My fellow Brothers, these past few years of my scouting career have been the most memorable times and it’s not because of what I’ve done or experienced, but because of what I have done for others first. I have learned just how valuable a combination of the BSA and the Order of the Arrow is, and just how great it is to be able to serve.
What makes scouting unique and what’s the role that Order of the Arrow plays? Tying knots? Camping? Survival? Free labor? An outdoor experience you can’t get anywhere else? Is this the big picture? Well I’ll tell you what I’ve come to know.
What makes the Boy Scouts unique is at first, through the first four ranks, you do get an outdoor experience you can’t get anywhere else. The last three ranks, a leader is born. Here’s how it’s done. Robert Baden-Powell said: “We must change a boy’s attitude from a ‘what can I get’ attitude to a ‘what can I give’ attitude.” It is through the first four ranks the scout has a ‘what can I get’ attitude. And receive they shall! These are the young scouts which are seen that make up the majority of those who attend summer camp. As a scout gets older, they are to be brought into a new way of thinking: “What can I give?” It is also at this point, they are introduced to the Order of the Arrow, and it is the Order that causes this attitude transition.
The Order of the Arrow plays a critical role in leadership development; it turns a scout’s idea of leadership from Autocratic, to Servant. Through service projects and fellowship, they learn to “seek to preserve a cheerful spirit even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities, and will endeavor, so far as in my power lies, to be unselfish in service and devotion to the welfare of others.” They learn to serve one another before themselves. This principle of character a scout gains is what keeps us strong, and will keep us going for years to come.
The greatest among you shall be your servant.
It’s a great honor to be able to serve as Lodge Chief of Wah-Sha-She Lodge #42 and what it does throughout 2021, and I’m proud to be able to be a part of the great effect we really have. I can only thank you for choosing what you, as Arrowmen, believe to be the best choice for the lodge, and I am grateful.