Order of the Arrow

Order of the Arrow Unit Award of Excellence

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Do you ever tire of recognition for your adults or streamers for your troop flag? If not, I have some additional opportunities for you.

In an effort to promote the Order of the Arrow, the National Boy Scout Honorary Society, the National Council has created the OA Unit Award of Excellence. Related to the unit award are separate recognitions for the youth OA Troop Representative (or Crew Representative), the scoutmaster, and the Assistant Scoutmaster tasked woa_seal_fullcolorith OA liaison responsibilities. (Both the troop rep and ASM have special position of responsibility patches.)

To learn more about these awards, take a look at the record sheet on the OA website.

OA Lodge Chief Interview UPDATED

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Due to the confusion over the Order of the Arrow Ordeals in 2017, I spoke with Jaccos Towne Lodge Chief James Colter. We wanted to make sure that some of the confusion could be laid to rest in advance of this weekend’s Tap-Out Ceremony at the Spring Camporee at Camp Ransburg.

First things first: there will be a Fall Lodge Ordeal in 2017. More on that in a minute.

James Colter
2017 Lodge Chief James Colter

James is the current chief of Jaccos Towne Lodge, that covers all of the Crossroads of America Council. James comes from Troop 335 in North East District.  He is currently a student at Ball State University. As such, he also serves a troop in Golden Eagle District while at school.

Each Council has one and only one Lodge. A lodge can then be divided into chapters. North Star District has its own chapter.

James also shared with me that he was elected secretary of Section C6A for Order of the Arrow. This is Area 6 of the Central Region of the BSA, of which A is a subdivision.

James explained to me that the Ldoge is trying to redesign its programs so that stronger chapters can help support struggling chapters. Part of this plan is to have chapters carry out more of their efforts together. While Council’s overall restructing into three section, Lodge is following a completely different alignment of chapters based on the characteristics of the chapters, not their georgraphy.

From May 19 to 21, 2017, the Lowaneu Allanque (LOA) Chapter of North Star will be joining with the Kickapoo (KPO) of Wabash Valley District (Terre Haute area), the Tatankaskah (TAK) Chapter of Sugar Creek District (Crawfordsville area), and the Wundchenneu (WUN) Chapter of Hou Koda District (Plainfield area). This will be held at Camp Krietenstein a/k/a Camp K West.

Read the rest of this entry »

OA Ordeal participation UPDATED

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UPDATE 4/19/17: For newer information see article posted April 18, 2017. with an interview of the Jaccos Towne Lodge Chief James Colter.

As the Order of the Arrow tap-out ceremony is coming up at Spring Camporee, Scoutmasters are looking ahead to when and where the Ordeal ceremonies will be.

This year the Council’s Lodge has chosen to have all districts’ OA chapters hold their Ordeals on the same weekend: May 19-21, 2017. (Our LOA chapter is with Central Section at Camp Krietenstein.) For families with scheduling conflicts, this presents a problem.

Remember ordeal candidates must complete their Ordeal within 12 months of being tapped-out for candidacy. Otherwise the offer of membership expires. The scout then has to be re-elected to candidacy.

There is traditionally a Lodge Ordeal in the fall. On the current calendar it shows at September 15-17, 2017. UPDATE: 4/16/2017: Chapter Advisor Mark Pishon is being told from the Lodge that no Lodge Ordeal will be held, despite the calendar. Both Jaccos Towne Lodge Chief James Colter and Council Director of Programs Lee Murdoch confirm that there will be a Fall Lodge Ordeal as posted on theLodge website. More details in my upcoming interview with James this week.

Regardless whether there is a Lodge Ordeal, some families will still have scheduling conflicts.  Read the rest of this entry »

Preparations for Order of the Arrow Call Out Have Begun

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From our chapter Order of the Arrow Advisor Mark Pishon:

Dear Troop Key 3:

Please send me your troops OA Election results ASAP.  Call-Outs are April 22 [at Spring Camporee].  Forms are attached.

Mark Pishon
LOA Chapter Adviser

  1. OA Inductions – Adult Candidate Form
  2. OA Inductions Unit Election Form 2016

Since Troops 72 and 180 have worked as part of OA chapter in the past, the March 29th approval of district changes should not affect these units. Other T’Sun Gani units will need to be in contact with Pioneer’s Order of the Arrow Chapter for Call Out procedures in April. Please share this information with them, so that they are not confused.

