Centennial Update: Learn how the OA will give service to the 2017 Jamboree with Operation Arrow

SERVICE CORPS

In 1948, the OA Service Corps led a very small staff of Arrowmen to provide service to the national Scout jamboree. Members of the OA Service Corps will experience the jamboree program, serve alongside their brothers from across the nation and continue the tradition of service which the Order of the Arrow has held so closely for more than a century. Over the past 67 years, it has significantly expanded its role from just a few dedicated Arrowmen to over 200 Arrowmen serving the jamboree.

The OA Service Corps has served the jamboree program in thousands of different ways, and many members of jamboree leadership consider this area a vital component of the jamboree. 2015 National Chief Alex Call, served on Project 2013 staff at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree as a member of the OA Service Corps. When asked about his experience, he said:

"Lending a hand to Scouts from all over during the jamboree was an experience like no other. As a member of the OA Service Corps, I made lasting memories, cultivated close friendships, and found an unmatched sense of accomplishment as we worked together to make the jamboree a reality."

Unlike other staff positions, members will experience the jamboree in its entirety. Every day will be a different adventure for the team, whether the tasks be big or small. Just like 2013, if any jamboree program area is in need of additional support staff for the day, the Service Corps will take the lead in supporting that particular aspect of program. Without our manpower and willingness to get dirty, the jamboree program could not serve the more than 40,000 participants that will ascend upon West Virginia in the summer of 2017.

TREK GUIDES

On each day of jamboree program, OA Trek Guides will rise earlier than the rest, and depart for one of four base camps throughout the Summit Bechtel Reserve. They’ll meet their assigned unit early in the morning, and enjoy the morning at their campsite getting ready for the trek.

Over 6,000 Scouts and Scouters will hike up the four trails to Garden Ground Mountain each day. This simple fact will require each team of Trek Guides to coordinate very closely to avoid traffic jams at the trailheads. In 2013, the Trek Guides staff were instrumental in coordinating leave times and hiking paces to ensure a smooth hike up the mountain.

During the hike, Trek Guides will lead their contingent in trail talks to teach hikers about the rich West Virginia wilderness and how sustainability has helped shape the Summit Bechtel Reserve into the high adventure base it is today. Once at the top of Garden Ground Mountain, those staffers that are interested are invited to help one of several program areas on top of the mountain provide the best program possible to the contingents they led up that day.  

At the end of the day, trek guides will meet up with their contingents again, reflect on their day, and lead them down the mountain. Just before sunset, trek guides will return to Base Camp Echo for fellowship, dinner, and well-deserved relaxation.

Nick Dannemiller, jamboree vice chief for OA Trek Guides during Project 2013 and 2014 national chief, said the following about his leadership experience:

"I was able to meet Scouts and Venturers from all over the country, hear about their Scouting experiences, and most importantly lead them on an adventure to the top of the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Looking back, I'm not sure if I made more friends or memories while I was a Trek Guide, but I do know that it was one of the best ways to serve the jamboree."

INDIAN VILLAGE

Since the jamboree moved to the Summit Bechtel Reserve, the OA has had a unique opportunity to reach every jamboree participant a more intimate level. The OA Indian Village resides atop the “Summit of the Summit,” Garden Ground Mountain, and provides a memorable experience to every participant that enters.

Members of the Indian Village staff will build a teepee village and a full-size dance arbor. Here, staffers will work with the Lewis and Clark Trust to teach the history of Lewis and Clark to participants. Staffers will have the opportunity to tell stories to participants about the two explorers as well as teach blacksmithing for participants on the mountain.

Additionally, Indian Village staffers will teach American Indian dance styles and survival techniques from many different tribes and nations throughout the North American continent. OA Indian Village’s new home at the Summit Bechtel Reserve has allowed staffers to innovate and develop program that is more memorable, interactive and exciting than those in prior years.

Tanner Lashinsky, assistant jamboree vice chief for OA Indian Village staff during Project 2013 said this about his time on top of Garden Ground Mountain:

"American Indian culture is something that has always interested me. Having the privilege to share that interest with Scouts at the jamboree is a memory that I will cherish forever. That keen memory is also accompanied by many other fantastic jamboree experiences that are at the ‘summit’ of my Scouting experience.”


For more information on how you can join the Operation Arrow staff and #FuelScoutingsAdventure along with us in 2017, please visit the Operation Arrow website and follow us on Twitter, @OperationArrow.

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