Lodge Ledger: Martin Luther King’s memory inspires Arrowmen to serve

By Andrew Lindhome

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a celebration throughout the nation in a variety of ways. One notable way that people celebrate is by giving back to the community through cheerful service, which is exactly what T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge in the Seattle area did. After being contacted by EarthCorps, an environmental group dedicated to training environmental leaders and coordinating projects, the lodge was provided with the opportunity to carry out four different environmental service projects throughout the course of the weekend prior to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The projects that were organized by EarthCorps were spread throughout what comprises the Chief Seattle Council. Because of the council’s size, the projects were divided up between different chapters within the lodge, with each chapter chief being responsible for getting the word out. Lodge Chief Torin Bergsma explained that each chapter that participated provided a work crew of between five and ten Arrowmen for the project that was closest to them. This was the first year that EarthCorps reached out to the lodge and Bergsma said that if the Martin Luther King service weekend continues, he expects the lodge participation will certainly increase.

Participation in service is not only an aspect of the Order of the Arrow as a whole, but it also has a special place in T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge. The lodge has conducted two ArrowCorps projects since ArrowCorps5 and has a tradition of running a legacy service project every year. Bergsma said the service projects were another way to give back to the community while offering ways for lodge members to get involved. “It’s another way for us to provide a quality program while still living up to the ideals of service,” he said.

It is this sort of attitude that draws outside organizations to reach out to the Boy Scouts in the first place. The lodge’s website encouraged the Arrowmen to “take a day ON, not a day OFF,” with regards to Martin Luther King Jr. Day and it reinforced the call to service that has been felt by every Arrowman.

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