Category Archives: Region & National Programs

News regarding region and national programs such as NLS, NLATS, DYLC, NOAC, Jamboree & other national programs.

November NLS Course

SR-9 NLS Map

National Leadership Seminar
by Austin Dowd

We have a fantastic opportunity for members of Section SR-9 to meet new brothers and learn one-of-a-kind leadership skills at an upcoming NLS course inside our geographic area. NLS stands for National Leadership Seminar and is hosted by experienced Order of the Arrow members from all over the country including current national officers. It is a great weekend full of sessions to help form the next leaders of our Order. The NLS course is November 11-13 in Talladega, Alabama. For those unfamiliar with Talladega, it is halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta along Interstate 20. This will be the first NLS Course inside SR-9 since 2009 and the next course this close will not be until spring of 2018. NLS is encouraged for all lodge and chapter leadership to attend and help better their local program.

Section SR-9 is offering a grant program for youth members to attend. We will cover half of the cost for thirty Arrowmen, but hurry because spots are being claimed quickly. In addition, your lodge may have scholarship funds available. Notify your Lodge Adviser that you are interested in attending, and he can assist you in receiving the Section SR-9 Grant.

The registration deadline is October 28 but do not delay because spots fill quickly. Go to http://southern.oa-bsa.org/nls for more information and to register.

NEXT: A New Century

NEXT National Event

Lodge leaders from across the nation gathered this summer at Indiana University to share ideas and lay the groundwork for our second century as an Order. Over thirteen hundred Arrowmen were in attendance, including representation from nine SR-9 lodges.

A unique element for this national event was the use of crews, much like at National Leadership Seminar. Lodges were broken up upon arrival and experienced the conference with one of sixty-three crews. Each crew included fourteen to sixteen delegates, all from different lodges, and one crew guide. The crew guide was a key component of the NEXT program delivering the training sessions and crew discussions every day. Section SR-9 had six brothers hand selected for this important role, and we want to thank Craig Barnwell, Ken Barton, Chris Brightwell, Clayton Carte, Frank Harper, and Tyler Stepanek for their hard work throughout NEXT.

Each day had a theme that the training and activities centered around. Day one was brotherhood day where the members of each crew bonded and began to know each other. Innovation day was second where all delegates were introduced to a new form of problem solving called LeaderX. This model may be used by attendees in any problem they face within or outside of Scouting. Next was membership day where delegates examined the problems we face across the nation in membership retention and brotherhood conversation. New ideas to address these problems were brainstormed and written down to be adopted on a national scale. Finally, delegates had program day showcasing leadership development, service, and ceremonies which give the OA our purpose. The closing program element was a massive bonfire in the center of campus.

Section SR-9 Chief Patrick Mapp was the experience conference vice chief for the event in charge of the overall schedule, crew guides and crew activities. He described serving in this role as “an opportunity I will never forget” having the chance to “impact Arrowmen across the nation on such a large scale.” Patrick worked long days throughout the event to ensure every delegate had a wealth of new ideas and knowledge to share back home.

NEXT created friendships and connections that will last for years, and the ideas shared will be implemented in lodges across the nation in the coming months and years.

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Nine SR-9 Lodges were represented at NEXT. The lodges were Alibamu, Chattahoochee, Coosa, Echeconnee, Egwa Tawa Dee, I-Tsu-La, Ini-To, Mowogo, and Withlacoochee.

NEXT Conference Vice-Chiefs including SR-9 Chief Patrick Mapp

NEXT Conference Vice-Chiefs including SR-9 Chief Patrick Mapp

SR-9 Officers and Lodge Chiefs found the Redbull

SR-9 Officers and Lodge Chiefs found the Redbull

Prism: Experience the Spectrum

Prism National Event
by Trey Patuka

I was privileged to attend the 2013 National Jamboree at the brand new Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. It was a great experience. I loved meeting Scouters from around the world, patch trading, and checking out our new high adventure base.  I was only 13 at the time, but I knew it was an awesome opportunity to be at the very first Jamboree held at our own property. There was so much to see and do that I simply could not take it all in, but overall, it was amazing!

I was sitting at the February lodge executive committee meeting and the lodge leadership announced the eight available spaces for the OA Prism. I knew I wanted one of those tickets.  I could not wait to go back and see The Summit again.  I wanted to see what was new and what had changed.  Plus, I knew it would be a great experience to be one of the first Arrowmen to see the Summit Circle.

My mom, my scoutmaster and his son, all fellow Arrowmen, went with me to the June 29 – July 2 session. We were not able to attend during the Southern Region week, but we enjoyed meeting new brothers from the Central Region.  We were fortunate to have beautiful weather the days we attended.  Pulling into the Summit Bechtel Reserve headquarters on the first day and seeing the visitor center was very cool.  It was not completed during my visit in 2013.  I was amazed at how large and empty the base camps looked when they were not filled with thousands of Jamboree tents.  It was like seeing SBR through a new set of eyes.

On my first full day, I participated in the Summit Center program areas.  My favorite was the climbing wall at Boulder Cove.  I also tried out the kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and shooting areas.  I always love crossing the CONSOL Energy Bridge and if you are at the Summit, you have to check it out.

The second day, we spent the morning doing a conservation project at the Summit Circle.  It was unique to do a service project at the ceremony site and know I made a difference that will last forever.  The Legacy Lodge Plaza and the Reflection Trail with lodge rocks and quotes from our founders and ceremonies lead to the Summit Circle, but they are special on their own. Walking the path and entering the circle for the first time made me excited to be an Arrowman and be part of our history. That night we participated in a special inauguration ceremony at the circle.  This is something I will never forget. Seeing the past and being part of the present makes me enthusiastic to be part of the future.

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Seven SR-9 Lodges were represented at Prism. The lodges were Alibamu, Chattahoochee, Coosa, Egwa Tawa Dee, Ini-To, Mowogo, and Withlacoochee.

Trey and his mother at the WWW Overlook in the Summit Circle

Trey and his mother at the WWW Overlook in the Summit Circle

Trey on the CONSOL Energy Bridge

Trey on the CONSOL Energy Bridge

Section NLS Grants

Section SR-9 is launching an initiative to help increase and promote the attendance at the November 11-13, 2016 NLS to be held in Shocco Springs, AL (between Anniston and Talladega). In addition to the NLS program being hosted that weekend, there will also be an NLATS course for any advisers wishing to take part in the weekend.

NLSAs a part of the initiative, the Section is pledging up to $3150 to offset the costs of Youth Arrowmen attending the NLS. This amount represents one-half of the cost of the NLS registration for 30 Youth Arrowmen.

The way this will work is as follows: the Section will reserve 1 allotment of $105 for each lodge in the Section until the close of business on Friday July 15, 2016. Each lodge will have the ability to use this allotment on or before that date.

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A Message From the National Chief

2016 National Chief - Hunter Jones

2016 National Chief – Hunter Jones

Brothers,
I hope each of you are having a great time at Conclave! I know for me, conclaves are one of the Scouting events that I look forward to the most each year. You are also a part of history right now. You are attending the first conclave of SR-9’s second century. While last year was a very special time for all of us as we celebrated our centennial anniversary, this year is just as special. It is truly an exciting time to be an Arrowman as we move forward.
Our Order is constantly evolving. Evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our members. We must embrace this opportunity of growth. So I ask you to join me in helping to lay the foundation for the Order of the future. With your help, we can have stronger chapters, lodges, and sections that will in turn allow for us to provide an even better experience for all Arrowmen.

Yours in Cheerful Service,

Hunter Jones
2016 National Chief