As 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.