Wauna La-Mon’tay provides service to the National Forests
By Murphy Bush
Starting with its inception in 2008 with the introduction of the monumental ArrowCorps5 project, ArrowCorps has been a program of providing service to national parks and bringing Arrowmen together through hard work and outdoor adventure for nearly a decade. Based on the national event, lodges across the nation have taken it upon themselves to run their own ArrowCorps projects. One of these lodges is Wauna La-Mon’tay Lodge, located in the Cascade Pacific Council. Through years of planning and past experience, they recently put on a massively successfully ArrowCorps where, over the course of a week, projects spanned two national forests in their project known as ArrowCorps 2016.
Arrowcorps5 was a service project on a colossal scale that involved five different parks, over 3,600 Arrowmen and 280,000 service hours over the course of five weeks and led to the largest service project in the history of the Boy Scouts of America since World War II. Their efforts in restoring miles of trails and removing invasive plants was estimated to be valued at $5.6 million dollars. However, ArrowCorps5 was designed with a much larger intention.
“The idea is to be able to learn from what you’re doing here and leverage this back home,” according to former National OA Chairman Ray Capp. Thus in 2011, Wauna La-Mon’tay was inspired to host its own ArrowCorps and, based on their success, once again in 2014. So when the question was raised if it should be hosted in 2016, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind.
Planning a massive service project is no small feat according to Chance, the youth chairman for ArrowCorps 2016. One of the largest challenges they ran into was that of communication with the forest service. Due to the rangers’ busy work schedules, communication via phone and email was very slow. To help speed it up, youth leaders would drive to their offices and meet with them in order to finalize details for the event.
One of the most surprising challenges came from promoting the event. “There were so many ways to promote the event and there wasn’t a lot of information to give in the beginning,” said Chance. Upon consulting an advisor, they decided that the best way to promote this event would be to find as many different ways to promote it until, “people complain we are doing it too much.” From lodge wide emails, to promoting it on the section and regional scale, to attending round tables and even personally meeting with units, Wauna La-Mon’tay efficiently spread the word about their upcoming project. In one of the more unorthodox promotions, they would proudly display a pulaski (a tool often used in trail construction) to show off one of the many things the youth would be able to learn to use.
“Begin planning early. My advice would be to have courage if progress is slow. Lastly, you don’t need lots of people for it to be a success,” Chance recommends.
ArrowCorps is an amazing service opportunity to give back to our national parks and fulfill our duty as a brotherhood of cheerful service. Though there are many challenges along the way, perseverance can make your next service project a big success!
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