I had the pleasure of spending my weekend at SR-5’s conclave called the Dixie Fellowship. The 2019 Dixie took place the last weekend of April at the stunning Camp Bud Schiele in Rutherfordton, NC.
Dixie has been around for decades, always serving the arrowmen surrounding South Carolina, today SR-5 encompasses, Augusta GA, all of South Carolina, and the Southernmost lodges of North Carolina including Charlotte, NC.
What makes Dixie special is their remembrance of tradition while not being afraid to try new things. One of their longstanding traditions is how they do their training session. Each lodge selects a topic to lead sessions on, giving Arrowmen in attendance 10 different topics to choose from. Speaking with the Training Coordinator, Blake Parker, he said that lodges aren’t allowed to do a topic that has been down within the past two Dixies making each year’s Dixie training offering unique. Blake collects each sessions syllabus and adds them to a training repository. Lodge’s sessions are judged by four members from other lodges and an all-around best training and best trained lodge are awarded.
Dixie has a very strong AIA program. Five of the ten lodges had a lodge drum team compete and were judged by a team of experts including representatives from local tribes. This same team of judges oversaw the dancing competitions with over 60 Arrowmen competing across the different categories. Caleb Barnes, the AIA coordinator, and the current NOAC Chicken Dance Champion, said that he loved that the AIA program continued to grow, and pointed out that with the help of local natives, they ensure that all regalia is acceptable, while also giving distinction to the best regalia at the conclave.
Other highlights from the weekend included the Very Important Arrowman luncheon with a speaker from the Far East Council about international scouting, lodge displays, and the minute to win it games.
Thank you to outgoing Section Chief Cole Taylor for inviting me up for the weekend, and best of luck to Hunter Hackett the new SR-5 Chief.