Interest in Boy Scout Assistance in Webelos to Scout Cross Over Ceremonies?

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In the BSA, there is a long tradition of members of the BSA’s national scouting honor images-1society, the Order of the Arrow, sending ceremony teams to pack’s Blue and Gold Banquets. These ceremonies are run by teenagers to symbolize the movement of the Webelos from an adult-led program in Cub Scouts to a youth-led program in Boy Scouts.

For an example of these ceremonies can look, see some of these YouTube videos from around the country.

Packs are strongly encouraged to use the Order of the Arrow teams. OA teams’ involvement build excitement for adventures to come for all Cub Scouts, not just those Webelos crossing over. To that end, here is a communication from the incoming OA Chapter Advisor Mark Pishon to all Packs.

Dear Pack Leadership:

My name is Mark Pishon.  I’m the new Order of the Arrow Lowaneu Allanque Chapter Adviser (LOA).

I’m reaching out to you to schedule a ceremonies team for each Pack’s Crossover event..

Please reply back the following or let me know you are working on it:

  1. Do you need a OA Ceremony Team this year?  Y   N
  2. The number of boys transitioning:
  3. Date of Crossover?
  4. Time of Event:
  5. Time of ceremony:
  6. Location of the Crossover event:
  7. Point of contact name, email, and telephone #:
  8. Yours in Brotherhood,

Mark Pishon
LOA Chapter Adviser

For more information about Order of the Arrow, the Jaccos Towne Lodge in Crossroads of America Council and the Lowaneu Allanque Chapter in North Star District, click on each link.oa_seal_fullcolor

OA/Firecrafter Cook Out at Marrott Park

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Welcome back from a busy summer with Scout Camp, Firecrafter Rituals and back to school!
We will have our September Chapter Meeting on September 11th (this Sunday, due to Labor Day Weekend) from 1:00 to 3:00 at Marott Park.  The park address is 7350 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46240.  This is a joint Welcome Meeting with the Firecrafterser to welcome our newest OA Brothers and Firecrafters.  Colts fans, please note. . . .the game is at 4:30 so you can’t use that as an excuse : )
We will be having a cook out with Hot Dogs provided.  If you would bring something to contribute as listed below based on first letter of last name:
A to H – chips or side dish
I to R – cookies or dessert
S to Z – Tea or Soft Drinks
Please RSVP at the following link so we can have an accurate headcount.
Also, since September 11th is the 15 year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, we will be having a small ceremony.   Adults, if we have anyone that has a connection to the events of that day, any public safety officials, or any military members that would like to speak, it would be greatly appreciated.  Please let me know and I can fill in details and make a list of speakers.
Finally, PLEASE make sure all OA members (Firecrafter) members in your troops know about this event, including the newest members.  The OA attendance at recent OA events has been very disappointing and we need to improve membership attendance.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
John Ruggles
LOA Chapter Advisor

OA Chapter Tepee report

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As many of you know, and some do not, the LOA Chapter has a tepee that can be set up for OA and scouting events.
It has not been used in at least 5 years.  The tepee canvas itself is in good shape and is in covered storage (in my garage).  However, we need to replace the poles.
That, in itself, is not a problem.  Thanks to Mr. Hoyes and Mr. Pishon, we have a line on a reasonable price for the poles.  The issue I have is indoor storage.  I  do not want to have these stored outside in the elements.
Is there anyone out there connected to OA that has indoor storage available that we could use?
Mr. Hoyes and Mr. Pishon recently put in time and energy to get the trailer in working order.  I’d really like to have that effort not be in vain.
Thank you in advance.
John Ruggles
LOA Chapter Advisor

Congratulations to our new OA Members

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IMG_2711I just got home from our OA induction ceremony. We had a great spring 2016 class.

They will all have stories to tell and mysteries to uphold.

Remember candidates who missed this weekend can other chapter ordeals next week or the Lodge ordeal later this fall.

OA Ordeal Weekend May 13-15

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From OA Advisor John Ruggles:


Whether you are a Brotherhood candidate or a general member, we would love to see you at Ordeal weekend in two weeks (May 13 – 15 at Camp Kikthawenund).
Attached are the registration forms and letters.  If you plan to come, please follow the instructions in the letters.
Hope to see you there.
John Ruggles
Chapter Advisor

Order of the Arrow Election Reminder

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Remember that February is the month for Order of the Arrow elections in your boy scout troop and venturing crew.

If you have any questions, contact the Chapter Advisor John Ruggles.