers, or coming up with new ideas for our centennial celebration and ArrowTour.

3:30-4:45 PM: Natural Resource History and Policy Lecture

Within my major (Wildlife Biology) this class is required. In order to be an expert, you have to have an understanding of a) the history of the field and b) the policy and influences that surround it.

5:00-6:50 PM: Associated Students of Colorado State University Supreme Court Meeting

Outside of the OA and class, I’m also involved in student government on campus and serve as an Associate Justice within the Supreme Court. As a justice, I sit on student conduct appeal hearings, student organization hearings, and attend other student government functions such as senate meetings.

7:00-9:00 PM: Work

I’m currently working for CSU’s Department of Athletics as a Statistics and Life Sciences tutor for student-athletes. It’s a great job because I’ve always enjoyed sports and I get chance to teach some of the subjects I love.

9:00 PM: Late night dinner with roommates

Finding time to eat is a struggle some days.

10:00 PM: Pack and Get Ready for the Weekend

Most late Thursday evenings are spent packing for wherever I’m going the next day and getting everything squared away.

12:00 PM: Sleep

- 2014 National Chief Nick Dannemiller

Shown above: After being “guided” by participants on how to construct the best paper airplane at the Northeast Region National Leadership Seminar, Taylor and Ricky test their wings to determine whose will travel furthest. Photo Credit: Kevin Montano, OA National Communications Team Visual Media Lead

This past weekend, we enjoyed staffing the Northeast Region National Leadership Seminar alongside 2014 Northeast Region Chief Kyle Piper and his exceptional staff. We both had flights canceled either to or from Camp Alpine. Taylor had to fly into LaGuardia instead of Newark, taking a taxi all the way from New York City to Alpine, NJ. Ricky ended up catching a very late flight home, and luckily returned back to school in time for class. When we arrived, we were especially pleased to interact with several Arrowmen from Yokahu Lodge of the Puerto Rico Council who were participants in NLS and NLATS. Additionally, Yokahu Lodge Chief Jose Molinelli joined us to serve on NLS staff. The weekend’s program was superb. A noteworthy highlight involved our appearance as an elderly woman and the tooth fairy during the session, “Know the Terrority.” After singing the OA song together as a course at the conclusion of the weekend, our brothers from Puerto Rico sang the OA song in Spanish, which was a testament to how our brotherhood has transcended our language barriers, inspiring a whole new meaning of cheerful service. Great job to Kyle and his staff, and we both anxiously await our upcoming NLS’ in early April.

- 2014 Central Region Chief Ricky Angeletti & 2014 National Vice Chief Taylor Bobrow

Since it was another blustery, snowy, winter evening in Cincinnati, Ohio, I expected many folks would not leave their homes. Boy, was I wrong! Over 150 Arrowmen showed up to the local YMCA for Ku-Ni-Eh Lodge’s Lock-In. Activities included playing cards, watching movies, and swimming in the pool over a twelve hour period. Adhering to the pirate theme, each Arrowman acquired a map and key during check-in that tied to a group-wide activity each hour throughout the night. Dodgeball proved to be one of the evening’s most popular events. A plethora of food was available to all; going away from the event hungry was not possible. The whole night was busy and not just from the extravagant activities. Throughout the night, there were many “business” meetings that centered on communications, ceremonies and the 2015 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC). I am happy that I was able to be a part of such a great event!

- 2014 Central Region Chief Ricky Angeletti

Shown above: Led by 2014 Southern Region Chief Wesley Seaman, the youth Southern Region NLS staff convene at the Joe C. Davis YMCA Outdoor Center in Antioch, TN during a productive weekend. 

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to pay another visit to the Southern Region and attend my first National Leadership Seminar for the year! The staff did an outstanding job keeping the energy high throughout the entire seminar. I also had the pleasure of serving as the table guide for table 3, a great group of Arrowmen who did excellent work through each training session. This week, I’ll be heading off to the Northeast Region Board Meeting to give a few reports on our Order’s status and present our accomplishments in the past year alongside my goals for 2014. Then, it’s back to Camp Alpine for the first Northeast Region NLS of the year! We are excited to welcome the 2014 National Vice Chief Taylor Bobrow and 2014 Central Region Chief Ricky Angeletti to our staff.

- 2014 Northeast Region Chief Kyle Piper

Whip cream, clear skies, and cheerful service were the ingredients that cooked up an awesome weekend visiting the Wahunsenakah Lodge Winter Ordeal. During our time spent giving service to Bayport Scout Reservation, I had the pleasure of viewing what will soon be the camp’s “Indian Village” which will host long houses and a garden of the three sisters: corn, beans, and squash. This village project has been led by Rhys Franklin, Nansemond Chapter Chief, who I later worked with to construct the fires for the ordeal and brotherhood ceremonies as part of my service for the day. As our Saturday activities came to a close, I joined the lodge officers in a public face-pieing as a small thanks to the lodge membership for exceeding the events attendance goal. This Ordeal served as a great opportunity to reflect and remind myself of the principles on which the Order is founded on. I left the Ordeal refilled with some great OA spirit. Now, I am looking forward to joining the Central Region next weekend for its National Leadership Seminar. Thanks to Wahunsenakah Lodge and Lodge Chief Aaron Stewart, for having me out this weekend!

- 2014 National Vice Chief Taylor Bobrow

Scouts pack up popcorn for troops, families


I had the privilege to serve on staff at NE-2A’s Project LEAP at the Connecticut Yankee Council Office in Milford, CT. Despite a five hour train delay, I arrived in Springfield, MA late Saturday night to meet up with a few other trainers before the event. The following day was filled with multiple sessions across a variety of training tracks for Arrowmen across the section. I had a great time sharing my knowledge with lodge chiefs in a session entitled “It’s About Continual Improvement.” Mitchell Heisler, Neil Patrick Harris and Sam Guerra put together an outstanding program under the guidance of Bill Chin and Elsie Hemmings. Congratulations to the entire NE-2A Leadership Team on a job well done!

- 2014 Northeast Region Chief Kyle Piper