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Order of the Arrow at Summer Camp ... What Does Your Camp Do? What Would You Like to See?

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  • Order of the Arrow at Summer Camp ... What Does Your Camp Do? What Would You Like to See?

    I'm the OA Summer Chief at my camp, and am trying to think of ways for the OA to do more at camp. Just as a guide, I have to teach 2 MBs in the morning, but otherwise I just run the OA program and am trying to think of extra ideas. May not be able to implement them this summer, but am thinking ahead.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Q&a session on workIng On staff just for OA members

    Service project with big food payoff - burger night, MYO sundae bar, pizza and wings

    Ceremonies training

    Brotherhood conversion session and ceremony


    • #3
      Be authentic as possible.


      • #4
        You could do a members-only regalia building workshop. Assuming your lodge or chapter hasn't chosen an esoteric tribe to base their regalia on - they do the White Mountain Apache here which is difficult because their wore loin clothes and body paint only - tips and hints and helps at constructing headdresses and the like could put some life into your ceremonial team.



        • #5
          Help your Lodge/Chapter by getting Scoutmasters to schedule their unit elections and camp promotions visits.

          If you can get enough support from the Lodge/Chapter, hold Brotherhood counseling and a Brotherhood ceremony. It's easy to increase the conversion rate just by offering more opportunities.


          • #6
            BIG RESPONSIBILITY! (emphasis not shouting.)

            Here are some things I've done, seen done, and have heard about.

            1) Conduct unit elections.

            2) Conduct Call Out Ceremonies.

            3) Teach Indian Lore MB (ceremony and dance team folks usually)

            4) Coordinate work/conservation projects during camp with projects on the OA's to do list.

            5) Conduct a Native American themed campfire program.

            6) Conduct a Powwow.

            7) Give the staff a nite off. OA folks would come to camp before dinner, cook, serve the food, clean up, etc giving the staff the nite off. THIS REQUIRES COMMITMENT (emphasis again) I've seen this work out some weeks and not others.

            8) OA Ice Cream Social. Seen two version of this. One was members only and a chance to get folks who "sash and dashed" back involved. The other was for everyone and had info and displays on the lodge's activities.

            GOOD LUCK! ( and this time I am screaming at ya ) You got a very important job and I wish you well in it!


            • #7
              Be aware that not all Troops attending summer camp embrace Order of the Arrow.

              I know this is shocking heresy, but the truth of the matter is that our Troop has never been involved with OA and it is unlikely that we ever will be involved. We nevertheless respect the OA and the good work the involved Scouts and Scouters do.

              Thus, we are not interested in attending any kind of OA ceremony. At the summer camp we currently attend, the OA call-out ceremony is a very big part of the Friday night campfire. After our first year experience, we now place our Troop at the very back and make a quiet exit just as the ceremony starts. The camp management has let us know that while they cannot force us to attend, they are not happy we do not stay. There are a couple other Troops that leave before the OA ceremony starts as well. No doubt the Camp management sees this as disruptive, and would prefer quiet rapt attention of all.

              What's disconcerting is that there's often an overt lack of tolerance of those who are very involved in OA to those Troops not involved. In your role as OA Summer Chief, know that not all Troops are as interested in OA as you may be, and would appreciate respect for that choice rather than disdain. We are still good Scouts and Scouters, and follow the program as well as any other Troop, just not involved in OA!


              • #8
                As you state, it is your choice if you want to be involved in the OA or not. I believe not being involved is the wrong choice for the boys who may want to be involved, but so be it.

                However, don't you think that it would be more respectful and "tolerant" for you to quietly stay in the back, and not leave before the campfire is over rather than leaving prior to the closing. Perhaps, it would be better for you to skip the campfire altogether that evening if you know you will not be staying for the entire program.


                • #9
                  Lots of ideas have already been covered, several of which Madockawanda 271 currently does, including:

                  Service hour--one day every week, there is a service hour followed by an ice cream social. Any OA member, even those not attending camp that particular week may attend.

                  Brotherhood conversion--I'm not sure if it's every week or every other week, but this has been offered in the past at camp.

                  This year, they're offering an OA Specialty week at camp. See page 3 of the Camp Hinds brochure for details:

                  I'm sure if you contact them, they can arrange for you to "talk" (email, FB, whatever) with those working on this program to give you ideas for yours.


                  • #10
                    I've never seen any OA activity at summer camp. Sounds like a good idea that could include a variety of good ideas.

                    Personally I think it's a mistake for OA to take over a camp fire and begin conducting its own program. At a minimum, the OA program shouldn't be started until after the regular campfire program is completed and those not interested in an additional program dismissed.


                    • #11
                      When I was a boy scout I never knew what OA was about and to a certain extent I still don't. Now that I'm an old guy and have been able to read up on it a little I wish I had been given at least a sit down about OA and what it was about.

                      Given the expertise on this forum is there an acurate synopsis of what OA is and does, and on the flip side someone to explain why a troop would not want to be involved with OA and why?

                      Not really sure but is it a case that there is a need for some other organization that is OA like with a different theme or is it something else about OA that some people find disagreeable.

                      And when someone says "our troop is not interested" is it the PLC talking, scouters or CO?


                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone for the great ideas. Some (like work with food payoff) probably won't happen since the CD has expressed interest in limiting us to one crackerbarrel per week (after Ordeal & Brotherhood ceremonies Thursday night). We also used to have one (with low attendance - maybe a correlation?) Monday nights for current members - discuss brotherhood, elangomat, etc. Oh how much I would love to have OA come in for a night to give the staff off for dinner, but we're a patrol cooking camp so it wouldn't be much of a difference for the scouts.

                        We do brotherhood conversion and ceremony as well as callout. The ceremonialists come from staff - I'm in the middle of recruiting, not many volunteers. I'll have some "sales" to do at the staff meeting.

                        I could check with the lodge about scheduling unit elections, though these usually run through the chapters, so I don't know how that would work out. Plus, it usually starts in December around here.


                        • #13
                          Any callout ceremony I've been involved in lasted about 5 minutes and came near the end of the closing weekly campfire - hardly a takeover.

                          It also helped as a way to calm down the raucousness of the skits & songs and transition into the CD's final remarks and Scout Vespers, sending everyone back to camp in a quiet, reflective mood.


                          • #14

                            Depends on how the campfire is done.

                            Back in the day when I was a yute, one campfire at my camp was strictly the OA's. They led everyone from the assembly area to the campfire ring. They did an opening ceremony, had the dance team perform a dance or two, have one member tell a story focusing on scouting's Oath, law and motto, and then have the Indian Lore MB students come out and do two of the dances they learned with the dance team. Culmination was the OA Tap Out Ceremony (I told you I'm old announcing the new candidates who would go off and get info. After that the Story teller came back and did a closing.


                            • #15
                              The summer camp we go to has an Ice Cream Social for all Arrowmen one night during the week, which includes the sale & trading of patches from the local lodge (there are a lot of out-of-council troops, including ours).

                              They also offer a program called "Arrow Corps" the last week of camp. They offer a 75% discounted rate for Arrowmen to come back and form a provisional troop. They work on service projets in the camp until lunch, then have the rest of the day off to enjoy the camp programs.