The largest Order of the Arrow service corps in history is aiming to make a big difference at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, through their help with daily programs and crowd control. The corps is 700 brothers strong.
The OA's Day of Service, involving Arrowmen, Scouts, Scouters, and Venturers, will help improve the Summit Bechtel Reserve and surrounding communities. In the spirit of Scouting and the OA, all campers participate in a day of community service taking place during one of their program days.
Members of the order, which is the national honor society of Boy Scouts of America, help shape the experiences of all participants through their efforts and cheerful service.
"The OA's role here is four-fold," says Raymond Cheung, OA communications representative, who is originally from Boston. Scouts and Venturers can observe these four responsibilities wherever they go during jamboree.
First, the order's contingent provides a manpower resource for jamboree. OA members provide a helping hand in all staff areas. During the construction of the Summit Bechtel Reserve, Arrowmen made up a significant portion of that volunteer workforce.
Second, "The service corps also participated in program shakedown before jamboree began, identifying kinks which needed straightening out in preparation for participants," says David Steinkruger, OA Vice Chief in charge of the service corps.
Third, OA operates several program areas. Two program areas run solely by Arrowmen are OA Trek Guides and the OA Indian Village. All participants can trek to the very pinnacle of the Summit at Garden Ground, aided by an OA guide. Atop the mountain is the OA Indian Village.
The Indian Village is important for us to "understand who was here before us and how they lived," says Tanner Lashinsky, a director of the Indian Village. He is an Arrowman from Altoona, Pa.
He says their purpose is to "educate on Indian games and traditions." This area offers a diverse experience including crafts, games, and music. Beyond this the Order of the Arrow has one more exhibit and a day program for Scouts.
Finally, the OA exhibit at Action Point chronicles the history of the OA leading up to the order's centennial in 2015. The exhibit is open to all participants of the jamboree. The museum includes several collections on display for those attending the 2013 jamboree.
True to the OA's principles of cheerful service, the order's work across the Summit enhances the jamboree experience for all participants and visitors from the United States and around the world.