By: Rose Sutkowski, Publicity Chair, Constellation District, COLBSA
What is the OA?
Two young Camp Directors, Dr. E Urner Goodman and Carroll Edson, founded the Order of the Arrow (OA) in 1915. They were part of the Unami Lodge, One at the Treasure Island Camp of the Philadelphia Council.
The OA is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America and the participating Scouts are referred to as Arrowmen. To be a member, you must be elected by your peers for exemplifying the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. The achievement of being in the OA comes with great respect and obligation and members are dedicated to the ideal of performing cheerful service and sharing knowledge. Both men and women are eligible for induction into the OA.
Matt Luke and Riley Metzler of Scouts BSA Boy Troop 434 (Llanarch section, Havertown, PA) are OA members. Matt serves as Chapter Chief for Constellation District, Unami Lodge, One. Riley is the Events Chairman for the Lodge. The young men hold positions with significant responsibilities at both the lodge and council level and enjoy being involved in the OA. Matt said, “it’s an opportunity for leadership and it prepares me for future growth.” Riley said, “the best part about the OA is associating with a good group of people, bettering the world and doing service for the sake of service.”
Ocean Adventure Program
The OA offers a high adventure opportunity called the Ocean Adventure Program at the Florida Sea Base in the Keys. This unique nine-day program allows one to enjoy nature at its best. Although the focus of the program are conservation service projects to help save the earth, participants get to tour historic landmarks, snorkel in the tropical water in the coral reef, fish, swim, and sail. Those who attend also interact with Scouts around the country, develop new friendships and work as a team to achieve shared goals.
Matt and Riley participated in the program in July. They were eager to sign up after hearing good feedback from friends. Learning about the ecosystem and conducting conservation projects to protect and preserve the park for future generations interested them.
Matt and Riley enjoyed many fun-filled activities and spent most of their time working on conservation service projects at Dry Tortugas National Park, a park located 75 miles west of Key West and only accessible using a ferry.
For their conservation projects, Matt laid brick pads, filled trenches and repaired storm shutters. Riley also laid brick pads, completed latrine maintenance and found the leak in a 92-gallon septic system.
The program left a lasting impression on these young men. Matt said, “l liked being on the island with no time keeping devices and working on a service project at a national park.” Riley said, “I enjoyed sword fishing, snorkeling, seeing the coral reefs, and catching a 44-inch barracuda.”
Need More Information?
The OA offers a variety of high adventure programs. For more details, visit https://oa-bsa.org/high-adventure. Unami Lodge, One also provides scholarships to Arrowmen who are ready for new challenges. To learn more and apply for the lodge scholarships, visit https://unamilodge.org/scholarship/.