Promoting Lodge Camping Support

wesupportcampingAs the promotion of Scout camping is central to the Order’s purpose, the National Order of the Arrow Committee recognized early the need to assist councils in meeting some of the challenges to their Outdoor Programs. To help the National Committee meet this need, the Southern Region OA Committee established the Lodge Camping Support Subcommittee. The subcommittee’s main focus is the utilization of the local OA lodge to assist with the Region’s implementation of programs and initiatives, which promote and support Scout camping in their council.

The local lodge’s role in camping support is to familiarize itself with the Order’s many camping support programs and initiatives, and to subsequently coordinate their implementation into the local BSA council’s outdoor programs. Simply put, the more successful lodges become at camping support, the more successful each council’s outdoor program will be. Lodges can greatly enhance their knowledge of camping support programs and initiatives by having their youth and adult leaders attend program specific training offered by the OA at national, regional, and sectional training venues.

To annually recognize those Southern Region lodges whose camping support efforts greatly enhance their council’s outdoor programs, the Lodge Camping Support Subcommittee developed the ‘We Support Camping Award’. The purpose of the award is to encourage lodges to sharpen their focus on the camping support programs within their council.

The award criterion was designed to be challenging. Lodges must demonstrate leadership, service, and financial assistance to their local council’s outdoor program. However, in its inaugural year, eighteen Southern Region lodges from nine different states earned the award. The 2013 awards were formally presented to the deserving recipients at their respective 2014 section conclaves. The award criteria and the award petition can both be found in our online document library.

2014 Lodge Advisers’ Summit

lodge_adviser_patchThe 2014 Southern Region Lodge Advisers’ Summit will be held on August 8 – 10 at the Huntsville Marriott hotel, on the grounds of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.  This program will be completely different than the National Lodge Adviser Training Seminar (NLATS) or other such conferences for advisers.  Rather than focusing on “how to become a better adviser”, we will focus on the process of “how to become a better lodge”.

Some of our Southern Region Lodges have exemplary programs, and yet most have at least a few specific issues that challenge their goal of maintaining a quality Order of the Arrow program within their council.  This summit will leverage the strength and proven ideas of our best programs as we explore development of the process, not only the “how’s” – how do you do it, but also the “why’s” – why is that important, in developing a consistent, quality OA program that each member can be proud to be a part of.

Our weekend program will begin at 7:30 PM on Friday, August 8, and end by 11:00 AM on Sunday, August 10.  The summit fee of $285 will include housing (2 advisers per room) at the Huntsville Marriott for 2 nights, meals on Saturday and Sunday breakfast, summit materials and conference room fees.  Note that no meal will be served Friday night, so plan to eat on your own prior to arrival.

The Huntsville Marriott is only about 5 miles from the Huntsville International Airport (HSV) for those who choose to fly.  Shuttle transportation from and to the airport will be provided.  For those driving, the Huntsville Marriott is on I-565, right off of I-65.

Each Southern Region Lodge should send their current Lodge Adviser, or, if your lodge will transition to a new Lodge Adviser during late 2014 or 2015, the upcoming Adviser should be the one to attend.  Only one adviser per lodge will be allowed to attend due to limitations of our hotel and meeting space.

Online registration is open now; please click on this link to proceed:

Once you’ve registered, you should be directed to a page to pay the registration fee online.  If you do not see this, please contact our Region Staff Adviser, Brian Glass.