Since the founding of the Order of the Arrow, the program has remained a core part of the BSA. An Organization always focusing on three founding values: Brotherhood, Cheerfulness, and Service. These words are not just words to Arrowmen, they are guidelines on how to live in our ever changing world. Change happens every day in our lives, whether it is for the better or for the worst, change happens whether we want it to or not. The future is never certain.
Organizations dissolve, programs change, and trends disappear, but there is a reason the BSA has lasted as long as it has. The program is beneficial and beloved by millions. I once heard a scoutmaster say “The Boy Scouts has program that only comes around once every thousand years.” But with our shrinking membership, the BSA could be no more, without changes. To lose a program as special as the BSA would be devastating to the future generation. In January 2018, the National Committee voted to allow female youth into the program, therefore opening a new chapter into the history of Scouting in America.
“Only the wisest and stupidest men never change”
Many of our members were distraught when this policy change was announced. A change like this would completely change a program that is so beloved by its current members. The quote above sums the situation perfectly, people fear change, especially when it personally affects them. To fear change is to fear progress. This makes for an outdated program still holding on to century old rules that are no longer relevant in today’s world.
The Order of the Arrow is an amazing program that exists within the BSA. Our three founding principles of Brotherhood Cheerfulness and Service have never been as relevant as they are now. To think that soon we will expand our membership in the Lodge to include females is amazing. Giving a whole new meaning to Brotherhood in our organization. To be able to “Serve” a previously overlooked demographic should excite any Arrowmen who lives by the 3 W’s. A chance to expand like Muscogee has never done before. In 2018 we had some of our lowest attendance for fellowships since the mid 2000s.
After speaking to some of our newer members during the 2018 Fall Fellowship, something is always mentioned over and over. “These events are the same they are boring.” This completely threw me for a loop. To me and most of the LEC the fellowships are some of our favorite. This sat in the back of my mind until mid December, when I realized something, my interests are completely different from those of our rising Arrowmen. To not allow our new members to have a say is not good. I have three more years as a youth in the OA, I am not exactly the youngest member in the lodge, there are some as young as 13 who will be the future leadership. The lodge LEC is changing, for the good of our council. Including events that our members want to see, while still keeping in line with our Principles.
At the Spring Fellowship our lodge will vote to change some rules concerning Elections and The Chapter system as whole. Specifics on these changes will be outlined in a Special Edition of the Fox’s Tale coming out soon. If these changes are to be implemented, an entirely new era for Muscogee will emerge.
2019 is a new year for the entire BSA organization. The past is the past; the future is here, it is time for a New Beginning.
Kevin Tidwell - 2018-2019 Lodge Chief