Ask the Chairman - Concerns about Legacy Project wood for the Centennial Fire

Q. Ray,
I just read the article in the May/June issue of Scouting Magazine, titled, "The Order of the Arrow at 100." It describes the plan for lodges to bring firewood to NOAC, where the wood will be burned in a ceremonial fire.

Have the organizers of NOAC 2015 addressed this issue of each lodge bring their area's wood onto MSU's campus, given Scouting’s commitment to environmental protection and our national effort to reduce the impact of invasive species?

YIS,
Joel

A. Joel,
Thanks for your note, the short answer to all your questions is: YES. All the lodges were and have been told the types of wood to bring and specifically what types of wood NOT to bring to NOAC.

In 2012, when we first asked folks to bring their wood, we were very specific about it. No OA publications refer to these things as firewood. Scouting Magazine ran that article referring to firewood without our review of the article, first. The contingent leaders of our lodges know and have been instructed differently.

Our publications teams know to reinforce the messages of kiln-dried wood (no ash, no pine) several more times with the lodges before they leave home. Contingents have been alerted NOT to bring what you would call firewood.

Please see this article concerning this topic which has been posted on the OA website for a couple of years. Every six months or so, we have reiterated it. It includes ways to help kids learn about the environmental factors PLUS an image of the original request. No one who was asked to bring wood was NOT simultaneously warned with an “8x10” label NOT to bring wood in violation of state laws.

Thank you for your concern. If you read that error in Scouting Magazine, and were concerned, others surely did. Our national OA communications team will need to redouble our efforts to ensure that our adult leaders use the opportunity to teach our youth about environmental stewardship and the huge issue of invasive species in our nation.

In short, we are asking lodges to bring;

Our program is no different than the national practice of shipping goods through interstate commerce using wood pallets.

I assure you that as a counselor of all the conservation merit badges and as an honoree of the William T. Hornaday Award, our legacy of conservation is very much on my mind and part of our plans.

Ray

Last revised on