What were some of the most memorable experiences you had in the Order of the Arrow and Scouting?
The list is very long, but I’ll give you the truncated version.
My first camping trip as a Tenderfoot. I’d never slept under the stars, eaten with a mess kit, or washed dishes in a bucket of soapy water! But I was hooked. Our troop camped once a month and I looked forward to each outing.
There are two especially fond OA memories, my tap out and my Vigil night. Both were very rewarding because I was chosen by others.
The enduring memory of my tap out was following Kichkinet who was wearing a warbonnet. I vowed to make one for myself someday…which I did many, many times!
As I was doing my Vigil, I realized that it was on the very same mountain where I had done my first Scout camping trip. There was poetry in that. The night sky was clear and the stars bright in that special way that high mountains make possible.
I am especially grateful to Scouting for giving me a true appreciation of Nature and all its wonders.
What roles did you lead as a youth leader or adult adviser?
As a youth:
Assistant Patrol Leader
Senior Patrol Leader
Senior Crew Leader
Camp Staff, Camp Arataba
Lodge Chief, Wisumahi
As an adult:
Troop Camping Chairman
Lodge Regalia Adviser
How did your experience in the Order of the Arrow help you in your life?
Actually, it was both my OA experience and my broader Scout/Explorer experiences that made a difference. Both gave me leadership opportunities that translated nicely to my adult career.
I learned to listen, to make decisions, to sort through conflicts, to be assertive, and to rely on the talents of others.
I greatly credit certain leaders who gave me helpful guidance. There is almost no substitute for excellent mentoring.